How to help my husband see our marriage differently


#1

i am catholic and my husband is non-denominational Christian. we just had our fourth child and he is only 5 months old. but in a few years i would love to try for another child. my husband is very skeptical about this- all of ours are very young and close in age. he comes from a family with 3 kids and thinks “isn’t 4 enough?”. he thinks i’m crazy for wanting more.

i just see things differently. i know 5 would be a lot, but i feel it’s my calling to be a mom and would not mind another if that’s what God blesses us with. anyways, my husband seems very influenced by society and in protestant denominations it’s completely commonplace to get a vasectomy or use birth control. i feel those are a sin, but it’s hard to have this discussion with him because he just doesn’t agree. is there any way to perhaps help him see my perspective or should i just drop it for a while and pray?


#2

Since you have a 5 month old baby right now, I think you have time. It is a decision you will both make together. Pray and read the catechism about it, as well as, "Love and Responsibility" by Pope JP2.

There may be more going on inside of your husband than he is saying. He may just be frightened of all the responsibility. He may feel insecure about the job he is doing now as a father and husban, and adding to it may be overwhelming to him right now.

Thank you for loving all of him. That is a blessing for your children to see that.

Peace.


#3

[quote="steph410, post:1, topic:241604"]
i am catholic and my husband is non-denominational Christian. we just had our fourth child and he is only 5 months old. but in a few years i would love to try for another child. my husband is very skeptical about this- all of ours are very young and close in age. he comes from a family with 3 kids and thinks "isn't 4 enough?". he thinks i'm crazy for wanting more.

i just see things differently. i know 5 would be a lot, but i feel it's my calling to be a mom and would not mind another if that's what God blesses us with. anyways, my husband seems very influenced by society and in protestant denominations it's completely commonplace to get a vasectomy or use birth control. i feel those are a sin, but it's hard to have this discussion with him because he just doesn't agree. is there any way to perhaps help him see my perspective or should i just drop it for a while and pray?

[/quote]

Explain to him that we really don't live that long. Even a 100 year life is only a split second in the context of eternity. Yet, when you cooperate with God in the creation of a person who will live forever, that's so much more than anything else one could do in this life.

Contraception is certainly a sin. The Church teaches infallibly on this. (See Humanae Vitae, for details). What a contracepting couple are telling God is this: "We know, that by this marital act, it may be Your will that we create a person who will live forever. We know that this may be Your will. But WE won't let YOU do it!" Wow. What an "in your face" kind of "I'm going to do things MY way" rebellion against Almighty God, Who has commanded us to go forth and multiply! But, this is nothing new. That was the original sin. When the serpent tempted Eve in the garden, he told her that she would not die as God promised, should she eat the forbidden fruit. No. In fact, not only would she not die, but she would be "like God" in that she could choose for herself what was right and wrong, truth and lie, etc. And this is the same mentality behind contraception. Be your own god. Be the arbiter of when life begins, rather than allow God to do so.

I would shudder to think of living that way and having to face God when I die and explain myself. Yikes!


#4

He's doing pretty good if he's been OK with the 4 you have! Is he pushing for you to use contraception? Or is he still OK with NFP (I assume that's what you've been using)? Give it a little more time - I hope you are nursing and not cycling yet..

God bless you for wanting a large family! I always wanted more than 2 but God said no.


#5

I’m in the same boat. I am married to a baptized Catholic, but he grew up (and still labels himself) non-denominational Christian. He doesn’t see anything wrong with contraception and sees no difference in contraception and natural family planning. It’s hard, I know. I pray everyday for my husband’s conversion. In the meantime, I am fortunate enough to have him respect my belief in NFP. He was extremely argumentative about it at first, but now it’s routine. It is even harder (but not impossible) to follow NFP before you resume your normal cycle after having a baby. Give him time to digest the idea of NFP, many children, etc…and pray in the meantime. I will pray for you and your husband on your marital journey. I pray you two find some common ground and come to respect and understand each other.
My two older sisters have both “fallen off the wagon” and now use contraception instead of NFP. My husband knows this and that makes my stance even harder. I think he’s hoping I’ll follow their example. But, on the flip side of that, he has told me how much he respects me for sticking to my guns about my beliefs and not being “wishy-washy”. I’m hopeful
that he will soften his heart to the Faith the same way he’s softened to NFP. The best thing you can do is be a good example to him and show joy when practicing your faith. God bless! You’re in my prayers!!


#6

You still have a little baby, so you have time. Since you also are thinking of a few years separation before the next, ease off this now. Keep praying, but don’t bring it up as a decision he needs to make right away. Take over charting and do stick to NFP rather than any form of contraception.


#7

Just lay off for a while. A 5 month old can be overwhelming with lack of sleep, and other young children in the mix too. Timing is everything. Bring it up later if you begin to feel it’s time to welcome another child.


#8

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:4, topic:241604"]
He's doing pretty good if he's been OK with the 4 you have! Is he pushing for you to use contraception? Or is he still OK with NFP (I assume that's what you've been using)? Give it a little more time - I hope you are nursing and not cycling yet..

God bless you for wanting a large family! I always wanted more than 2 but God said no.

[/quote]

yes, i'm very thankful he has been ok with having four. he acted like he wanted to be done after 2, but kept changing his mind or at least becoming open to it. he's ok with nfp, but thinks it's not that reliable (i can't argue too much on that point). and once he mentioned getting a vasectomy (when the 4th baby was first born). now he doesn't mention that because he knows how i feel, but he keeps saying things like "i think 4 is good for us". i'm going to keep praying and hoping he may change his mind/outlook.

i just started my cycle again, maybe that will make it easier to avoid at this time.


