My fiancee and I were discussing fertilization. Her family has a history of fertility issues, but were still able to go give birth naturally. However, she’s afraid she won’t be able to do so naturally and as such she would want to do in vitro. I told her my opinion on it based on the Church’s teachings. Her, not being all that religious (she’ Catholic, but not religious) could care less and says she wants kids no matter what. She pretty much told me that either I agree to do it if it comes down to it or we call our marriage off. I don’t know what to do. A part of me wants to agree to it and just hope and pray we can have children naturally and part of me wants to say no because what if I gamble and lose. This is the most horrible decision I’ve ever had to make in my life :(.
That’s a tough one. The only way she would be able to do IVF is with your sperm (unless she wanted a sperm donor). You probably will not have fertility issues but there is no way to know unless you try. I’m really glad you are discussing this before you get married.
I think that instead of planning the “perfect” wedding according your preferences about how Mass should be conducted that you and your fiancee should be talking with a priest and counselor to see if this marriage should even take place.
Based on so of the things I have read that you have posted in your wedding thread, it sounds as if your desire for marriage is more about having a “perfect” ceremony rather than living together as man & wife. All of these issues should have been discussed before you even put an engagement ring on this woman’s finger.
This is not a good sign, what I highlighted in bold. I have never ever given my husband of 25 yrs an ultimatum. We are a team, we discuss issues, we pray about issues, and discuss more. My husband has never said in all our years that it’s his way or no way.
We never ‘strong armed’ the other into a decision. I don’t like that at all. If you feel awful about this, well I suspect that tactic to have her way will come up again in the future. This is not how love operates.
I think you do have an important decision to make. As a man preparing to be a husband, I would tackle that attitude, that strategy, to ‘make you’ do as she wishes. You and her don’t even know what the next 5 yrs will bring! This is not how husband and wife should work together to tackle the challenges that can come your way. Pray, and speak to her. God strengthen you and guide you today!
This is also sending some red flags up to me, as well. If you are being given ultimatums, and you are not even married, what will happen later?
If you are going to go through with the wedding anyway, would you consider going with your fiancée to precana…marriage preparation?
Myself, I would not marry a woman who gave me an ultimatum like that. I’m sure that you love her dearly, but you must be prudent, since the opportunities for marital misery are profound.
Yeah, ultimatums feel like it would be an impediment to a valid marriage. If she’ll only marry you if you do IVF in the event that she can’t get pregnant, that is a serious red flag. And who’s to say that she doesn’t have fertility problems and you don’t just happen to not get pregnant (took my brother and his wife about a year to conceive) and she’d say she wants IVF.
If she’s forcing you to compromise your faith, who is to also say that she won’t force you to compromise when it comes to raising these children that she wants to treat as a commodity. Children are people, not a play thing or an accessory, but that is what IVF makes them out to be.
Ask her if she’d be willing to adopt instead. Then she wouldn’t have to go through the birth pains. But again, if she’d want you to compromise your faith over this, who’s to say she won’t force you to compromise when it comes to raising your children.
It’s one thing for her to disagree with you, but it’s another for her to force you to compromise. Personally, I would end it, even though it would be hard, a girl is not worth your time (or more importantly, your life) if she would make you sin.
It is a tough situation, but I believe it would be best for both of you.
Pope Paul VI Institute for the study of human reproduction has moral fertility treatments
Why not look into NaproTechnology? It is a moral fertility treatment that is in line with Catholic teaching.
Some astonishing facts about NaPro are:
*]It is more effective than IVF. Success rates are said to range from 40% to 60% vs. the IVF rate of 32.3% per cycle.
*]It costs only a fraction of what IVF costs.
*]It is almost 80% effective in bringing about childbirth after several miscarriages.
*]It is 95% successful in treating premenstrual syndrome.
*]It is 95% successful in treating postpartum depression.
*]It cuts the rate of premature birth by almost 50%, thus lowering the frequency of birth-related injuries.
*]With NaPro, you can have more children after the first without paying the same large cost again.19
The list of benefits seems to go on and on. The only thing lacking now is getting the word out. NaPro has a great future.20
We talked it over and worked it out. I wrote this thread in a lot of angst. Can the mods close this please.
If this ultimatum, then how much does this girl actually love you that she would try to force you against your conscience? It sounds as if she loves her own will more than she loves you.
If she succeeds in this ultimatum, how many more could you expect in marriage.
