My husband the atheist and contraception

I’ve recently learned that my husband is an atheist. He used to go to church (Methodist) every Sunday, but once his grandmother passed away, he stopped going. I am also Methodist, but I’m going to an RCIA inquiry meeting tomorrow because God is calling me to the Catholic Church. However, I find myself in a terrible situation and I don’t know if I should follow through with becoming Catholic.

I told my husband that I want to stop taking the pill and gave him my reasons based on the teachings of the church, and he quite literally laughed out loud at me. We don’t seem to see eye to eye on this matter, and I don’t know what to do. I went into this marriage (15 years ago) knowing that he loved God and trusted in Him, now he could care less, and he believes that you can’t sin because God doesn’t exist.

I’m going to stop taking the pill because the thought of it makes me sick, but my husband absolutely does not want any more children. I know he will choose to use a condom when we are together. I don’t want to refuse him, but at the same time, I feel it’s wrong. If I participate in the act, am I committing a sin? If I am, how can I still receive communion if I’m committing the same sin over and over again? I’m not sure if going to confession for the repetition of the sin really shows that I have repentance (which I truly do). Thanks for any insight on this matter.

This is probably more a question for a priest than for an internet board.

Good luck, you are in my prayers. :signofcross:

Talk to your pastor, and read the document Vademecum for Confessors.

Thank you for your responses. May God Bless you!

Talking with your priest is really the best advise.

On another note: Look up information on the health dangers of the pill for women.

Also look up how the pill works…

  1. to stop ovulation
  2. to slow down the ability of the sperm to meet the egg by changing the mucus
  3. to disrupt the lining of the uterus so that the fertilize egg (New Life) can not implant in her mother’s womb - thus aborting the newly conceived life (child)

Those are issues even an atheist can be concerned: the health of his wife and the aborting of his and his wife’s child who they did not even know they had conceived.

May God bless you and your husband in this situation so that you feel Peace in God’s Truth.

My dear lady, welcome home. I am so pleased that you are considering RCIA. Sending hugs to you and your situation. I would have an image like the Divine Mercy, below, and entrust this situation to God and to our Blessed Mother who prays for all of us. Coming under God’s mercy ‘gives God permission’ to intervene.

If I were to speak to him as an atheist, (not a Catholic), I would ask him why he would twist his wife’s arm to continue on the pill with it’s chemicals and health risks, when he could go ‘get neutered’. He’s the one who doesn’t want any more children and it’s in his power to get sterilized. Let’s see if he laughs out loud then.

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I wouldn’t go there if I were her because there is a very good chance that he might go through with it. Vasectomies are so easy and common that men have been known to get them secretly.

I have to admit, reading about the husband made me annoyed. Sometimes when I read things on here or live life in general, I want to smack people on the side of the head. I shouldn’t post when I’m annoyed. My apologies.

Consider the risks of taking birth control pills to your future health, share these with your husband and this may become a concern to you and to him* *
as well…
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*Hormonal contraceptives themselves have inherent health risks. Synthetic hormones powerful enough to disrupt a woman’s reproductive system may affect every major system of her body. Depending on the type and strength of the hormonal contraceptive, over five percent of women experience some of the following symptoms: headaches, weight gain, acne, mood swings, depression, anxiety, breast pain, dizziness, severe pain during menses, a range of bleeding problems, and a lack of desire for sex. In the case of Depo-Provera, there can also be a 5-6% loss of bone mineral density after five years’ use, which is only partially reversed in the years after discontinuation. *
Among the less common side effects of hormonal contraceptives are the following: blood clots in the veins, lungs, heart, and brain, potentially causing heart attack and strokes; breast cancer; potentially life-threatening ectopic pregnancy (in which the embryo most often implants in the narrow tube between the ovary and womb); liver tumors; and ovarian cysts.
The link between hormonal contraceptives and breast cancer has been known for over thirty years. The World Health Organization has classified synthetic estrogen and progestin in contraceptives as carcinogenic to humans. According to a major meta-analysis, women who use oral contraceptives before age 20 have a 1.95% elevated risk of developing breast cancer as well…
[/FONT]http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/what-we-believe/love-and-sexuality/index.cfm#marriedlove
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**God Bless You Both **

PennyinCanada, I too am annoyed wth him. It’s like I woke up one morning and I was married to someone I didn’t recognize anymore. The church where I’m going to inquire about RCIA tomorrow, seems to have a very caring priest and I think I might be able to open up to him. Thanks again!

