Marital relations on the blink


I am 40 and my husband is 48 and both have been married before and had our anullments and had our marriage convalidated in the church. We also have older children with our first spouses. We had a baby together 22 months ago and now my husband is scared that I get preggers again. I don’t want more children but will do what is God’s will. My problem is he won’t have relations with me very often and even once he didn’t “finish” inside of me. I know its not my sin, but he also is very hard to live with when his needs are not being met. He had offered to have a vasectomy just after the baby was born but I told him that it was a sin. The other night we were talking and I told him I thought I was fertile and asked if he wanted another baby. He said he wasn’t in the mood and hell no… He said that he is used to not being in the mood since I can get pregnant. Any thoughts on this . And believe me I have tried telling him what this all means. He just doesn’t get it. He is being very selfish.


Talk with an orthodox priest together (if he will come) and check out couple counseling with a Catholic therapist who fully ascribes to the teaching of the Church. There is more at hand here than just fear of pregnancy issues.


All men are selfish, some just hide it better than others. You husband seems to be pretty honest with his selfishness.

I would talk to him more about it, we guys are not good at talking about stuff like this and usually would rather avoid it. Unless your husband is some castrated semi-male like Dr Phil, he will act like a guy and be much different from a woman.

I have no good advice other than you need to realize that we guys are selfish, especially when it comes to marital relations. It sounds terrible but that is the way we are hard wired.

I would rather not talk about it with my wife, but will if she brings it up. But make sure to serve him some dinner and give him the remote first so he will be comfortable.

God Bless


Look into Natural Family Planning; it is as accurate, if not more accurate, in controlling births than the Pill and a whale of a lot safer (not to mention morally correct). You have children already, from prior marriages, and one from this. The Church does not dictate how many children you must have; that is a decision that is left to the couple, who are obliged to make the decision after serious consideration of all of the details of their status - which in your case includes the number of children you currently have, your ages, economic conditions, and anything else that would have relevance to the issue. Only you two can make the decision, and you two need to make it together.

If Mother Theresa could teach NFP to illiterate Hindus who could then practice it accurately, you two are certainly capable.

The nut of the issue, though, may not ultimately be how to practice it (although that will be relvant to the issue), but how the two of you go about dealing with your fertility. If you haven’t made one, Marriage Encounter may be a good means of learning how to dialogue about serious issues.

In other words, what you may really need is help talking with each other about an issue that goes as deep as this does; the two of you are not communicating very successfully, and I am not faulting either one of you; you both need a tool you currently don’t have.

It is kind of like having a flat tire; the car doesn’t run very well. And you don’t have a tire iron. Get a tire iron, and you can fix the flat, and then decide together where the car (your married life together) is going to go.


I have no good advice other than you need to realize that we guys are selfish, especially when it comes to marital relations. It sounds terrible but that is the way we are hard wired.

Speak for yourself! Guys are no more hardwired towards selfishness than women.

Men may have a stronger drive. But that doesn’t seem to be the issue here.

This is the funny thing about a couple not marrying as virgins. They have a tendency to assume the new spouse thinks/acts like previous partners.

It may be possible that the husband had a bad experience with a previous pregnancy - either in this marriage or previous one(s).


I am speaking for myself and for the husband who looks to be like me. I am quite selfish and most every man I know is also.
Most women I know are a little selfish but do get pleasure out of serving men, the men I know get more pleasure out of being served.
Maybe not all men are like that, there are exceptions, there are plenty of men who probably would be happier wearing dresses. Many men these days are pretty wimpy, just look at hollywood.:slight_smile:

God Bless


I’m not trying to exclude myself but your presumptions could be unfair to those husbands who are not selfish.
There is a saying:
“No generalization is wholly true, including this one”


All men are selfish, some just hide it better than others. You husband seems to be pretty honest with his selfishness.

Actually, I think it would be safer to say that everybody is selfish. Some are more aware of it than others, some actively try to avoid being selfish more than others and some try to hide it more than others.

If we can successfully be aware of it and try to avoid it as much as possible, then we might get canonized.


Thanks for all your replies. We were using NFP when I got preggers for our 22 month old. It didn’t fail, I took a chance. So now he is “gun shy” of using NFP. Also I told my husband when we went to confession over a year ago to ask the priest about having a vasectomy and he didn’t tell me exactly what the priest said, but when he came out I told him in a laughing manner, “I told you so” and he just laughed it off. LOL So he knows it’s a sin. And yes, my husband has plenty of trouble with his 20 year old son who is on drugs and ALSO his 25 year old son quit high school. Both sons have had trouble keeping a job. So yes he is afraid of having more children especially at his age (48). He is a good father to our toddler, but not so good as a step father to my 15 yr old daughter. He is always looking for something she is doing wrong. EG: Saturday she had stomach ache and he was painting our house and she used the bathroom near wear he was painting and he had a fit…Then she used another bathroom about 30 minutes later where he was painting again and he was screaming about it. I mean come on the girl was sick and she went to the first bathroom closest to where she was at. This is just one example of what I put up with… Also we were in church yesterday and our toddler was fussy and my teen dd went play with her and he about had a fit… Saying that she was the cause of the toddler being fussy… I could go on and on… I guess I just needed to vent. He seems to be happier since yesterday afternoon. We went grocery shopping and got out of the house. Thanks for all your replies and if you’ve gotten this far…sorry about being so long winded… .


