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Catholic Weddings

Divorcing sex from babies

I just read through a 9-page post on another board I lurk on. The OP is in a trial separation from her husband. They just found out that he doesn't ever want kids and she wants them RIGHT NOW.

Well, she just found out she is pregnant, despite being on the pill. Everyone is saying how her husband has every right to walk away if he doesn't want to be a parent that she has to decide if she wants to be a single parent or have an abortion. A few people have said that he might change his mind, but then everyone else chimes in with, "BUT HE SAID HE DIDN'T WANT KIDS! DON'T EXPECT HIM TO CHANGE!"

These kinds of situations make me so sad. Sex and babies go together. If you absolutely, positively, can't ever imagine wanting to be a parent, I'm sorry, but don't have sex. When you have sex, it's possible that you will become a parent.

These posters are making me want to scream "He's already a parent! There's already a baby here!" Why does he get an option of walking away? This is his child and he is as responsible as she is. I really tried hard not to be judgmental at first, but the way popular consciousness is so warped makes me really sad.

I'm not really sure there's a point to my posting this, but I had to get it out and I know it will go over like a lead balloon if I put it in the original post. I thought you all might understand.
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Re: Divorcing sex from babies

  • These are the same people that would be saying he's a dirtbag if the baby was already born.

    If the baby is born, a man must pay child support and is expected by society to be involved in the child's life.  But before the baby is born, both the man and woman have the "choice" of being a parent.

    I agree with you, if you are absolutely 100% against children, don't have sex!  Apparently we do need more sex education, because with all this contraception and abortion, people have forgotten where babies come from!  

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  • I don't know much about legalities... but can't he be forced to pay child support? Aren't there cases where a man never knew he had a child, then later they tracked him down and it was legally determined he had to pay? 
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  • I just can't imagine how this never came up.  Did both parties know the other's feelings on kids and just assume their spouse would change?
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  • What i find equally sad is that they did not discuss it before they got married.  I am glad that it is discussed in Catholic marriage preparation.
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  • Warped is the perfect word.

    In today's world, we get what we want, when we want it. It amazes me how little people understand about reproduction and birth control and contraceptives. They believe they are not responsible for their own actions and the resulting consequences.

    There are all sorts of restrictions on certain things... children not being allowed into R rated movies, laws against sugary drinks, smoking, wearing your pants too low, censoring profanity on TV .... but, then it's okay to murder a newborn that survived an abortion... warped is definitely a fitting term!

    As for the situation you mentioned specifically - when you enter into a marriage... you become one unit. You can't just think about yourself and your own wishes. You have to think about your 'other half'. You are both one. I hope and pray that they come back to each other and remember their commitment and find a way to work through this.
  • Every time I read this I'm blown away by a new thing.

    I can't believe how casually some people are viewing this marriage.  I know plenty of people who get married, not fully understanding or appreciating the committment they are making, and then treat a divorce like something as easy as a breakup, but it just surprises me every. time.

    It's just so depressing.  :/
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  • I agree that society's view of sex is totally warped. The divorcing of sex from babies has caused plenty of problems, as we all know.

    I also think that luuuuuuv as the sole basis for marriage is a problem. Yes, I think it's good that we have choice in whom we marry and that love/affection/etc. are part of the equation, but too many people think that love will conquer all. It will overcome incompatibility on whether to have kids, religion, long-term goals, etc. At a minimum, having the ability to communicate and come to resolutions about those issues is beneficial when inevitable issues come up down the road.
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  • In Response to Re: Divorcing sex from babies:
    Every time I read this I'm blown away by a new thing. I can't believe how casually some people are viewing this marriage.  I know plenty of people who get married, not fully understanding or appreciating the committment they are making, and then treat a divorce like something as easy as a breakup, but it just surprises me every. time. It's just so depressing.  :/
    Posted by professorscience
    I'll never forget talking to a girl I was casually friends with in college about her sister's impending wedding. This girl said, "It's just her first marriage anyway, so it's not like it's that big a deal. Just get it over with." I was floored. (And started to distance myself from this person after that.)
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  • This is what happens when marriage is seen as something separate from children. It's meant to be a stable unit for the purpose of bringing up children.
  • Biblio, I totally agree!  I think the biggest problem is how "love" is defined by many.  While love is often accompanied by "warm fuzzier," that is not what love truly means.  Love is a choice, and it is the choice to sacrifice your wants for those of your love.  Even when you might not feel any "chemistry," you can still love your spouse. 

    People are so willing to quit on a marriage because they don't feel "in love," but I've heard several long-married couples tell stories about how they went into a bit of a funk, where there wasn't much in terms of "fireworks" or romance, but once they worked through it, their love was far better than the love they felt for each other on their wedding day. 

