Need prayer re: husband wanting vasectomy

I just really need urgent prayer. My husband (protestant) is at a consultation right now regarding a vasectomy. We had our fifth child 6 months ago and he says he does not want more kids. I am 39. He actually thinks getting a V will improve our marriage. I am strongly against it, I am a faithful Catholic and we have used nfp to space the children up until this point. He claims nfp “doesn’t work”. To me it has worked to space the kids, I don’t think it was meant to eliminate the possibility of kids.

Anyway, I know it will kill our marriage. I don’t feel I would be interested in having a physical relationship with him as he is doing this against my will.

I could use prayer, specifically that he would hold off on a vasectomy and that we could continue nfp. But eventually I would hope he can see the value of the Catholic pov on marriage/childbearing, etc.


Are you using NFP for spacing and getting pregnant when you feel the children have been appropriately spaced so that he has no choice or control when you decide it is time for another child?

Before marrying a non-Catholic, surely you were aware that his views on birth control, vasectomy, and family size didn’t conform to the Church’s teachings. Most non-Catholics would view a family of five children as being “extra large.” Also, he probably considers his body to be his to do with as he sees fit. If he wants to stop fathering children, getting a vasectomy would be a perfectly reasonable thing to do from a non-Catholic perspective.

I know you feel strongly about this, but by taking this stand you are assuring the doom of your marriage. Hopefully he has a change of heart. If he goes ahead with his plans, hopefully you can find a positive way to deal with it.

In either case, I’m sorry that you are going through this disagreement with your husband. I will include you in my prayers.

Pax Christi.

Praying for you both.

God bless.

Prayers said for you and your husband to come to a mutual understanding to be open to life and if not possible for a mutual understanding of the differences in the theology between the two of you and a strong marriage.


I went through this. Then I got on the internet and showed my husband how that little in office procedure could result in some major problems from a man’s perspective. No, they aren’t complications that happen every day but they CAN happen and messing with that particular area is something that can not be “restored” in a lot of ways. I told him I just wanted him to really understand what he could lose aside from the ability to have kids. I didn’t hear about the big V after that. Did I change his mind about having more kids? No. But I feel like I kept him from making a permanent decision that would cause him to sin against God. He’s a non-Catholic as well.

Prayers to your family…

Sounds like the two of you have not discussed how many children you both wish to have in this marriage. Is he feeling as if he is not consulted at all about the new child? Is pregnancy just your decision or do you both discuss it?

Are you a SAHM and living on his income alone? He could be feeling a lot of pressure.

NFP means you are open to life, it does not mean that only one person in the marriage decides on when another child is optimal in whatever circumstance you are in.

NFP can be used to eliminate the prospect of more children if the couple has a “grave reason” for doing so. Pope Paul VI stated that when considering whether or not a “grave reason” exists, the couple must take into account the welfare of themselves, their existing children, and any future children.

A couple of examples: Friends of ours have 9 children, ranging in age from 27 to 7. They have used NFP to avoid pregnancy after the birth of the last one, because 3 of their last 4 children were born prematurely, and one did not survive. The two that did, their third-youngest and youngest, have cerebral palsy and the youngest is the most severely affected. The mother was on bedrest for several weeks, if not months, of her last pregnancy. My younger sister has had 3 babies (two boys and a girl). She has had a subchorionic hemorrhage (bleeding under the placenta) with all of them, and it has gotten progressively worse with each pregnancy. Her water broke at 28 weeks with her daughter, and she spent 6 weeks in the hospital until my niece was born at 34 weeks. She had a placental abruption; fortunately, it didn’t happen until the baby was being born so the placenta slid out right behind my niece. They also have found that there were problems with the placenta with her older son and daughter. She and my brother-in-law have decided that they will not have any more children because she is concerned that her water might break even earlier with her next pregnancy, as she was advised by her doctor. She is also concerned about leaving 3 children alone with her husband for several weeks. (Her MIL lives with them right now, but they are moving away.) In both of these cases, the couple decided that it was best for the welfare of their families not to have any more children.

If he has a vasectomy, you can still continue to have sexual relations with him without committing a sin. It was not your decision to have him sterilized.

I find your perspective callous and pretty cold to be honest. May I ask if you are Catholic or Protestant? And what are your personal views on vasectomy and birth control? Because it seems you don’t really follow the rules of the Church that are there for very good reasons.
Anyways, of course we did not discuss this specific scenario before getting married. I did not think to ask “Hey, if we have 5 kids someday, will you want a vasectomy?”. You could be a little more understanding of the situation. How could we know this would specifically be a problem? And beside that, implying that it’s just my own fault that I married a Protestant is not really a helpful commentary. Thanks.

Also, it seems several of you are implying that I “got pregnant” behind his back? Are you serious? You do know how pregnancy happens correct? Are you implying that I was deceitful? I just think it’s unfair for you to assume that I am outright lying to and misleading him in order to get pregnant? You don’t even know me.

