I have read some other forum posts on this subject, but didn’t really see any clear answers…
My situation is this: I am married to a man who is a baptised Catholic, but he is not and never has been practising. His father unfortunately witnessed some awful things in some Catholic boarding schools and since then, cannot stand to be around priests, and lost a lot of respect for the Church as an institution. My husband picked up his father’s attitudes about this, although we were married in the Church and had our daughter baptised. He will attend Mass with me sometimes. Basically, he is Catholic in a cultural sense and has some belief in God, but does not take Church teaching on anything seriously. (This topic could be another thread of its own…)
My daughter is six months old and I am willing to accept as many children that might be born in the future. My husband feels that we should wait until some undefined point in the future to have another child, so he sometimes uses the pull-out method. (Sometimes he does not. It seems to depend on his mood that day.) He knows that I am opposed to this and that I hope to have more children - I have told him several times.
I have not specifically explained that the pull-out method is against Catholic teaching, as he wouldn’t care and I’m actually afraid that it might antagonise him. He may not even believe that the Catholic Church teaches this, as we never hear any priests mention it. (We get mostly watered-down teaching and preaching in our diocese, and when I talk to my husband about Catholic teaching and sins, he will often ask me, “When have you ever heard a priest say to do this/not do this?”)
I mentioned this in Confession once, and the priest told me that as long as I am not taking the pill, or using some kind of method of birth control myself, that I am not responsible for the sin.
I haven’t talked to my husband much about NFP, but he doesn’t seem to trust it very much. I tell him that there is never an absolute 100% guarantee that I can’t get pregnant on any given day. I know that some parishes around here occasionally have courses, but he would never show up. (I know that the pull-out method is not reliable, but my husband is very stubborn and thinks and does what he wants.)
Obviously, getting him to talk to a priest or read any Catholic literature is out of the question. (He does not like to read, anyway.) He has only been to Confession a few times in his life, and unless he has a conversion, will probably not go again until we baptise an eventual second child.
At one point, I was refusing to have relations with him because of this situation, but I know that this is also a mortal sin.
Other than praying for his conversion, and continuing to tell him that I am opposed to the pull-out method, how should I handle this situation? Is it better to have relations with him knowing that he will be committing a mortal sin some of those times, or is it better to refuse to have relations with him?