Is it ok for these two people to get married?

A friend of mine is 30, doesnt want kids and met this woman who is 38, never had kids and had a hysterectomy due to medical reasons. She doesn’t want kids either. They are in love, have been dating for 3 years and wanting to get married. Since they don’t want kids, should they get married?

Why should they not get married? Her reason for the hyst was medical, he can’t help that even if he did want kids it wouldn’t matter. There are other ways they can give to the Church.

Sounds like a perfect match to me.

There’s nothing in the marriage vows about wanting children – only lovingly accepting the children that God gives you.

Its tough, because the attitude about not wanting kids is problematic. Marriage needs to be open to life, even when sterility makes it impossible.

Suppose for instance, once married, one of the spouses changes his or her mind and wants to adopt a child. The desire for parenthood is a strong, natural instinct, and going into the relationship not taking this possibility seriously could set the marriage up for failure later on.

It could even be grounds for an annulment should the marriage fail, but nullity doesn’t fully mitigate the pain and confusion of divorce.

This could be applied to any marriage. What if they had decided that they both wanted three children. Then after the first, one decides that two would be better and the other now wants seven? Or what if they had one, but complications due to that one left her unable to bear more. Should they be happy with one child, try for more at the risk of her life, adopt children, or something else?

The only answer to this is constant communication. Things will always change, but hiding changing feelings or assuming that your spouse will change with you is setting up for serious problems. There is also no “right answer” for the purposes of this hypothetical. There are “right answers” for individual couples, which they must determine themselves, but there are no general “right answers” that apply to everybody.

More importantly, setting up a strawman like that will only confuse the issue at hand. We could sit around all day posing what-if scenarios, but none of them may ever come to pass, nor would be unique to this couple.

Marriage includes being open to life. An attitude of not wanting children needs to be worked on by prayer, confession and frank discussions with his fiance.

There is something in his thinking that is either very selfish or very afraid of having children. He needs find out why he doesn’t want children and deal with it. Hopefully, before he marries.

Marriage and children go together. Children are a big part of the joy of marriage. Married people are designed to want to share the unselfish nurturing of children. It creates a special bond between husband and wife. Even a childless couple can experience this joy though volunteering, nurturing the children of friends and relatives,foster parenting and even adoption.

I hope he and his future wife don’t miss out on this very important part of their marriage.

If two people want to get married, then let them get married. Who are you to say they can’t?

I would go with this one. This is something that will be discussed in their pre-Cana with their priest/deacon and therefore is none of anyone’s concern. Also it could just be that saying, “I don’t want children,” is a defense mechanism so that they don’t have to hear, “It is so sad you can’t have children because you had a hysterectomy.”

I believe the OP was looking for what the Church teaches on the matter, not for personal opinions.

There is no requirement that every marriage must produce children, nor that every married couple take steps to attempt to have children. Due to medical necessity, this couple is unable to have children. What exactly do you think the outcome of “dealing” with their attitudes would be? You want a couple that is accepting of the fact that they cannot have children to change their minds, but not their bodies, and want children but still be unable to have them? Do you think that might cause more harm to the relationship than good?

Also, just because a person does not desire their own children does not mean that they wish to avoid all contact with children. They very well might have nieces and nephews they can help raise or they may volunteer with youth groups or something else entirely – the OP didn’t state that. There could be no attitude adjustment necessary and they’re just happy with their lot in life.

Well, yeah. Its just in this particular instance, I’m addressing others who said they are a perfect fit, due to sterility and lack of desire for children.

The only answer to this is constant communication…

More importantly, setting up a strawman like that will only confuse the issue at hand. We could sit around all day posing what-if scenarios, but none of them may ever come to pass, nor would be unique to this couple.

Not a “straw man”, or a “what if”, just a warning of a problematic attitude, and important issue that needs to be considered by the couple in question. A topic that indeed needs to be constantly communicated about :thumbsup:.

I think that you are quite confused about the concept of being open to life. The Church requires that from a marriage and not wanting children means not being open to life. A couple might and should accept the possibility of not having children because parenthood is not a God given right. A couple should also not feel obligated to have children because that is not their choice but God’s choice. However, an a priori rejection of parenthood is the indication of a problem.

There are also several ways a couple may not want children. If they seek to avoid children at all costs that would not be open to life. However, if they simply choose not to seek out having children, but would willingly accept those that God bestows upon them, that would be open to life. In this case, it is evident that God will not be bestowing children upon them.

Furthermore, I’m sure that this situation is more complex than what can be described by the OP. I’d bet (and really hope) that the couple did not seek each other out because of the fertility issues. I could understand that the hysterectomy could result in a relationship falling apart if the man involved truly wanted children, however in this case the guy decided that his love for her overshadowed her sterility. If he had had a strong pull towards parenthood, this would obviously be a significant obstacle in their relationship. In this scenario, as having children would be nigh on impossible, the a priori rejection of parenthood is not the indication of a problem, it is the acceptance of the situation at hand. This couple cannot have biological children and are under no moral obligation to adopt, foster or otherwise seek out children, but to suggest that they each still have the moral obligation to strive to be parents within their marriage poses a moral paradox.

Are either or both of them Catholic?

It is not a matter of not wanting children anymore, but a matter of not being able to have them due to the hysterectomy. I would think that the lady is blessed to find a man who has no problem with her not being able to bear his children.

Even though a couple cannot have children for whatever reason including menopause they still must be open to children during marital relations if they are Catholic.

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