Spilling the seed within marriage


My husband and I have 3 children and started our marriage completely open to life. Sadly, Our third child has had several health issues since birth and has special needs. It had taken a huge toll on our family and our marriage. After our third was born, my husband began to spill his seed when we are intimate. This has been going on for many years against my will. I am completely open to NFP and willing to do all of the work but he will not agree to give himself to me fully. He is terrified of having another child because we cannot handle it financially or emotionally. I have a different view that if we trust in God, He will provide. There is a huge disconnect between us on this topic. He does not agree that it is a sin since we are married and have “special circumstances”. He obviously knows it’s a sin because he does not receive communion if he has not confessed this sin of the flesh.

I am completely torn. I will go weeks without being intimate because I do not want to offend God, yet it causes a huge rift in our marriage and we both become aggravated with one another. When we are intimate I’m praying the entire time that it doesn’t end in sin and I’m feeling guilty about it during the act. I shouldn’t have to feel this way when I’m with my husband.

My question is, aside from praying for his conversion and for his soul, or coming up with ways to convince him he is wrong in his theory… am I sinning as well by participating in the act knowing how it will end? This fear of sin keeps me from initiating any intimacy with him because I do not want to lead him or myself to sin. I do not receive Eucharist if I’ve participated and am confessing this same sin weekly, but since I do not wish for him to spill the seed and am completely open to life, al I still guilty by association?


Not willing to remark on the moral vs. immoral aspect of all of this, but would like to suggest you give your husband the facts on how ineffective pulling out is. It is how most teenagers wind up pregnant.


I think the best thing to do on issues like this is talk to your priest.


I’ve shown him the stats of pullout vs NFP, I think since it’s pullout has been effective for many years he trusts the method. Many times I pray that I will become pregnant if it be Gods will so he can see that it is truly not in his hands to decide.


Well, it seems that the problem is that you two aren’t on the same page with all of this.

The only advice I have to offer is non-Catholic. It doesn’t usually go over well here. But I do wish you the best.


Catholic marriage councelling if you can.God bless.


Something this sensitive really should be brought to a good priest in private as they are trained to deal with such matters. Seems inappropriate to me to ask laypeople in a public forum about this kind of thing because most people have no training in this area and can mislead you.


As others have said: talk to your priest (not in confession) with everything you’ve told us. He can answer your question, not us. It sounds to me like you are doing everything you possibly can and you’re approaching this in just the right way. I know people in real life with this same situation and I know how their priest approached it; trust me, go and set an appointment with him. You will be glad you did. Praying for you for this difficult situation…


To the OP. There is no special circumstances to mitigate the sin your husband is committing. By going along with it, you have become accomplice though being against your will, your guilt may be lesser.

I am sorry this sounds harsh. The Church is very clear on this.

I can understand how your husband feels but he has taken this too far by going against the Church. Look like he is not too serious about it. Sometimes bad experiences can make a person become bitter and thus poor in judgement.

NFP is pretty reliable with more than ninety percent accuracy. Done correctly it is ninety-nine percent. It just need a few days of abstinence. Your husband should look into it.

I think both of you need to talk to someone, preferably a priest, to give you second opinion on this.

God bless.


That is incorrect. The Churches teachings on sexual morality are very clear.


No pun attended ?

I’ve shown him - the stats of pullout !


As said above, you have done all that you can. You have made him aware of his sin, and, IMO, thats all you can do.


If there is something that you aren’t clear about then you should start a new thread to ask your question, instead of taking this one in a different direction.


This question is answered in the Church’s Instruction for Confessors (n. 13) and in Denzinger 3634.
The wife’s cooperation in natural intercourse with her husband is moral, even though he later withdraws, since her actions are in no way intrinsically illicit. She must have tried to dissuade him (a condition the OP says she has met). There must be a grave reason for this cooperation, such as keeping the marriage together.

“This cooperation can be licit when the three following conditions are jointly met:
when the action of the cooperating spouse is not already illicit in itself;
when proportionally grave reasons exist for cooperating in the sin of the other spouse;
when one is seeking to help the other spouse to desist from such conduct (patiently, with prayer, charity and dialogue; although not necessarily in that moment, nor on every single occasion).”


I would DEFINITELY ask a Priest about this, Don’t take a chance.


Your story, though painful to read, is inspiring to me. Your constant struggle to try to do what’s right is what God sees. He sees the vow you made to your husband and that you are trying to be faithful to those vows.

Your husband has legitimate fears and worries based on something that is very difficult for any couple. A baby that requires special needs… No doubt a gift from God but also something that requires so much work.

I disagree with some people here that what you are doing is immoral or sinful. Your husband is the one who is responsible, but his intense fear and anxiety probably lessens his culpability anyway. Pray for him constantly and support him. He needs Love. Fear is so powerful that until you experience a certain intensity of it, people will never understand what it does to a person. How controlling it can be.

You married Him “in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health”. His fear is like a sickness that you must help him with (I know you are) God forgives us when we commit terrible wrongs… you are trying to be faithful to your wedding vows to the point that it brings you suffering and pain. That is love. That is the cross. Know that Christ is so near to you! God bless


Indeed it is . . . and your statement directly contradicts church teaching.

She is the wronged spouse, and is entitled to “the marital debt.”



Can you elaborate?


The law is as I stated, and there is a good starting point for your research at #15 above.

When one spouse defies the church and spouse, the innocent spouse still has her marital rights, and commits no sin in participating or even initiating the marital act.

Now, on the other hand, to respond with “whee! no chance of another child! we can **** like bunnies!” would be an entirely different matter, and not just cooperation but participation.



Keep praying for him I know how you feel.

My wife is a convert but she used birth control for years from the pill to the IUD.

I didn’t grow up in a practicing Catholic Family so my beliefs had changed over the years about birth control.

Once I was a fully practicing Catholic it was very painful for me and there was a point right before my wife’s conversion where I was trying to abstain for months from intercourse with my wife because I was so afraid of offending God and causing an abortion.

I had been told by other priests that I shouldn’t do this and it wasn’t until my current Pastor told me to stop that I finally listened.

In the end she converted and we have been using NFP.

We have four children of our own and that can be stressful.

Maybe just remind him that right after your period there is absolutely no way that you can get pregnant until you begin to ovulate again.

We use day counting and seems to work well for us.

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