My husband's postpartum behavior--delicate situation

I’ll try not to be too wordy with this post. I had my fourth baby 2 weeks ago. My husband, who is not Catholic, has been whining about not getting any “luvin.” I have taken oral sex (to completion) off of our lovemaking menu, much to his dismay, and he has complained off and on about this for the last couple of years since I converted, and blames the Catholic Church for this “disruption” into our lives. He has gone along with practicing NFP but says he could live with it better if we could do “other things” in the fertile time. I have, after my last 2 babies, resumed intercourse with him after about 3 weeks, mainly to keep him from asking about “AFP”–his nickname for “alternative forms of pleasure.” Obviously, I am not able to have intercourse at this point, and especially not when he first started hinting about what he wanted–around 1 week postpartum. Besides the fact that anything sexual is the LAST thing on my mind right now, he knows I have moral reasons to not practice “AFP.” However, he has continued to whine about it, ask every now and then, even when I’m not postpartum–just b/c he says he likes it and wants something “different” now and then.

I am at a loss to know what to do. I want more than anything for my husband to convert but this seems to be his biggest holdback. I truly want to please him and keep him happy, but I do not want to sin in the process. He is making me feel really inadequate right now, that he wants something that I am unable (or unwilling in his eyes) to give.

I have wondered before if going along with this “activity” would be equal to one partner using birth control against the other’s wishes, in which case the one simply going along with it is not sinning. But I have asked this question on “Ask and Apologist” and it seems that it would still be a sin. I have thought of going to my priest, but I think I would be toooooo embarrassed to talk about this to him!

Any suggestions?

Christopher West’s “The Good News About Sex and Marriage.”

This is tough to overcome, the desire to do “other” things doing a fertile time. It is frustrating for lack of a better term, but once you have someone (ie Christopher West) put the info in front of you and in plain English it makes more sense that you would have ever thought that it would. Even if your husband does not like to read, this is a very easy book to read. Check it out!

Best of luck! God bless

This has nothing to do with wether or not your husband is Catholic. My husband is a devout Catholic and he is a big fan of “AFP”. Before I converted to being Catholic, I had no problem with it because I didn’t know any better. He has read books and told me that it is a sin in the eyes of the church but he still has a tendency to to try to justify his extreme like of certain activities. There are times that I just give in and do it because it makes my life easier. It is really odd that he seems to get all of the other teachings without a problem. We are both aware that any frustration of the marital act (birth control, spilled seed, etc.) is sinfull but when it comes to AFP my husband just can’t or won’t accept it.

I don’t think this would be equivalent to using birth control, at least I hope not because of our struggles with this issue. The only thing we have been able to do is find a compromise. I will let him have some “AFP” but only as a precursor. I don’t know how to explain this delicately but basically he can have it so long as it ends as the marital act is supposed to end. It doesn’t help while you are post partum but this is the only thing that we have been able to come up with. I know that post partum is the worst time for us because that is when my husband wants it the most. I am sorry I don’t have any better advice. I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone and I will keep you in my prayers.

CC

I can really only offer sympathy rather than any advice. I have had pretty much the same experience. I got coerced into a tubal ligation when we found out I would need a c-section with our 4th child, but even then that has not lessened the constant pressure for “AFP” as you would call it. I have no qualms about including that in the prelims, but in my heart I know I have to follow my conscience and church teaching. I am pretty fed up with my conscience being constantly sabotaged just because I am the kind of wife who hates to say no.

I just want to say, don’t give up on the NFP. Things will only get worse if there are no limits imposed by nature when you have a husband who always wants things his way.

I hope your husband can wait another week or so for his lovin’ so you can recover enough to make it an experience that was worth the wait.

So CC… When you “give in”-- do you go to confession for that? I have given in myself a few times and then gone to confession for it. I word the confession as “sinning against marital chastity.” Last time, my priest asked “what do you mean, did you have an affair?” So I explained that my husband was not Catholic and certain things that I knew were against Church teachings he did not agree with, and I wasn’t sure of my culpability. He told me if I ever wanted to come talk to him about, please do. Ugh. I can’t talk about that to him face to face. I wish almost that he had gone into it there in the confessional while I was behind the screen. Anyway… I am being tempted to “give in” again, and I was even thinking, ok, I can do that tonight, then go to confession tomorrow. I know, it’s a double sin that way, right, but I’m racking my brain and stressing about this. DH has already told me that he is feeling neglected, blah blah blah, since the baby was born. The baby by the way, that was conceived because he is practicing NFP along with me even though he doesn’t believe in it. My life seems so mixed up when it comes to this issue. And I can’t seem to get any straight answers. Well, I guess I have gotten some straight answers. As in, I know what is a sin and what is not. But isn’t there a grey area??? Ok I’m done with my rant. Thanks for your post CC.