I did not deceive him. We have been using NFP. There were times when we took chances, BOTH OF US knowingly and willingly. No one was holding a gun to his head to make a baby. Our fourth and fifth child were somewhat of a surprise, but nothing beyond that.

I think what people are trying to figure out is whether or not you two are on the same page with regard to family size. What we are trying to figure out is if your husband feels he has been given input into when/if to have more children. If he doesn’t feel he has input, that is where you two need to start the conversation. The only way you will be able to convince him not to go through with the vasectomy is if you two get on the same page with regard to family size. If you two can’t get on the same page, then he probably feels justified in controlling his own fertility.

Honestly, I don’t think discussing how many children one wishes to have before marriage really matters unless their answer is 0. If you would have asked me prior to my marriage and children, I would have said one, and he would have said 2. Now, I would love to have 4. We have 3 and he doesn’t want anymore–I am still working on him though ;). In any case, people grow and change in a marriage and you never know what it’s like to be a parent until you are one. I never in a million years thought I would want a big family when I got married. People change. It’s not fair expect someone to know exactly what they want out something so life changing like parenting. Stay strong in your faith.

People do change. I agree. But both parties need to be on the same page with those changes when the result will affect them both or this type of discord will emerge.

I am sorry, then it will be you who will be ending your marriage. If your husband does not believe he is going against God, it is not a sin. My husband too did this, but I realized that it was not my decision and I was not sinning. If he did not become Catholic, you cannot expect him to follow everything the Catholic church says. If that is what you wanted you should not have married a non-Catholic.

Do you agree with him about everything? Maybe this is saving you from something horrible; such as, dying in child birth or having to deliver a still born baby. When my husband had his surgery, I focused on the beautiful, healthy children gave had already given me and moved on from there. Never did I morn or think about the children that might have been. If God meant for me to have more children, then he would have brought them into my life through other means.

Please do not let his ruin your marriage. That would only be hurting the children God has already blessed you with, which would be tragic, and frankly your doing. In his faith he is doing nothing wrong.

Steph410, I totally agree with you. Sometimes I wonder why people post the things they do. I think, sometimes, that there are generational differences and views on women here. Kind of like the ol’ “Oh, you sneaky female” perspective. I understand you and I applaud you for standing up for yourself. :slight_smile:

That said, I’m sorry you are going through this and I will pray for you. You are right to take a stand against it, regardless what society thinks. I would too, if I was in your place.

I find your perspective callous and pretty cold to be honest.

I sympathize with the fact that you are hurting and that you might be extra-sensetive right now, but what in the world did I say that you think is “callous and pretty cold?” Was it the suggestion that a non-Catholic might not agree with Church teachings? Was it the fact that I pointed out that a family of five kids isn’t the norm in our secular society and that your non-Catholic husband might be getting uncomfortable with the increasing size of his family? Was it my observation that, from your husband’s non-Catholic perspective, getting a vasectomy would be a reasonable thing to do? You might not like these facts, but they are facts that someone in your situation has to deal with.

*May I ask if you are Catholic or Protestant? And what are your personal views on vasectomy and birth control? Because it seems you don’t really follow the rules of the Church that are there for very good reasons. *

I’m a cradle Catholic, married to a non-Catholic. My personal view is that the Church teachings regarding birth control are outdated, misguided, and are the cause of much unnecessary anguish among many faithful Catholics who genuinely try to follow “the rules.” However, as I said, this is simply my personal opinion. I understand that I am in a minority here, and I respect your right to disagree with me, and I admire your efforts to remain faithful to these teachings.

And beside that, implying that it’s just my own fault that I married a Protestant is not really a helpful commentary.

I implied no such thing. As I said, I too am married to a non-Catholic and am aware of some of the challenges.

*Thanks. *

Don’t mention it.

I’m sorry, but just because he doesn’t believe it’s a sin doesn’t make it NOT a sin. It’s still sinful.

The Pope said we are to follow our conscience, but it must be an INFORMED conscience in order for us to act properly.

Sterilization is NEVER acceptable unless it is an unintended consequence of another act (e.g. a hysterectomy necessary due to ovarian cancer, let’s say).

This is just completely incorrect. Sterilization for no other reason than convenience and a desire for no more children is a sin according to Catholic teaching. Taking a healthy working body that God lovingly designed and created and having a surgery to make it no longer work, is a sin. I feel that even a non-religious person can see that. It’s a selfishly motivated action that is against God.

It’s true that he may not acknowledge that it’s a sin, but it’s still a sin regardless of that.

Sterilization is very acceptable to many who are not Catholic. Many non Catholics are very informed and still make this decision. They don’t follow the Pope.

To the OP I am sorry you are hurting over this, but I think a really good priest would tell you to pray to put this behind you and to move forward with your life as a family. It sounds like you have healthy children and had a good marriage until this happened. What is done is done and you did nothing wrong.

I know this might sound bad, but seeing as you find this such a bad situation, try to find some good in it, such as, being able to be with your husband without having to think about getting pregnant again. That often brings couples much closer together. I hate to think of your children having to split time with you after a divorce over something like this. Turn it over to God.

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