I’m hoping I phrase this all correctly, please bear with me
I am getting married in September. Both my fiance and I are Catholic, and virgins. Although we both desperately want to have children, we have just reason to avoid pregnancy, for at least the first year of our marriage - namely my health, but I also do not believe a pregnancy/baby would be safe where we will be living. I’ve been saying many St. Joseph novenas that the living situation will change and we will be able to start a family sooner than expected! For various reasons, understood by both our pastors and supported, it is best that we marry now, and not wait any longer, so please do not suggest that option And I want to make clear that if an unexpected/planned pregnancy does occur, we would rejoice. I would probably start up my panic attacks again, but be estatic all the while
We are both in agreement as to the evils, both to our souls and my body, of hormonal contraception. The pill/patch/shot is completely out of the question. We have considered condoms, but both of us find the idea kind of icky. We want to feel each other after all this waiting, not a piece of rubber!
We WANT to use NFP. We understand the science behind it. We know it is the most effective method, and the safest, health wise. My husband to be is very good at controlling himself, and is willing to go along with whatever I decide is best. I’m the problem here, and I can’t seem to stop having these thought processes, no matter how much I read on the matter, or learn (and I have read quite a deal, been taught (Creighton), charted, etc.
My problem is twofold, and I was wondering if any of you ladies have experienced the same thing, and if you have, how you overcame/dealt with it? Prayers to Mary and various saints for the past several years have not seemed to help
1 NFP teaches not to reduce the woman to just a body, to be used for the husband’s pleasure. However, and maybe this will change once I’m married and actually having sex, I am not very interested when I am not fertile. I feel like it would be reducing me just to a body for my husband’s pleasure and release, and I would not enjoy it, if we only make love when I am not physically into it. I’m sure I would like it on one level, because I adore him, and want to please him, but I am worried about the long-term affects - I am a pessimist, I admit, but I look into the future and feel like an object and am concerned I would grow to resent sex and my husband. Orthodox family members have told me that the Orthodox church (which my family belonged to until my mother’s generation, when they converted to the RCC because the church was at the end of the street) believes that condoms are acceptable within the confines of a happy loving marriage for a just reason. I don’t know if this is true, and I am baptized RCC, so it doesn’t really matter…but I do admit it is very tempting.
2 The arguement that NFP is the most effective form, yet totally open to God’s will, and that if God wishes a child to be conceived, he will make fertility occur when it shouldn’t be possible…this kind of makes my brain want to explode. I understand the objection to condoms based on the barrier aspect - someone once described it as putting on armor to go to war, when we should be making love, and I thought that was so perfect - but if God can make sperm viable/eggs release at an unexpected time/complicated hormones come into balance at exactly the right time, why can’t He poke a hole in a piece of latex if a child is meant to come into this world? I realize I probably sound silly, but I can’t shake this problem. All things are possible with God, but His will can be defeated by a condom? How do I get this “plus” of NFP out of my head?
As I said, we’re Catholic, and wish to live in accordance with church teachings. We want to start our marriage right, and have struggled to be correct so far. Even though I am going through something of a crisis of faith, I am adamant about continuing with the sacraments and prayer so that I do not wander away as I have seen others do. I am worried (I should mention that I have been told by my priest that I have a problem with scrupulousity, but then I worry he’s wrong and I’m still sinning, which of course is a sin, and then I wind up convinced I’m already going to hell and so we might as well use condoms along with NFP, because I also don’t trust myself :shrug:
If nothing else, could I humbly ask for your prayers on this matter? I have lurked for awhile, and you all seem so devout and holy and strong and confident. I know I am weak, and cannot do this by myself, and feel that when I ask for myself, no one is listening