How often will you cave or have her leave, etc?
What will you do when she wants to destroy ‘leftover’ embryos?
A large number of embryos can result in IVF.
You face agreeing to the murder of your own tiny children.
That would be the most terrible decision of your life.
Or will this girl agree to carry and give birth to every single fertilized embryo, however many?
May God’s love for you and for your children help you to make the decisions for your life.
God grant you courage and peace.
It’s a bad idea to plan a future with someone who issues ultimatums. You know the Church’s teaching…
You do know that babies (your babies) will be killed in the process, right?
I get your love for this woman, but if this was me, I wouldn’t be struggling with cutting a person like this loose.
She is asking you to put her will above God and the Church. That is a serious red flag, IMO. I hope she can get some better catechesis before you get married (if you decide to go through with it) or there will be some major problems.
Could you encourage your girlfriend to have her fertility checked?
It is possible that she might have no problem with fertility.
However it is still of concern that she is prepared to cast you off if you don’t comply with her wishes. I’d be very worried if one of my sons had been given such an ultimatum, do what I want or I’ll dump you. I’d know my son wasn’t genuinely loved, and that the girl was more in love with her dream of the future, husband, children, than she actually is in love with my son.
At least you are finding out the truth about her and your relationship before marriage, not afterwards, so that at least you can make a personal decision at a time when you are still free.
Take good care of yourself.
Ultimatiums are big red flags. I know you love her, but if there is an ultimatium, and especially an ultimatium that may force you to go against your beliefs, then you have to break it off.
Call it off.
IVF is a grave sin and you cannot agree to it, especially being held emotionally hostage.
So how did this work out, may I ask?
Will say a prayer for you both at Divine Liturgy tomorrow.
God bless and keep you.
I am going to go against the flow (somewhat) and say that this doesn’t strike me necessarily as an ultimatum, so much as her recognition that it wouldn’t be wise to marry someone if you can’t agree on such a basic issue. Honestly, while I disagree with her position on IVF, I appreciate that she is being honest about the fact that this sort of thing would be a deal breaker.
Where I don’t differ with the others is the end result of this dilemma. The IVF problem is only one of many faith-related issues that will be a problem in your marriage. What if you have NO fertility issues, and she refuses to use NFP. Or what if you turn out to be one of those couples for whom NFP is more difficult - will she refuse to make the sacrifices it takes to avoid the sins of birth control and sterilization? Let’s say you did end up using IVF to conceive. Will you always manage to keep it a secret from your children (probably not unless you also keep it a secret from every other person that you know)? Will you be able to teach them to make the right moral decisions even when it’s hard, if you as parents don’t also do that? Are you prepared to have children who are Catholic, but who don’t value the Church’s teachings on things that are difficult?
The thing is, it’s not just IVF and birth control, There are countless moral issues that come up in raising children as well whose decisions are based on the faith of the parents. There are the specific teachings that you would impart about not committing serious sins (you and she probably won’t agree on the sinfulness of these things), and there are matters of what you will allow your children to participate in or be exposed to. These are things that are hard to predict or imagine before being a parent, but a non-religious Catholic and a religious Catholic are likely to have different judgments on these dilemmas over and over again, and this can cause heartache for the parent who has to give in, as well as confusion for the children.
So I would recommend you don’t stop at the IVF discussion, but look seriously at your relationship - not just how much you love each other now, but how your different faith perspectives are going to impact your ability to pass on the most important truths about life to your future children. Remember that the purpose of marriage is to help get your spouse to heaven, and to accept the children that God gives you and help get THEM to heaven. My outsiders perspectives sees the IVF issue as a sign that you should be willing to consider calling off the wedding as well. As horrible as it must be to have to call off a wedding, it can’t be as bad as the heartache of a contentious marriage, and of fearing for your own and your children’s salvation.
So she is saying that if you have fertility problems and you refuse to do IVF, she will divorce you? If this is what she’s implying, you have a serious problem here that you need to discuss with a priest. You cannot have a valid marriage with somebody who goes into it with the intention of divorcing if it doesn’t work out. She lacks the intention of permenance and that is absolutely necessary to have valid marriage vowels. PLEASE discuss this with your priest.
You may have talked this over with her and maybe you two have worked out the IVF issue, but this is an even bigger issue right here and I doubt that talking anything over with her is going to change her beliefs and attitudes about the permenance of marriage.