Question about contraception


I am brand new here, forgive me if this has been asked before or if this is the wrong place for this question. I have been married for 7 years and have one son born last year. My husband is a cradle Catholic and I came in through the RCIA program in 2001. I was not well evangelized until recently, when I started studying the Catechism. Back in 2004 or so, I stopped taking the pill because someone I know that is a devout Catholic explained to me that it is abortoficient (sp?). My husband would not agree to NFP even though I wanted to try it. Although, he did agree to stopping the pill, he wanted to use condoms for birth control. In my studies of the Catechism, I know that birth control is a mortal sin. I go to confession regularly and am very upset about having this sin on my soul every time I go in because my husband is still insistent on using condoms instead of NFP. I have educated myself on NFP and have started charting and such, to try to help him understand that we can do it, but he does not want to discuss it. I have been praying the rosary over this, and I am not sure what to do. Any advice would be welcome at this point.


I’m sorry that your husband is not more open to life. You are correct that using contraceptives is a mortal sin, and that the pill can have abortifacient qualites.

Praying the Rosary is an excellent thing to be doing. You could also ask St. Joseph to help your husband.

There are a few things you can do: one is talk to your priest and get his advice. You are not the first couple to go through this situation.

You could learn about the Theology of the Body. This is John Paul II’s teaching on married life and tells you the truth about how you and your husband should be living your lives. One good resource is Christopher West’s book “Good News about Sex and Marriage”. Another resource is Janet Smith’s talk: Contraception, Why Not? You can find a link for it here, along with other good information:

Here’s an earlier discussion of this on CA:

Good luck!


If you have been confessing this for years I’m surprised your Priest hasn’t said something. If you made your wishes know to your husband, especially if you are charting and trying, but your husband refuses to not wear a condom, that is not your sin.

The renewal of the marriage covenant is very important to marriage and we should not deny our spouses but they should also be respectful of our needs (health, exhaustion, taking care of kids etc… as well).

You can post a question to ask an apologist but I’m pretty sure if you are trying but your husband refuses (it’s usually the opposite way on the board it seems) then you are not committing a mortal sin when having relations.

So let that burden go and focus on praying for his change of heart!



This is a great place to ask this question. You will find people have a lot of people deal with the same issues.
Keep praying for you husband. Prayer is very powerful. Also I highly recommend Contraception Why Not by Janet Smith for people who do not understand why the Church is against it. Here is a link where you can get a cd version of the talk for free.
I have met Janet Smith before and heard this talk live. It was interesting to hear the discussions that follow. You can also read this online. This second link is part of the talk if I remember correctly. It is part of her site.


This has been my understanding as well. It sounds like the OP has taken every step it is within her power to take (stopped taking the pill, started charting for NFP, made known her wishes to her husband). That he refuses to stop using a condom is his sin, not hers.


You don’t need to confess your husband’s sin. You have stopped using the pill, and want to follow the Church in using NFP. It is your husband’s choice to use contraception, and the Church does not require you to abstain from sexual relations with him. You are not sinning when he uses a condom, he is.


Ah. I actually just started going to confession monthly a few months ago, but sometimes I have had different priests, so that’s probably why they didn’t talk with me about it, I also did not explain that the condoms were not at my insistence, so they may not have realized that I don’t want to use them. I actually am going to confession tonight, but I didn’t know that I don’t have to confess it if he uses the condoms. I remember what it was like when we were trying to conceive our son, being open to life. We had some of the best times of our marriage. I want that part of our relationship back, but he thinks I am some kind of zealot when I talk to him about it. I started working in a convent a few months ago, and I think he thinks that the nuns are “making me crazy”. I see it opposite, that the Holy Spirit sent me to work in the convent because I was in need of Catholic renewal for my soul. When I went to confession a few months ago, it was my first time. We did not receive that sacrament as part of the RCIA program, and the priest there made it seem “optional”. Then, it seems, with mortal sin off of my soul, the grace of my confirmation became active and I have been on fire with the faith. Daily rosary seems a must for me, and all I want to do is hear Catholic Radio and read Catholic books. It kills me that my “cradle Catholic” husband who was instrumental in my conversion, thinks I am a zealot and will not work with me to accept the basic tennants of his own faith. I guess asking St. Joseph for help and praying the rosary are all I can do for now. I had a change of heart- why not him too? Anything is possible. Thank you all for your kind advice.


