More children for me, but not spouse


#1

I’m 37 & my dh is 40. We have to boys 9 & 7 years old. I want more children. It is almost the only thing we have argued about in the last couple of years. When we got married we talked about having 2 children, now my husband says I’m being very unreasonable because he is so involved with our boys with cub scouts, etc. He says he doesn’t have the time, energy, etc. for another one. I have been attending daily mass as much as possible and praying for years, but he has only said “no” more. Can anyone give me any advise?

Your sister in Christ,
Beth


#2

Keep praying. I had a friend who went through a similar issue with her husband. Until you agree, don’t move forward.

As for the “time” issue-- perhaps he needs to be less “involved” with outside activities as do your children. Just be “involved” at home through prayer and family life-- you don’t need tons of outside activities. Overscheduling ourselves and kids can cause major stress. Perhaps there would be plenty of time for another child if there wasn’t such “invovlement” outside the home.


#3

How about regarding all that you have (two natural born children, a solid marriage, your health and the health of your children, financial stability, a father who is actively involved with the children, etc.) with simple gratitude. You have been tremendously blessed–even if you never have another child. If one spouse does not agree to more children, that pretty much takes care of the issue. You can’t deceive him or ignore his preference or take on more without his consent.


#4

I was in your situation. My children and I prayed, fasted and sacrificed. As an anniversary gift, my husband said he would like to have one more child. God puts the desire on our hearts for a reason. I am sure you are so thankful for all you have. When we desire to have one more child that in no way reflects that we aren’t happy with all the gifts God has given. Our children are a product of our love. I have since had two children and buried two children. I think God for that anniversary gift. Remember God can do anything, just ask him.


#5

Maybe if he has less involvement in outside activities he’ll have more energy for another child. My sister and I were 10 and 9 when my mom had our brother, and because we were older my parents didn’t have to worry about chasing us around as well. There were certainly difficulties, because we were also very involved in activities, but I’m sure having three children much closer in age would be a lot more difficult!

As always, like yesterday’s Gospel said, pray without ceasing.


#6

I’m sort of in the same boat as the original poster. We have a sweet baby girl (1), two handsome little boys (5, 7), and my wonderful stepdaughter (just turned 9). I would love to have another baby, but DH thinks that we have enough kids.

I talk to him frequently about it. We practice NFP, so every month the subject comes up. I laugh about it when I can and try not to dwell on it to much. I make jokes like, “He says 4 is enough and I say it’s a good start.” If God has another child for us, He’ll soften DH’s heart. Until then, all I can do is to take care of what I’ve already been given. Kind of like the readings we had a few weeks back: “Those who can be trusted with little will be given more.” I’m grateful for what God’s given me and would love more according to His will.


#7

If your husband is at all spiritual, ask him to pray about it.


#8

Island Oak, I used to agree with this way of thinking, but I don’t any more. Sexual relations with one’s spouse is a normal part of marriage. One spouse saying “no” to more children doesn’t “take care of the issue” unless that spouse refuses sexual relations. Sex can result in pregnancy, and withholding sex from one’s spouse is a serious issue.

I agree a spouse shouldn’t decieve the other or ignore his preference. But how did society come up with the “rule” that the spouse who doesn’t want more children gets to have his/her way? Both spouses should consider the other’s preference. If she prefers another child, a husband should also give his wife’s preference serious consideration.

By the way, I have known ***a lot ***of women who use artificial birth control at their husband’s insistance while the women desprately want more children. Our society speaks openly to support “women’s rights” to decide about childbearing, but then it places reverse pressure on women to stop having children if their men don’t want more. Just an observation.


#9

I noticed a huge difference in the way my husband viewed having another child after praying, fasting, and sacrificing. I know it sounds crazy, but I think you get God’s undivided attention when you do all three. Have either one of you read anything about the theology of the body? My husband won’t read it, he isn’t Catholic and he doesn’t think it applies. I have been explaining little bits of it to him without him knowing. He doesn’t realize how much he agrees with it.