     

  • In Response to Re: Divorcing sex from babies:
    In Response to Re: Divorcing sex from babies : I'll never forget talking to a girl I was casually friends with in college about her sister's impending wedding. This girl said, "It's just her first marriage anyway, so it's not like it's that big a deal. Just get it over with." I was floored. (And started to distance myself from this person after that.)
    Posted by bibliophile2010
    One thing that was always ingrained in me (which apparently was not a trend in a lot of Protestant households?) was that divorce was just NOT something that happened.  So when my cousin got married and tried to get my grandma to dance with him, he asked, "When are you ever going to see me dressed up like this again?"  My grandma replied, "At your next wedding."  FLOORED.
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  • I'll never forget the deacon who spoke on the vocation of marriage in my RCIA class boasting that their particular preparation program was very successful in convincing people who had no business getting married that they should really rethink their decision.
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  • In Response to Re: Divorcing sex from babies:
    I'll never forget the deacon who spoke on the vocation of marriage in my RCIA class boasting that their particular preparation program was very successful in convincing people who had no business getting married that they should really rethink their decision.
    Posted by professorscience
    I wish more marriage prep programs convinced people not to get married, and I wish more priests put their foot down and said, "No" to marriages they see issues with.

    I also wish that marriage prep was more like what Carrie always describes: a formal discernment of marriage before the hoopla gets planned. Instead, lots of people see it as hoops to jump through before you can have a Catholic ceremony. If they do an EE weekend 2 months before the wedding, it is a lot harder to put the brakes on than if they had done the hard work before the planning was even started.
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  • In Response to Re: Divorcing sex from babies:
    I'll never forget the deacon who spoke on the vocation of marriage in my RCIA class boasting that their particular preparation program was very successful in convincing people who had no business getting married that they should really rethink their decision.
    Posted by professorscience
    This is actually great. I think people generally wait too long to talk about the important things in the beginning of a relationship. By the time most people are comfortable bringing up topics like kids, finances, religion, etc... they're already committed, so they're more likely to think that these issues aren't a big deal or that they can "change" their partner if they are in love enough. 

    It's just so backwards. The purpose of dating is to find a spouse, not to hang out with someone for a while and then see if you can mold them into something that looks like a spouse you might want. I feel like the whole concept is modeled on selfishness, with little regard for the other person and absolutely no regard for the children that will eventually come from the relationship. I find myself constantly asking some of my single friends "Do you want him to be the father of your children?" and even when they admit that the answer is no, they still can't see why they should end the relationship. 
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  • I wonder if it would be feasible to have "pre-engagement discernement" rather than just pre-cana?  It would be nice to sit down with a priest and make sure there aren't any impediments, and to do the FOCCUS inventory and make sure there's no glaring issues.  Basically, a pre-approval.  And then when you get engaged and go through pre-cana, it's really about preparing you for marriage instead of also being about discernment.

     

  • I was going to talk about this on the "wedding pet peeves" thread. 

    The whole catechetical process is screwed up, but especially preparing people for marriage, which they should be doing, even if they aren't even dating anyone. I've heard on Catholic radio someone talking about "pre-engagement counseling". 

    If marriage prep was successful, many couples should be breaking up. That's not going to happen with so much investment. 

    I'd love to see a marriage discernment process, with most of the stuff done before engagement. Then perhaps a retreat (not marriage prep focussed, but more prayer focused) during engagement. Some sort of encouragement of ongoing formation. 
  • Even when you might not feel any "chemistry," you can still love your spouse.  People are so willing to quit on a marriage because they don't feel "in love," but I've heard several long-married couples tell stories about how they went into a bit of a funk, where there wasn't much in terms of "fireworks" or romance, but once they worked through it, their love was far better than the love they felt for each other on their wedding day. 
    Posted by Resa77
    Agreed so much. Watch Fireproof if you haven't.  It's such a good movie.


    Warped is the perfect word. In today's world, we get what we want, when we want it. It amazes me how little people understand about reproduction and birth control and contraceptives. They believe they are not responsible for their own actions and the resulting consequences.
    Posted by Riss91
    This is really what it boils down to.  We live in such an immediate satisfaction society.  Look at credit cards and the internet.  It has taught us that patience is no longer a virtue.

    What floors me even more is that people haven't even remotely admitted to the connection of more unwanted babies since the rise of BC usage.  The idea of chastity is literally offensive to people which really saddens me.  It makes me think of that gay couple at a university in Washingon(?) that are trying to get their Newmann Center priest fired for suggesting a life of celibacy to them (despite the fact that he was nothing but open and welcoming and loving to them).
  • I think that's a good idea, Carrie.

    A two part pre-marriage preparation.  One focused on discernment, pre-engagement.  The other focused on preparing for the sacrament, post-engagement.



