Another NFP & procreation ? with another twist

Looking at all of the recent NFP threads, a question has come to mind. So far, all the arguments I have seen are that marriage is for procreation (primarily) and NFP can’t be used as a contraceptive (having sex in the infertile times without the “possibility” of having a child). However, discussions with some close male friends over time have traversed to how some men just simply lose the sexual “urge”, to put it bluntly. So this leads to my question.

I’ll try to phrase it clearly, but please forgive me if I don’t. So the scenario is this: A couple marry at a somewhat young age (30ish), and the man, for example, has a quick and drastic decrease in his sexual drive within a year or so after they are married. This event could be due to hormone changes or even psychological disturbances. Due to his drop in sexual drive, the couple rarely has marital relations, but on the occasion that this drive “returns” it would happen in the infertile time. What would be the moral responsibility of the man/couple? Would the couple need to make an attempt to have children even if the man does not find the proper “stimulation”? Should the man take medication to cause him to come to this point?
Or, should the couple fulfill other purposes of marriage (eg, leading one another to salvation, being helpmates, etc) and wait to see if the sexual drive would “return” even though it may never be within the childbearing years?

I understand that a definitive answer may not be totally possible at this time, but I would be curious of the counsel of others. I also realize that this situation may be extremely random, but I’m sure it may happen.

My answer is this:

Think about the days before NFP. Do you really think anyone really worried about it? If a couple got married and only had relations when the mood hit (i.e. both man and woman were “ready”) and they didn’t bear any children, perhaps they would have brought this to the Lord? Maybe they would adopt? It wouldn’t have been a matter of forcing sexual relations during the fertile time just in order to bear a child. That in and of itself is going against the true intent for marital love because you should never have relations “just to have a child”. It shouldn’t be used as a means to an end. I really believe that the idea of NFP has really brought a lot of unnecessary “what if’s” to the table.

NFP is good, but it can also be used incorrectly, it’s not fool proof.

Gallo,

Based on this statement, you do not understand NFP.

NFP give you information about whether you are fertile or not. If you have a reason to abstain during the fertile time, you can do so and have relations during the infertile time. This is not contraception-- each act of relations is completely unaltered, therefore it is procreative.

The scenario you present has no moral issue-- the sexual relations are not altered in any way. Does a couple have to actively try to have children? No. No one has to use NFP or track their cycle at all. The couple can have sex or refrain from sex whenever they want based on physiological, emotional, psychological, etc, reasons.

The context was a stance of how NFP is often viewed as discussed in several of the threads I have been reading. The comment was just to state an example of the direction of the threads in order to introduce what lead to my scenario/question.

I understand the principles of NFP as my wife and I have been studying it before we were even engaged and have been using it within our marriage not just to postpone a pregnancy, but also to know when we were able to conceive. However, this conception ended in a miscarriage so we will continue to not only watch the fertility signs by using the NFP summary, but also her hormone levels, etc.

The scenario you present has no moral issue-- the sexual relations are not altered in any way. Does a couple have to actively try to have children? No. No one has to use NFP or track their cycle at all. The couple can have sex or refrain from sex whenever they want based on physiological, emotional, psychological, etc, reasons.

Thank you for your comments regarding my questions. I will ponder on these a while.
My purpose is to further understand moral responsibilities, and in this case the context is marriage & sexuality. It was mostly stirred by another thread in which an apologist posted along with some posts by members in other threads. That’s all.

Link to apologist’s comments:
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=88417

Quote from what apologist typed:

Although love in marriage is very important, the purpose of marriage is to begin a family and those who are not in a position to do so should not be engaged in courtship.

Sexuality within marriage is a requirement… in that the Sacrament requires the marriage to be consummated. Therefore, impotence (prior to marriage) is a problem because the Sacrament could not be consummated.
However, sometimes impotence can happen years into a marriage. Sexuality is a gift for both spouses… so if one spouse has a medical issue that can frustrate the other, it’s important that the couple works together to deal with the situation… whether it be medication, mutual acceptance of abstinence, etc. Correcting the problem (medically) isn’t a requirement because the Sacrament is already valid… but it could be an issue within the marriage that has to be addressed.

Bearing children within marriage is not a requirement of the Sacrament… hence why infertile couples can marry… they are still able to consummate their marriage. Addressing the infertility isn’t a requirement either (again, that may be a couple’s choice, but not a requirement)…

Under normal marital circumstances… since sexuality is a requirement of the Sacrament of Marriage… children will then follow.
So I believe that’s where the apologist’s comment is coming from… if you’re not in a position to begin a family (result of consummating the marriage) then marriage should not be sought.

Hope that helps!

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.