Spilling the seed within marriage


You mean this:
“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).”

So you think my statement in the post is against the church teaching. Is that really that clear cut?

Here’s what I wrote:

By going along with it, you have become accomplice though being against your will, your guilt may be lesser.


Good grief. We are talking about private sexual relations between spouses. Quoting this legalistic language seems absurd.


Yes, this is an emotionally complicated situation. Quoting the Catechism on this probably is not the best pastoral response, but “reading them The Rules” seems to be a standard practice on this forum.


Hi Ann3,

I won’t comment in this thread as I believe the issue you bring up is too personal and deserves a personal response. But I’d like to invite you to send me a PM. Here’s why…

My wife and I have three children (plus one in heaven), and a fourth (fifth) on the way - please pray for us. Our eldest child is special-needs. She has an extremely rare chromosomal deletion that has resulted in moderate to severe mental and physical handicaps. She’s 9 years old, but at the cognitive level of a 1 to 2 year old. She’s been on a feeding tube her entire life, but has recently been very serious about taking food by mouth. She’s also completely non-verbal.

My point is, I understand the struggles and anxieties you and your husband are dealing with as individuals and as a couple. Although my wife and I are fortunate enough to be on the same page in these matters and remain open to life, we have similar concerns when it comes to the financial, physical, spiritual, psychological, and emotional strain on us as individuals as well as a couple, and on our family as a whole.

I would join the ranks of folks who are recommending that you talk to a priest about your situation. Although some can be rather insensitive, for the most part they will be very understanding and will want to help you in any way possible. I’d also recommend the two of you find a good support group that you can turn to for encouragement.


This is in the Apologetics section. What better place to quote the Catechism?


Yes. You are stetting that it is only the degree of fault that the wronged spouse has that is in question.



This response is very helpful, thank you so much!


Ok noted. Thanks.


That only works for women who are ultra-regular with a statistically average cycle.

For couples without such a cycle, the word is “parents.” :scream::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Seriously, though, get the books on NFP and actually checking fertility. The success rate is as high as the pill.


There are circumstances whereby a wife may cooperate with the contraceptive acts of her husband without sinning. Talk to a well trained, older priest and mention the “Valemecum” if he is black and white on the issue.


Frequent confession.

Daily rosary.


Perhaps instead of giving him theological reasons why you are right, you could explain that this action affects your enjoyment of the act.

I think men can be quite “performance-driven” when it comes to sex. I would hate to do something that destroyed my wife’s ability to get maximum enjoyment from the act.

Express your feelings to him and then ask him can he not respect your view and try to cooperate in this area rather than being at loggerheads.


Within certain limits. Certain acts are always considered to be morally wrong.


[Let me tell you about MIL.]

[On second thought … no.]


Seems like the husband is the one who doesn’t want a child.
The wife is open to it.
If you’re going to give advice that disregards Church Teaching then maybe don’t bother.

I don’t think this is an issue of Church Teaching. It’s more an issue of a husband disregarding his wife’s feelings and convictions in this area.


It’s not that expensive to raise children. It’s expensive when they become teenagers and their needs and desires are more complicated.

What’s hurting the marriage is not the wife’s correct understanding of church teaching. It is the husband’s refusal to try to understand his wife and his persistence in a sinful practice.

You’ve already made it clear that you simply follow your own rules. Don’t encourage faithful Catholics to disobey Church teaching.


In principle, there is no compromise on Church’s teaching on sin. Unless the church says it is not a sin, as Catholics we cannot make our own law and say it is not. If truly in doubt, then a person should speak with the Church authority such as the priests. However, if a sin is clearly stated by the Church as such, there is no room for a Catholic to say it is not. We have to be careful not to sell our souls to the Devil by going against the Church.


@Ann3 : Along with @Mtdobbs I also find your story inspiring - not just for me personally, but for anyone trying to live in chastity according to their state in life. Thank you for posting it. Please be assured of my prayers for you , for your husband and your family.



As I stated in post #14 above, the Church has a teaching on this subject. The wife does not sin, as long as the stated conditions are met. This is an example of the Church’s teaching on cooperation: what to do when another person is sinning, and your act is related to their sinful act. In the case of withdrawal, the wife does not necessarily sin, since all she does is participate in natural relations, and she has tried to dissuade him.

But the case of abortifacients or the IUD is not the same. The Vademecum states: “14. Furthermore, it is necessary to carefully evaluate the question of cooperation in evil when recourse is made to means which can have an abortifacient effect.” And then the document references the teaching of John Paul II that it is never licit “to cooperate formally in evil”. When it is a case of abortifacients, the spouse is cooperating formally, and also the gravity of the consequences (deaths of innocent prenatals) is greater, so the husband may not have relations with a wife using abortifacients. There is also a magisterial decision saying that the wife may not participate in intercourse with her husband if he is using a condom, as that would be intrinsically evil (Denz. 2795). So it is clear that the husband may not have relations with a contracepting wife.


Absolutely so ! Especially when as is the case here the wife would welcome another child and is completely open to life.

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