"Catholic" SIL asking for help on NFP


I got a call from my SIL, the one who recently reverted back to Catholicism. She took one of my NFP books with her the last time she came over to visit DH. Well, last night she calls me and asks me if I can teach her the method. :mad:

THe last time she came to our house, I convinced her that ABC was completely wrong, that all of them were abortifacients and that the CC is 100% against it. And I also mentioned that pre-marital relations were frowned upon just as in the Jehovah’s WItness “religion”. So she got off ABC and now is asking me to help her learn NFP.

There are various things that actually impede me from wanting to help her.

  1. She’s not married
  2. She’s dating a Catholic married man (who’s only married civilly)
  3. She already has 1 child out of wedlock
  4. She mocks the CC’s doctrine on morality

Another thing she said is that her “b/f” is “pulling out” so she won’t get pregnant. For God’s sake, I don’t want to hear these things!!! Especially the details! Since she’s seen I haven’t gotten pregnant with NFP, she can see it’s a safe method, but she’s looking at it as a contraceptive method instead of what it really is. The only reason DH and I are avoiding pregnancy is because we’re having marital problems and finances are very bad at the moment, my job isn’t stable any more… among a few more things.

She thinks we’re using this to avoid getting pregnant and that’s it. She doesn’t get the unitive part of it, she doesn’t get the abstinence sacrifice… she doesn’t get any of it and now she’s expecting me to teach her! :mad:

I would be committing a sin aside from the fact that I would help her sin!!! :eek: I don’t know why she expects me to help her out with her sex life. I was more open about things before I got so serious about my religion. How can I tell her I cannot teach her? She already has my book with her, isn’t that enough? It’s pretty self-explanatory. I don’t want to help anyone kill any babies or sell their souls to the devil.

What am I to do? How can I handle this situation? She’s invited herself over to our house and always says she’ll bring that man to my house (which she hasn’t yet). I already told DH I wouldn’t want that man in my house. As long as he is married to another woman and doesn’t get an annullment from that marriage, then he isn’t welcome in my house as the b/f of my SIL. I don’t want to cause trouble and certainly, I don’t want to give my SILs more reasons to dislike me. I just have better moral values than they do and they always question it and make fun of that…

I do not know how to handle this. I hate the positions she always puts me in.

  1. She’s not married
  2. She’s dating a Catholic married man (who’s only married civilly)
  3. She already has 1 child out of wedlock
  4. She mocks the CC’s doctrine on morality


Okay, well I would get all the bible verses and CCC quotes ready and printed up that address the above.

Then I would simply mail it to her with a nice note telling her that you know she would not want you to be involved in this nor can you be. Its scandalous for a good catholic woman such as yourself to be involved in this.

If your husband has said anything about how he feels and what he believes your biblical obligation is in this, then add that too.

(I am going to assume he would not approve of this either, but take that for what its worth, specualtion)

I thought I had some real doozies in my family.

This really takes the cake!


Tell her you are not a certified instructor, and therefore not qualified to teach her NFP.

Give her the website URL for CCLI and tell her to find an instructor.

If she brings it up again, just keep saying the same thing.


Tell her your convictions. If she’s serious she’ll find a place to learn the method.

NFP is sacrificial in its nature, even if you use it with a contraceptive mentality. She may be doing this consciously for selfish reasons, but it will probably get to her in the end!


Good ideas… BTW, DH thinks the same way I do and supports my decision of not letting this man come to our house as long as he is still married. ABout the NFP, he only looked puzzled and a bit disgusted that his sister would want to bring me in her strange life style…

This is probably the best way to go… :thumbsup:

I don’t know if she’ll be angry at me for not teaching her. I will tell her that she can call her parish and they’ll give her the info she needs.

Would it be a good idea if DH tells her not to come and put me in this type of situation?


Is she generally mean spirited or overly angry? Telling her yourself might lend more gravity to your words, as opposed to having someone else say it.


I was thinking the same thing Hasikelee.

If Yessisan does not draw the line, this person will keep pushing and pushing.

Yessisan, you can do this. Tell her you love her, (I am sure you do) but that you ALSO love your faith. And that if she respected you at all, she would not PUT you in this place.