Good day nurselisa, and sorry to hear about your situation…I know hubbys sometimes can be a little objective about NFP…I didn’t learn about NFP until recently but I can tell you that my exhusband always wanted to use contraception and despised me every time I got pg…As much as I wanted children I was like “sneaking in to make them” because my exhusband then husband didn’t want any… :frowning:

Anyhow, the best advise I can offer is this, seek counseling together…BUT don’t tell him it’s counseling, I am not saying lie but let him know you have an appointment to speak with the Priest about certain things that are bothering you and you would like him to go with you. If he’s supportive he will go with you and then you two can find a way to compromise over NFP and learn together about it.

I have read such great things about NFP and how easy it can be once properly taught that it has such a greater chance of helping those whom want to space out their children as if you were on contraception…I am learning about NFP even though I have been told I was unable to have any more children, I am hoping someday GOD will bless us with more loving tiny tots!

So keep your head up and good luck!


Remember, though, even though you don’t have to confess it doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be something worthwhile to talk about with the priest. He may be able to help. :thumbsup:


…keep praying, cafeteria Catholic’s are many… God see’s your heart. Hold fast and true to the teaching of the Church. In time, i am sure your spouse will see the light… Peace


Even though you are not required to that, I still would. I am not saying that you are the one in sin, but it would probably be good if you brought it up. You never know what the priest may have to say. Maybe it is something that could change the mind of your husband. Also, try to share with your husband the links to Contraception Why Not. I included it before for your husbands benefit.
You mentioned that your husband thinks these nuns are “making you crazy” or a zealot. It sounds like your husband does not realize how much this means to you. While I am glad that working there has got you really involved in learning your faith, there may be a time when you need to stop working there and work on your marriage. You deserve to be respected and you husband owes that. He needs to try to understand how you feel about this.


I did tell the priest when I went to confession on Thursday, his response was that “God understands my heart”. My husband indeed may not know how important this is to me, he is prone to not taking me seriously until he sees that I am quite upset about something. He is a good husband, and if I really insisted, he would do what I wanted. But I want him to understand the reasons and to choose to live his religion with me. I am not sure how to approach him about this and make him understand that the nuns are not even talking to me about this, it is something that has been impressed on my heart. I try to get him to pray the rosary with me, but he always says “I don’t want to slow you down”. I would like a way to talk to him about my true feelings regarding our religion and how important it is to me without him thinking it’s hormones talking or something. Anyhow- I will keep praying :slight_smile:


Well I will pray for you and your husband. Just let him continue to see you practicing your faith. Ask St Monica to pray for him. St Monica prayed for the conversion of her husband and son and both converted. Her husband converted on his death bed and her son (St Augustine) converted after something like 20 years. Pray that husband will see these things that are so important to you. After all, your faith and your religion are part of who you are and your husband needs to know that.


Congratulations on the birth of your son. I, too, had my first child almost two years ago. What a blessing! I understand your dilema with your husband. My husband was also a cradle Catholic, though I came into the chuch through RCIA. I must confess that I was a better protestant than he was a Catholic. However, we have both grown so much in our faith together since I joined the church. You mentioned how you were poorly evangelized in the Church, but it sounds like your husband was as well. Not all RCIA programs are equal. Some do a better job than others explaining these important issues. The truth is that every time you use a condom or other contraceptive, you sin MORTALLY. Your husband should never put you or himself in a position where frequent mortal sin is taking place. You may want to talk to your priest for guidance with this issue. I would refuse sex until he listens. Being open to life is KEY to a happy and long marriage. Good luck!


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