[quote=dulcissima] I am pretty fed up with my conscience being constantly sabotaged just because I am the kind of wife who hates to say no.

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ME TOO!!! I can soooo relate to this feeling!!

I just don’t understand… why is it not enough for him to have “that” up to the end and end the way the act should end? It really makes me feel like there is something wrong with me. Like he almost sighs when I stop “that” and go to the REAL thing. Shouldn’t the real thing be better than “that”??? Of course that is outside of postpartum times, but really… I just don’t understand. Is it just a man thing?

[quote=Lone Catholic]I’ll try not to be too wordy with this post. I had my fourth baby 2 weeks ago. My husband, who is not Catholic, has been whining about not getting any “luvin.” I have taken oral sex (to completion) off of our lovemaking menu, much to his dismay, and he has complained off and on about this for the last couple of years since I converted, and blames the Catholic Church for this “disruption” into our lives. He has gone along with practicing NFP but says he could live with it better if we could do “other things” in the fertile time. I have, after my last 2 babies, resumed intercourse with him after about 3 weeks, mainly to keep him from asking about “AFP”–his nickname for “alternative forms of pleasure.” Obviously, I am not able to have intercourse at this point, and especially not when he first started hinting about what he wanted–around 1 week postpartum. Besides the fact that anything sexual is the LAST thing on my mind right now, he knows I have moral reasons to not practice “AFP.” However, he has continued to whine about it, ask every now and then, even when I’m not postpartum–just b/c he says he likes it and wants something “different” now and then.

I am at a loss to know what to do. I want more than anything for my husband to convert but this seems to be his biggest holdback. I truly want to please him and keep him happy, but I do not want to sin in the process. He is making me feel really inadequate right now, that he wants something that I am unable (or unwilling in his eyes) to give.

I have wondered before if going along with this “activity” would be equal to one partner using birth control against the other’s wishes, in which case the one simply going along with it is not sinning. But I have asked this question on “Ask and Apologist” and it seems that it would still be a sin. I have thought of going to my priest, but I think I would be toooooo embarrassed to talk about this to him!

Any suggestions?
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God Bless you on the birth of your fourth child!

It seems to me that there is something else going on here…something that perhaps counseling could help. If you could find yourself a good Catholic counselor/therapist to disucss the intimate side of your marriage, you might find a way to better communicate and respect each other’s wishes/desires/boundaries.

I am concerned that a man would whine about ‘some luvin’ after his wife has given birth to their fourth child! You must be exhausted taking care of a new baby plus three other children!!

I will keep you in my prayers!

:gopray:

Have you guys seen this under ask an apologist?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPIIFan
Is genital stimulation permissible before intercourse?

Yes, so long as it is mutually agreeable to both partners. (As a rule of thumb, with permitted activity, the activity should be both morally permissible and mutually agreed-upon by both partners. Even if an activity is otherwise morally permissible, neither partner should be pressured into something with which he or she is uncomfortable. This applies to the all the permitted activities mentioned below.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPIIFan
Does this include oral stimulation?

Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPIIFan
Is producing an orgasm in my wife permissible before intercourse?

Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPIIFan
Is it permissible after?

Yes, so long as the activity is within the overall context of an act of marital relations. With the husband, because his climax is more specifically directed to the generation of life, he cannot deliberately choose to climax outside of intercourse. (In other words, he cannot deliberately choose to spill his semen outside of intercourse. If he accidentally climaxes outside of intercourse, he’s not morally culpable for an accident he did not intend.)

With the wife, since her climax is not specifically directed to the generation of life, she may climax before, during, or after intercourse so long as the climax can be considered to be part of an act of marital relations. (In other words, stimulation should not occur once a specific act of marital relations – which I am using here as a deliberately broader term than intercourse – is complete.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPIIFan
If we are practicing NFP and do not plan to have intercourse, what exactly may we do?

You may show each other physical affection (e.g., kissing, hugging) but you should not deliberately sexually stimulate each other when you do not intend to have marital relations

[quote=CLMargaret]Have you guys seen this under ask an apologist?

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I don’t think the issue is whether or not “AFP” is ever appropriate. The issue here is when the one spouse wants AFP and no intercourse.

[quote=Lone Catholic]ME TOO!!! I can soooo relate to this feeling!!

