Husband Still Doesn't Want Kids

Hi all, a good friend recommended this site to me!

First, I was raised a baptist all my life, and seriously rebelled during college. I met my now husband at UGA, and we lived together for about 3 years before getting married. He is extremely “progressive”, and has never wanted children. After I met him, my mind changed as well, and I didn’t want children either. He told me before we got married that we could not do so if I wanted kids, and I fully agreed.

Long story short, I became Catholic a little over two years ago, and my sponsor gave me Christopher West’s book. I didn’t read it at first, but I did try to convince my husband to get our marriage convalidated. He completely refused, so I got a radical sanation. After that, I sat down and read the book; and it completely changed my outlook on everything. I stopped using birth control, and this has caused enormous friction between us. He has not budged on the issue, and we have not had sex in over 5 months.

I now really want children, very much so. I have considered seeking a divorce, but I am unsure of obtaining an annulment after a radical sanation. I talked to my priest, and he said that a radical sanation is basically one-sided, and it only requires the intent of the Catholic spouse to adhere to Teaching. If that is met, then the marriage is valid.

My husband is basically now throwing a massive tantrum. He is so against having children, that he has already been to a Urologist for the “counseling” session, and has a vasectomy scheduled for one month from Tuesday. Is there anything I can do to stop him, or help him understand what true sexuality is about? I think if he has the vasectomy, it will be the end of our marriage. Knowing that it will never, ever be possible to have children will devastate me. At least now I can pray God changes his mind. I am feeling like if he does this, being divorced and unable to remarry would be no different than living with someone who is unwilling to give all of themself for something greater.

“A marriage cannot be radically sanated if consent is lacking in either or both of the parties” (CIC 1162:1). You and your spouse must have valid consent regarding your marriage, and this consent must exist simultaneously in the two of you. At some point you must have consented freely to the marriage in a way that did not exclude any of the essential properties of marriage (monogamy, fidelity, permanence, and openness to children). This consent is presumed to have been given in your marriage ceremony outside the Church unless there is evidence otherwise (CIC 1107), and the consent is presumed to exist at the present unless one party has indicated otherwise.

Your radical sanction may not be valid. Contact your diocese or consult a Canon lawyer.

Yes, I agree with the poster above. You need to consult the marriage tribunal or a canon lawyer. Call up your diocese to get the help you need. It seems something was not done correctly in investigation the conditions for the radical sanation and at least one impediment - the openness to children has always exhisted from the beginning.So it should not have been done.
If you do a brief search on Radical Sanation , including the excerpt from the Catechism you will see it mentioned repeatedly.

If you decide to stay with your husband, you could have marital relations even though he had a vasectomy, because it is his sin, not yours, and because you tried to dissuade him.

"Holy Church knows well that not infrequently one of the parties is sinned against rather than sinning, when for a grave cause he or she reluctantly allows the perversion of the right order. In such a case, there is no sin, provided that, mindful of the law of charity, he or she does not neglect to seek to dissuade and to deter the partner from sin. Nor are those considered as acting against nature who in the married state use their right in the proper manner although on account of natural reasons either of time or of certain defects, new life cannot be brought forth. For in matrimony as well as in the use of the matrimonial rights there are also secondary ends, such as mutual aid, the cultivating of mutual love, and the quieting of concupiscence which husband and wife are not forbidden to consider so long as they are subordinated to the primary end and so long as the intrinsic nature of the act is preserved."
Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii, n. 59

Don’t lose all hope if your husband goes through with the vasectomy. My husband had his vasectomy reversed and we now have a beautiful baby boy! With God, ALL things are possible!!


I am praying for you and your husband. Please remember that God loves your husband more than any of us can begin to imagine. God bless you both.

Christ’s Peace


my husband also had a vasectomy reversed. and we’ve had 5 since the reversal :slight_smile:
i will admit, while he had the vasectomy our marriage was going down the tubes VERY fast. and I’ve noticed other marriages do the same, even when they don’t know Jesus as you do. It is VERY hard to have relations with your husband when you know the fullness of the truth. you’ll cry after the session and you’ll feel empty. i might take YEARS for his conversion, and then it might never happen in your lifetime. can you live with this feeling, year after year? just something to consider. i got blessed by my husband being open to grace, he saw the change in me and wanted it. he was never angry with my change and i think this helped in his openness to grace. is your husband angry with your conversion or ok with it? after a vasectomy if he’s angry, he’ll only get more angry because now you’ll be upset after relations with him and he won’t understand what all the fuss is about.
you really should pray about this situation, maybe go on a weekend retreat for disernment towards it.

praying for you, this is a tough decision in your life right now.

1 Like

I would explore why he doesn’t want kids.

This has to affect other areas of your life, doesn’t it?

I hope you can find a way to stay in your marriage and bring him to the Truth-- and I know that your heart must ache with the desire for children. I am so sorry this has happened. Will he consider counseling?

But, personally I think you have an strong argument for nullity on several grounds including consent/intent (excluding an essential property of marraige) and the impediment of placing a future condition on the marriage and refusal of non-contracepted intercourse.

I would go see someone with extensive knowledge of canon law.

It seems that something got lost in the translation as you explained you dilemma to a priest. As you’ve described it here, it seems that your marriage is not and has never been a Sacramental marriage. To be a Sacramental union, both partners have to be open to the possibility of creating new life. If there was no Sacramental marriage, there would be no issues regarding a divorce and re-marriage since this “marriage” would be declared null, void, invalid. Please advise your priest AND marriage tribunal ASAP. Waste no time. If the union is as you’ve described, then you owe your “husband” nothing - since he is no husband!

I agree with these posters, but be a bit more sensitive guys, this is a marriage, not a business transaction.

1 Like

I don’t see it as a marriage with only one willing and commited spouse.

Perhaps YOU don’t, but you aren’t IN this relationship, SHE is and her ‘spouse’ is, and it’s not for YOU to decide, whether she is or not.

Get over it, this isn’t a business transaction.

Right - for a Catholic, a marriage is to be a Sacramental union - and that’s why she needs to seek counsel from the Marriage Tribunal!

I never disagreed

… and I never referred to it (or thought of it) as a business transaction. So I hope you get over it. I surely don’t see your point.

I am no Canon Lawyer but:

*Can. 1101 §2 If, however, either or both of the parties should by a positive act of will exclude marriage itself or any essential element of marriage or any essential property, such party contracts invalidly. *

I always thought that if a person never intended to actually have kids when they made their consent then somehow it made that act of consent invalid.

I would really, really, really call your tribunal about this. Marriage cases can sometimes get rather tricky to figure out.

Exactly - and you’re giving excellent advice to her.

Gee, thank you catharina. That’s why I said:


rather than ‘I am certain’. She came to the Forum to see what people could tell her about her situation. And so I tried to offer the little bit that I could. The most helpful of the things I told her was to go and

But anyways … thanks for the compliment. I’ll try and keep that excellent advice coming. :smiley:

Catharina, you pointed out so elegantly that I said that I was no Canon Lawyer and was giving excellent advise. I can’t help but notice your certainty that this marriage would end up as null and void. Huh - you weren’t criticizing me for something that you did as well? Anyways - GD, I agree with catharina, I would just phone your tribunal. There is no way possible for us in the Forums to have a clear understanding of your marriage. We can get a good idea but when it comes down to you need to sit down with someone who deals with this professionally. I wish you luck.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit