Married and going without intercourse

They both clearly have issues. If his wife is a convert to the faith then she should have known that contraception was a no-no for Catholics. She was a grown woman. Nobody forced her to be Catholic. The husband is trying to be faithful to Catholic teaching, but unfortunately he seems to have compromised in a few areas. It is selfish of the husband to ask for oral sex. But it is also selfish for a catholic wife to refuse to look into the possibility of NFP.

I know you’re not Catholic so you likely won’t agree but this is about more than just sex, it’s about one spouses refusal to consider all the options available to Catholics.

3 Likes

Conscience is useless unless it is formed by something. In the case of a Catholic, conscience is (or should be) formed by Holy Mother Church.

2 Likes

I should also mention that for one member of a married couple to unilaterally decide that there will be no more children could also be somewhat selfish.

1 Like

Any woman who has pushed four children out of her vagina and doesn’t want to do it anymore most likely does not consider NFP as a viable option to preclude future pregnancies. It is well within her right to decide she is done with that. Her husband is the one who is not able to accept this, and he needs to figure out a way to be at peace with it. He may very well feel betrayed, if she joined the Catholic faith with full understanding of all that entails. However he needs to get over his disappointment. You don’t force other people to do things with their bodies because it is what you want. To suggest his wife is the one of the issue, only encourages him to view this situation only from where he sits.

2 Likes

She has already birthed four children. Hardly selfish.

1 Like

Well that is not how Catholic marriage works I’m afraid.

Her husband doesn’t seem to mind not having more children. He just wants to follow the Church’s teaching with regards to contraception. Perfectly reasonable for a Catholic man married to a Catholic woman.

Well you’d encourage him to simply ignore Church teaching and go on his merry way. I believe it is against forum rules to encourage members to ignore/breach Church Teaching.

Pro-Abortion logic 101.

3 Likes

Never said that. He can abstain and quit complaining, if that is what he wants to do. Well within church teaching.

1 Like

I’m with QwertyGirl here. At least while he’s trying to convince her to have more kids, OP needs to be abstinent.

You did say the wife can take care of the contraception. Implying that that would be ok for a Catholic couple.

Well technically he has to abstain as he can’t really have sex with his wife until she is off contraception.
The wife needs to get to grips with Church teaching though. It’s not all on him.

Potentially this could be grounds for an anullment as the wife could possibly be said to have gone into marriage not having a proper grasp of what Catholic marriage is. (Not saying he definitely does or that he should, just that it’s possible.)

Married Catholics are required to be open to life in their sex lives. Unless the wife has some sort of medical reason to not get pregnant, then she needs to be open to the Teaching of the Church in this matter.

Also, NFP can be just as effective as contraception if used properly.

1 Like

Not accurate. He can still have marital relations with his wife while she is on contraception as long as he voices his objection to it.

1 Like

Well, it would be aiding someone in committing grave sin…

Your view is the standard, non-Catholic view of marriage.

Thing is, Scripture teaches in 1 Corinthians chapter 7 that in marriage we surrender the authority over our own body to our spouse in marriage.

This beautifully echos the prior chapter where we are reminded that our bodies belong not to ourselves but to God.

Christian marriage is a living, breathing example of the Trinity.

From the tone of your posts it seems that you don’t like Catholic teachings. That is your free choice but when people are asking their fellow Catholics, it seems less than charitable to provide an answer that is from a completely different, secular, worldview.

Sort of like going into a French study group and answering a question about gendered nouns “well, in Japanese there are no gendered nouns so the phrase would be…”.

4 Likes

A topic that has been discussed in many threads.

Bottom line, the Vatican has written an instruction for priests that instructs priests how to give counsel in this situation. The poster is best to ask his priest if he would be sinning by having marital intercourse with a contracepting spouse.

2 Likes

My objection was that @AdamP88 suggested the wife was the one with the “issues” for which the roots needed exposure.

No exposure needed. She seems to be very clear on what she is willing to do or not do. Whether or not that is aligned with church teaching, is a different issue. The husband can only control himself, and so the issues belong to him with regards to asking for oral sex and or expecting his wife to subscribe to a family planning method she has no faith in. That was all I was trying to point out.

If he goes into marriage counseling with his wife expecting to expose the roots of “her issue” , as @AdamP88 suggested, I think it is pretty predictable that’s not going to work out very well for anyone.

It’s permissible. It could be a sin though.

Here’s an article for the OP to consider.

https://catholicexchange.com/when-marital-sex-is-a-sin

Each and every Catholic on this earth has some teaching that they struggle with or that they break, that is why it is called “practicing” Catholicism. Those who have perfected it earn the title “Saint” :slight_smile:

We are supposed to help our brothers and sisters, especially the brother or sister we married, to get to heaven. This man sees his wife struggle and he himself is struggling, we can and should help them. We can be a loving example of Christ and the teaching of Holy Mother Church. We would be ill advised to go to either extreme, shrugging his shoulders and saying as Puddy said to Elaine “I’m not the one who is going to hell” or becoming tyrants.

My guess is that this is not as much about contraception and NFP as it is a family overwhelmed with life. Maybe wife is living far from her family and she feels isolated and alone, something as simple as having a “mother’s helper” for a couple of afternoons, Dad taking the kids every other Saturday so she can go have some down time, hiring a housekeeper to come in once each week.

If I were a betting man, I’d venture there has not been “date night” for a long time. Get a sitter and go to an art museum or the symphony or just to a restaurant where there are not blaring TVs on the walls. Find each other again. Remember why you fell in love in the first place.

I’d suggest that a retreat like Retrouvaille would be worth a shot.

Another is a book called “A Sinner’s Guide to Natural Family Planning”.

Last suggestion, a 2 part video series called “Beloved”. The first is aimed at those who plan to get married, but, it is very good for us long married folks. The second part is aimed at living out marriage. They are part of the Formed.org subscription. Well worth the monthly subscription fee!!

3 Likes

Excelkent post. I especially liked the Seinfeld reference!

It seems important to encourage the OP not to overlook that his wife may truly just be done with pregnancy and having children. His acceptance of this, if it is the case, can either make or break the marriage. I have seen it happen before, even in my own life. When my husband and I got married we agreed to two. Once I had one, I was done. It wasn’t for selfish reasons, bu It was hard for him. Really hard. We had to go to marriage counseling. He finally accepted it and we moved forward to have a very happy marriage. I realize it isn’t the “Catholic” approach, but I would hate to see any marriage break up over this issue, especially one where four children are involved. And that is a low bar. Wedded bliss is my hope for them.

That really was just the intent of my weighing in on this thread.

I really like all of TheLittleLady’s suggestions.

Having a larger than average sized family can be incredibly difficult in today’s society. You need a strong support network, and we have largely lost that. I have four little kids and while I love them like mad and am open to the idea of having more someday (though not anytime soon), that doesn’t mean they aren’t challenging to raise!

The number one thing that makes me feel like I have a handle on it is that my husband and I are a team. We work together to solve our problems, and we have friends who can help us out, and we do the same for them. That attitude makes a world of difference. If we were still living as we did and with the mindset we had when we had our first, we probably wouldn’t have made it, and definitely wouldn’t have four kids.

Yeah but that is not a decision that she can make unilaterally in a Catholic marriage. Catholics are also not supposed to decide “they are done with having kids” unless there exists a good reason that BOTH spouses decide upon together.
Catholics also can’t just decide to “only have two children”.

If you’re going to post on threads like this you could at least make an effort to understand Catholic teaching on marriage.

1 Like
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.