Husband is buddhist, we're talking about having a vasectomy



My husband was born in china, but is not a practicing buddhist. I was raised catholic and am a practicing catholic. We just had our 3rd child and really want to be done having kids. Emotionally and physically I can not handle anymore kids right now. I stay at home while my husband works and am really struggling to keep it all together. We have talked a little about him having a vasectomy but I’m unsure on the churches views of a vasectomy if my husband is not catholic. I realize it’s a sin, but is it a sin for me too? Do I need to confess the vasectomy in confession? I just don’t understand this at all. Confession for me is always about going to make things right and to try my very hardest to not let it happen again, to be more christ-like. I know if my husband had a vasectomy, he wouldn’t go “undo” it and have a reversal, he doesn’t really care about the churches views, but I do. I am really struggling to put this all together. How do you make a vasectomy right or “try harder not to make that sin again?”

We were doing NFP before and it worked okay I guess, except that when I was charting and doing everything for the conception of our 3rd child, we got pregnant unexpectedly… we knew we wanted to get pregnant, just were thinking it wouldn’t be “that month” because my chart and temperatures were saying differently. I’m scared to go back to NFP because I don’t think I can 100% count on it.



As a Catholic, sterlization is out…this includes getting your tubes tied and vasectomies. If your husband is considering a vasectomy, you are not allowed to encourage him to do so or help him to get it. If your husband gets a vasectomy without your consent, you haven’t sinned and are still allowed to have marital relations…he is also not required to get a reversal.

It sounds like you have a beautiful family and need a break for either the time being or perhaps for the rest of your childbearing years. That’s great that you’ve used NFP before! :thumbsup: When you were blessed with your 3rd blessing, how well were you following the NFP guidelines? I ask because many of the NFP mistakes that I’ve heard about are a result of bending the rules. Not always–sometimes God blesses a couple with a baby when it seems impossible based on their charts–but a lot of the time it seems like that. Have you started charting again? Perhaps working closely with a NFP instructor would help you regain your confidence in NFP…


Some good reading…:thumbsup:


It’s also a sin in itself to plan on sinning and plan on going to confession right afterwards to “make it right”. There’s a name for it, I can’t think of it right now. Can anyone help?


I believe it would be presumption though I could be wrong.

I don’t have advice since I’m not married, but I’ll pray for you guys:)


yeah… i don’t want to proceed forward with the vasectomy. i have family members who have done it, so I guess I was just curious.

thank you all for you input.




Of course it is, sin of premeditation. Confession afterwards necessarily doesn’t mean your sin is forgiven. It’s only really once you have ‘felt’ sorry for it and plan on repenting for that sin are you truly forgiven. And repentance in this case would mean doing a reversal.

You can’t really sin, and then repent while still doing the same thing.

Even if the priest grants you absolution, he may not necessarily know what you are thinking or the specific situation, so you can’t get away that easily with it by ‘planning to confess later’


Thank you! The word escaped me, I had detraction stuck in my mind and I knew that wasn’t it.


I’m sorry to touch on this again- but I just really struggle with my faith with the whole vasectomy thing. I understand that it’s a sin, I get that and I completely agree that it is soooo wrong to have a vasectomy, confess it and then think everything is okay. I would not do that and would never be able to receive communion again and feel right about it.

So, moving on- I just don’t understand when it comes to taking control of the population right now. There are mother’s on crack out there that get pregnant 3,4, 5 times. Shouldn’t we be instilling some type of birth control for these women? Is birth control wrong for those women? I don’t think so. What about all the aids infected women/men and children in africa and in the united states. Wouldn’t birth control have saved so many lives? Maybe I’m stupid, but I truly think that teaching abstinence is always the way to go, but drug-induced women and men all over the u.s. have unprotected sex and then our population grows grossly out of control. When is it okay?

Bringing this around full-circle…for our family, I’m not sure we could afford another 3-4 children. I know we couldn’t. I’m not about to have sex whenever I want to and get pregnant and not be able to afford clothes and food, so my husband has to work 3-4 jobs just to make a mortgage payment. I understand what the pill does and depo-provera and I understand why the church says it’s wrong, but on some conscious level I don’t want to get pregnant again. If I am practicing NFP and it fails I will be devasted. I will love that child nonetheless, but it will be very hard for us in so many ways. NFP is a way of stopping pregnancy, as is the pill, and all other ways, it’s just that one is a chemical way and the other is just avoiding sex all together.

I really, really struggle with this and if I struggle and sometimes waifer on whether or not to be catholic if I just don’t understand and don’t agree with things. I feel extreme guilt wanting my husband to have a vasectomy or contemplating any type of birth control. I go through these rages of emotions, like a roller coaster. Denial, and questioning my faith and if I should even be catholic if I have all these questions. I cry a lot, pray a lot, cry more. I feel if I leave the church and just go to a non-denominational church to worship jesus that I will go to hell and so will my kids’.