Consider the risks of taking birth control pills to your future health, share these with your husband, and hopefully these will* become a serious concern to you both.**.*
.
*Hormonal contraceptives themselves have inherent health risks. Synthetic hormones powerful enough to disrupt a woman’s reproductive system may affect every major system of her body. Depending on the type and strength of the hormonal contraceptive, over five percent of women experience some of the following symptoms: headaches, weight gain, acne, mood swings, depression, anxiety, breast pain, dizziness, severe pain during menses, a range of bleeding problems, and a lack of desire for sex. In the case of Depo-Provera, there can also be a 5-6% loss of bone mineral density after five years’ use, which is only partially reversed in the years after discontinuation. *
Among the less common side effects of hormonal contraceptives are the following: blood clots in the veins, lungs, heart, and brain, potentially causing heart attack and strokes; breast cancer; potentially life-threatening ectopic pregnancy (in which the embryo most often implants in the narrow tube between the ovary and womb); liver tumors; and ovarian cysts.
The link between hormonal contraceptives and breast cancer has been known for over thirty years. The World Health Organization has classified synthetic estrogen and progestin in contraceptives as carcinogenic to humans. According to a major meta-analysis, women who use oral contraceptives before age 20 have a 1.95% elevated risk of developing breast cancer as well…
[/FONT]http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/what-we-believe/love-and-sexuality/index.cfm#marriedlove
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**God Bless You Both **

Some times we are our own worst enemy… than we wonder what went wrong!
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When married couples deliberately act to suppress fertility, however, sexual intercourse is no longer fully marital intercourse. It is something less powerful and intimate, something more “casual.” Suppressing fertility by using contraception denies part of the inherent meaning of married sexuality and does harm to the couple’s unity. The total giving of oneself, body and soul, to one’s beloved is no time to say: “I give you everything I am—except. . . .” The Church’s teaching is notonly about observing a rule, but about preserving that total, mutual gift of two persons in its integrity.

You don’t recognize him, but he also probably doesn’t recognize you either. Think about it. He married a women that was Methodist, that had no problem taking birth control pills for years. Pardon the pun, but I am sure it is a hard pill for him to swallow. You have also turned his life upside down.

I had not considered this. Thank you for reminding me that I need to look at this from his perspective. :thumbsup:

I stopped taking the pill, not only because of Church teaching, but after reading all of the harmful affects caused by the pill I’ve decided that it is not good for my health. I love how the ob/gyn doesn’t tell you just how bad birth control is for you!

I’ve had migraines for years and years, my family dr. put me on an anti-depressant (that has crazy side effects) to treat the migraines. Wouldn’t that be something if my birth control caused the migraines in the first place!! :mad: I’m just finding myself very frustrated that we live in a society that regards the pill like like it’s a pack of tic-tacs and if you don’t use birth control you just must be crazy! Sorry, I had a little rant there, but I feel like my eyes have been opened to the reality that is present in our world, and I’m just a little shocked. I feel like I’ve been living in a little box or something.

Thank you for all of your advice! :slight_smile:

I am Catholic married to an atheist. I was not practicing any religion when we met and married.

My poor husband is not married to the woman he married. He married someone that had no problem with premarital sex, birth control and sleeping in on Sundays.

He ended up with an NFP using, going to church on Sunday, working at the parish, raising our son Catholic, wife.

Huge difference.

And it took him a while to understand. :shrug:

Not trying to be argumentative, but she was a religious person (Methodist) who has become more religious (Catholic). He on the other hand was a religious person (Methodist) who has become non-religious (Atheist). I’ll bet she doesn’t recognize him MORE than he doesn’t recognize her! At least if he were still Methodist (even nominally) there might be irritation or even anger at her conversion but there would be the possibility of working together to see how things would go. Now, however, he has changed into this mocking personality who laughs when his wife talks about something that is serious to her. Even if this were not about religion a spouse should never laugh at what the other sees as serious.

I don’t really think anyone needs to go into who changed MORE. They have both changed. Neither one are the same person they were 15 years ago. And this is normal.

At least if he were still Methodist (even nominally) there might be irritation or even anger at her conversion but there would be the possibility of working together to see how things would go. Now, however, he has changed into this mocking personality who laughs when his wife talks about something that is serious to her. Even if this were not about religion a spouse should never laugh at what the other sees as serious.

I don’t see how this is about religion. Atheism doesn’t make someone have a mocking personality. My husband has never laughed at me.

Morally she can’t advise him to do something that the Church deems intrinsically evil as it does about sterilization or she would be a party to that sin. So she should not tell him, “why don’t you go get fixed”.

If he comes up with it on his own, and she advises against it when asked but he does it anyway, then she is not party to his actions even when she shares the marital act with him. Same thing about his use of condoms. She makes it clear she doesn’t agree, but she is not party to his sin if he uses it anyway.

I do agree with talking to your priest though

Actually I think it does matter. And yes, many atheists (no not all) do having a mocking attitude toward religion. Most people on this forum will no doubt have encountered it before. It has become popular to pretend that religious people are a bit nuts.

If my wife were to become an atheist now after ten years of a happy Christian marriage, I would feel betrayed. On the other hand if she suddenly became (just an example) Mormon, we would simply have to figure out how to make our now separate religious lives work together. So, I do think that the degree to which a person changes matters.

The OP has only changed slightly. The husband has changed completely. A far greater betrayal, which is why the OP feels hurt the way she does.

I think she is party to his sin if he uses a condom and she consents to it. If he’s wearing a condom he should not be allowed close to her.

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