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Offline ggreg

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Re: Sexless marriages and very small families
« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2019, 10:46:24 AM »
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  • OK I am with the above logic.  Makes sense.

    So what of a marriage where they marry and have no sex and therefore no children.

    Is this a marriage assuming they consumated it on their wedding night?

    Or does it depend on the mutual agreement of the spouses to abstinence?

    Would the Church traditionally speaking simply say to the tricked wife or husband, bad luck suck it up?

    Offline Pax Vobis

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    Re: Sexless marriages and very small families
    « Reply #16 on: January 23, 2019, 10:57:42 AM »
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    1.  ACTUAL - Couple marry have two children, born two years apart, and then stop because the woman does not 'feel' she can deal with more. Women is 31 had children at 25 and 27. The husband is not desirous for a large family either so they call it quits at 2 children and have separate beds.   As I understand it this is morally legitimate
    My opinion is that this agreement wouldn't involve sin, since both parties agreed to abstinence.  However, if one/both can't follow the agreement without sinning, then this situation is immoral, since it's an occassion to sin.  If the abstinence continues between them, though only one sins against impurity in other ways, then both are guilty for the sins committed by the partner.

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    2.  Actual -  The same case as the above, but the couple share their marital bed and engage in foreplay, cuddles, kissing.  The woman does not want sex and the man is prepared to go along with that over a period of years.  He wants children but he is too weak to dominate his wife into having them.   Is this legitimate?
    Marriage was created by God in the garden of eden and he ordered Adam/Eve to "increase and multiply", therefore there is an obligation to have children.  In the above scenario, the woman sins for not providing the marriage debt (in some capacity).  She also sins (internally) if her intent is to avoid children, since she made a vow to get married, which includes children and raising a family.

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    3.  Actual - The same case as 2 above but after 10 years after their wedding the couple has no children.  Husband states that they have never had sex or had sex so rarely (let's say once every 2 years when she thinks she is on a safe period) that there is no procreation.  In this particular case an SSPX priest has been involved and tried to council the wife but to no avail.  Husband appears to think it is his duty to just put up with this and support a wife who refuses to have his children.  I am not sure this is right and since there a no children from this union I would think he had a VERY good cause to apply for and get an annulment.
    Probably not a valid marriage.  If it is, the wife is sinning gravely against her vows, both to her husband and to God, for not having children (or trying).

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    4. Hypothetical - Couple marry young, woman is fertile and has 10 children by the age of 35.  A some point the husband who has a blue collar job is worked ragged providing for them all and just says, "no more".  Since they are not going to abuse NFP the only thing they can do is stop having sex.  However the wife still wants to have sex and is open to having more children and making the triple bunk beds into quadruple bunk beds like a submarine.  At what points can the husband lay down the law and say we HAVE to stop.
    The husband would sin by not fulfilling the marriage debt to his wife.  The husband cannot command that there be no more children; the wife must freely commit and agree to a period of abstinence.


    Offline ggreg

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    Re: Sexless marriages and very small families
    « Reply #17 on: January 23, 2019, 11:00:21 AM »
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  • ggreg,

    I'm surprised you haven't brought up a related issue:

    how often is "too often"?

    After all, Catholic doctrine talks about when the spouses must render the debt, and the expression "reasonable" is thrown in there. But obviously, what is reasonable for one might seem like nymphomania for another. To a large degree, it is completely subjective. I've certainly seen lots of discussion and debate on this point, in pagan, Catholic, and Trad Catholic circles, both online and IRL.

    Where do you draw the line between "healthy, having lots of energy" and "nymphomania"? When, on the grounds of frequency, can the spouse (let's just be realistic here -- usually the WIFE) lawfully reject her husband's advances because he is "unreasonable" about his request? Let's assume they're at home, around bedtime, the kids are asleep, etc. so there are no propriety issues there.

    The Church is quite vague on this topic, and it seems to tie right in to the topic of this thread.