#9

I am going to add you to my prayers, and I will thank God for your husband, your 4 healthy children, and your willingness to have more blessings!

:thumbsup:


#10

Your husband may see things differently because he is the bread winner. Don't be so harsh on him. Please be content. Try natural family planning, if not follow your husband. Life is not easy these days. Give him a break! Do you know how hard this is on a man to have someone constantly talking about having another child? You just had a child. What is your problem? What is your criteria for having another child ? Maybe it is you who needs counseling?


#11

[quote="Irish_Kathleen, post:10, topic:241604"]
You just had a child. What is your problem? What is your criteria for having another child ? Maybe it is you who needs counseling?

[/quote]

um, ok. this is not called for.


#12

Let's remember to be charitable to one another, please.


#13

[quote="Irish_Kathleen, post:10, topic:241604"]
Your husband may see things differently because he is the bread winner. Don't be so harsh on him. Please be content. Try natural family planning, if not follow your husband. Life is not easy these days. Give him a break! Do you know how hard this is on a man to have someone constantly talking about having another child? You just had a child. What is your problem? What is your criteria for having another child ? Maybe it is you who needs counseling?

[/quote]

Remember please, that ultimately, we are to leave that decision to God. If the poster is open to life, she is following the Church's tenets. Limiting life is not up to us.


#14

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:13, topic:241604"]
Remember please, that ultimately, we are to leave that decision to God. If the poster is open to life, she is following the Church's tenets. Limiting life is not up to us.

[/quote]

Finally, it is for parents to take a thorough look at the matter and decide upon the number of their children. This is an obligation they take upon themselves, before their children already born, and before the community to which they belong - following the dictates of their own consciences informed by God's law authentically interpreted, and bolstered by their trust in Him.

  • Pope Paul VI, Populorum Progressio

4 children might be more than the OP's husband can realistically support both emotionally and physically. Keeping 4 little ones alive and out of harm's reach is hard enough as it is and I know I would not want to discuss adding another one after only 5 months.


#15

It is hard to have an argument based on Catholic documents when both parties are not Catholic. This is a great book that makes a case for the Catholic belief based on social, physical, etc arguments on sex, contraception etc. I would highly recommend reading it and sharing it with your husband. Whether or not you decide as a couple to have more children it may help you decide to keep using NFP in order to TTA. God bless you for your faithfulness.

Here is the link to the book: amazon.com/Women-Sex-Church-Catholic-Teaching/dp/0819883204/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1307978873&sr=8-1


#16

[quote="KostyaJMJ, post:14, topic:241604"]
Keeping 4 little ones alive and out of harm's reach is hard enough as it is and I know I would not want to discuss adding another one after only 5 months.

[/quote]

i don't want to argue, but several posters have implied that i want another baby right now (while the baby is only 5 months). i thought i clearly stated it originally, but let me explain again that i DON'T want another baby now. if i could decide (which i can't, i beleive it's up to God), i would love to space another one 3 years apart from my youngest.

so please don't think i'm just a crazy woman who wants tons of kids close together. but i do want to follow God as well as Church teaching.


#17

Worry about it in 2 years… If you’re using NFP it’s more likely than not you’re going to have another child. :slight_smile:


#18

[quote="steph410, post:16, topic:241604"]
i don't want to argue, but several posters have implied that i want another baby right now (while the baby is only 5 months). i thought i clearly stated it originally, but let me explain again that i DON'T want another baby now. if i could decide (which i can't, i beleive it's up to God), i would love to space another one 3 years apart from my youngest.

so please don't think i'm just a crazy woman who wants tons of kids close together. but i do want to follow God as well as Church teaching.

[/quote]

I support your willingness to be open to having as many children as God wants you to have.

:thumbsup:

God bless you!!!


#19

[quote="steph410, post:16, topic:241604"]
i don't want to argue, but several posters have implied that i want another baby right now (while the baby is only 5 months). i thought i clearly stated it originally, but let me explain again that i DON'T want another baby now. if i could decide (which i can't, i beleive it's up to God), i would love to space another one 3 years apart from my youngest.

so please don't think i'm just a crazy woman who wants tons of kids close together. but i do want to follow God as well as Church teaching.

[/quote]

As other posters have mentioned, maybe your husband is overwhelmed right now. Is he the sole provider? It might be a good idea, since you dont want another child right now, to lay off talking to him about it for a while, or he may grow to resent the idea.


#20

I married a non-Catholic and during the premarital instruction we spoke a lot about family size. I have three brothers, so I was keen to have at least four. Hubby has one brother, and thought two kids was perfect. Eventually we agreed on three.

We had three. Then hubby asked me if I was okay with just the three. I told him that I was happy to stick to the agreement. He asked me a few times more, and eventually he just said "Hey, why don't we try and have a fourth?", to which I answered "Okay!". We had four. Then I became pregnant again without trying. We had five, and hubby was okay with that.

Recently my husband asked me if I was okay with just the five. I said I was. After asking me a few more times, he said that he wanted to have another one (to even things up - sometimes I wonder if he's a bit OCD:p). Once you've got five, another one doesn't make a massive difference, and we're in a situation that allows for a large family. I am now pregnant with my sixth, because my husband, who originally only wanted two kids, was keen for another. He's the most Catholic non-Catholic I've ever met!

My advice is to make sure he knows what you desire, but also that you will stick to whatever the two of you agree on. I guess the hard part is that you really have to be willing to stick to the agreement, even if your husband doesn't change his mind. I just don't think pestering works, and it could lead to resentment, or feeling like he was pressured, if a baby does come along. (I'm not saying that you'd pester him)


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