Husband and I disagree


#1

I’m hoping someone can help me work through this problem I have.

My husband and I have 5 children. I am Catholic, but my husband is not, so we have struggled to agree on the number of children to have. I want to be open to new life, but he does not.

Our last child was conceived after he had a vasectomy reversal because I knew it was wrong and wanted to “fix” what we had broken.It took three years of practically begging to get him to agree.

I am very grateful to him for doing that.

Last year I fell pregnant unexpectedly and was very happy, but my husband was not. Sadly I miscarried at 10 weeks. Now he says he does not want to try again until the end of the year. I think he has given me this date because he hopes I will see things from his perspective and will not want more children. Although he has not suggested contraception, he is using the withdrawal method which just makes me feel so sad.

I am 44, so I don’t feel I have time to waste. Also, I believe that we should be open to a child if that is what God wants for our family.

I’m so lost and sad and don’t know what to do (besides pray).

Any suggestions would be appreciated as this issue is seriously straining our relationship(we have been married for 20 years).


#2

Well first, don’t let it be a breaking issue in your marriage. If your spouse insists on contraception then as long as you don’t personally use it you are not considered to be sinning by the Church. The issue, like with any sin, isn’t about forcing the sinner (in this case your husband) to do what is right. It is about doing what you can to save the sinners soul. If contraception is something that he can’t accept as a non-Catholic then it may be something that you have to put aside for the time being, instead you should be considered with the matter of properly representing the joys and blessings of the Church to him and praying for his conversion. Even if he does agree not to contracept to please you, in all honesty not much ground will really have been made towards the real importance of the issue. If he can eventually be brought to believe in putting aside contraception as a matter of obedience to Christ and The Church then that is a million times better than him forgoing contraception to please you.


#3

There’s plenty of likelihood you will conceive as the contraception method your husband is using isn’t foolproof and pregnancy still may occur, so I wouldn’t worry too much. If God wants you folk to have a child you will. You husband has free will that even God won’t force, therefore nor should we, so you can just trust God whether you conceive or not.

May God ensure always mutual love consideration, respect, and peace, in your marriage and family. May God’s loving will be done as we trust, pray, and do the best we can manage with God’s grace.


#4

I probably will get flames for saying this…

Why in the world would you beg your nonCatholic husband for THREE years to have a reversal?

The Church does not require it.

I am assuming you asked Gods forgiveness, went to confession on any part you may have had with it…be healed!

Then, in all honesty, sounds like he didn’t really want the reversal in his heart OR he would be open to life!!!

I am sorry. I have no solid advice except…quit bothering your husband about this. He is going to have to spiritually work this out on his own…and bare in mind, he may never be open to life, even after having the reversal.

Dana, Catholic convert with non Catholic husband :wink:


#5

Praying right now. God bless your marraige!


#6

:eek:

While you might not agree with her begging(and since she used the word “practically” before it, I wonder if she just meant it was something she kept readdressing frequently with him because she felt it was of great importance, which IT IS) I’m not sure where that would be a sin especially if her husband had made that choice against her wishes to have it done in the first place.

Why would she go to confession for any part she had in trying to make her husband realize that breaking his body is a “SIN” whether one is Catholic or not. The Bible tells us not to defile our bodies. Purposely breaking it is a SIN. Now if he’s not a Christian than obviously that doesn’t matter, but she still has a right to make requests, even repeatedly, about something that is causing serious discord in their marriage.

Whether her husband is Catholic or not (especially if he is still a Christian), having him use her to pleasure himself and then withdrawing could be seen as a sin. God seemed to tell Onan it was(yes, I’ve read all the alternative thoughts on why God punished Onan that way). Excluding non-Catholics/Christians from some aspects of the married life(being open to life etc.), while insisting they stay faithful to others(a non-Catholic/Christian might not care much what God says about adultery) is flawed thinking. Remember the whole aspect of contracepting being accepted by any Christians is relatively new when you look at history.

She has a right to not want to be used that way. She has EVERY right to continue to discuss this with her husband since it is something on her heart, something that is causing her distress probably every time they have sex. Telling her to quit bothering her husband while she may very well be emotionally upset by the act each time, is not as easy as you may think. It may be something that you are able to accept easily, but obviously she is not you.