#10

I don’t think society came up with the rule, the OP said her and her husband discussed having two children when they got married.:confused:


#11

Hi Beth;

I married a man 10 years older than me, and we have talked about having another child…we have two, as well. But, in all of our discussions, I truly sensed that this was something my husband didn’t want…not that he wouldn’t want another child. (sounds bad when you see it in print here:o ) But, together we came to the agreement…for him, he did not want to be 60, with a 12 year old. The reason I share this, is that you both need to come to agreement. Like others say, keep praying…‘whatever your will is Father, we will follow.’ If it is meant to be, your husband will fall into agreement…if not, then maybe God has another plan. I give my prayers.


#12

I have praying covered as I attend daily mass often & stop by church to pray before the blessed sacrament. I have tried to find out about fasting on CA. I have done it occasionally, but have never lasted through the day. Do you do a full fast or give up certain foods? What about sacrificing? Money to charity? No tv?

As for Theology of the Body, I saw Christopher West at an all day retreat. He was fabulous! No, I couldn’t drag my husband. I’ll have to get the book.

Thank you for all of your thoughts, but especially your prayers.

Your sister in Christ,
Beth


#13

When I fast I try not to let anyone notice. I used to give up my lunches because it was so busy during that time that knowone would see. I would make little sacrifices all the time. If ice-cream sounded good, I wouldn’t have it. I quite using my favorite towels and began using the wimpy ones. When there was a job that I hated, I did it with a smile. When my husband would unjustly be angry with me, I would take it and thank him for pointing out what it was that he didn’t like. I offered it all up for him and that if God wanted us to have one more child, he would soften my husband’s heart. I began to enjoy all the sneaky ways I was helping my husband. I still do. I can’t fast like I once did because of health reasons, but I still offer up lots of sacrifices. My children have caught on and they also offer up little sacrifices and prayers. I have had surgeries and very sad and difficult moments and I have offered all of them up for my husband. When I first started this my husband would barely take step into a church and very clearly stated that we would not do NFP. He hated even thinking of having another child. I stuck to my guns on the NFP and explained that I expected him to help with the kids at Mass. He was so incredibly angry about the NFP and he sat like an angry stone statue in Mass. My children and I just kept on lighting candles and praying. He now looks at my NFP chart and asks questions. My four year old has taught him the “Hail Mary” and how to love up Jesus on your knees at church. He agreed to have our forth child and when she was born dead he carried her to her grave. He agreed to have a fifth child and also carried that child to his grave. Our fifth baby would be one year old on Nov. 6th. Recently we discussed having one more child. We have decided to take it one month at a time and leave it in God’s hands. My husband is not Catholic and has yet to be baptised. God has softened his heart and I am thankful. I will pray for you and your husband. I will pray for God’s will. He know best and what will make us the most happy. He has something better than ever planned for you, he always does.


#14

If you both knew from the beginning that 2 kids was enough, why does this surprise you? I am not saying things don’t change, but having lots of kids doesn’t guarantee happiness. Like another poster said, be grateful for all you have. Maybe you need to find some outside activities too.

Kathy


#15

When did society come up with the “rules” a couple should know how many children they want when they marry, and they must stick to that number unless both husband and wife change their minds? Society has lots and lots of unwritten rules about marriage and children and birth control. At least the Catholic Church writes down *her *rules. In Catholic marriage, the couple agrees to accept children lovingly from God, and there are no “pre-nuptial agreements” regarding that number.

Trying for another child does not guarantee a couple will have another child. Wanting another child does not mean that a woman is unsatisfied with the child/children/life she has. A woman who finds great joy in motherhood is more likely to welcome the idea of more children than a woman who struggles with raising her existing children.