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  • TBH, society's view is of sex completely bass akwards.

    There are several things that I disagree with that I've seen come up in discussion (which is why I mostly lurk and stay out of discussions that would be laborous and futile lol) BUT I COMPLETELY agree with you here.

    Even at 17 when I first had sex with my BF, I knew that babies were a HUGE possibility because, ya know, that's the main reason sex exists! I was on the pill AND we used back up BC just because I knew how much of a realit it was. And I know people who have gotten pregnant while using a variety of contraceptive styles and there was a disconnect, and I was kind of like what did you THINK would happen?

    To directly respond to the situation in the OP, they are MARRIED and he should not have been intimate with his wife if he knew there were possiblities of a pregnancy happening. 99.9% is NOT 100%
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  • In Response to Re: Divorcing sex from babies:
    Biblio, I totally agree!  I think the biggest problem is how "love" is defined by many.  While love is often accompanied by "warm fuzzier," that is not what love truly means.  Love is a choice, and it is the choice to sacrifice your wants for those of your love.  Even when you might not feel any "chemistry," you can still love your spouse.  People are so willing to quit on a marriage because they don't feel "in love," but I've heard several long-married couples tell stories about how they went into a bit of a funk, where there wasn't much in terms of "fireworks" or romance, but once they worked through it, their love was far better than the love they felt for each other on their wedding day. 
    Posted by Resa77
    My friend's parents have been together for over 30 years and she said that her parents (according to Mom) didn't just have bad days, they had bad YEARS (multiple).

    I think a marriage is a terrible thing to quit (unless there are some extenuating circumstances, like abuse, death threats, etc.) just like a marriage is not something to jump into. Marriage is kind of a sacrifice of yourself for the health of a partnership and too many people dont' realize that today.
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  • elbow23elbow23 member
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    edited April 2013
    In Response to Re: Divorcing sex from babies:
    I wonder if it would be feasible to have "pre-engagement discernement" rather than just pre-cana?  It would be nice to sit down with a priest and make sure there aren't any impediments, and to do the FOCCUS inventory and make sure there's no glaring issues.  Basically, a pre-approval.  And then when you get engaged and go through pre-cana, it's really about preparing you for marriage instead of also being about discernment.
    Posted by Resa77
    I actually did this (albeit by myself, not with FI).  FI has wanted to get married for years, and I had some major hang-ups about whether or not we were compatible.  I knew I loved him, but some of his past actions really bothered me, and I was having a hard time dealing with that.  In desperation, I set up a meeting with the Catholic chaplain at my university, and we had an excellent discussion about what marriage truly entails.  We talked through my hesitations, and he helped me to see that the past is not what matters.  What FI did 7 years before we met does not affect me; rather, has he been a loving, respectful, compassionate partner since we met?  I came to the realization that we had a strong foundation to our relationship, and we were able to communicate and work through any of the problems we faced.  I left the chaplain's office having realized I wanted to spend my life with my FI, and since that day, I have not experienced a moment of doubt.  I am so grateful for that conversation.
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  • In Response to Re: Divorcing sex from babies:
    TBH, society's view is of sex completely bass akwards. There are several things that I disagree with that I've seen come up in discussion (which is why I mostly lurk and stay out of discussions that would be laborous and futile lol) BUT I COMPLETELY agree with you here. Even at 17 when I first had sex with my BF, I knew that babies were a HUGE possibility because, ya know, that's the main reason sex exists! I was on the pill AND we used back up BC just because I knew how much of a realit it was. And I know people who have gotten pregnant while using a variety of contraceptive styles and there was a disconnect, and I was kind of like what did you THINK would happen? To directly respond to the situation in the OP, they are MARRIED and he should not have been intimate with his wife if he knew there were possiblities of a pregnancy happening. 99.9% is NOT 100%
    Posted by sydaries
    This reminds me of in high school when a couple got pregnant. There was a story in the school newspaper about their experience and I still remember this one quote: "We don't know how this happened. It's not like we were praying for it."

    I faceplamed at 17, and I still do it every I remember that quote.
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  • In Response to Re: Divorcing sex from babies:
    In Response to Re: Divorcing sex from babies : This reminds me of in high school when a couple got pregnant. There was a story in the school newspaper about their experience and I still remember this one quote: "We don't know how this happened. It's not like we were praying for it." I faceplamed at 17, and I still do it every I remember that quote.
    Posted by Chloeagh

    If only pregnancy were based on prayers.......
  • In Response to Re: Divorcing sex from babies : This reminds me of in high school when a couple got pregnant. There was a story in the school newspaper about their experience and I still remember this one quote: "We don't know how this happened. It's not like we were praying for it." I faceplamed at 17, and I still do it every I remember that quote.
    Posted by Chloeagh
    oh. my.
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