"I don't want more children" (Cry me a river)

I’ve seen a lot of posts over the past while of dilemmas where one spouse “doesn’t want more children” so they withhold sex of contracept or unilaterally decide to have a sterilisation etc.
To be honest I’m ticked off and sick of hearing people say that. My wife and I got married three years ago and we thought it’d all be no problem and there’d be babies all over the place in no time. But three years later we’re still waiting and praying for a baby. (And pursuing morally legit medical avenues).

Then you have people who either have a few kids and complain about them, or have “too many kids” and don’t want more. I get that there are legit reasons for NFP to avoid etc. But to be honest I’m all out of sympathy for these people. I mean, cry me a darn river. You have kids. It’s a great blessing. Spare a thought for the people who actually would love to have even ONE child. It seems to be the modern mantra, even within some Catholic circles, that babies are trouble and a burden. A bigger burden is waiting in hope every month that maybe this will be it and then comforting each other that it didn’t happen.

The reason it bothers me so much is that you hear it all around in the secular world. “I can’t wait til the summer break is over (to be free of my horrible children)” “My career is so important, I can’t have another child.” “Contraception has really freed women to pursue their dreams”.

All utter nonsense. Just very upsetting to see so many Catholics who can’t appreciate the blessing that they have.


AdamP88, I’m sorry for your pain. Sincerely. At the same time, please don’t disparage others who experience a different kind of pain. Yes, every child is a blessing. At the same time, no one’s life is without suffering or struggle, and I don’t see how fruitful it is to compare our own suffering and struggle to that of others (just because their’s is invisible to us).

I get that we all need to vent sometimes – but I agree with the first respondent, your original post comes off in bad taste. Surely you could have framed the content more charitably and constructively.

I’ll pray for you and your wife, that God will bless you with children :pray: I hope this will be the year!


I’m sorry for your struggles. I hear the pain in your post. But I also agree with the other two posters.

Responsible family planning is a virtue. Children are a blessing. They also require their parents to have good mental health and be able to provide financial resources, time, attention, etc. Everyone has their own limits as far as these necessary resources. Yes there are people who throw caution to the wind and welcome a new child every year—and I take my hat off to them—but not everyone can be one of them. That doesn’t mean they’re bad people.

I know life isn’t fair. People who don’t want children and would make horrible parents get pregnant at the drop of a hat. People who desperately want children and would be great parents can’t get pregnant. I don’t know why. I wish it were different.

But do remember, everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind always.

I wish you and your wife the best.


Adam, I get what you are saying, and I am sorry this is happening. I would love to pray daily for you, your wife and future children. Please start a prayer thread for it and I will be there as will many others.

It is a sad world we live in where Catholics cannot commiserate with other Catholics when they share their heartache with us. It is unfortunate that we cannot support each other kindly.


Actually, the things the OP are complaining about, and the OP itself, are variations on the same theme:

I want.

And this is why it’s a source of pain for the OP and the ones he is complaining about. It’s what I want. For OP, it’s I want a child. For the targets of his complaints, it’s I want nothing more to do with my/more children. I want.

If only Catholics, both blessed with children and those barren, would just accept the Church’s teaching that children are a gift and therefore something no one has a right to, and thereby submit to God’s will in all things, then perhaps whether blessed or barren, we can have peace.

My wife and I are barren. We would have loved to have children. We like to think we would have raised good Christian kids who love God. But God did not see it fit to bless us with kids. But we are at peace with it because it is his will.


If you are implying a couple who has just reasons to practice NFP, I dont think the OP is criticizing that type of couple.


I’m not, and I did specifically say that.

1 Like

They do, but if you’re Catholic a valid marriage is dependent on having the intention to be open to children.

They don’t have the right to decide arbitrarily to not have any more kids. There has to be a just reason. And I did specifically say that I realise that there are “just reasons”.

1 Like

Did you just invent a new virtue?

I’m not disagreeing with the fact that NFP can legit be used to avoid for a good reason. Just saying that in my experience, too many people seem to either complain about their kids being a bother or worry excessively about having more. I mean, Irish families used to be six kids on average, today people have 1.5 kids and suddenly they’ve had enough. I just have no sympathy.

No, I didn’t. The Church encourages responsible family planning using NFP or total abstinence. The Church does not require us to bring children into the world that we know we cannot care for. That’s why there’s NFP.

