I don't know how to talk to my husband about going off the birth control pill


#1

My husband and I have a very loving relationship, and usually communication is one of our strong points. However, I really want to stop taking the birth control pill right now, and I don't know how to talk to him about the subject.

I am 30 years old and my husband is 31. We have been married for about 1 1/2 years, and dated for about five years before that. I have been using oral contraception. We are both working full time in good jobs. We had always planned on getting married, then buying a house, and then having children. Right now we are really happy with where we are renting, so we don't have any plans on moving. We prefer to stay where we are getting a great deal on rent and continue paying down our student loans before purchasing a home. I know if we waited five more years, all our debt would be paid off and we would both have large salary increases at work.

The problem is I really want children, and I feel like I'm not getting any younger. Sometimes I think maybe we can't afford children. But on the other hand, the more money my husband and I make the more we spend. So, I don't know that we'd ever be financially ready really. I also don't know that there would ever be a "right time" in my career path to have children.

I just don't want to feel like I am actively preventing getting pregnant anymore. I want it to happen when it's the right time, not by my own determination of when it would be best. I also don't want opportunity to pass us while we're waiting for the right time. Also, my husband is not Catholic, so he does not have the same beliefs regarding oral contraception. (I know the Catholic church does not approve, but I have been taking it anyways, because of how effective it has been at preventing pregnancy -- I know that's probably a whole other post)

What should I do? :shrug:


#2

Hi redheadscu, I will pray for you and your husband. Please know that your oral contraceptive may be allowing conception to occur but preventing the human life in you from embedding in your uterus, that is what is called an abortifacient. Please pray about your situation and seek the advice of your priest.


#3

Well…I kinda sorta stopped taking the pill a month ago…I’m trying to decide if I should start taking it again this month. (Coming up on Sunday is when I am supposed to be starting per the directions.)

So…I lied to him last month by not telling him I had stopped taking the pill. I don’t want to continue a lie, but I’m also not sure that I want to take the pill again. I feel very bad about lying to him.

I appreciate your prayers.


#4

Whatever you do, I think lying is fraught with danger. If you fall pregant while off the pill, what will you tell your husband? How will he react? He may just go with the flow, or he may feel terribly betrayed and tricked. It may cause distressing and lasting damage to your relationship.

I'm not sure what your question is exactly. Whether you should stop taking birth control? Whether you should stop lying to your husband. Being a catholic forum surely you can expect the answer to both of the questions to be definitely yes.


#5

Oh boy. This is a tough one.

Please remember that communcation is beyond vital in a releationship. When a husband hears, "I'm going off the pill" he might hear "I want 3 babies in the next year!" (yes, that's a joke, but it's still sort of true. Be so careful with how you talk to him about it)

The age thing-honey, your 30. That's not time to break out the rockers, call the fertility clinic and look at homes in Florida. Give it a break.

Prayers for you.


#6

First off, prayers! I know this isn't going to be an easy decision or hasn't been, but you'll be blessed by being off of the pill.

Is your husband a facts kind of man? If so, I'd first look into NFP (natural family planning) - there's some great websites and resources out there and NFP is as effective as the birth control pill in preventing pregnancy. Not only is it good at that, but it helps in building a stronger bond in marriage and communication with your spouse. I'd present an "alternative" so to speak so that he doesn't feel like it's a 100% needing to have children right then and there. That could possibly freak him out a little.

However, I would definitely talk about your strong desire to have children. I think you are right in that now is a good time, age-wise. Bring to him an ideal budget and how from now until your first child is born, whenever that may be, you will save your income and live off his. That could be total savings for a downpayment on a house. If you are planning on returning to work afterwards, well, this would be a nice nestegg if you don't get paid as well during maternity leave or want to extend it without pay. And owning a house is not absolutely necessary before having a child if you really do enjoy where you are currently living and can add another body comfortably in there. My DH and I don't own our home and our third child is on the way. For us, it wasn't a priority and we've done okay thus far. We've just watched my parents who've owned houses since before I was born (I'm the oldest of 6) lose their home to foreclosure. It wasn't pretty but you never know when things could turn sour, so I guess that's why I see it as a negotiable. But your husband may not and if that's the case, then you need to come up with a plan together. And if you really do desire children, you probably need to show him that you're willing to sacrifice spending so much on the extras and save that up so you can afford to have a baby sooner :).

