The Marital Debt | Dilexi decorem domus Domini

the Marital Debt Posted on May 23, 2019 by Father Jerabek

One very traditional (and important) Church teaching that has all but disappeared from Catholic consciousness in recent decades is that of “the marital debt”, also known as “the conjugal debt”. This teaching has to do with the obligation that spouses have to acquiesce to the marital act when it is reasonably requested by the other spouse. I suppose movies and TV shows typically depict this as one-sided: the husband wants intimacy but the wife “has a headache” and declines the request. But in real life it probably goes both ways, with husbands sometimes refusing also. Indeed, it would seem that one of the problems afflicting some married couples in our very workaday and confused world at present is that of the “sexless marriage” — not because the couple is at odds with each other, but because they are just so busy and preoccupied with other pursuits.

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