Perhaps her choice of practically begging is not the way to go, but certainly having to just forget something that is obviously very important to her, with no further discussion is not the way marriage works either.

Should her husband just give in without being in agreement? NO. But should her and her husband seek some sort of counselling or support so that they can find a solution, perhaps at least using NFP, so that he is making some sacrafice(having to go without sex at some times to allow his wife to feel like she is following Church teachings) as well. Yes, I think they should.

To the OP, I will pray for you. I do hope you and your husband can work through this issue and that you find peace. I think getting some communication help, so that you both understand each others feeling better might be a very good place to start.


#7

Angifi,
I’m with your husband on this one. Not on the withdrawal method or the vasectomy etc. but on the not seeking to have any more children. Frankly, and I hate to be blunt, your post sounds rather selfish. It’s about what you want personally and not about what you as a couple want.

While I accept the concept of being open to life there can be little doubt but that you and your dear husband have been open to life with considerable sucess since you already have 5 children.
You say that you are 44 and I assume he is of similar age. Given the risk of complications at this age, such as down syndrome, are you prepared to take on a special needs child at this time of your life? Even assuming a fully healthy child, you will be 60 years old and still have a child in school.
Is this really what you want? Is this really what he wants?

My suggestion is that you both be happy for the children God has sent you. That you observe good NFP practice in order to minimize the chance of pregnancy, that you Love each other and look forward to grandchildren in just a few years.

Love your husband and respect his wishes in this matter.

Peace
James


#8

Great reply :thumbsup:


#9

A lot of good points :thumbsup:


#10

[quote="JRKH, post:7, topic:235411"]
Angifi,
I'm with your husband on this one. Not on the withdrawal method or the vasectomy etc. but on the not seeking to have any more children. Frankly, and I hate to be blunt, your post sounds rather selfish. It's about what you want personally and not about what you as a couple want.

While I accept the concept of being open to life there can be little doubt but that you and your dear husband have been open to life with considerable sucess since you already have 5 children.
You say that you are 44 and I assume he is of similar age. Given the risk of complications at this age, such as down syndrome, are you prepared to take on a special needs child at this time of your life? Even assuming a fully healthy child, you will be 60 years old and still have a child in school.

Is this really what you want? Is this really what he wants?

My suggestion is that you both be happy for the children God has sent you. That you observe good NFP practice in order to minimize the chance of pregnancy, that you Love each other and look forward to grandchildren in just a few years.

Love your husband and respect his wishes in this matter.

Peace
James

[/quote]

I think it's great that you can understand the husbands POV. You are a man and that makes perfectly good sense. However calling her selfish while the husband continues to satisfy his own sexual needs by withdrawing is a little rough.

As a woman myself, I can't help but wonder, if you are not able to understand the intense desire that a woman can have to have another child. Not all women. But many, It is a GOD GIVEN desire. It is the way HE created us to be. The way He made our hormones and emotions work and is not just easily turned off because somebody that doesn't know you, or even somebody who does, tells you "5 is enough". Mothering is something GOD places in a woman's heart and while there may be grave/serious reasons to limit the number of children, I'm not sure it's as easy for her to just turn off these hormones/God given instincts and desires as you make it out to be.

I also can't help but wonder if you think you know more than God, when you say that having a baby at 44 is basically too old and too risky and yet God made and designed our bodies to do this. I guess you feel that God made an error in this area. If He didn't think women should have children at 44, why wouldn't He have have made it so fertility ends at 30 or whatever age you think is the oldest a couple should procreate?

I agree with the idea of them using NFP since they are not in agreement on having another child at this time, but it is unclear from the OP whether or not the husband is even willing. I''d have to guess he is not, since the OP claims to be a good Catholic and I'm assuming would not purposely sin if her husband was willing to use NFP.

Anyways, again, I mean no disrespect, I know you are seeing this from the man's pov, which hopefully is based on his God Given instincts to be the protector and thinking truthfully about such things as serious/grave reasons to avoid, like true financial security issues or obvious health risks to the mother etc. But some of the reasons you gave, seem very generic and while they may hold true for your personal situation, don't necessarily hold true for somebody else.


#11

Perhaps it is a bit rough, but I felt it important that all views are considered.

