Mass with spouse who contracepts

My wife contracepts (IUD). She has begun to receive Communion again based on the advice of a friend. Last Sunday after Mass, conversation came up about somebody we knew who is having another baby and my wife said, “I’m done having babies. Period.”

It is bad enough for her to receive the Eucharist unworthily, but then within an hour after Mass she says this out loud. It makes me sick to my stomach, but I do not know what to do. Should I stop going to Mass with her?

No, you should not stop going to mass with her. What would be the point of that? To punish her?

You should, of course, calmly remind her of what the Church teaches; no doubt you have done this. You don’t need to keep doing so to the point that it causes distress in your marriage, and I fear from your tone that this dispute is already driving a wedge. You could also ask her to please not discuss her use of contraception with anyone as it may be seen to reflect badly on you (which it shouldn’t anyway, but it’s a legitimate reason to ask her to stop) and is a personal matter regardless.

You should also discuss this with a priest. In the first instance, I’d suggest you seek out one that is trustworthy but does not know your wife. He can help you determine how best to proceed, without placing him in an awkward position.

And most importantly - pray for her.

It would be counterproductive to cease attending Mass with your wife. Showing support and love is always important.

It seems the wife previously had a view that Communion was not appropriate while contracepting. Can you encourage her to visit with a Priest to ask the question, rather than rely on her friend?

As to the comment “I’m done with having babies” - well I suppose it depends how it was said, but it is permissible to reach a decision not to have further babies at the present time, and that status may remain so indefinitely. The decision can be changed any time, but a couple may anticipate that it won’t be.

Can I ask you a question couple of questions:

  1. would you be happy to (or do you think you should?) refrain from initiating sex with your wife, given the IUD?
  2. what attitude to NFP does your wife have?

Love her, show her that she is not alone. God love her.

She needs to go to Mass; that is very important. All are welcome at Mass, even non-Catholics.

She should not be receiving Communion in her current state. I would recommend asking her to talk with a priest about her situation. She is in grave sin and needs to repent. Anyone who takes Communion when they’re not in a state of grace eats and drinks judgment upon him/herself.

Saying she doesn’t want more kids isn’t bad in itself. She is not open to life at this time. There are many reasons why a couple might want to postpone more children (she can always change her mind later, especially since IUD is not permanent like a tubal ligation is). What matters is that it is a grave reason. Health (physical, mental, emotional, psychological), finances, hands full with current kids, etc. can all be grave reasons depending on the situation.

Most importantly: love her and pray for her.

I agree generally, except that the word the church uses for the type of reason to use NFP is “Just” or “Serious”. It does not use “grave” - a word suggesting near life or death issues.

There are certain methods of contraception that can cause an abortion by not allowing a fertilized egg to implant. The IUD is one of them.

Here is some info:

Encourage her to seek spiritual direction from your priest, not her friends. Other than that, prayer, fasting, and gently discussing the issue of contraception/IUD with her when posible are what you can do. Don’t be confrontational. Do talk to your pastor for your own spiritual counsel on the matter.

With all due respect, it does not sound that she is willing to discuss her faith right now.

It is not a good thing that she is “on the pill” but that is her choice, that is what she is ready to do and it is between her and God and nobody else.

“Friends” advise people wrong many times. They project what they would do in that case and make it sound rational and valid.

The woman got wrong advice from her friend. She needs to hear what the authentic teaching is.

With all due respect, I said “when possible” and “encourage her”.

No, it is between her, God, AND her husband. What she is doing affects him directly. In marriage, the two become one. It is his business.

And she is not on the pill, she has an IUD.

Does your wife realize that women still manage to have babies with IUDs, and that it’s very dangerous for the baby? Just google “IUD baby” and see what I mean and maybe show her some of your research and maybe suggest that you accompany her to her next OB appointment and ask about IUD pregnancies. From a little basic googling, it sounds like they lead to a lot of miscarriages, which could be upsetting, as it would feel like it was very much her fault (and it would be). Miscarriage would also be very upsetting for you. This is to say nothing of the fact that she might feel tempted to abortion if she thought that the IUD was fool-proof and that it let her down.

Don’t press her constantly about the contraception, but make sure that she has all necessary information.

