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That there is a marital debt to be paid
As the slave is in the power of his master, so is one spouse in the power of the other (1 Cor. 7:4). But a slave is bound by an obligation of precept to pay his master the debt of his service according to Rom. 13:7, Render … to all men their dues, tribute to whom tribute is due, etc. Therefore husband and wife are mutually bound to the payment of the marriage debt.
-very first commandment in the bible “go, be fruitful and multiply”
Whether the Husband is bound to pay the debt even if his wife does not ask for it?
I answer that, The debt may be demanded in two ways. First, explicitly, as when they ask one another by words; secondly, implicitly, when namely the husband knows by certain signs that the wife would wish him to pay the debt, but is silent through shame. And so even though she does not ask for the debt explicitly in words, the husband is bound to pay it, whenever his wife shows signs of wishing him to do so.
WHETHER HUSBAND AND WIFE ARE EQUAL IN THE MARRIAGE ACT?
I answer that, Equality is twofold, of quantity and of proportion. Equality of quantity is that which is observed between two quantities of the same measure, for instance a thing two cubits long and another two cubits in length. But equality of proportion is that which is observed between two proportions of the same kind as double to double. Accordingly, speaking of the first equality, husband and wife are not equal in marriage; neither as regards the marriage act, wherein the more noble part is due to the husband, nor as regards the household management, wherein the wife is ruled and the husband rules. But with reference to the second kind of equality, they are equal in both matters, because just as in both the marriage act and in the management of the household the husband is bound to the wife in all things pertaining to the husband, so is the wife bound to the husband in all things pertaining to the wife. It is in this sense that it is stated in the text (iv. Sent. D. 32) that they are equal in paying and demanding the debt.
WHETHER HUSBAND AND WIFE CAN TAKE A VOW CONTRARY TO THE MARRIAGE DEBT WITHOUT THEIR MUTUAL CONSENT?
I answer that, no.
WHETHER IT IS FORBIDDEN TO DEMAND THE DEBT ON HOLY DAYS?
I answer that, Although the marriage act is void of sin, nevertheless since it oppresses the reason on account of the carnal pleasure, it renders man unfit for spiritual things. Therefore, on those days when one ought especially to give one’s time to spiritual things, it is not lawful to ask for the debt.
WHETHER IT IS A MORTAL SIN TO ASK FOR THE DEBT AT A HOLY TIME?
I answer that, To ask for the debt on a feast day is not a circumstance drawing a sin into another species; wherefore it cannot aggravate infinitely. Consequently a wife or husband does not sin mortally by asking for the debt on a feast day. It is however a more grievous sin to ask for the sake of mere pleasure, than through fear of the weakness of the flesh.
WHETHER ONE SPOUSE IS BOUND TO PAY THE DEBT TO THE OTHER AT A FESTAL TIME?
I answer that, Since the wife has power of her husband’s body, and vice versa, with regard to the act of procreation, the one is bound to pay the debt to the other, at any season or hour, with due regard to the decorum required in such matters, for this must not be done at once openly.
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