Tubal Ligation


#1

I am not a catholic married to a practising catholic. My husband and I have a wonderful open relationship- he is my sole mate. We have 6 beautiful children under 7. I support me husband in every way with his religion, bringing our children up catholic and I attend Mass with him every week. We have finshed our family and I am wanting to have a tubal Ligation. We have discussed it in length but he is very against it. He says he can not stop me but does not agree with it. I can’t go ahead with something without his blessings but I do not want to rely on natural methods as a form of contraception. We have never had any problems falling pregnant, I only have one tube due to a ectopic pregnancy, and I still have fallen pregnant very easy. I hate the thought of doing something against his wishes and I do not want to upset our relationship or put any stress on it- however I don’t know what state I would be in if I had another baby. I andle our 6 wonderfully- it is very busy and I don’t have anytime to myself so I would hate to think what life would be like with one more… I don’t want to take the risk, acciddents happpen. At the moment I am so scared to make love- just in case I do fall. I miss being intiment.
Can anyone give me some advise…


#2

When you married this chap, were you aware of Catholic teaching on artificial birth control and sterilisation?

To be honest, to gain this procedure against his will I think will do serious damage to your marriage. It could even end it.

Have you got a NFP teacher, perhaps you can share your concerns with them over your worries of pregnancy.

And while tubal ligation is a very effective form of artificial contraception (sterilisation) it is not 100%, and it can increase chances of ectopic pregnancies, and since you've already had one, your risk could be up a little higher than normal. Of course, they are still very low risks, but you wouldn't have complete peace of mind if that's what you're seeking. Abstienence is the only sure fire way to avoid pregnancy.

The other thing you could think about, but you don't have to post here, is have you ever considered becoming Catholic? Are you a Christian? You seem very supportive and the fact you attend Mass with him shows that. Have you ever been open to investigating the faith for your own conversion? Perhaps if you venture more fully into the faith your concerns over this will slip away? Were you using NFP or aritifical contraception?

It takes a lot of patience and committement ot use NFP, if you were doign so, it really shows a love and respect for your husband, to gain a tubal against his wishes could really hurt your marriage.

I do have to add, I'm not married, nor have I been, so the advice (?) I give is based on what I've seen here and what I've been told by others in my life with problems of htis nature.


#3

Thnak you for your post. I am thinking a lot about it all. We have used NFP succesfully, however we are both 100% sure our family is complete and I would like something more safe, as accidents do happen and because we are extremely fertile.
I didn't have the full knowledge of the Catholic teaching when we were married, it is something I have learned over time. I am willing to support learn and try to understand my hubby's faith but I have no desire to convert myself. I believe in God and faith etc but my parents made me Anglican and at this stage in my life I believe I don't have full understanding yet to commit. I don't know if this will change in the future. I am extremely lucky that hubby is supportive and not pushy either.
I know if I opted to have the procedure done it would not end our marriage... I can say that very confidently, I just don't like the fact of betraying him. If we were to fall pregnant again- saying this the baby would be very loved and welcolmed into a loving home, however what stress would that put on our marriage?? I can only be so busy.....


#4

When I had my second child, I had a tubal. It was one of the worst decisions of my life. It is not because I have wanted another child and now can't have one. I don't. Two is a great number for me. But I now know that it is against what God wanted from me. I was not a practicing Catholic when I had it done, but I have since come into the Faith and it is something that I really wish I hadn't done. I know that you are not a Catholic right now, but you are living a Catholic lifestyle and you could become one. You need to trust in God and if you can't trust in Him specifically, then you have to trust your husband who is clearly against this. (Very unpopular language alert)He is the head of the household and you need to submit to him. He says no then that is the answer.


#5

The only problem is that if you were to get this procedure, it is pretty much the ultimate violation of trust in your marriage - vera is right when she says it might even end it. And since you've already had success with NFP, if it aint broke don't fix it :D Praying for you!!


#6

While I personally see nothing wrong with getting with getting a tubal personally I donlt think it would be a good idea in your case. Yes it might not end it but it would likely still put a lot of extra stress on your marriage. Unfortunately the only advice I can give you is look into more forms of NFP there are super conservative forms as I understand it. I can understand though wanting to use something else though for more reassurance I appluad you for being able to handle 6 kids as it is! Especially so young personally the thought of one kid scares me to death! lol.


#7

your husband is your soul mate. be very careful to not make decisions that would wound his soul terribly. because he is a faithful catholic and assents to the fullness of everything God has revealed to humanity-- including assent to God’s revelation on the meaning of sexuality-- this decision would definitely wound his soul.