I’m just so upset, confused and torn up inside with all these emotions and questions.



You have raised lots and lots of questions!

About drug addicted or proverty stricken people - it is our duty as Christians to assist these people, by providing them medical care and education, and to bring them spiritual care as well. To teach them how to follow Jesus. Sticking them on ABC will not help them get to Heaven. We are supposed to care for these people, not assist them in sin. Look at the great work done by Catholic Charities around the world, look at mother Theresa’s nuns. I read about a group who taught a form of NFP to illiterate women in China and they had a FANTASTIC success rate. NFP is something that does not have to cost a penny, that is very good for areas of poverty.

When it comes to those of us in the ole USA, having more children - should you sit down and put pen to paper, the biggest expense to more children is more food - but, we can learn to economize in food and make a dollar stretch.

Children are not that expensive, a child can grow up happy and healthy and well rounded even if they do not have a new outfit every week, their own bedroom, a pantry of new gadgets, playing every sport, going to expensive private school - those are extras, they are not necessitites.

I have never in my life met anyone who says “I regret having that 4th (or 7th or 11th) child”. In scripture, Gods blessings are always reflected in the number of children a famliy has.

We need to trust God better. Is it counter-cultural - you bet!


After 3 marvelous pregnancies, I was deeply saddened when I had my first miscarriage… then another one… and probably one more. We were finally blessed with baby #4 and were at a crossroads. I was officially ‘of advanced maternal age.’ And the road to baby number 4 was heart wrenching because of the inexplicable miscarriages. After baby number 4, we sought counsel with one of our deacons to whom we are quite close, read JPII writings on marriage and procreation, evaluated MY health and well being (in terms of not being sure I could handle another lost pregnancy), and concluded vasectomy. It is a far simpler and less expensive operation for a man and he was willing to do this FOR me (as opposed TO me). We ended up finding a new physician because of the jerky urologists in my neck of the woods - the family physicians charged a little more (but were kind enough to offer a mild tranquilizer for my husband prior to the surgery).Then, we were BOTH counseled by the family physician - the urologist(s) insisted on isolating my husband from me and I found them/their staff rude. I guess I would be rude if I had to do THAT all day. What about NFP, you ask? We essentially used NFP to have baby #4; the emotional (and mental) risk for me was that my body has inconsistent quirks that made me angry and frustrated with NFP. Don’t use my story as a ‘way out’ of NFP - but you can use it to examine your own conscience as we are directed to do. Our church does NOT demand we have more children than we can provide for, nor does it require we use family planning that puts our mental and emotional health last.

That said, maybe your husband can more easily understand that this part of your faith journey is seeking resolution between your heart and your head. Are you worried your husband will look/seem less ‘manly?’ I was worried - but he is more attractive to me than ever, because I don’t have a worry of losing a child (even if early in pregnancy). Are you worried that he might stray from you? Not ever a concern for me. Do you worry about how you may feel about this decision should you lose a child to illness or accidental death? I resolved this through being happy to know these children for as long as I am blessed with them. Do you need a lot of medical information to make a decision? I do - that is part of the reason we fired our current doctors, 2 of whom considered themselves Catholic but really lapsed in their counsel with us. My OB managed to forget how the tiniest bit of supplemental estrogen makes me nothing short of highly crazy.

Right after his surgery 9/11 happened and I was re-asking myself lots of ‘what if’ questions. My husband had a different perspective - a sense of relief for being able to take care of all of us. Bottom line- seek the counsel you need, nurture your communication with your husband, and ensure your doctor is understanding of your journey.


I don’t know what makes you think drug addicted women are going to willingly go get ABC or sterilized. HELLO they’re drug addicts,they don’t care! Unless you are saying that people should go out and forcibly sterilize people which has all sorts of human rights violations all over that. And AIDS? What does birth control have to do with that? You’re comments come across as a bit racist. Population control has nothing to do with AIDS. If AIDS is an illness that kills off the population of many black Africans, it would make logical sense that they have more children to replace them. AIDS has nothing to do with how many CHILDREN you have, it has more to do with how many PARTNERS you have. Preventing yourslf from getting pregnant does not prevent you from contracting HIV. And many people in Africa have HIV simply because of infected medical supplies. You make its sound like all African people are genetically predisposed to have HIV. Have you even BEEN to Africa? Do you KNOW any Africans? I hate how people like to depict Africa like this backward primitive continent full of starving children with AIDS. It’s just wrong!


I have to say I can’t see how it is a sin to have a vasectomy after having children. So much has changed since this was last looked at by the Church; we have much more knowledge now around the risks of pregancies later in life, and the population has nearly trebled. The notion that the world’s population could expand to a point that the earth’s food resources couldn’t sustain it any more never occured to people back in the 50s and 60s.