I just don’t understand… why is it not enough for him to have “that” up to the end and end the way the act should end? It really makes me feel like there is something wrong with me. Like he almost sighs when I stop “that” and go to the REAL thing. Shouldn’t the real thing be better than “that”??? Of course that is outside of postpartum times, but really… I just don’t understand. Is it just a man thing?
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Well, not being a guy, I really couldn’t say why finishing “that” way is so much better. It really doesn’t make any sense to me because from what I have read on male anatomy, that if you are right to that point, and then stop, and then get to that point again a few minutes later, it is supposed to be a lot more powerful. So, I would think “that” as a prelim, followed up by “the real thing” should actually be better.

[quote=Lone Catholic]So CC… When you “give in”-- do you go to confession for that? I have given in myself a few times and then gone to confession for it. I word the confession as “sinning against marital chastity.” Last time, my priest asked “what do you mean, did you have an affair?” So I explained that my husband was not Catholic and certain things that I knew were against Church teachings he did not agree with, and I wasn’t sure of my culpability. He told me if I ever wanted to come talk to him about, please do. Ugh. I can’t talk about that to him face to face. I wish almost that he had gone into it there in the confessional while I was behind the screen. Anyway… I am being tempted to “give in” again, and I was even thinking, ok, I can do that tonight, then go to confession tomorrow. I know, it’s a double sin that way, right, but I’m racking my brain and stressing about this. DH has already told me that he is feeling neglected, blah blah blah, since the baby was born. The baby by the way, that was conceived because he is practicing NFP along with me even though he doesn’t believe in it. My life seems so mixed up when it comes to this issue. And I can’t seem to get any straight answers. Well, I guess I have gotten some straight answers. As in, I know what is a sin and what is not. But isn’t there a grey area??? Ok I’m done with my rant. Thanks for your post CC.
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As far as confession goes, it took quite a while for me to get up the nerve to go. I had a miscarriage in December and due to some complications we had to abstain for almost 2 solid months. Needless to say, I did give in. When I finally did get the nerve to go to confession, I simply stated that I was a recent convert and was struggling with the teachings of the church. I was not specific as to what teachings I was struggling with and the priest did not ask. I think the priest went easy on me because I am new to the church. I was afraid to go to confession at my parish because the priest always insists on face to face and seems to know everybody’s voice. I cheated and went to a parish that is not that far away. The priest was already behind the screen so I never had to face him and that made it much easier. I know exactly what you mean about the grey area. My husband and I debate about this all the time. Of course, I have never thought of “AFP” as a mortal sin so I have not been that quick to confess it. I have only confessed to it very vaguely once. My husband has some really nice arguments in favor of AFP. He knows the teachings of the church as he was a Benedictine monk for a couple of years. A lot of times he will use church teachings to justify his wants. This is a very complicated issue between us. We both know and understand the church teachings. He looks at it not as preventing anything but more as another way of connecting. It is a convoluted argument. Sorry for being so long-winded.

This may sound off topic but there may be a link here has your husband viewed or currently view porn? My husband (and even I :o ) viewed porn pretty regularily in the beginning of our marriage and it really changes the way you approach intimacy. Once the porn was finally gone I noticed a gradual but distinct change during intimacy. Porn really messes with your head. It sounds like your hubby is approaching marital intimacy rather selfishly which was a problem with us to back then.

It really is hard when your not on the same wave length and I really do sympathize. The frustrating part is we can’t force people to change their line of thinking. It’s a difficult fine line to walk when your trying to lead a good Christian life and also not alienate your non-practicing husband at the same. Maybe once your able to resume relations try spicing things up in other ways that are still acceptable for marriage relations.

I wish I had an easy answer for. God Bless.

[quote=rayne89]This may sound off topic but there may be a link here has your husband viewed or currently view porn? My husband (and even I :o ) view porn pretty regularily in the beginning of our marriage and it really changes the way you approach intimacy. Once the porn was finally gone I noticed a gradual but distinct change during intimacy. Porn really messes with your head. It sounds like your hubby is approaching marital intimacy rather selfishly which was a problem with us to back then.

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In my experience, when my husband was addicted to the porn I was lucky to get any kind of true physical intimacy. He was content to gratify himself with pictures and self-stimulation. I was just an annoyance. We have come a long way since then. When he first quit looking at the porn and quit the self gratification, I had to do whatever I could to ease his frustrations. Sin or no sin, he got what he wanted because I would rather help him than put him in a situation that was going to cause him to revert to his old habits. I am happy to report that it was over 2 years ago and now he can’t keep his hands off of me when we are alone. It can be frustrating but it is much better than the alternative. Now our biggest struggle in that department is whether or not I should give in to his requests for AFP.