Have you talked to him recently about your desire to have a baby? What has been his reaction? That's another beautiful part of NFP - it's a monthly conversation about whether or not you should be avoiding pregnancy or not. You always have to communicate which makes it hopefully more likely that you're both on the same page.


#7

I was not Catholic in my early married life and have some sense of loss related to my use of the pill. I do believe the Church is correct in its teachings regarding this & know there are good supporting documents on the teaching. Be encouraged that you are drawn to truth, seek the council of a good confessor & be honest with your husband. Be open to the potential of life. The perfection of God's plan for the vocation of married couples is just that perfect.:thumbsup:


#8

Explain that medically it is best if you have children sooner rather than later. Then explain that you want to get off of the birth control, and will keep track of your cycles, etc. Basically, I told my husband that he knows how babies are made and if he didn't want one, that was on him. (he is not Catholic, and used a condom). After a while he got tired of using condoms and now we have a 1 year old daughter :)

Now we use NFP because I won't go back on birth control, and he doesn't like condoms, lol.

So anyway, put the ball in his court. There is no reason for you to take medication when you want kids. If he is the one that doesn't want a kid then he can be the one to figure out how to prevent them.

Katie


#9

[quote="redheadscu, post:1, topic:233470"]
My husband and I have a very loving relationship, and usually communication is one of our strong points. However, I really want to stop taking the birth control pill right now, and I don't know how to talk to him about the subject.

I am 30 years old and my husband is 31. We have been married for about 1 1/2 years, and dated for about five years before that. I have been using oral contraception. We are both working full time in good jobs. We had always planned on getting married, then buying a house, and then having children. Right now we are really happy with where we are renting, so we don't have any plans on moving. We prefer to stay where we are getting a great deal on rent and continue paying down our student loans before purchasing a home. I know if we waited five more years, all our debt would be paid off and we would both have large salary increases at work.

The problem is I really want children, and I feel like I'm not getting any younger. Sometimes I think maybe we can't afford children. But on the other hand, the more money my husband and I make the more we spend. So, I don't know that we'd ever be financially ready really. I also don't know that there would ever be a "right time" in my career path to have children.

I just don't want to feel like I am actively preventing getting pregnant anymore. I want it to happen when it's the right time, not by my own determination of when it would be best. I also don't want opportunity to pass us while we're waiting for the right time. Also, my husband is not Catholic, so he does not have the same beliefs regarding oral contraception. (I know the Catholic church does not approve, but I have been taking it anyways, because of how effective it has been at preventing pregnancy -- I know that's probably a whole other post)

What should I do? :shrug:

[/quote]

Dont put money in the way of fullfilling your most basic calling in life which is to be a mother.Dont make the mistake that lots of other women make especiallly in this time and age.Theres an old saying which says "if I waited to have enough to get married I would never have got married".Your conscience is speaking out.Many women know they shouldnt prevent pregnancy.I want it....,not...best.Or more accurately "not when my husband decides when it would be best.Well it could be another post if you like but I dont think you realize how wrong taking birth control is(you really should discuss this with your priest).First and foremost talk to your priest.


#10
  • You can't change your husband. Pray instead that God softens his heart.
  • Don't be so certain that he is still opposed to you going off the pill.
  • The pill can have long lasting contraceptive effects after you go off it. It may still take years to conceive, if ever. -Don't ever EVER lie to your husband. It IS betrayal. Go to him and explain how this is no longer an option for you. You weren't thinking and are sorry, etc. See if you can find some compromise (worst case scenario). Tell him if he insists on birth control, it must be on his end i.e. a condom because you can not do it in good conscious anymore. lol My husband was stubborn at first, so I prayed and kept bringing home animals to "salve my need to mother". After about the 8th little critter, he started to break down. I'm not advocating this... just saying.

-Sorry guys. 30 IS OLD to be starting a family. Our female bodies were not designed to go so long. BELIEVE me, I know. I started @ 33. I spent the next 6 years as an 80 year old woman because my body did not have a clue how to react. I have heard this from friends as well. Don't wait, don't wait, don't wait. (I'm on the 5th one now and for the first time my pregnancy is easy-peasy.)