As a woman myself, I can’t help but wonder, if you are not able to understand the intense desire that a woman can have to have another child. Not all women. But many, It is a GOD GIVEN desire. It is the way HE created us to be. The way He made our hormones and emotions work and is not just easily turned off because somebody that doesn’t know you, or even somebody who does, tells you “5 is enough”. Mothering is something GOD places in a woman’s heart and while there may be grave/serious reasons to limit the number of children, I’m not sure it’s as easy for her to just turn off these hormones/God given instincts and desires as you make it out to be.

Yes God gives us many instincts and desires. Doe that mean that we need to satisfy every one? Besides, she is not an individual anymore but part of a Couple - A God approved couple. How many times around here do we talk about how in a marraige, it isn’t about “two people” but one. So it isn’t just about “Her desires”, God given or not, but rather "their desires together as a couple and as parents of 5 children already.

Yes mothering is something God places in a woman’s heart. She has 5 children now. So is her God given mothering instinct somehow unfulfilled because she hasn’t a sixth?

I also can’t help but wonder if you think you know more than God, when you say that having a baby at 44 is basically too old and too risky and yet God made and designed our bodies to do this. I guess you feel that God made an error in this area. If He didn’t think women should have children at 44, why wouldn’t He have have made it so fertility ends at 30 or whatever age you think is the oldest a couple should procreate?

Of course I don’t know more than God. But if you go back and re-read my post, you will find that I did not say the things that you believe I said. Rather I made and observation and asked her some questions in order to get her to think about certain issues, and to consider that perhaps her husband is also thinking about such issues.
As to what you “guess” I feel about how God has designed things…They remain precisely that…your guess…no more.

I agree with the idea of them using NFP since they are not in agreement on having another child at this time, but it is unclear from the OP whether or not the husband is even willing. I’'d have to guess he is not, since the OP claims to be a good Catholic and I’m assuming would not purposely sin if her husband was willing to use NFP.

Absolutely - there is much that is not given in the OP. Mainly the husbands point of view. She mentions his views, but it would be much more helpful to hear from him rather than from her about him…

Anyways, again, I mean no disrespect, I know you are seeing this from the man’s pov, which hopefully is based on his God Given instincts to be the protector and thinking truthfully about such things as serious/grave reasons to avoid, like true financial security issues or obvious health risks to the mother etc. But some of the reasons you gave, seem very generic and while they may hold true for your personal situation, don’t necessarily hold true for somebody else.

No disresepct taken, except that I think you are trying to read too much into my post and this has led you to some false understandings/conclusions about my outlook.

When answering such a query I try to be very careful in not making assumptions, in wording my response to stimulate thought on the part of the OP and to uphold Catholic thought and teaching.
Also my answer was very generic for the simple reason that there is entirely too little information given in the OP to be terribly specific.

All that said, I will wait and see if the OP has anything more specific or helpful to add or if, as has occasionally happened on the boards, the husband actually comes in and comments.

Peace
James


#12

No it’s no unfullfilled and yes God does place many desires in our heart. I was simply trying to point out to you a man, that for woman it is not always easy to turn off these emotions and hormones and say well one day we’ll have grandchldren. Grandparenting is not the same as parenting in any way.

God gives us room in our heart and the physical and emotional desire as well as the ability to have more than one child for a reason. God’s plan is for man and woman to make love and from that union the possibility of a child to be created. The Church teaches that when there are **grave **and serious reasons we may choose to utilize NFP to space or avoid pregnancy and another child. Only going by what the OP says, we know that her dh is saying at the end of the year they may try again. She is not saying he feels we have this grave or serious reason. He obviously does not feel the reason is grave or serious enough to risk pregnancy with preejacution fluid that he may or may not be leaving in her.

To believe that the OP is unaware of her age, or how old said child would be when she is 60, is not giving her much credit.

To ask her to consider her dh’s POV is certainly good advice and to ask her to consider her motives and whether they are or are not selfish is good advice.

To gloss over the fact that we have a husband who is not completing the marital act in the way that is intended and is therefore being quite selfish himself is not treating them as “one”.

I will take you at your word that you don’t think you know more about God and his giving women fertile years, far beyond what many in this world consider a wise time in her life to have children.


