Author Topic: Looking for some advice. Warning: I ask about marital relations.  (Read 1131 times)

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Offline ConfusedRC

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Looking for some advice. Warning: I ask about marital relations.
« on: November 02, 2015, 01:48:16 AM »
Hello everyone,

Even though I have not converted (due to spousal objections), I do consider myself to be more Orthodox instead of RC, so I was hoping to ask for some guidance.

My wife and I have had two children in the three years that we have been married. The first pregnancy was very hard on her as she had a myoma (a substance that steals nutrients from the baby). So, she was not allowed to move around much during the first pregnancy. After she gave birth to our first child, we got pregnant again five months later. At this time, my wife and I kind of agree that it would be difficult for her if she were to get pregnant again.

I'm not a man that needs a lot of intercourse, but my wife does. I would rather refrain from having intercourse with my wife so that she does not get pregnant, but my wife wants me to use a condom. I agreed to it one time, but I hated it because, as an RC, we feel that this is very sinful.

My wife is now pushing me to use it again and I don't want to. I'm caught between a rock and a hard place: I obviously don't want to offend God, but I don't want to jeopardize my marriage. Even though my wife has objected to my conversion (she is coming around though) and she demands that I use a condom, she is a good woman. I'm not just making excuses for her; I love her very much and I want to remain married to her.

Please give me any advice that you can.
I am no longer a "confused Roman Catholic" as I joined the Orthodox Church in April 2016.

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Looking for some advice. Warning: I ask about marital relations.
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2015, 05:30:44 AM »
Even though you are apparently not yet a member of the Orthodox Church, do you have an Orthodox priest to whom you can talk about these personal matters? If you do, the best advice I can offer you is to seek his counsel.
Not all who wander are lost.

Offline ConfusedRC

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Re: Looking for some advice. Warning: I ask about marital relations.
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2015, 06:44:19 AM »
Unfortunately, there are no Orthodox priests in Hanoi, Vietnam that I know of.
I am no longer a "confused Roman Catholic" as I joined the Orthodox Church in April 2016.

Offline Bryan Paul

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Re: Looking for some advice. Warning: I ask about marital relations.
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2015, 10:55:48 AM »
In my very limited experience, I have found that Orthodoxy tends toward Oikonomia in these matters.
I have always found the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom to be so much more moving in the original Ukrainian.

Offline FatherGiryus

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Re: Looking for some advice. Warning: I ask about marital relations.
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2015, 11:21:00 AM »
Based on several lecturers/experts I've trained under in my priestly formation*, I would say that condoms are definitely OK in your case.  Just for clarity, I'll take you through the 'steps.'

1) The Church does condemn all abortifacients, whether used to directly terminate a pregnancy or as 'birth control.'  Condoms are no such thing.

2) Since there are medical issues, and pregnancy is not advised, the use of birth control is not unreasonable.

3) As you have already had several children, you have already demonstrated the Christian understanding of Marriage and have formed a household.

4) The Church does not mandate how many kids you should have, though it does preclude Marriage where either husband or wife (or both) do not intend to have any children.

5) Sexual relations are not merely about reproduction, but are an important part of physical, emotion, and spiritual bonding.  So, you should work to please one another, both in this regard and elsewhere.

Don't mess with 'birth control' pills... they mess with a woman's body and can lead to complications. 

If you have any questions, you can PM me if you'd like.

BTW, it would be GREAT to have a Vietnamese Orthodox Church!

 
* - this is not an 'official' pronouncement, just my experience.
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Offline IXOYE

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Re: Looking for some advice. Warning: I ask about marital relations.
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2015, 12:17:29 PM »
Based on several lecturers/experts I've trained under in my priestly formation*, I would say that condoms are definitely OK in your case.  Just for clarity, I'll take you through the 'steps.'

1) The Church does condemn all abortifacients, whether used to directly terminate a pregnancy or as 'birth control.'  Condoms are no such thing.

2) Since there are medical issues, and pregnancy is not advised, the use of birth control is not unreasonable.

3) As you have already had several children, you have already demonstrated the Christian understanding of Marriage and have formed a household.

4) The Church does not mandate how many kids you should have, though it does preclude Marriage where either husband or wife (or both) do not intend to have any children.

5) Sexual relations are not merely about reproduction, but are an important part of physical, emotion, and spiritual bonding.  So, you should work to please one another, both in this regard and elsewhere.

Don't mess with 'birth control' pills... they mess with a woman's body and can lead to complications. 

If you have any questions, you can PM me if you'd like.

BTW, it would be GREAT to have a Vietnamese Orthodox Church!

 
* - this is not an 'official' pronouncement, just my experience.


They can - Big Time.