Like most people, my husband and I also discussed how many children we wanted before we married. And like many, we wanted two or three. As they say, if you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans. There’s a line from a Christian song that goes, “Could it be that He is only waiting there to see if I will learn to love the dreams that He has dreamed for me.” I was content with my previous family size with our pre-determined number of children, but God didn’t want us to settle for merely “content”. He wanted to fill our home with more life and love and joy than we thought we could handle; He did that by giving us more children than we originally planned.

While couples may make their plans, Catholic marriages shouldn’t be bound to pre-nuptual agreements regarding the number of children. If one spouse desires another child, the other spouse should give that idea serious consideration. Church rules are clear–spouses have "rights’ regarding sexual intercourse with the other, and contraception is forbidden. Therefore if a woman wants sex even when she’s fertile, her husband sins if he withholds himself from her without a very significant reason. Those are God’s and the Catholic Church’s written rules, but society has unwritten rules that contradict them.


#16

I agree with you. In fact, I have been to several Catholic weddings (I don’t know if the OP’s wedding was Catholic, but anyways), and never was the number of children the couple was going to have part of their vows,yet in one way or another they always did consent to accept children from God in the ceremony. The Church does clearly state that a couple has to have just/serious reasons if they are going to avoid children, so it is very possible that a couple who decided on 1 or 2 at first may need to reevaluate this decision later on if they really don’t have a just, unselfish reason to avoid having any more. Sure, having more children doesn’t guarantee happiness, but if you do want happiness then you should try to find and fulfill God’s will, even if it means changing your mind on something you had decided long before you knew what situation you would be in at the present time.


#17

If one spouse does not agree to more children, that pretty much takes care of the issue.

How so? Why does one spouses opinion weigh so much more than anothers? Shouldn’t both be prayerfully considered? You are almost suggesting that one spouse bullying the other is appropriate here. Any Catholics should know better than this. The number of children a couple has can not be arbitrarily decided by one spouse.

Beth,

Are both you and your husband Catholic? Do you practice NFP? If not one or both of these things will greatly contribute to this problem and a false sense of what marriage is supposed to be.

All the suggestions here about praying and fasting etc. are right on. Some sort of counseling and talking with a priest, and rectifying anything that needs to be rectified in your marriage (i.e. if you are using ABC etc.)

Maybe your husband feels overwhelmed too. Maybe he is OVER involved, and maybe your kids are over scheduled. Take stock of what your families TRUE needs are, and realistically and honestly talk about priorities. Many people these days ( we are all prone to this) have a really wacky sense of what is important for their kids, and then come up with all kinds of reasons not to add to their family; reasons that are really very trivial. Take stock of priorities and change them if warranted. If you all aren’t getting to mass at least on Sundays, praying together daily, then something needs to be cut from the extracirricular schedule. This might help hubby feel more ‘freed up’ and able to relax and have an open heart about more children.

Prayers for you and family!:slight_smile:


#18

If you both knew from the beginning that 2 kids was enough, why does this surprise you?

Enough kids according to whom? And for what reason? How can anyone validly decide such a thing before they are married when they have no idea what the circumstances will be? OR what God will call them to do? Agreeing on such a thing before marriage is in no way shape or form valid or binding. The OP has a completely normal, natural, desire for children, which is completely ordered to what the nature of marriage is intended to be, and a reflection of her willingness to give of herself in her marriage. How can you put a limit on that?


#19

I feel for your desire to have more children. I used to have the same desire although we have four children.
I recently had a miracle in my life; and the way it happened was by praying to a patron saint. Months later, my petition was answered.
Could you possibly find the patron saint for praying for another child (or one for marriage)? The petitions really work wonders! Offer up your prayers and sufferings for your husband’s change of heart.


#20

All I am saying is that the OP stated they discussed children prior to marriage and BOTH tossed around the idea of 2 children. Now when her husband thinks 2 is enough, SHE is surprised. No it isn’t written in stone that 2 is the max, but she shouldn’t be surprised that her husband is a bit shy on the idea of more kids.

Kathy


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