#8

Your husband is right! He wants the best for you, and he doesn’t want you to do what he knows is wrong.

Talk to him about the issue, and find out what he suggests instead.


#9

Wow, six kids! That's awesome and daunting at the same time. Here is my take on your situation, as a husband who's CINO (Catholic In Name Only) wife has vowed to have a tubal after our second one comes along (not pregnant right now) it is very hurtful to me that she is closing off a part of our marriage and refusing to give everything of herself to the marriage. It is a cross I will have to bear, but it has already done damage to our marriage.

If NFP has been successful in the past, really dive into it. Don't look to the world and their siren song of following your own will and dictating to God what your path in life will be.


#10

From your husband perspective, which is line with the Catholic Church, the sterilization is a sin whether you are Catholic or not. The moral law applies to everybody (although it may not be mortal sin for those who are not aware of it as such). Since you are somewhat aware of it, I would take it pretty seriously, which it appears you are doing. I am mentioning this because I think he has your best interest in mind for both your health and your soul. He sounds like a great husband.:)


#11

Let's take religious conviction entirely out of the discussion for a moment.

Think for just a moment about what the purpose and mission of the medical profession actually is. In EVERY other area of medical practice, the purpose is to help patients maintain and/or recover the healthy natural functioning of the human body. Consider your ectopic pregnancy. The doctors were able to take a life threatening situation and not only save your life, but preserve the function of your reproductive systems in the process. Truly a wonder of science and medicine.

ONLY in the area of sexuality, does modern medicine seek to take a properly functioning body and MAKE it malfunction. Why is that?

The unspoken assumption behind the idea of sterilization is that sex is only tangentially related to the creation of new life. But what if that assumption is unfounded? We know so little about the workings of our psyches. What if the physical link between sex and babies is but a surficial reflection of something MUCH deeper? What if cutting off the fertility of the sex act also changes something inthe psyche? Have we as a society REALLY matured to the point where we can truly say that the fact that sex causes babies is merely a mechanistic coincidence to be defeated at our own whim? Smells like arrogant hubris to me.

So NOW, back to religion. What if God really HAS given important insight into human sexuality? What if the consistant abhorrence christianity (and Judaism before it) had for contraception / sterilization was PART of God's revelation rather than just ignorant superstition (as asserted by most moderns)?


#12

As you have not mentioned having any serious mental health conditions and you state that you are coping wonderfully with 6 children under 7 years, I must agree with all the posts above. However I do note that you didn’t know how you would cope with yet another child. If this is to be taken seriously ie that you would be at risk of becoming mentally unstable/destabilized, it would be morally irresponsible for you to take the risk of having another child. This is a hypothetical-and as there is no history of psychological disorder-it would not be in order to project a series of ‘what ifs’. NFP or total abstinence-as opposed to artificial contraception would be/are the options for a practising Catholic. However surely these are moral guidelines and that in every situation the specific facts pertaining to a couple need to be balanced with reason and an informed conscience.::hmmm::flowers:


#13

[quote="manualman, post:11, topic:205834"]
Let's take religious conviction entirely out of the discussion for a moment.

Think for just a moment about what the purpose and mission of the medical profession actually is. In EVERY other area of medical practice, the purpose is to help patients maintain and/or recover the healthy natural functioning of the human body. Consider your ectopic pregnancy. The doctors were able to take a life threatening situation and not only save your life, but preserve the function of your reproductive systems in the process. Truly a wonder of science and medicine.

ONLY in the area of sexuality, does modern medicine seek to take a properly functioning body and MAKE it malfunction. Why is that?

The unspoken assumption behind the idea of sterilization is that sex is only tangentially related to the creation of new life. But what if that assumption is unfounded? We know so little about the workings of our psyches. What if the physical link between sex and babies is but a surficial reflection of something MUCH deeper? What if cutting off the fertility of the sex act also changes something inthe psyche? Have we as a society REALLY matured to the point where we can truly say that the fact that sex causes babies is merely a mechanistic coincidence to be defeated at our own whim? Smells like arrogant hubris to me.

So NOW, back to religion. What if God really HAS given important insight into human sexuality? What if the consistant abhorrence christianity (and Judaism before it) had for contraception / sterilization was PART of God's revelation rather than just ignorant superstition (as asserted by most moderns)?

[/quote]

Such a great way to put it!