Online Luke

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Re: Looking for some advice. Warning: I ask about marital relations.
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2015, 12:21:09 PM »
I agree with Fr. Giryus, plus there is the saying to treat others like you would want them to treat you.  If you had a lot of problems with a pregnancy, would you not want to have your spouse's  help?
« Last Edit: November 02, 2015, 12:21:41 PM by Gamliel »

Offline ConfusedRC

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Re: Looking for some advice. Warning: I ask about marital relations.
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2015, 12:34:35 PM »
Based on several lecturers/experts I've trained under in my priestly formation*, I would say that condoms are definitely OK in your case.  Just for clarity, I'll take you through the 'steps.'

1) The Church does condemn all abortifacients, whether used to directly terminate a pregnancy or as 'birth control.'  Condoms are no such thing.

2) Since there are medical issues, and pregnancy is not advised, the use of birth control is not unreasonable.

3) As you have already had several children, you have already demonstrated the Christian understanding of Marriage and have formed a household.

4) The Church does not mandate how many kids you should have, though it does preclude Marriage where either husband or wife (or both) do not intend to have any children.

5) Sexual relations are not merely about reproduction, but are an important part of physical, emotion, and spiritual bonding.  So, you should work to please one another, both in this regard and elsewhere.

Don't mess with 'birth control' pills... they mess with a woman's body and can lead to complications. 

If you have any questions, you can PM me if you'd like.

BTW, it would be GREAT to have a Vietnamese Orthodox Church!

 
* - this is not an 'official' pronouncement, just my experience.


Father, I cannot thank you enough for this! I will be sending you a PM.
I am no longer a "confused Roman Catholic" as I joined the Orthodox Church in April 2016.

Offline JoeS2

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Re: Looking for some advice. Warning: I ask about marital relations.
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2015, 11:20:32 PM »
Based on several lecturers/experts I've trained under in my priestly formation*, I would say that condoms are definitely OK in your case.  Just for clarity, I'll take you through the 'steps.'

1) The Church does condemn all abortifacients, whether used to directly terminate a pregnancy or as 'birth control.'  Condoms are no such thing.

2) Since there are medical issues, and pregnancy is not advised, the use of birth control is not unreasonable.

3) As you have already had several children, you have already demonstrated the Christian understanding of Marriage and have formed a household.

4) The Church does not mandate how many kids you should have, though it does preclude Marriage where either husband or wife (or both) do not intend to have any children.

5) Sexual relations are not merely about reproduction, but are an important part of physical, emotion, and spiritual bonding.  So, you should work to please one another, both in this regard and elsewhere.

Don't mess with 'birth control' pills... they mess with a woman's body and can lead to complications. 

If you have any questions, you can PM me if you'd like.

BTW, it would be GREAT to have a Vietnamese Orthodox Church!

 
* - this is not an 'official' pronouncement, just my experience.


Agreed, condoms are not an abortificient, but a road block for our little guys.
The 'pill after' can be considered such however.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2015, 11:22:10 PM by JoeS2 »

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Looking for some advice. Warning: I ask about marital relations.
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2015, 02:01:14 PM »
They can - Big Time.
For some women. For others, it actually helps their bodies. The same goes with many useful drugs, etc. We can't make blanket statements.

And Fr. Giryus thank you for the post.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2015, 02:04:22 PM by NicholasMyra »
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son
...you can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.

Offline Bryan Paul

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Re: Looking for some advice. Warning: I ask about marital relations.
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2015, 04:49:07 PM »
Hello everyone,

Even though I have not converted (due to spousal objections), I do consider myself to be more Orthodox instead of RC, . . .
I keep thinking about this. (Yes, I need a hobby.)
If you haven't been received into the Orthodox Church, then you're really still a Roman Catholic, and should follow their rules. If you no longer believe their rules are valid, you should figure out a way to enter the Orthodox Church. Any advice you follow other than this is asking you to live a lie.
I have always found the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom to be so much more moving in the original Ukrainian.

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Looking for some advice. Warning: I ask about marital relations.
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2015, 11:55:50 PM »
Hello everyone,

Even though I have not converted (due to spousal objections), I do consider myself to be more Orthodox instead of RC, . . .
I keep thinking about this. (Yes, I need a hobby.)
If you haven't been received into the Orthodox Church, then you're really still a Roman Catholic, and should follow their rules. If you no longer believe their rules are valid, you should figure out a way to enter the Orthodox Church. Any advice you follow other than this is asking you to live a lie.
I disagree. I am in a similar situation in regards to the conversion issue. I have not been chrismated due to opposition from my wife, but I consider myself to be Orthodox and strive to live in accordance with the teachings of the Church. I am not able to participate in the sacraments of the Church, but that doesn't mean that I should just go follow the rules of my prior religious affiliation. Not everyone is in a position to join the Church, but we do as much as we can.
God bless!