I feel as though my marriage is being tested :(


If any of you remember my previous threads, for most of this year my husband and I have struggled with the decision to grow our family, having a vasectomy, artificial BC, etc.

We had finally decided against a vasectomy (thank goodness,) and are currently using NFP to avoid until the fall of next year, when we would TTC our third little bundle.

A few months ago, when we were battling with the decision of having a vasectomy (as I was using NFP and struggling with it), we found ourselves pregnant. After the shock wore off I became excited. Then I lost the baby. Based on that experience I felt God was calling us to have another child but this time in our lives wasn’t the right time - when I discussed this feeling with my husband he basically told me he didn’t feel the need to have any more children (as he feels a bit overwhelmed with the two toddlers we have now!) but if I wanted another he would not tell me no, it would be up to me. So I told him, I do feel like we should have another but not right now - so mutually we thought getting pregnant late next year would be prudent due to finances, our housing situation, etc.

Well, here and there he will make little comments about our kids - or kids in general - about how much work they are and things. Anytime anyone tells him about their kids he always makes exasperated sighs - and goodness forbid they have more than 2 or 3 children then his eyes bug out and he actually asks them how they “do it!” It just seems like he is constantly overwhelmed by the little ones and he can’t fathom how other men enjoy their families. I need to say though, that my husband is a wonderful father, he is kind, loving and he does spend a lot of time with the kids! You’d never know his true feelings by watching him with the kids which is how I am so confused right now!

So the other day I asked him after he made yet another comment about kids, why did he get married and have children if he is so unhappy with them! (I was expecting him to deny the allegation!) His response was “Because it’s what you are supposed to do.” He was serious. He didn’t agree to have a family with me because he wanted to, he did it because he feels that is what is expected of him. He knows the children make me happy, which I suppose gives him some satisfaction but I hate to see him be so blase about this, you know??? I wish he wanted our family as much as I do. I wish he could find the happiness in our children like I have.

And what about our future? He told me that he wouldn’t tell me no if I wanted another child, because he understands “you women have needs” and he doesn’t want me to “resent” him and regret not having a third. That is highly noble and I admire him for that. But should I go ahead and plan for a third knowing that he isn’t really a “kid person?” Is that fair?

Ugh I just don’t know what to think about it. I love him, I want him to be as happy as I am. I feel so lost in our marriage.


Do you think your husband could be depressed? Maybe consider having him see a medical doctor regarding his unhappiness. :shrug:

Obviously he carries a lot of stress and burdens in life - is there anything you can do that could alleviate that?
Is he the sole breadwinner in the family?
Is his job at risk?
Is he getting enough sleep at night?
Taking care of himself physically (going to the gym, etc)?

Did you talk about having children before you got married? Has his opinion changed over time or was this his opinion all along?

It doesn’t sound to me like the root of the issue here is “KIDS”… it sounds like he’s overwhelmed and possibly depressed… :shrug:


It seems to me the main problem is that he looks at life, specifically having children, in the wrong way. Instead of thinking of them as the great blessing they are, he sees them as almost a necessary inconcenience, as if he is settled that he will never really be happy but will have to be stressed out his whole life.

As to how to fix that… I honestly don’t really know. My suggestion would be to talk to a priest, as I find that spiritual advice is infinitely more useful than medical advice when it comes to depression.

However you go about trying to fix this, good luck. God will see you through it.


Thanks so much for the replies. I hadn’t thought about depression before, he’s always been such an optimistic person and happy-go-lucky… really this area in our life is the only one that he shows unhappiness towards. He IS under a great deal of stress though. With work, and with our finances and investments too. Maybe it’s the stress talking. He is the sole bread-earner as I am a SAHM. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked - practically begged - for him to allow me to get a small part time job to help but the answer is always no. :shrug:

How do I go about talking to a priest about this? Do I do it in the confessional or can I make an appt to speak with him when it’s not a confession? Sorry if thats a dumb question, I’m a noob - converted last year.

Thanks so much!