So I honestly have no qualms about vasectomy after children have already been born. In Europe the Church is very muted on contraception; posibly becasue we’re already at a much higher popualtion density than in the US.

But it’s obviously a matter that all couples need to consider deeply, earnestly and prayerfully.

God bless +



You might read what the Church teaches:


2399 The regulation of births represents one of the aspects of responsible fatherhood and motherhood. Legitimate intentions on the part of the spouses do not justify recourse to morally unacceptable means (for example, direct sterilization or contraception).


No, um…not asking drug-addicted women or men to get a vasectomy, but there are these wonderful FREE clinics that women and men can go to - to get FREE counseling on sex, get condoms, get the bcp for FREE…and I’m certainly NOT suggesting that I (like the previous poster) say that we counsel these people to do nfp. Pretty sure I’m not going to walk down drug infested streets at night trying to tell somebody how to chart their cycles in between their hits of cocaine and whatever else they are shooting up into their bodies. That is just outright stupidity. I don’t think it’s a sin to counsel other people in “options”. If somebody is strug out on drugs and living on the streets, for heaven’s sake… pick up a FREE condom or a FREE month’s supply of the pill. I’m not saying they will take it or use it, but maybe we can save 1% of the population to drug babies or babies left in hosptials because their mother’s can’t care for them. Look, I don’t know what the answer is to people like this, but lets start the dialog. Furthermore, I hate how catholics say that we’re counseling people into sin. Not everybody out there is catholic and believing in nfp. Is it really a sin for us to tell somebody else to take care of their bodies, especially if they are strung out on drugs and not able to chart and/or temp. Lets be responsible and when you are sober and clean, then lets talk about nfp.

I don’t know, I am confused very much myself.

Oh and to the person who is talking about Aids and Africa. Duh, I know that aids is because of having sex with other people. Isn’t about 90% of the sex done WITHOUT protection. That’s why you see all these celebrities going down to africa and volunteering (charlize therone) and showing the young men on how to use condoms. I know the catholic church disagrees with this, but maybe that’s what needs to happen. Give them options on what they can do, not force nfp down their throats. Why should catholics assume that on other human beings that nfp is the only answer. I’m not just saying africa (though that is the largest epidemic)…the u.s. has problems too, largely in the homosexual community. If they were to use condoms while having sex (man to woman) than wouldn’t this largely control unwanted children and if men and/or women are sleeping around to use protection to keep yourself safe from aids, but to not have children that will sufer from the aids epidemic.

I’m ranting I guess and I did not mean to be racist. HELLOOOOO, I’m married to a chinese man.

I am just upset and don’t know what to do or think when it comes to birth control because I have a lot of concerns with other things that I’ve listed above. I think birth control should be an option for a strung out drug addicted mom of 7. Sorry, I think it’s wrong and shameful. I guess I’m a sinner and will go to hell for that. This is why in large part I question my faith. I have so many “not a catholic thing to say or think” decisions and convictions - should I still be catholic?


This is a bit off-topic but the majority of new cases now are those that are born with AIDs. Terrible situation; let’s hope and pray for a vaccine soon.


Seems I was not clear, I am suggesting that Christians walk the drug infected streets. That they assist those women in getting clean and sober, that they assist those women in getting educated, and that they teach those women to honor and cherish their dignity, that they learn to follow Christ and to reject immoral sex.

For married women in poverty, that we teach them how to practice NFP (again, google NFP China and you should find the study I’m remembering).

Far better to give them dignity than a condom.


I’m sorry, I disagree with you kage.

YOu can give a woman as much dignity as they want and talk about christ until you’re blue in the face, this doesn’t mean they will pick up a pen and paper and begin to chart their cycles. NOr does it mean they will use a condom or the bcp. All I’m saying is that for a lot of poor, underclass or uneducated women that are living a lifestyle on the streets are more LIKELY to go to a free clinic and get a condom or a bcp than to hear about how some catholic wants to bring up their dignity and teach them about nfp. I’m not saying we can’t do that, I’m just saying, let’s talk to this population of people about their options.

Michael, I appreciate your response, though I’m quite clear that the catholic church believes it’s a sin no matter how many chilren you have had or haven’t had.

Lastly, all this talk about birth control, things were different in the early days of the church. Priests and bishops were all married and had children. The reason it changed was because they were giving all of their land to their offspring and people started to object to this, and that is in some ways why priests are celibant. Would we still have all of these child molestations in the church, bcp being a moral sin as well as a vasectomy if priests were allowed to marry and have viable offspring? Things have changed with the priesthood and celibacy, don’t we need to work towards some type of compromise with controlling our population?


Please do some research. These are myths that are spun by those who hate the Church.

Here is a starter

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