    And I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that this is a more widespread -- and therefore important -- issue than "sexless marriages" per se.
    I've never heard anyone complain about a husband or wife who was a sex maniac in Trad circles.  Such men would tend to get sucked into porn; I would think.  Would be unlikely that a man who could stay away from porn addiction, couldn't be satiated with having sex twice or three times per week.
    The sheer practicalities of raising a family and getting enough shut-eye, washing and shaving make having sex tricky to accomplish more than twice a week.
    This stuff is much talked about as it sells magazine, but I only know one married couple in life and they are not Catholics.  He is a German atheist and she is a Russian Jew.  He is a sex everyday man.  They have been married 18 years.  She disliked it at first but got used to it (so my wife tells me).

    I agree that it is completely subjective.  The issue is that unlike how one brushes my teeth the subjective view of the other person has a material impact on one's emotional state.  It is like money.  How much does a man need to earn before he can backpedal and go fishing for a week?  For some women enough to stock the larder and fill the gas tank.  For others enough to get the children through private school and change her car every 3 years.

    The difference is that the Church has never said that money was elemental to marriage.  It has said that sex is.

    So how much and how little are kinda sort important questions to leave unaddressed.




    Thanks for the above answers Pax Vobis

    Offline ggreg

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    Re: Sexless marriages and very small families
    « Reply #18 on: January 23, 2019, 11:13:35 AM »
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  • Probably not a valid marriage.  If it is, the wife is sinning gravely against her vows, both to her husband and to God, for not having children (or trying).
    The husband would sin by not fulfilling the marriage debt to his wife.  The husband cannot command that there be no more children; the wife must freely commit and agree to a period of abstinence.
    Let's drill down here.
    Does it make a difference to validity whether there is.
    1.  Almost no sex (let's assume on his birthday once per year she gifts him sex as a "present").
    2.  No sex after the honeymoon.  If other words some at the very beginning and then none, like for example she tried sex didn't like it and was completely turned off the idea (I know of this exact example and they are both Trads living in Spain).
    3.  Either of the above but in those 10 years she had 1 child and that is now "enough".
    What ASPECT invalidates the marriage?  If it is just intention then it is present in all of the above examples.

    Offline Matthew

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    Re: Sexless marriages and very small families
    « Reply #19 on: January 23, 2019, 11:13:57 AM »
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  • I agree this is a very relevant issue for so many Trad Catholics. Much more relevant than, say, the current juridical status of Pope Francis.

    It is also more complex (and should I say, "interesting?") than the easy-to-describe and easy-to-comprehend case of the small family of the convert to Tradition. I have mentioned before the classic meme of the Baby Boomer who is a huge volunteer and pillar of the chapel, makes big donations, but:

    * His extended family/kids are never seen at the chapel.
    * He and his wife only have 2 or 3 children - they left childbearing years before finding the Catholic Faith and/or Tradition, so they are "off the hook" so to speak
    * They are therefore materially well off -- nothing they can do about it now
    * They have plenty of time too, since they are well off and/or retired, and don't have many kids or grandkids to occupy them

    I say: those people BETTER volunteer and get out their checkbooks; it's the least they can do to show God their good will. I'll go one further: they should be grateful (rather than condescending) to the large, usually poor, young Trad families around them, who can only manage to donate $20/week to the collection, and little of their free time, because they are busy raising a bunch of little Catholics for the future. Something that (even though they are technically guiltless) THEY THEMSELVES objectively failed to do, to a large degree.

    Don't get me wrong: hooray for these converts. God bless them. Let's face it: what else can they do now? Exactly what they're doing: Volunteer, be generous with all that extra money. But as part of their penance, they should be willing to understand and be charitable to those young families struggling to raise large Catholic families in 2019, which is almost a heroic feat. Even if they had 5 or 6 children back in the day, 2019 is NOT 1980. The dollar has been that much more devalued, inflation has done its thing, and certain things like college and health care have skyrocketed over the past 30 years.

