Julia, My heart and prayers go out to you in your difficult situation. Your marriage is a sacred covenant and the Church, in its love and support, wants it to be the best it can be. The sexual act in marriage is God’s gift to you and your marriage relationship and is designed to increase your unity and love for each other. The church teaches that sex in marriage needs to be both unitive and procreative (meaning open to life) to be holy.
By using a contraceptive you are not giving yourself completely to your husband. Your fertility, and his, is being disrespected. There are many benefits to NFP that will help you have a much deeper and more intimate relationship with your husband.
Unfortunately from the churches point of view your husband’s attitude toward sex is harming your relationship and keeping it from being a holy and life giving act that will help you build a more solid marriage.
Marriage is very difficult and we need all the help we can get.
The bible charges wives to respect their husband. Giving unconditional respect to your husband weather he deserves it our not, is your most important duty as a Christian wife (in my understanding from a biblical prespective).
A man who feels unconditionally respected will serve his wife and die for her protection. Men have a built in and overriding need for respect. Giving your husband the respect he needs will most likely bring the greatest unity to your marriage and open his heart to God.
I suggest you present him with theology of the body and or the NFP information and let him know how much you respect him and that your will respect the decision he makes.
The chief sin of contraception is, not being open to life. I hope I don’t ruffle too many Catholic feathers but I would like to suggest that you can still be open to life while you use a contraceptive.
If you let your husband know that you would like to remain open to life, weather or not you are ready for children, and that you want give yourself completely to him (fertility and all), than I believe you are living out what the church teaches.
If your husband turns down that gift (your complete self) and ask you to use contraception, than that is his choice (sin). In this case not respecting your husband and allowing for the unitive aspect of your sexual relationship would IMO be the sin.
This assumes you are OK with to accept the health risks of a contraceptive.
In order to remain open to life you would not just give in and just use contraceptives but would need to re-address this issue on a regular basis. This is my opinion gained from working with priest in discussing this type of matter to engaged couples, but I would suggest you check with your priest to confirm.
I believe letting your marriage die by not engaging in its greatest gift would be a much greater sin than not having that gift be a complete and free gift.
It is also important that this gift be a true act of love toward each other, other than the using of each other which is a common attitude generated by those who contracept.
I will pray for God to bless your marriage and bring it greater intimacy and love.
Peace in Christ,