Marriage without children...?


My boyfriend and I have talked about marriage. However, I have Aspergers and I wouldn’t be able to cope. I do have ‘meltdowns’ when there’s too much noise and children crying from next door etc. are enough to make me feel out of control (I don’t really know how to describe it, but I guess it could be similar to a panic attack). I don’t understand my emotions half the time, let alone someone else’s or facial expressions which make me think I would be a terrible mother. I think the child would think I don’t love them (which admittedly is something I find very hard to do) as I am very logical and don’t like to play childish games. I think they might also feel neglected as I find it hard to understand people’s feelings so they might think I don’t care.
I also have a history of depression and anxiety where I self harmed when things got too much when I was a teenager.

I understand that this is incredibly selfish, self-centred and pretty much a tonne of excuses, but can i get some opinions? Also I guess I would be much more open to adoption…


It’s not selfish. I would say it’s more selfless.

If you don’t feel drawn to have children, then don’t have them. It’s not just for your sake, but for the sake of the children whom you may resent if you have them.


I might be wrong, but when reading your post, it doesn’t really sound like you are closed to life.

You seem just afraid and perhaps for a valid reason.

I would suggest speaking with a priest, but I will say this:

  1. the games, etc changes once it’s your kid. You also develop more patience when it’s your kid.

  2. the baby years can be tough. But if you have support from husband, mother, mother-in-law, nanny, etc - it can become a lot easier.

  3. the fact that you are willing to adopt is a great thing. There are plenty of older children who need loving homes.

Pray on this, talk with you priest, and if needed, seek out a good Catholic therapist. You can find one at

God Bless


You and your boyfriend are in my prayers


if you are not able to handle children, please do not consider adoption! it will be the same problem, and perhaps much more, because theses children are often traumatized and may be difficult.

I really doubt that any authority would you allowed you adoption if you explain the reactions you describe here. Sorry;


Having a son with Aspergers I can totally see where you are coming from. Yes speak with your Priest and tell him everything you’ve told us here. Praying for you.


If a person cannot stand before God and vow to “lovingly accept children”, then, that person cannot marry in the Church. This does not mean you have to exhaust every effort to have children, however, you cannot do something like sterilize yourself/your spouse to avoid children.

First step, are you part of a support group or community for persons with your diagnosis? Do you have mentors who have the same DX? Do any of these people have children?

Learn about the moral ways to delay or avoid pregnancy. NFP has many different options, find one that works for you and begin tracking your cycles now.

Lastly, I know some parents who have Asperger’s. They are very good parents. Do not let a diagnosis define you.


I would talk to your priest about this. God bless you and your boyfriend.


This is something to discuss with your therapist and your pastor.

Your therapist can provide insight and counseling into parenting for people on the spectrum (after all, people with Asperger’s do parent).

Your pastor can provide counsel on the sacramental theology of marriage and why a permanent intent against children precludes marriage. And what that really means.


Well said!


If you do not want children then I do not understand why you would consider adoption. Not only is that having children it can be having traumatised children who have lots of emotional and psychological problems.

You cannot be validly married in the Church if it is your intention to preclude being open to having children. This is something it would be most advisable to discuss with your parish priest or spiritual director.

Becoming a parent may seem to be very challenging for someone with Asperger’s but it is not something that is easy for any of us. Being a parent is hugely challenging. This is something you could discuss with whatever support network you have for your Asperger’s.

Try to look at your situation as being I am a person who happens to have Asperger’s. There are other things about me, it just one aspect of my life. I am and can be other things. Do not live your live with the focus I am an Asperger’s sufferer. Control it; do not let it control you.


People with all the problems you have can be wonderful parents. I know some truly great ones. You will probably need help from the pastor a counselor or a support group. Some parts of childhood are easier than others for parents.


I have two pieces of advice that I feel are very important: 1) Considering what you have told us, do NOT look for answers on your suitability for marriage on this forum. 2) Talk to you pastor.

May God bless you, praying for you.


I know, but as it is a spectrum disorder, there are people who can cope with certain things and other who can’t. When there is too much noise I have ear defenders or I cover my ears and get rather distressed at times which obviously is not great if a baby is in the picture. Good for them though :slight_smile:


Many parents use earplugs.


Just about every parent has times when the noise or crying leaves them distressed.


The OP is saying she knows her ability to deal with loud noise is diminished due to her Asperger’s. What she is able to deal with is not what many parents can tolerate. Telling her she can just wear ear plugs or just deal because other parents do is like giving her a pat on the head. Very patronizing.

@Marshmallow2 ^^^This is the best advice you have received from your question.


I did not just say use earplugs. In an earlier comment I said if she had children she would meed support from a counselor a support group or her pastor.
I do not have Aspergers but people very close to me do and they are great parents.
Marriage in the Catholic Church includes openness to children. Every couple works out how to live that in their marriage.


Yes but that is not really the point is it. I doubt those parents are about to have a sensory meltdown due to excess noise. I doubt their neurons fail to function adequately like an atypical person, simply because of a unexpected circumstance in their day.

ASD is a neurological disability. And it is a spectrum. There are many high functioning parents who cope fine. There are probably also many who can barely function (like my cousin who is in a care-home. He can be violent when he hears unexpected noises. No way he could have a child). We simply don’t know where the OP falls on this spectrum. I suspect she has a much better understanding of her limitations than we do.

OP probably best to see a priest for spiritual guidance. And a therapist for practical advice. I’ve seen members on this sight basically advise being open to life no matter what, despite pretty dire circumstances. You will get such a variance of answers it will simply confuse you.

You’re in my prayers.


I would advise you to ensure you have plenty of support if/when you have children. You may need someone to chip in and care for the kids when things get too much, as well as emotional support.

Get professional support as well as support groups for parents with aspergers. We can’t really offer great advice here, to be honest.

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