    Someone has to make more Catholics, altar boys, future priests and religious, etc. And that is hard, long, expensive work. Much harder than simply cutting a $2,000 check every month for the collection, I dare say!
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    Offline ggreg

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    Re: Sexless marriages and very small families
    « Reply #20 on: January 23, 2019, 11:18:14 AM »
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    4. Hypothetical - Couple marry young, woman is fertile and has 10 children by the age of 35.  A some point the husband who has a blue collar job is worked ragged providing for them all and just says, "no more".  Since they are not going to abuse NFP the only thing they can do is stop having sex.  However the wife still wants to have sex and is open to having more children and making the triple bunk beds into quadruple bunk beds like a submarine.  At what points can the husband lay down the law and say we HAVE to stop.


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    The husband would sin by not fulfilling the marriage debt to his wife.  The husband cannot command that there be no more children; the wife must freely commit and agree to a period of abstinence.




    Clearly in the example the idea of the wife applying for getting an annulment would be insane.  He clearly had an intention to have children when he married because he had 10.  There is no stipulation that for the marriage to remain valid he has to retain that intention all the way to her menopause.

    Sure, he is sinning, but they are validly married; at least on the basis of intention to procreate.  Would you agree?

    Intention to have children, therefore has to be judged post-facto by the behavior in the first few years of the marriage.   Is this correct ?

    You cannot prove what the intention was before the wedding day or on it.  You only have two witnesses and they are both biased.

    Offline ggreg

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    Re: Sexless marriages and very small families
    « Reply #21 on: January 23, 2019, 11:21:05 AM »
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  • I agree this is a very relevant issue for so many Trad Catholics. Much more relevant than, say, the current juridical status of Pope Francis.

    It is also more complex (and should I say, "interesting?") than the easy-to-describe and easy-to-comprehend case of the small family of the convert to Tradition. I have mentioned before the classic meme of the Baby Boomer who is a huge volunteer and pillar of the chapel, makes big donations, but:

    * His extended family/kids are never seen at the chapel.
    * He and his wife only have 2 or 3 children - they left childbearing years before finding the Catholic Faith and/or Tradition, so they are "off the hook" so to speak
    * They are therefore materially well off -- nothing they can do about it now
    * They have plenty of time too, since they are well off and/or retired, and don't have many kids or grandkids to occupy them

    I say: those people BETTER volunteer and get out their checkbooks. I'll go one further: they should be grateful (rather than condescending) to the large, young Trad families around them, who can only manage to donate $20/week to the collection, and little of their free time, because they are busy raising more Catholics for the future. Something that (even though they are technically guiltless) THEY THEMSELVES objectively failed to do!

    Don't get me wrong: hooray for these converts. God bless them. Let's face it: what else can they do now? Exactly what they're doing: Volunteer, be generous with all that extra money. But as part of their penance, they should be willing to understand and be charitable to those young families struggling to raise large Catholic families in 2019, which is almost a heroic feat. Even if they had 5 or 6 children back in the day, 2019 is NOT 1980. The dollar has been that much more devalued, inflation has done its thing, and certain things like college and health care have skyrocketed over the past 30 years.

    Someone has to make more Catholics, altar boys, future priests and religious, etc. And that is hard, long, expensive work. Much harder than simply cutting a $2,000 check every month for the collection, I dare say!
    You've just described the local head of the Latin Mass Society where I live.
    I read the workers in the vineyard parable and wonder.   :farmer:

    Offline Pax Vobis

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    Re: Sexless marriages and very small families
    « Reply #22 on: January 23, 2019, 11:26:07 AM »
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  • Quote
    Does it make a difference to validity whether there is.
    1.  Almost no sex (let's assume on his birthday once per year she gifts him sex as a "present").
    If the wife doesn't intend to have children, then there would be no marriage.  Even if she intends to have children, in this case she is sinning againt her vow, repeatedly, monthly, yearly, every single time the husband reasonably requests relations.

    How one judges the intent to have children?  I have no idea.  The Church probably rules this is a valid marriage but the wife is a habitual/continual vow-violator.


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    2.  No sex after the honeymoon.  If other words some at the very beginning and then none, like for example she tried sex didn't like it and was completely turned off the idea (I know of this exact example and they are both Trads living in Spain).
    There is still the obligation to have children, which if not attempted violates the vow.  Does this nullify the marriage?  I have no idea, but I would think that it could be annulled if it is proven that the wife is done "trying", especially after only a short time in the attempt.  As above, even if it is valid, she is a repeated/continual vow-violator and is in grave sin.


