Sexuality in Marriage

Hello ladies and gents. I have a question.

My wife and I recently welcomed a beautiful baby into our lives. We are both very excited…the only downside is that we have entered the “no fly zone” for 6 weeks while she heals.

As time is passing on, it is increasingly difficult to remain chaste during this period of waiting. I find my mind wandering and my passions becoming more and more difficult to control.

I understand the unitive and procreative nature of human sexuality, and I get that every sexual act should be open to the possibility of life…but is it really sinful to please each other in ways that currently are not open to life (for medical / health reasons) but still retain the unitive aspect of being something we experience together?

I want to be tasteful so there is no need to get into details…but I guess I don’t see the sinfulness of pleasing eachother during this time.

Frankly without an option I know I am going to fall into sinful behaviour that would be destructive. I don’t want to, but I know my weaknesses and given the length of time left…let’s just say I’ve seen this movie before and I know how it ends.

I welcome any input or thoughts on the matter. Please don’t just say pray and take a cold shower…I don’t want to say that’s worthless advice…but …eh…kinda

If seeking a climax aside from the context of the marital act …such would be gravely wrong…contrary to chastity and marriage…

One can survive the 6 weeks. Have courage and seek the help of the Sacraments - especially Confession. Some exercise too can help and other physical toil or reasonable physical pains…or various forms of self denial such as fasting etc.


It is contrary to the nature of marital relations - such must be unitive and procreative (open to life). Now just as much as other times. And such is actually neither.

First of all, good on you for trying to uphold the virtue of chastity.
Do you own a rosary? Try to carry it with you throughout the day. When those known temptations arise, ask the Queen of Heaven to help. Pray a decade for your perseverance. If the temptations persist, pray an additional decade. Ask your wife to pray with you, instead of (God forbid) playing a part in the falling to temptation.

I would look to St. John Paul the Great’s papal documents for the “why” behind the “what” theologically speaking. Scripturally speaking, I think Onan comes to mind as an example.

God bless!

Compendium issued by Pope Benedict XVI

  1. What are the goods of conjugal love to which sexuality is ordered?


The goods of conjugal love, which for those who are baptized is sanctified by the sacrament of Matrimony, are unity, fidelity, indissolubility, and an openness to the procreation of life.

  1. What is the meaning of the conjugal act?


The conjugal act has a twofold meaning: unitive (the mutual self-giving of the spouses) and procreative (an openness to the transmission of life). No one may break the inseparable connection which God has established between these two meanings of the conjugal act by excluding one or the other of them.

Based on your past threads you practiced nfp. So abstinence should be easier for you.

6 weeks man!

You are coming off horribly in this post. Does this make God proud? Is this the holy reaction a man should have!?

You will be too tired for 6 weeks anyhow!

Just get the little one to wake you up a few more times at night …


Abstinence is never easy.

When sinners came to Christ did He tell them how badly they were coming off? Did he question their spirituality or manhood? I know how I came across in my post. As a weak and struggling sinner trying to get his head on straight by posting his thoughts on a forum where maybe he could look to fellow Catholics in the struggle for aid and counsel. Part of being a man is knowing when you are too weak to fight alone and you need the help of others.

Think on how you come across. Does it make God proud? Was that the holy reaction a man should have?

I am someone who really struggles when they have a difficult time getting behind something intellectually.

I fully understand why pornography and masturbation is wrong. I know and have seen the effects it has.

Since I was asked if I was talking about masturbation or being with someone else etc… I will perhaps go a step farther to say what I am talking about is what would be considered foreplay normally, but since climax in a life affirming way is not an option instead climaxing in a loving embrace with one’s spouse during said foreplay.

I have to respectfully disagree with the opinion that such an experience is not unitive. I don’t know that there is really a way it could be proven to be so or not…so we will have to disagree on that point I suppose.

I first started thinking about this I suppose while my wife was still pregant. Not thinking about doing anything, but just intellectually…how is sex open to life while the wife is pregnant? Is it really? I mean life is already there…she can’t get pregnant again…I know with certainty that each and every sexual act will not result in life…because again, she was already pregnant.