#13

[quote="heart4home, post:12, topic:235411"]
No it's no unfullfilled and yes God does place many desires in our heart. I was simply trying to point out to you a man, that for woman it is not always easy to turn off these emotions and hormones and say well one day we'll have grandchldren. Grandparenting is not the same as parenting in any way.

[/quote]

I take issue with the idea that I need these things explained to me "as a man". Do you believe that men don't have such desires that are not "easily turned off"? But I will address this no further with you here. The point of this thread is not for you and I to debate my point of view. It is to provide advice to the OP.

God gives us room in our heart and the physical and emotional desire as well as the ability to have more than one child for a reason. God's plan is for man and woman to make love and from that union the possibility of a child to be created. The Church teaches that when there are grave **and **serious reasons we may choose to utilize NFP to space or avoid pregnancy and another child. Only going by what the OP says, we know that her dh is saying at the end of the year they may try again. She is not saying he feels we have this grave or serious reason. He obviously does not feel the reason is grave or serious enough to risk pregnancy with preejacution fluid that he may or may not be leaving in her.

Yes, going on what the OP says you might make this assuption. However, if we were to hear the husband express his views, my guess is we might get a rather different picture.

To believe that the OP is unaware of her age, or how old said child would be when she is 60, is not giving her much credit.

I never said that she was unaware of these things. But sometimes a person may be "aware" but still not have given due consideration to them.

As to what she has considered or not, Neither one of us knows because she has not said.

I always take the view it's better to work with what is written rather than assuptions about what might possibly be meant by what is written.

To ask her to consider her dh's POV is certainly good advice and to ask her to consider her motives and whether they are or are not selfish is good advice.

And that is all I have done.

To gloss over the fact that we have a husband who is not completing the marital act in the way that is intended and is therefore being quite selfish himself is not treating them as "one".

Since he is not Catholic, this gets into another and mor complcated issue that I decided not to address since it would only serve to complicate and confuse specific issue regarding trying for another child.

I will take you at your word that you don't think you know more about God and his giving women fertile years, far beyond what many in this world consider a wise time in her life to have children.

Gee thanks...:rolleyes:

As I said earlier, I really don't wish to debate this further with you. My post was to the OP. If she finds the advice useful then she will utilize it. If not, she will ignore it. If she has further questions or information to share she will do that.

Therefore I think it best to confine our responses to her questions and not to what you or I think about each other...
If you feel the need to continue this debate between us, please PM me.

Peace
James


#14

Heart4home, have you personally dealt with a non Catholic husband who is not open to life?

I have.

OP can PM me if she needs me to explain myself better. I don’t have all day to do so to you. :bowdown:


#15

:bowdown: ???:frowning:

I don’t have to be married to a non-Catholic husband to understand HER desire for more children and that certainly doesn’t negate my opinion that just because she married a non-Catholic that she has no right to express her desire for more children, even more than once.


#16

[quote="angifi, post:1, topic:235411"]
I'm hoping someone can help me work through this problem I have.

My husband and I have 5 children. I am Catholic, but my husband is not, so we have struggled to agree on the number of children to have. I want to be open to new life, but he does not.

Our last child was conceived after he had a vasectomy reversal because I knew it was wrong and wanted to "fix" what we had broken.It took three years of practically begging to get him to agree.

I am very grateful to him for doing that.

Last year I fell pregnant unexpectedly and was very happy, but my husband was not. Sadly I miscarried at 10 weeks. Now he says** he does not want to try again until the end of the year.** I think he has given me this date because he hopes I will see things from his perspective and will not want more children. Although he has not suggested contraception, he is using the withdrawal method which just makes me feel so sad.

I am 44, so** I don't feel I have time to waste*. **Also, I believe that we should be open to a child if that is what God wants for our family. *

I'm so lost and sad and don't know what to do (besides pray).

Any suggestions would be appreciated as this issue is seriously straining our relationship(we have been married for 20 years).

[/quote]

Hi

I just wanted to clarify -- that this question isn't really about being "open to life" as I understand it. It is about your disagreement on actively TRYING to conceive...is that right?

To me, being open to life is not using artificial birth control. If you are not wanting to conceive, you avoid intercourse on fertile days. If you do, you make it happen on those days.

You say your husband doesn't want to "try" until the new year -- but you guys are having intercourse, as evidenced by your statement about his withdrawing.

Have you discussed or proposed NFP to him? What does he think?