#14

Yes-I agree.
**
IF** cutting off the fertility of the sex act changes something in the psyche at a much deeper level than our finite minds can grasp...AND if God-through time-has given us an important insight, even a Revelation, regarding the true gift of our human sexuality, how arrogant is it of us then to decide on a whim that our fertility is to be determined by us- as babies are a by-product of 'the act'?

However-just looking back to Oaks' original question: can anyone give me any advice? **At the risk of sounding feminist, maybe it is now your husband** who could come up with some creative problem-solving? I hear you being very mindful of his needs and wishes/he is your "soul-mate". You have also respected and supported him in his faith- and the teachings of the Catholic Church. I hear 'fear'-and a lot of it- in you- to the point that you miss intimacy and making-love with your husband. You have intimated that another child may exceed your coping abilities etc. A rhetorical question-not for posting-but has he demonstrated to you that he understands your fears and the effect **this **decision process is having on your marriage?

Your husband is against you having a tubal ligation-he wants what's best for you. He doesn't agree with it, but realizes he cannot stop you....
He knows you very well...and you have taken on a lot of the responsibility....which he would have come to expect.

As you have an open relationship and are able to talk with him, simply: what would he suggest? :rolleyes:


#15

If he's an informed catholic, he'll likely suggest using scientific techniques for identifying the ovulation day and abstaining from sex enough days before and after that date to make it highly unlikely that pregnancy will result.

Same result as sterilizing, right? So it's the same thing, right? Wrong. Means matter as much as outcome. In the former, the couple needs to make the sacrifice of abstinance in order to avoid mutiliating the body (sterilization). In the latter, the couple simply alters the sex act and artificially makes it unrelated to the subject of babies altogether. That difference in means has profound effects that our exceedingly shallow culture has not yet begun to fathom.


#16

Totally..and sadly the "shallow culture" might never know that "the sex act" is a profound union of another kind! Open to procreation, the love-making is a total giving of oneself to the other and the triune God within you-as you become one. The respect, love, restraint, communication,.....it is not difficult to see that the intimacy expressed in a total acceptance of your spouse for who they are in their entirety-including their fertility and sexuality is beyond our comprehension; a truly-life-giving force! Add to that an openness to God's will for you as a couple-be it another child or not...you have truly become 'one flesh', one with God..a mystery.

The above-humbly if I may say, because I don't know-is a higher moral reasoning. (Maybe Kohlberg-stage 5) By that I mean practicing and informed Catholics will obey the church's teachings-at a level 3; ie: because it's the Catechism and we must be obedient to the church's teaching.

However Oates and hubby are struggling. It would seem that he wants to obey the moral teachings. As Oates is not a Catholic, the infallible teachings of the church are probably difficult to grasp. By asking what does he suggest? Obviously he would be an exponent of the Billings/NFP-but that doesn't mean he understands the 'gift' behind the moral teaching'. Does he have the capacity to appreciate her needs; that it requires an enormous amount of patience, reassurance, restraint, understanding on his part and for any couple of the Catholic faith-let alone a mixed marriage? Love is central. Rules-without reason- especially in the area of procreation/ love between man and wife would seem to 'kill love' and sadly, many never pass beyond stage three, follow the church's teaching and live-in-a-loveless marriage for 30, 40+ years-albeit-"by the rules".

Oakes has expressed that they have used NFP successfully. However this time it is different. They have "finished" their family. It is now that their faith and trust in God will be tested.
Personally I don't think the procedure would end their marriage. Though costly and not necessarily as reversible as a vasectomy......it nevertheless could be reversed.

However the gifts that await the couple who can move through the fear and unknowing AND truly embrace the concept that "It Takes Three to Marry"-(Fulton Sheen i think) would experience a peace -not dependent on mere obedience to church law- and a spiritual union that would be more reflective of the idea that: "...two become one flesh,as Christ and His Church are One"- a mystery!

Working closely with a teacher of the NFP method, a spiritual director, instruction in the faith, marriage encounter weekends with other married couples....all good, but with 6 children??
With humility-I agree with the compliments given by calliso and zz912: 6 children under 7 is an enormous test of selflessness-so enormous, one would wish it be an hypothetical example!
Many prayers-the answer is within the love you have for one another-nowhere else....and just maybe-with regards intimacy?-the best is yet to come!.....and after all of my talking I would love you, Oakes, to join 'your' discussion again. It is an excellent question and just from your post, it is obvious you are a very special person, a loving mother and devoted wife. I wish i could be as self-less! God Bless alwayz.


closed #17

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.