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    3.  Either of the above but in those 10 years she had 1 child and that is now "enough".
    What ASPECT invalidates the marriage?  If it is just intention then it is present in all of the above examples.
    Valid marriage but the wife lives in a constant state of sin for her lack of providing the marriage debt and (probable) intention to avoid children (without husband's agreement).


    Offline Pax Vobis

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    Re: Sexless marriages and very small families
    « Reply #23 on: January 23, 2019, 11:28:12 AM »
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    Sure, he is sinning, but they are validly married; at least on the basis of intention to procreate.  Would you agree?

    Yes, valid marriage.

    Offline Pax Vobis

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    Re: Sexless marriages and very small families
    « Reply #24 on: January 23, 2019, 11:53:49 AM »
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    I have mentioned before the classic meme of the Baby Boomer who is a huge volunteer but has a small family.  I say: those people BETTER volunteer and get out their checkbooks; it's the least they can do to show God their good will....Someone has to make more Catholics, altar boys, future priests and religious, etc. And that is hard, long, expensive work. Much harder than simply cutting a $2,000 check every month for the collection, I dare say!
    Absolutely agree.  Since you're married, your vocation is to help the Church.  If you didn't have as many children as you could've, then you have more time to help the Church directly (instead of indirectly, through children).  Everyone has to make amends for their past sins.  You either do that here or in purgatory. 
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    Once you marry and find you have made a mistake you are in for a world of hurt.  So how does one avoid mistakes?
    This is related to the above.  You have to view marriage as a calling, as a vocation as a true path from God, ESPECIALLY when it comes to who you choose to marry.  My gut tells me that most who marry have a marriage vocation but some marry the wrong person (or not the best person) because they are too impatient and don't let God guide their life sufficiently.  Since we have free will, God allows us to choose our partner but if we let Him decide, it will be the best decision.  I SUPREMELY doubt that one would have these type of problems if they allowed God to choose their spouse.  More than likely, such situations arise because people used worldly wisdom to choose a spouse instead of Divine wisdom, prayer and penance.  God can see the future; we cannot.

    Offline ggreg

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    Re: Sexless marriages and very small families
    « Reply #25 on: January 23, 2019, 12:09:29 PM »
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  • How does God choose a spouse?

    It appears to me that one can pray to God, listen, consult, think consider, but in the end one decides to pop the question and ultimately chooses.  Does one flip a coin and let God decide whether heads means you leave and tails means you pop the question?  Or if she turns up wearing make-up you will take that as a sign from God that she is not the woman for you?  These things would be pure superstition.  How then does God communicate His choice for you.

    If all goes well in you marriage you might consider that God chose for you.  But you don't have a note or any evidence to that effect, unless you heard a voice.  It is purely a faith that God guided you.  If it goes terribly, the sort of person who thinks God guided them usually does not come to the conclusion that God got it wrong.  Since that is impossible.

    The process of thinking about it in a rational way and being considerate of other factors than say beauty or youth or her outward piousness, might, I agree, be a sober and mature way to make a better decision about who to marry, (which is a good reason to involve God in the choice) but I can't see how God's actual input can ever be tested, other than if the marriage goes bad then clearly it "wasn't God's choice" or you didn't listen hard enough.  'God' in a sense is a loose approximation to 'fate'.

    I've never really got this 'listen to God" thing myself.  I've been a Catholic for 50 years and never heard so much as peep back when I have prayed.  I'd like to.  I think it would be really exciting to hear voices from the other side.  I know lots of people who claim they have.  But I think they probably imagined it or told themselves they heard something.  After all plenty of people have seen UFOs too.


    Offline Matthew

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    Re: Sexless marriages and very small families
    « Reply #26 on: January 23, 2019, 12:11:34 PM »
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  • My gut tells me that most who marry have a marriage vocation but some marry the wrong person (or not the best person) because they are too impatient and don't let God guide their life sufficiently.  Since we have free will, God allows us to choose our partner but if we let Him decide, it will be the best decision.  I SUPREMELY doubt that one would have these type of problems if they allowed God to choose their spouse.  More than likely, such situations arise because people used worldly wisdom to choose a spouse instead of Divine wisdom, prayer and penance.  God can see the future; we cannot.