That being the case…isn’t an openness to life impossible when having sex during pregnancy?

And if that is so…then aren’t there instances where you can morally have sex where the procreative aspect is missing?

This is I suppose the slippery slope…the question I couldn’t answer that then drives me to where I am now mentally.

I can’t imagine leading my wife to sin right after she gave birth to my child. I can’t imagine asking her to satisfy me in another way at a time where her body is healing. It’s selfish. And Ephesians 5 asks us to lay down our lives for our wives. You are being asked not to be genitally stimulated for six weeks. Many must do so longer. Priests and single people must do so for years. Married people with spousal health problems may have to do so indefinitely. Soldiers as well. Business men too. Prisoners as well. 6 weeks s a month and a half.

We’re I you I’d seek the counsel of a priest to help with this. When you feel the need, pray the rosary, hold your baby so your wife can sleep. Watch football. Go to adoration, put a screen saver of your child on your phone so you aren’t tempted. Then, sacrifice for your wife. Imagine what sacrifice and bodily pain she went through. If you still feel that your need surpasses that, then unite this to the cross and apply it to your wife.

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As I said before, I get it. We have 5 kids and are pregnant with six. This after a miscarriage and some serious health problems. Post pardum seems to be the time when I crave unity the most as well. Sometimes we only abstained 4 weeks, other times longer.

It is the job of a spouse to help the other achieve heaven. That is your job as a husband. So rationalizing what you know to be wrong and involving your wife’s soul in your weakness would be wrong.

Have I screwed up before. Yes! Have we been unchaste. Yes! But we repented, reconciled and one thing we never did was try to make it the “right” thing by justifying it or moving away from the guidance of the church.

Some of what you have written sounds a lot like what the serpent said to eve. Surely you will not die!

Please engage your rational side and employ introspect and logic to gel overcome the emotion of sin.

People are dying for Christ right now. Use that fact and the protector mode that is kicking into high gear after a baby is born to be honorable and strong.

I’m currious as to how you learned nfp. Much of this is covered in books and classes on various methods of nfp. Even using nfp one would have to work through basic elements of TOB and understand the why of church teaching.
But even if one does not understand the why, aren’t we called to obedience even in the face of not understanding?

Clearly I’m not ready for this kind of conversation.

I head back to my heathen ways and catch up with you when I become a man.

Have a good one…

What a sad choice.

I hate to point this out but there is even more bad news. If you are using nfp PP, the rules on almost every method get real conservative. PP time is very irregular and can depend on a ton of factors. Ecological Breastfeeding, breastfeeding, natural cycle return. Our friends have a cycle that comes back in a month, my wife is consistently 8 months to 1 year. So if this is your first, you will need to really refresh on nfp PP rules.

Also, I understand you used nfp in the past. For a variety of reasons we quit using nfp. It helped our marriage immensely.

Good luck to you sir!

This temptation is one that can happen at this difficult time for many a husband. Do not give it a hearing. Do not debate with it…

There is always a way to live chastely - turn to Jesus -especially in the Sacraments and keep in mind that the temptation is contrary to love.

This kind of temptation is best fought not by fight but by* flight!*

Do not let the subtle lies of the serpent…or your concupscience remain in your ears…

Courage! Turn to Jesus and run away :slight_smile:

Turn to some other good thing and get engaged it that.

And love your wife and little one…

Right now, the focus should be on helping your wife heal and adjusting to life with a baby. My only job for the first few weeks as a mom is “feed the baby.” Dad takes care of the rest of baby care and running the household.

It makes adjustment easier, it gives him lots of bonding time with the baby, and I usually feel really good at the end of those first six weeks! :wink:

OP: strive for the ideal. Do your best to order yourself towards taking care of your wife and child. Instead of expressing intimacy physically, express it by helping her out with the baby wherever possible. She’s going to be tired and her body has been through the wringer.

THAT SAID: A lot is being asked of you here. Do your best, but if you and your wife falter, don’t beat yourself up too much. Take it to the confessional and try to stay on the right path. You wanting sexual intimacy and release does not make you a bad guy.

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