Then said Elkanah her husband to her, Hannah, why weepest thou? and why eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved? am not I better to thee than ten sons? (I Samuel 1:8)
I wonder if every mother who has ever read the above verse laughed a little on the inside and thought, "No."
Before you say I must not love my husband very much, consider this: Which mother would ever choose one of her own children over ten of them? So if even Elkanah's own mother, who loved him like only a mother can, would not have chosen him over ten other of her children, I think it's safe to assume that Hannah didn't feel that way, either. And chances are, the same is true for any wife anywhere, at any time in history.
Birth control destroys marriages on many levels. There are detrimental physical effects such as decreased desire and altering women's perception of what they want in a man (until they get off the artificial hormones and discover they can't stand the guy any longer). There are spiritual effects such as reinforcing selfishness and showing a lack of faith in God's provision, both of which are critical components of a failed marriage. There are the unspoken insults to the other spouse and children - I don't want your kids, I don't want any more of you. There is even the very practical aspect that when there are no children in the home, it is far easier and more likely for one spouse to commit adultery. I am not saying it is right, I am just saying statistics show us these are all factors contributing to the downfall of marriage.
Yet, every single day, men are staking their marriage on the wrong assumption that their wife would rather have them than children. I say "men" because in virtually all cases where couples intentionally prevent having children, the driving force behind that decision is the man, or at the very least he is failing to win over his wife to where she would desire children. Virtually all women, especially Christians who love the Lord and trust in his provision, would want nothing more than children if they felt supported and appreciated, and felt that the children were a great source of joy to her husband. If your wife does not want a baby, you have failed to make her feel safe, loved, and supported. She doesn't want children because she doesn't want more of YOU. She doesn't want to hear you gripe more about the finances, or how the kids are a burden, or how you wish you could do XYZ instead. Nobody wants to have kids with a selfish whiner who is a spiritual weakling.
It is no coincidence that permanent birth control measures are virtually always pushed and performed during pregnancy or birth - when people are least likely to want another child. Because newsflash - nobody wants to think about running another marathon while they are already in a race (or just finished one). Nobody wants to think of the next meal when they are still stuffed from the last. Nobody wants another baby right after giving birth. But give it some time, and as the baby grows older, those desires will wake once more, and get stronger and stronger as time goes by.
So men, before you do something permanent like getting a vasectomy or pushing your wife into a tubal ligation, please consider that sooner or later, your wife will come to the painful realization that she would like to have more children, even if you don't. And when she does, she might decide to leave you and try for more children with another man. You certainly wouldn't be the first man to have this happen to you. I have seen this play out in my circle of (Christian!) friends and acquaintances many times.
Even if your wife doesn't leave you for the express purpose of seeking children elsewhere (and she shouldn't), she is likely to harbor complete disappointment in and resentment toward you, neither of which make fertile ground for a long and happy marriage. Just check Google for the sad stories of wives whose husbands are taking from them the one thing every normal woman wants more than anything else, and you can see how this strain may eventually lead to the destruction of their marriage.
There are three things that are never satisfied, yea, four things say not, It is enough: The grave; and the barren womb; the earth that is not filled with water; and the fire that saith not, It is enough. (Proverbs 30:15, 16)
A harsh truth? Yes. Let the scoffers scoff, and let those who have not yet made these mistakes learn and beware. Can children be a burden on marriage? To the selfish, yes. To those who are not Christians and know nothing of the provision of God, yes. But to the children of God, there is no greater blessing this side of heaven than having kids. Depriving your spouse of God's greatest blessing will severely undermine if not destroy your marriage.
On the flipside, rest assured that nothing will ever make your wife love you more than giving her the children she wants, supporting the family (financially and otherwise), making the necessary sacrifices without grudging, and building her up when she is at the end of her rope.