Also, should you be helping more at home? It’s possible that the explanation for why she wants to be “done” is that she feels totally overloaded and overwhelmed at home.

When she publicly says that she is against the Church right after receiving Communion I think it is between a lot more than just her and God. I agree that I should not be confrontational, but I do believe more than one line has been crossed and gently telling her that this is unacceptable would be appropriate.

My wife knows the Church teaching. She has said that she is willing to die committing this grave sin and hope for God’s mercy. My fear is that she really feels this way. My hope is that she just says this to push me away.

I find her statement that, “I’m done having babies. Period,” very worrisome. A pre-menopausal woman who has all relevant organs and who is having sex has a chance of getting pregnant, even if she has had a tubal ligation. Does she mean that she would have an abortion if she got pregnant? I think you need to ask her this question.

I think that every couple, every person, at some time in their life, are done having babies. The Church doesn’t acknowledge it, and gives no guidance to people whose family is “built out”.

Each of us reaches serious or just reasons at different points, and maybe some reach menopause before just reasons, but to expect every couple to seek children into their forties and fifties is just not practical. Serious or just reasons can be medical, psychological, financial, whatever,

So, to say, “I’m done having babies” is not some apostate statement. We all say that to ourselves at some point, don’t we? I mean, we would welcome an oops baby, but are not actively trying to conceive.

In this case, it’s the fact the OP’s wife is contracepting, not that she believes her family is built out.

My question is, what is she planning to do if she gets pregnant with the IUD? We already know that she is willing to contracept to avoid pregnancy. How far is she willing to go to not have to deal with another baby?

Exactly. The contraception is the problem, not the fact that she doesn’t want any more babies.

I am done having babies. I have been for years. :shrug:

What would I do if I got pregnant? Well, in all likelihood I would have a miscarriage or a very premature baby.

Saying that I am done having babies DOESN’T mean that if I got pregnant I would have an abortion. :rolleyes:


I can attest to the miscarriage and IUD. My brother and sister in law are in their late 20s, married for 6 years. They have one child. She had IUD just prior to that baby, took it out, conceived and had baby, and then had another one put in. Now they have been “getting all their duck In a row” before trying for next. She trained and ran a marathon, bought a new house, moved, new jobs. Of course, a baby was not in those plans. Now I guess the timing was perfect! She had the IUD taken out and conceived right away. We were all excited as her, my sister and I are all expecting and due within weeks of each other. However, when she went in for routine ultrasound to determine due date, there was no heart beat. After a very tough 5 days of limbo, they finally did d&c on Monday night. I love my brother but he is very worldly and often treats me as if I think I am holier than thou. I do not preach to him at all but he knows my beliefs. I do have 6 kids with another on the way and try to live a holy example. I feel guilty because it is hard for me to not feel a little bit of indifference since in my flawed human heart I want to scream “I TOLD YOU SO!” Terrible, I know!!!

I feel like I have to respond to some bad advice on contraception and what being open to life means. First, NFP is not the Catholic form of birth control. Just because you “don’t want children” now or anymore or whenever doesn’t mean you have a right to contracept or NFP. In that case, NFP is birth control, and that is bad. Sorry, Catholics, even you super organized and ducks-in-a-row ones, you have to acknowledge that there are some things you should not be in control of. The church teaches that NFP is to be used when a couple have GRAVE reason to not have children at the moment. Couples who use NFP still have to be open to life. Secondly, one poster made a comment about how at some point, everyone is done having babies atleast mentally. I would say that it is always best spiritually, emotionally, and psychologically to leave families up to God entirely, meaning you do not seek and you do not shun children, but you simply entrust your family to God, and whatever shall be is His will.

To the poster, only you know what you are capable of, but I would suggest atleast considering ceasing marital relations with your wife. This might be what you’re called to do, with love, charity, and great care. Be with her in her spiritual darkness, and seek out a good spiritual director who can be with you in your suffering. Sacraments, sacraments, sacraments for you. Looking back, I couldn’t have walked through the darkness without them. Also, friends usually give bad advice, so only listen to your priest. Even my Catholic friends doled out junk. God bless you and in my prayers.

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