What constitutes "serious reasons" to postpone procreative intimacy?


#1

Hello,

I’m new to this forum and have a question regarding the appropriate use of NFP in a marriage. My understanding is that NFP is not meant to be contraceptive, in that it is not to be used to de-couple the act of physical intimacy from the possibility of co-creating life with God, but rather can be used to time pregnancies if there are *serious reasons *to do so. My husband and I recently got married for the first time as older people in our early 40’s. We are practicing Catholics and try to live our lives according to Church teaching. During our engagement we discussed “waiting” for a few months after our wedding until we were able to de-stress from the combined efforts of wedding planning, finding a new place to live as husband and wife, and moving out of our respective single-person apartments. However, it has been almost seven months since we were married, and my husband refuses to consider opening our life to children at this time, saying that we need to build a more solid foundation and that children will “turn life upside down” and we should give ourselves more time together. He also worries about possibly losing his job, and has urged me to continue on with my very demanding career, despite my wishes to take a more low-key job that would be family friendly. I reminded him that at 40 I may never conceive, or it might take years to conceive a child, and that we should trust God as to the timing, rather than shut Him out and lean on our own reasoning (well, my husband’s, since I want to start trying to have children as soon as possible). I expressed my concern that if we wait too long I may never be able to have children, and that this thought was crushing to me. His response was that I was “emotionally blackmailing him” by telling him about my fears, which couldn’t be farther from the truth. I was expressing the very real situation we are in, and trying to get him to see that even though we are newly married, we have very real biological limitations. He is very attentive to charting my cycle, having taken an NFP class with me, and so he avoids me for 17-20 days a month. I have tried to talk with him, tried praying with him, and I am currently trying to find a good priest to talk to. My gut feeling is that my husband is afraid of the reality of having children, and is using NFP contraceptively as an “acceptable” way of putting things off, possibly until it is too late. Is waiting until things are “more stable” in a new marriage a valid reason to postpone procreative sexuality? What do I say when my husband says “we will just know when the time is right”? I don’t know what to do, and I am also feeling despairing that this is not even a valid sacramental marriage. Any thoughts or advice on morality or psychology would be greatly appreciated.


#2

God bless you and thank you for coming here and sharing your story.

Please, please make an appointment to see the priest that married you and ask for spiritual guidance.

To the best of my knowledge there are no clear-cut guidelines (ex: like a specific list) of reasons to avoid or postpone pregnancy in a marriage.

Your troubles go deeper then just looking for a valid list but you already know that. You and your husband are not anywhere near on the same page and this is a very critical matter in a marriage.

You will both need to examine how clear you were before marriage about wanting children and discuss that, among other things, with the priest.

You sound just heartbroken, I am so sorry you are going through this so early in your marriage. Please take care as best as you can, Jesus loves you so much.


#3

:console: :heart: Praying for you.


#4

W

firstly since having a child was very important to you it should have been discussed.How stable does he have to be before he considers having a child?His opinion obviously differs from yours and it just might be that he’s never stable enough.At any rate he doesnt seemed to concerned whether you have children or not.Being honest is not blackmail.what he’s saying is he’ll know when the time is right.It is a valid sacramental marriage however in a case such as yours you would have a strong case in seeking an annulment.If you out of ignorance just assumed that your husband wouldnt mind having a child(since most couples plan on having children)and now believe he doesnt want to have a child an annulment would most likely be granted.How much does he really love you?


#5

The best answer would be to talk to your priest.

My husband is a convert, when I started using NFP, it took me 2 children to finally figure out when NOT to be intimate. By then, my husband who does not want anything to do with my charting, was furious with me and was accusing me of tricking him and was threatening to leave me. I am allowed through my priest to use NFP as Natural Birth Control. I think you are correct in wanting to have children and you feel betrayed by your husband who is holding out. If you aren’t going to seek an annulment, take your own advice and trust God, match your will to His and your timing to His timing, God loves you more than anyone on this earth, He knows what is best for you, He knows your future, so trust in Him. You can also pray and fast for your husband, 2 days a week on bread and water, and pray the rosary everyday and offer those prayers combined with your suffering for your husband. And always end with, “Your Will be done, NOT mine”. I did this for a long time and my husband is still here. I’ll pray for you, please pray for me too! God Bless! :gopray:


#6

Stability is a fleeting thing. You could have it this year, and lose it next year. Waiting for it doesn't make sense - it comes and goes.

At forty, it's now or never. Biologically, not theologically.


#7

[quote="valentino, post:4, topic:233454"]
W
It is a valid sacramental marriage however in a case such as yours you would have a strong case in seeking an annulment.If you out of ignorance just assumed that your husband wouldnt mind having a child(since most couples plan on having children)and now believe he doesnt want to have a child an annulment would most likely be granted.How much does he really love you?

[/quote]

I would definitely ask your priest about the possibility. Perhaps if your husband were confronted with this possibility, it would wake him up and he would open to children NOW.


#8

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