What do I do if my wife doesn't want children?

When my wife and I went through marraige preparation, we told our priest that we were both open to having kids. At the time, we didn’t want them, but if God chose to bless us with one, then so be it.

My wife still doesn’t want a child. Now I’m sure that I do. She is on the pill for two reasons, birth control and to be “regular.” By going on natural family planning, we’d have no idea when the fertile time would be because her internal “clock” is all out of whack and she would see my suggestion to give up the pill as a backhanded way to getting her pregnant. She isn’t totally against it, just saying “not now.” We’re 31 and 32, so time is passing quickly.

Should I just keep praying and keep on her about it or drop it and let it happen via God’s will?

You do have some options within the spectrum of “keep[ing] on her” (i.e., nagging) and passive acceptance. I recommend contacting the Couple to Couple League for information about natural family planning and how it should be used when a woman’s cycle is irregular, and the Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction for information on alternative treatments for irregular cycles. Although the pill can be used to treat irregular cycles, other treatments may also be available.

As for discussing the possibility of children with your wife, perhaps it may help to draw her out on why she is not open to children right now. Sometimes concerns can be addressed and alleviated through discussion and problem-solving. If you and your wife need help with this, I recommend contacting the Pastoral Solutions Institute or CatholicTherapists.com for a referral to a Catholic-friendly marriage counselor.

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