Have you told him that his withdrawing makes you really sad? That it makes you feel used for his pleasure (if you do)? I wonder if you told him, "We can use NFP to try and avoid conceiving at this point, but it means we will abstain on fertile days," if he would change his mind. He would have to understand that it's not 100% (but neither is what he's currently doing.)

I also think there's a difference between wanting another baby, and wanting whatever God wants for you. Does that make sense?

I think the bottom line is, can you guys get together on the idea that, although you may not actively pursue another pregnancy, you would be just fine with it if it happened?


#17

I agree with JRKH on this one, and I’m a woman. From your post, OP, it seems you think that it’s your right to have a child and if you’re husband disagrees he should be persuaded otherwise. He probably realizes that things like finances, age and that you have five children already, can all be just reasons to postpone another child for a time or until menopause.

A child is a great thing, but God lets us use NFP and our own judgment, plus the judgment of our spouses, to do what’s right or best for everyone.


#18

Have you considered the possibility that you are both grieving for the child you lost? Sometimes women react to losing a child through miscarriage or stillbirth by really wanting to get pregnant again, and men don't want to, or at least not for a long time. Sometimes people don't realize that men also grieve these losses but they do. I would suggest an honest conversation about how he feels being a parent to the children you have now including the one you lost. If he was willing to reverse the vasectomy, but now is changing his tune, he may just not want to risk another loss like that again. My mother lost several pregnancies, a couple of which I was old enough to remember as a sibling. Those losses can be surprisingly painful and until now have not been acknowledged.

It may also be true that he felt that since the prior pregnancy did not work out, that too much time has passed and now he's feeling too old to try again. But I would really suggest discussing the pregnancy loss though it may be painful, and not assuming he has not been upset by it even if he has not said much. There are actually days of remembrance now for both miscarriage and stillbirth.


#19

[quote="His_angel, post:17, topic:235411"]
I agree with JRKH on this one, and I'm a woman. From your post, OP, it seems you think that it's your right to have a child and if you're husband disagrees he should be persuaded otherwise. He probably realizes that things like finances, age and that you have five children already, can all be just reasons to postpone another child for a time or until menopause.

A child is a great thing, but God lets us use NFP and our own judgment, plus the judgment of our spouses, to do what's right or best for everyone.

[/quote]

I just want to clarify since I think your "I'm a woman" may have been directed at my replies. I'm not agreeing, that she gets all the say, or gets what she wants.

I'm disagreeing with her husband, using withdrawl and concerned about the fact that she is being told by many that her feelings don't matter. If he's said "No'" that is that since they already have 5 children.

As somebody who has had several losses, I know the pain emotionally that I suffered when I thought we might never be blessed with another. No, a new child in no way replaces the last one, but it can help to ease the loss a little bit and unless somebody has had a m/c they may not understand the emotions involved.

I also agree with the poster who is saying perhaps the dh is afraid because of the loss. That is a very real possibility, as I know my own husband was apprehensive after some fo our losses.


#20

Wow. There’s certainly much food for thought here.

I am very aware of what it means to have a baby at 44. Yes I know the risks. And, yes, James, I am aware that I would have a teen when I’m 60. Of course these things have been considered. You see, my youngest child is 2. So I already will have a child still at home when I’m in my 50’s.And I am fine with that.

My struggle comes from the belief that we, as a couple, should be open to life. I believe that God will bless us with children if that is his plan.Yes, I am being selfish, because I want to follow the feelings I have : that I should be open to life.

I am not completely immune to my husband’s needs. I have listened to his reasons, and he to mine.The lines of communication are open. I feel that if he wants me to wait til later in the year, then he is open to another child.

When I miscarried in December 2010, I was heartbroken, but accepted that this is part of God’s plan. However, I am grieving deeply for this baby, and yes, I feel that having another baby will help heal the pain, but will never replace the child I lost. Sadly my husband doesn’t feel the grief as I do.He didn’t feel the baby was a “baby” yet to him.

Please don’t think that because I desire a large family, and another child whilst I’m still fertile, that I don’t care for the children I have now. I do. I am a very good mother. I gave up my career to care for them. My family comes before everything else.

I suppose I came here looking for comfort, when really I ought to get down on my knees and pray. Which is what I’m going to do.


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