I know you’re hurting, and I’m truly sorry for your situation. All I’m saying is be kind. While you are struggling with infertility, someone else is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Many people need sympathy, for different reasons.


Not really. I realise that I’m not entitled to have a child. But at the same time, people get married expecting that, and it is generally the natural course of things. I have as little patience for couples who feel like they should have a “child at any cost” as I do for couples who complain about their kids and decide arbitrarily to have no more.

There’s a difference between the two situations.

I’m sorry to hear that, but we’re not at a place yet where that hope is gone. We’re only 26/31 and we haven’t had all the medical investigations yet to rule it out completely. We’re hoping it’s something minor but who knows. All I’m really saying is that it’s given me a different perspective on things.

1 Like

I do believe I covered this in my OP.

I’m sorry you’re hurting. I hope everything works out for you and your wife.

1 Like

Where is the kindness you speak of for others, for the OP? Other people have their own threads, this is his. I don’t understand why everyone is concerned for other people but not for the OP. Most people gave him a response of “I feel you pain, but and then tried to lessen his pain by telling him other people hurt too, or that he is talking badly about other people’s pain. No, he is telling you why he is in pain.

I don’t get it. If your child came to you and said something hurts them would you tell them to suck it up because other people are in pain?


There are people who don’t want, or can’t handle, their own children. They are given up for adoption. Other people who want children, and can handle them, can take the children.

I’m so sorry to hear this —I remember when you and your wife got married. I’ll say a prayer for you.


I’m not sure what I have said that is wrong. I have acknowledged that he is in pain. I have said I understand his pain and that I wish him the best. I have sympathized that life isn’t fair when people who want children cannot have them and people who don’t want children can have them. I have told him I hope everything works out for him and his wife.

He is speaking of people on other threads as if their pain is less than his. I do not think it’s fair for him to say that. We don’t know exactly what others experience. I’m not telling him to suck it up. I’m telling him to not compare his problems to the problems of others. I don’t think that ever does any good—for the OP or anyone else.

1 Like

A much needed post on these boards. I am shocked sometimes by people on here


I think people’s response is because the OP did not merely speak about the pain of infertility he and his wife are experiencing but used it as an opportunity to compare his situation to others and downplay their suffering (especially the “cry me a river” comment). We need to be careful not to compare our suffering with that of others. As an example, how would the OP feel if an unmarried person came on here and replied to his thread with “ I’m sick of all the married people who complain about not having children. Cry me a river…at least you have a spouse.


Adam, I am so very sorry that you and your wife are carrying this extremely painful cross at this time. The words that you wrote are ones that I said over and over again for several years when I was a newly married wife because my husband and I experienced infertility also after the birth of our only child. My husband was diagnosed with cancer when I was 3 months pregnant and the treatment made him permanently sterile. The pain for me was overwhelming. We made the choice that I was going to stay at home to raise our children so I had much too much time to dwell on the loss every month of the child that did not come to exist but who had a place already in my heart. We looked into adoption but were told that the wait may be 5-10 years since we had one child and my husband had had cancer. There seemed to be no avenue for us at all.

I have no magic words or formulas to make your situation easy. For me it took dealing with an affair with a co-worker that my husband fell into and direct intervention from God to lift me from the depths of despair before I began to develop a healthy acceptance of my situation. I was able to learn to share the love for children that was trapped in my heart with the children in our parish and community. I volunteered at school and in our parish, helping educate children of all ages. As my attention became focused on God, my pain was relieved and I was able to be fruitful in other ways. I still feel loss at the lack of those longed for children but it is not with the same intensity as in the early years.

I will share one story of a couple we knew that had experienced infertility for over 10 years. After several years they adopted a baby girl and they were so very happy. When she was 5 or 6 years old, sadly, she developed diabetes which changed their entire lives. Childhood diabetes is such a daunting condition and they had to totally change their eating habits to deal with this new reality. Interestingly within a few months of changing their diet to exclude all sugar, etc. the wife became pregnant! It seemed that it must have been the dietary changes that made it possible for her to become pregnant at almost 40 years of age and nearly 20 years of infertility. I try to share this story with others who are experiencing infertility as an easy “treatment” to see if it might solve their infertility.

God be with you and your wife, Adam, as you travel this most difficult path.

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.