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Husband doesn’t want more children

26 August, 2020

Question:

I am writing as I am extremely bothered and don’t know who to talk to. I am upset that my husband doesn’t want more children. We have a son and daughter who are 8 and 10. As far as my husband is concerned we have fulfilled our halachik obligation of having one of each. He said he can’t face going through the baby stage again and is quite happy now our children are older.

Do I need to get a heter from a Rabbi to stay on the pill? My husband really doesn’t want to ask for a heter. I think it’s because he’s afraid the Rabbi will say no.

I feel our intimacy is very poor. If I accidentally miss a pill, he’s not interested. He’s so against having more children. I’m 36, and the older I get the more sad I feel about this. Do I really have to keep taking the contraceptive pill until menopause? Is it wrong of me to try change my husband’s mind? Should I just be grateful that we have 2 healthy and beautiful children?


Answer:

It is important for both spouses to be on the same page about issues as important as family size. While your husband is adamant about not having more children, this is a decision that the two of you must come to together. It is not wrong of you to want more children, or for you to try to change his mind. However, it is unclear whether this factor alone is causing stress in your intimate life, or if there are other issues in your marriage as well. Therefore, we highly recommend seeking professional help to work through these issues. Even if your husband is still insistent on not having any more children, marital counseling can help you make peace with that decision, and can enable you to work on issues causing tension in your marriage.

From a halachic perspective, since you have a son and a daughter, you have fulfilled the Torah commandment of Pru U’rvu. While there is a rabbinic commandment to continue having children, given the shalom bayit issues involved, you may use birth control indefinitely.

However, even if you and your husband ultimately agree not to have more children, you do not have to be on the pill until menopause. There are other non-hormonal long-term methods of contraception (such as the IUD or the diaphragm with spermicide), which can be discussed with your doctor.

Please feel free to get back to us with any further questions.

B’Hatzlacha!


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