I would just call and make an appointment…
Good luck and prayers for you!


How old is your husband, if I may ask? It sounds more to me like he is coming to grips with the realities of marriage/fatherhood more than he is depressed, and these realizations are more than he expected them to be. This is natural, and part of the maturation process. Please keep in mind that men do not, in general, feel the biological pull for children, and what emotional pull they experience usually comes as they get older.

If he is under 30, I suspect he is just trying to come to grips with his idealism versus the every day reality. If he is nearing 40, for instance, he may simply be reassessing his success in life and wondering about his own worth in relation to marriage and parenting. Then again, he may just be a jerk. :frowning:

Time will ease him into the facts of life and he will come out the other side wiser, happier and overjoyed with your marriage and children (it took years for me to realize that my wife was, in fact, the best friend I will EVER have in this world). After all of his illusions about life bring him crashing to the ground, so to speak, the reality of what is truly important and most precious will revive him.

Love him and pray. Be patient.

All my best . . .


Toddlers are hard.

Take a chapter from Dr Laura - even the entire book, get “Care and Feeding of Husbands”. Make sure he feels loved, that you take time away from the kiddos to be his wife, to sit with him and watch a game or play a video game. That you put the kids down early, make a romantic dinner, wear a pretty dress and open a bottle of wine - put on music and dance in the living room.

You will be amazed how much happier he becomes about kids when he finds he did not lose his wife to them!



here is a link to a saint who kinda went through the same struggles you are going through now…hope praying to her will help as well as the other suggestions on the board



Oh and there is a thread for that you can join where you can pray espeicaly for your husband with other women from CAF.



You have gotten some good suggestions already. Does your parish have a K of C or a men’s prayer group? I have friends who have 5+ children and a couple families I know have 9 & 10 children. Being able to pray and relate to other men who are faithful to church teaching and view children as the blessing they are might also help your husband.


I would probably want to know a little bit more about his spiritual life and about his personal relationship with Jesus. I am a father of three and we are expecting another. My wife and I have always planned to have four and I had a curveball thrown at me this year when I lost my job in February but we put it in Gods’ hands and he blessed us once again by allowing us to get pregnant even though I am currently not working and my wife is a stay at home mom. Our income is now very limited and we don’t have the same luxuries we had as when I was working but the truth is that some how some way, our Lord and Savior gives us exactly what we need to get by and we are extremely happy. I must admit that when I first got laid off I became very worried and a bit depressed but my faith in our Lord helped me get through it all. To me and my family, it is simply a question of having faith in our Lord that everything is going to work out and so far it has. Have faith in our Lord and pray for your husband. Pray that the Power of the Holy Spirit fill him and give him the strength to be that God needs him to be. Amen!


efuture, bless you! Your story is inspiring. I feel oddly honored that you chose my OP for your first post :o Welcome to CAF!

To everyone else, thank you so so much! For the links and prayers especially. Kage, I read that book a couple of years ago and I do my best to treat him respectfully and appropriately. It’s always been in my nature to be that way though so it comes easily to me. He is pampered :slight_smile:

Convert, DH is 42. We married when he was 38, he waited a long time for me to come along :smiley: He is 12 years my senior, btw. I don’t think he is a jerk, just his reaction to fatherhood is jerkish. It’s beyond disappointing. In Engagement Encounter, he said he wanted 2 children. I said I didn’t know, I’d be happy with what God blessed us with. He was all on board for having our first and we were pregnant shortly after we were married. We thoroughly enjoyed our daughter. He is wrapped around her finger! When she was 7 months, we decided to go ahead and try to give her a sibling. We were pregnant a few months later. But then, she was a toddler and we had a newborn and it all hit the fan. We had NO idea how hard it was going to be going from one baby to two!!! So, so, so difficult :frowning: I think it jaded him.

We attend mass, and he’s been a Catholic all of his life. But I am more spiritual than he is, and more educated, and I was only baptised and confirmed last year!! He isn’t as “into” our faith as I am, sadly. :frowning:


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