Most women I know are a little selfish but do get pleasure out of serving men, the men I know get more pleasure out of being served.
Maybe not all men are like that, there are exceptions, there are plenty of men who probably would be happier wearing dresses. Many men these days are* pretty wimpy*, just look at hollywood.

emphasis added

I’m not sure I understand you correctly. Are you suggesting that it is “whimpy” or “womanly” for a man to be unselfish?


I would strongly suggest that before too much more time rolls around, you consider getting into Marriage Encounter, or find yourself a good marital therapist. From the comments you made (vented) it seems that the two of you have some serious communications issues that are not going to be resolved by wishing and hoping. They are going to go to the heart of your marriage; if you want it to last, and if you want it to be something more than each of the two of you putting up with the other, you are going to have to build a foundation that seems, from what little I have read, to be somewaht weak. And the essence of building that foundation is communication. And strangely, that seems to take two. It also takes skills, and willingness to deal with issues.

God bless and good luck. Keep praying, and then do something about the problem of communication.


Give it some time. If you’re 40, in just a few more years, your fertility should come to an end; your cycles will slow and then stop.

At that point, your husband can have all the fun he wants, as long as the Viagra prescription gets renewed.

There are advantages to being 50-ish and married!

Will say some prayers for your marriage…

  • Rob


This might be part of the problem. Did he know you were “taking a chance”? I understand where he might be coming from. If indeed he was “unaware” of your" taking a chance", then it’s no wonder he may be reluctant to have relations with you. You both need to work on communication.



I say I took the chance because I am the one who was charting but he fully knew I could get preggers and each time before we do the deed, he always ask if everything is ready and I am honest about it with him. I honestly didn’t think I would be fertile. I obviously ovulated earlier than usual. I thought he would blame me for the whole thing, but NO, he took it like a man and he is a great father to our toddler. She adores her daddy.

As for communication, I’ve tried that before, but I find myself arguing with him lots if I try to talk to him about anything both minor and major issues. So I find myself letting things go more often than not and I find we really get along much better. If some of you had been around this forum when we were having major problems, you would think this is nothing in comparison. I was ready to divorce him back in January of 2004… I had actually signed the divorce papers. Then I turned my life around and gave it all up for God…and things got much better. And then we had a baby in 2005…and our marriage really got much better. Every marriage has problems, guess I shouldn’t be airing our our minor problems on here. The issue is that he won’t have relations with me because he fears I get pregnant. This is not a good enough reason IMO. Honestly I could care less about sex, but he is angry and aggitated if he doesn’t get any. And I am willing to do God’s will and please my husband with relations, but he refuses until he can’t hold out anymore.


Most men I know, at least the real men, are selfless. I’d be happy to introduce you to many men in my family, my parish and my circle of friends, who follow the model given us in Scripture - loving their wives as Christ loved the Church.

Most boys are selfish.

Now - to the OP, perhaps if you two take a NFP course together?


I believe it was God who turned your life around before and will continue to bless you as you carry on with your struggle. If you can find a qualified spiritual adviser from your nearest Catholic Church, it would be a great step forward. Another suggestion is to convince your husband to go with you to a Marriage Encounter weekend seminar. God bless.


Yesterday I had a really bad day at work and at home and this morning didn’t start out too good. I felt the walls closing in and both the mental and the physical pain was unbearable. I take Paxil for my depression and I think its time I get the dosage increased. I thank God always for bringing me to this medication. If I didn’t have another baby I would have never had PPD and taken Paxil for it and come to the realization that I’ve been depressed for most of my adult life. We have discussed “saving” our marriage before the baby was born and going to a weekend retreat, but now that the baby is here, it would be very difficult to have our parents take the baby all weekend as they are all in their early to late 70’s and would be the only ones willing to do this for us. My sister can hardly handle her 11 yr old and my oldest brother is divorced and no spouse and my other brother and his wife (baby’s godfather) would be the only other trustworthy person I would trust, but I don’t feel I can ask this of them and the baby isn’t familiar enough with Dh’s sister (which would be the only one from his side I would trust). All I can do is pray and try to stay calm. This whole thing has turned into much more than just martial relation problems.


You may want to start with a trip to the family doctor for a thorough physical. Then you might want to think of someone you can talk to…both you and your husband. Your priest would be a start and maybe he could put you in touch with an agency.


I don’t know how the Marriage Encounter team in your area is organized but I know in some cases, they will help the couple deal with logistics and other arrangements to make your week end possible.
Nothing to lose if you tell them about your situation. I will pray for you…


I’m just curious as to why you can’t bring yourself to use the word pregnant?
As for your predicament, is he fully involved in your cycle charting etc.? Maybe that would help him to feel that he has some control over the fertility situation if he followed your charting and temperature taking. That’s great that he’s a good father. Some men at that age would not be very welcoming to a baby. Good for him!

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