This is only a guess but I suspect that when a man wants AFP this reflects a desire for passive pleasure. Intercourse requires a certain amount of ‘work’. AFP may not require any work. In addition, passivity requires relinquishing control. This lack of control can be seen as more exciting.

Around this anniv. of Pope John Paul11 and with a hope to see his precious gift to the faithful - the importance of marital sanctity,winning in as many lives as possible, want to add my bit . …good thing these forums allow to bring to light the silent struggle in so many lives in this all important area …

Agree with some of the above suggestions of looking out for possible reasons for failure …areas where other powers might have got in a foothold … have heard that sexual immorality is the easiest way for satanic bondages to come in …

Scripture , including the OldTestament narratives of wars and struggles, ( often neglected) - could they be a hidden, yet powerful source, esp.for men , of somehow restoring real manhood , of sacrifice and nobility , sense of sin …

The babies asleep ( to c.d.of Gregorian chant./divine mercy…) a healthy dinner free of stimulants ( caffeine in soft drinks etc:) and hus and wife - hands joined - for evening of scripture… Rosary…and may be even once a week, a cozy date at the Palace - for Eucharistic adoration - baby too … wouldn’t the strongholds come tumbling down …
www.oswc.org - more info on related prayers etc:

[quote=rayne89]This may sound off topic but there may be a link here has your husband viewed or currently view porn? My husband (and even I :o ) viewed porn pretty regularily in the beginning of our marriage and it really changes the way you approach intimacy. Once the porn was finally gone I noticed a gradual but distinct change during intimacy. Porn really messes with your head. It sounds like your hubby is approaching marital intimacy rather selfishly which was a problem with us to back then.

It really is hard when your not on the same wave length and I really do sympathize. The frustrating part is we can’t force people to change their line of thinking. It’s a difficult fine line to walk when your trying to lead a good Christian life and also not alienate your non-practicing husband at the same. Maybe once your able to resume relations try spicing things up in other ways that are still acceptable for marriage relations.

I wish I had an easy answer for. God Bless.
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I really thought this hadn’t been a problem in our marriage, since he was getting so much from me, but I discovered his online habits a few weeks ago, and am pretty much still in shock after looking through what he has been looking at. His whole attitude is purely selfish, after I have pretty much spent my entire adult life giving him everything.

OS to completion IS a mortal sin. I didn’t really know that until a few months ago. I’m sorry, but I can’t knowingly commit a mortal sin and think it is OK and I will just go to confession. I am not going to put my relationship with my husband before my relationship with God.

[quote=Lone Catholic]ME TOO!!! I can soooo relate to this feeling!!

I just don’t understand… why is it not enough for him to have “that” up to the end and end the way the act should end? It really makes me feel like there is something wrong with me. Like he almost sighs when I stop “that” and go to the REAL thing. Shouldn’t the real thing be better than “that”??? Of course that is outside of postpartum times, but really… I just don’t understand. Is it just a man thing?
[/quote]

Listen, I have given this some more thought, and tried to look at it from another angle, namely why have I enjoyed giving “that” in the past. Basically it was because it was a very pure and loving gift, some very focused attention.

I am sorry, Lone Catholic. I just have a lot of hurt going on right now, and it is really only just starting to surface. You and your husband have just had a baby and you are looking at giving him some love and affection. I’m sorry I brought all of my emotional baggage over here. I really hope you find some answers that work for both you and your husband.

I’m a little confused I never said you should. Was this directed at me or are you just venting?

[quote=rayne89]I’m a little confused I never said you should. Was this directed at me or are you just venting?
[/quote]

Sorry, Rayne. No, it wasn’t directed at you. I think it was Concern Catholic who was saying she didn’t think it was a mortal sin. I think I should just stop posting today.

[quote=Petite]God Bless you on the birth of your fourth child!

I am concerned that a man would whine about ‘some luvin’ after his wife has given birth to their fourth child! You must be exhausted taking care of a new baby plus three other children!!:gopray:
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Thank you for observing delicately what I was thinking most uncharitably about this man. Assuming you haven’t joined the ranks of the miraculous and experienced an immaculate conception, Mr. Fun & Games had a part to play in the condition from which you are recovering. With all the hormones that were swirling through my system 2 weeks post-partum, my husband would likely have had that message delivered via a fry pan across his head were he to even consider whining about "luvin’ before I had a chance to stop hemorraging from the previous go-around!!

You husband should be doing everything in his power to first help you recover physically and second efficiently parent all these little people. When all those tasks are accomplished THEN he can start thinking about getting his own needs met. It’s called being the grown-ups in the household–only the kiddies who don’t know any better should be emitting any whining sounds!!!

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