Hello! I am new to Catholic Answers and have arrived here somewhat desperate. I love my husband. He is a blessing from God. However, we are experiencing lots of stress on our marriage because I want to have another baby and my husband does not.
I feel I am losing some respect for him because I think he is acting so selfishly. Frequently on Sunday in mass, we hear some beautiful version of- die to yourself and live for Christ. He thinks raising the 3 children we have in the church is living for Christ. I tell him, not as much as we could be. I feel we have more to give God, and he is preventing us from doing so. We are supposed to be helping one another get to heaven.
Day to day, my husband is a good husband. He spends time with the children in the evening, takes part in our evening prayers, puts our 2 year old to sleep after I nurse her (while I finish the sleep routine with the other 2). He often cooks dinner and prefers this to doing other things required in the house. He is a good natured, well adjusted, relatively optimistic man in our day to day life. Aside from this topic, he brings much joy to my life and our family.
Praise God, upon reading Pope John Paul’s encyclical, he decided not to have a vasectomy. However, he is using NFP in such a way that is not open to life, with no plans to change that.
To try to describe his reasoning- he says a variety of things that break down to him not wanting to do any of the work involved in another baby, and wanting to get our kids (almost 6, 4 & almost 2) grown up to more easily managed ages. Pope John Paul’s encyclical endeavors to describe acceptable reasons why families would not have another baby. I asked, where do you fall within that list? He says mental health. It seems he fears another baby would put too much of a stress on our family.
I have prayed so much. I go through spells where I don’t bring it up. Yesterday he said I ruined his Sunday by forcing this topic over and over.
We are not financially stressed and both have successful career paths. I don’t wish to be working outside the home, but do it because he doesn’t want the stress of supporting the family alone. That is not the topic I am concerned about. I would happily work forever if it meant getting to expand my family. I am 40 in the fall and don’t have the luxury of being able to pray forever and wait for God to change my husband’s mind.
I feel myself thinking of him as something of a selfish teenager, lacking in perspective. It is making me think of him with less respect.
We are going to a marriage enrichment retreat put on by our diocese. What else should we do? What else should I pray for and consider? I greatly appreciate all thoughts, and including those who could offer a male perspective.