    This is my feeling as well.

    People use too many worldly criteria in choosing their spouse -- if not outright "thinking with the wrong head". Marrying a non-Catholic (or shallow Novus Ordo Catholic) is certainly an example of the latter. There is nothing of "reason" or "prudence" in yoking yourself to an unbeliever.
    You can see if your future spouse is able to give of himself. Do they possess any degree of mortification? Are they selfish, or able to do things for a higher cause? You might choose to ignore this or that action or trait you observe...but you do so at your own peril.
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    Offline Pax Vobis

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    Re: Sexless marriages and very small families
    « Reply #27 on: January 23, 2019, 12:13:05 PM »
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  • If we're sharing stories, I know of a Trad married couple who separated (let's all pray they reconcile) due to one of spouses calling the other a heretic related to flat earth.  I also know of a Trad couple who was dating but it fell apart because the woman said she didn't like the word "submit" and couldn't agree with St Paul.  ...it's a crazy, crazy world out there and it's not getting any saner.  Just because they are "Trad" doesn't mean much anymore, from a philosophical standpoint.  For anyone that is in the dating world - don't. assume. ANYTHING.  Talk about ALL topics.  And pray your heart out to God for mercy and wisdom.

    Offline Matthew

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    Re: Sexless marriages and very small families
    « Reply #28 on: January 23, 2019, 12:15:37 PM »
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  • How does God choose a spouse?

    It appears to me that one can pray to God, listen, consult, think consider, but in the end one decides to pop the question and ultimately chooses.

    If all goes well you might consider that God chose for you.  But you don't have a note or any evidence to that effect.  It is purely a faith that God guided you.  If it goes terribly, the sort of person who thinks God guided them usually does not come to the conclusion that God got it wrong.

    The process of thinking about it in a rational way and being considerate of other factors than say beauty or youth or her outward piousness, might, I agree, be a sober and mature way to make a better decision about who to marry, but I can't see how God's actual input can ever be tested, other than if the marriage goes bad then clearly it "wasn't God's choice" or you didn't listen hard enough.

    I've never really got this 'listen to God" thing myself.  I've been a Catholic for 50 years and never heard so much as peep back when I have prayed.  I'd like to.  I think it would be really exciting to hear voices from the other side.
    God's call or presence in our lives is not in the thunder of Mt. Sinai, but in the quiet of our heart -- if we ever let it be quiet.
    Seeing God's will is more about being objective and using reason than "going with your heart". God =/= emotion
    I have some personal stories that really show God's guidance in my life, and in hindsight you can really see His providence.

    I kind of understand what you're saying, but your post above sounds like the words of an unbeliever.

    This is not about doing your due diligence, putting God first, and then end up being wrong and blaming God. If you have *moral certitude* that your spouse is a good Catholic, you will probably be fine. 

    With most failed marriages, there were clear signs that could have -- and should have -- been outed much earlier, had the couple seriously talked with each other instead of "dating" in a superficial manner. And like you yourself said: be a wise man. Follow the wise sayings. "Look at her family" and what not. If you do those things, you will likely be OK.

    You have to do your best, and then trust in God for the rest (including the outcome and final results).

    But doing your best needs to be a good faith effort, and only YOU know if you're putting in 100% effort on that...or letting a few things slip because "she's so darn hot".
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    Offline ggreg

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    Re: Sexless marriages and very small families
    « Reply #29 on: January 23, 2019, 12:20:53 PM »
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  • That's fair enough.  A good explanation.  The best I have ever heard.

    So basically it is a sort of being brutally honest with yourself process and asking yourself "What would God think about this?"

    Because you know that God knows your bad and good, dirty and clean motivations as well or better than you know them yourself.

    Am I dating this woman because she is hot and flatters my ego or is she really a good Catholic?

    That is what my father did and he has 104 offspring and clocking them up at 6 per year.

     

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