-I helped my husband understand by calmly and rationally walking through with him what our plans and goals were. Ask him the following:

Does he even want children?
When?
You need specifics: what EXACTLY HAS to be in place in order for the children to manifest? Bear in mind that if you are waiting for a "perfect" time, you WILL wait forever. There is no such thing. Waiting is a trade-off as you both do likely want to be well enough to enjoy grand children and everything in between.
What does he expect from you once children are born? Are you to keep working; or are you allowed to take a sabatical and form new lives the way they ought to be. If you are to keep working, then the direction you take is completely different than if you intend to rediscover yourself in 8 years or so.

This is just a sample; but the key is to be logical and calm and clear about your intentions and most especially your love and respect for your husband.

Pray before and after (and during if possible) having this conversation.

Be brave.

BTW, if you're serious about your Catholic faith, then you should confess these matters once you have found a way to resolve your culpability in them. (Not judging you - K? - Just ... been there, done that and, I can't express to you how amazing confession is. The doorway to God that it opens in our lives is beyond explanation).

My prayers are with you.


#11

[quote="ktmeyer, post:8, topic:233470"]
Explain that medically it is best if you have children sooner rather than later. Then explain that you want to get off of the birth control, and will keep track of your cycles, etc. Basically, I told my husband that he knows how babies are made and if he didn't want one, that was on him. (he is not Catholic, and used a condom). After a while he got tired of using condoms and now we have a 1 year old daughter :)

Now we use NFP because I won't go back on birth control, and he doesn't like condoms, lol.

So anyway, put the ball in his court. There is no reason for you to take medication when you want kids. If he is the one that doesn't want a kid then he can be the one to figure out how to prevent them.

Katie

[/quote]

:thumbsup: Well said.


#12

I second the "no lying" !! I would definitely have him go to a class with you, too.

excellent post, inspiritcarol!

on a very closely related topic, what about situations where the woman wants to be off the pill (or whatever she's using), and the man says fine but insists on using condoms? would she also be sinning by allowing him to have relations with her? a man that isn't in the right place spiritually would be driven away by abstinence and would be more likely to solve the problem himself, most likely with porn, or even by physically cheating, which I would think is more damaging to the marriage than condoms. at least then there's the option (hope, ultimately) that condom use could gradually be decreased..

if I was in that situation, while I'd rather not have to sin at all, I'd rather use condoms than have my husband off watching porn or doing god knows what else..


#13

[quote="insideitall, post:12, topic:233470"]
on a very closely related topic, what about situations where the woman wants to be off the pill (or whatever she's using), and the man says fine but insists on using condoms? would she also be sinning by allowing him to have relations with her? a man that isn't in the right place spiritually would be driven away by abstinence and would be more likely to solve the problem himself, most likely with porn, or even by physically cheating, which I would think is more damaging to the marriage than condoms. at least then there's the option (hope, ultimately) that condom use could gradually be decreased..

if I was in that situation, while I'd rather not have to sin at all, I'd rather use condoms than have my husband off watching porn or doing god knows what else..

[/quote]

That topic has been raised here a few times. It seems clear that there is no sin on the part of the woman in this case if her husband uses a condom against her wishes. That is, she should not encourage his condom use in any way, but there is no obligation on her to abstain from sex with him.

So the OP could stop taking the pill, be open about this with her husband, and allow him to use condoms for the time being while they discuss starting a family. Some would disagree, but I think this would be perfectly in line with church teaching.


#14

Wow! Thank you everyone for your responses and support. I know that I have been doing wrong in two respects here, and I want to stop both. Obviously lying to my husband is NOT the lesser of two evils, so to speak.

I am going to talk to him about how I feel.

THANK YOU ALL!:D


#15

If you beleive that your husband is not spiritually "ready" to stop using artificial birth control for religious reasons, and that he is not quite prepared to be a father...

Perhaps you can first approach this subject by telling him your concerns about your own health. Taking birth control pills for an extended period of time is NOT good for you! Tell him you want to stop taking them because of short and long term health concerns and you need his support and see what he says. I am sure he loves you and cares about your health!

This way you are not lying to him, you are being truthful because you ARE concerned about your own health and you won't be in the position of trying to get pregnant behind your husband's back (bad).

I would also encourage you to encourage your husband. Don't try and guilt or back-door-sneak him into fatherhood. Tell him how wonderful he is and how much you love him. Tell him that you think he will be a wonderful father and that he is a reliable man and will be a wonderful provider for your family. Tell him how grateful you are for him as a husband and that you can't wait to have a family with him! Tell him the truth! Shower him with love, love and more love!

God bless you.


#16

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