Its all about bounderies Yessisan. Take control before this person takes control of you.


I heard a witness on tape once by Eric Schleidler who said he and his wife starting using NFP because they were sick of ABC due to side effects. At the time, they were nonpracticing Catholics.


He said that the virtue forming aspects of NFP actually drew him back into the Church.

So, I think that you could in good conscience promote NFP to your SIL. Esp. if you got her some good Catholic materials along side it.

I wouldn’t hesitate, though, to tell her that you have concerns about her soul and the serious sin in which she is engaged.


So you think, that in “good conscience” Yessisan, a practicing Catholic, fighting to keep her faith in her marriage, ought to be advising a woman having sex not only outside of marriage, but in someone ELSE’s marriage to boot!

How amazing.

Your example here, involves a MARRIED COUPLE.

Again, I think you need to re think this one.


Many people who are still virgins learn about NFP. Personally, I think it would be a valuable thing for girls and young women to learn to be more familiar with their bodies and cycles and appreciate God’s gifts. I beleive teaching anyone NFP can be valuable and hopefully draw them closer to God.

I do not think it is immoral to give her your book…however you can certainly back-out of teaching her simply based on being uncomfortable with the personal details of her life.

You could back away from her based on faith-conflicts…but not all of us are ready to do that and it may/may not be prudent to do in every situation. Maybe you can back away from her because you are uncomfortable with “too much information” and leave it at that and discuss the faith issues at a time when she might be more open to it.

There are two issues going on here…1) she wants to learn NFP and you can help her with that in good conscience (I beleive)

  1. she wants to share details with you about her affair which you do **not **want to listen to and should not have to.

I will pray for you, these family issues are always so complicated and so hard. Hang in there. Pray for her, I will too.


Since when does the Church condone helping an adulteress homewrecker to get NFP guidance from faithful Catholics?1. She’s not married
2. She’s dating a Catholic married man (who’s only married civilly)
3. She already has 1 child out of wedlock
4. She mocks the CC’s doctrine on morality

Hello? She mocks the church, yet wants one of the disciples of it to help her fornicate without worry of pregnancy?

May I suggest you read theology of the body?

Please, Yessisan is a good catholic fighting for her faith. If she did this, the JW’s would have a FIELD day with it!


You’re not the one causing trouble here. If they ridicule you, why do you need to apologize for standing on principle?

And anyway, if this is your husband’s sister… why isn’t HE saying something to her?


To clarify, I never said that Yessisan should advise anyone to continue in a mortal sin. I said that learning NFP can bring a person closer to God’s vision of marriage. I also said that Yessisan should indeed tell her SIL that she is sinning and endangering her soul.

I’m offended that you would imply that I, a devout Catholic, would ever encourage someone to stay in mortal sin.


This is excellent advice. There is nothing wrong with anyone wanting to learn about NFP. The fact that she supposedly will put this into practice with her married boyfriend is a separate issue.

I think it is highly unlikely that either of them will stick with NFP. However, the CCLI materials have lots of wonderful information about Church teaching in them and it might lead to SIL opening her heart if she reads it.

Yes, OP should definately stand her ground about not wanting to hear about the affair, or letting the boyfriend in her house. She should not however stop praying for her SIL (or for the man and his estranged wife) and she should not stop sharing Church teaching whenever possible.


I agree with the above poster. I would also add that you could give her a book on chastity, such as The Good News About Sex and Marriage by Christopher West or Theology of the Body for Beginners.




Thank you all for your responses. I have tried telling SIL that her baby should be the most important thing in her life and that she should think about him instead of this married man. I’ve told her many times that this married man might just be wanting an adventure and is probably not ever going to leave his wife, he has 2 children w/his wife. And, yes, this SIL is my husband’s sister. He tries to not get in her business though. She never told DH her b/f was married, I had to tell him and because she never openly shared this with him, he feels like he cannot say anything about their relationship.

I don’t know why I have to be in this position. You know, my parents’-in-law are worried sick about their daughter, especially about their grandson. They asked my DH to talk to her because somehow, they are under the impression that this b/f doesn’t like the baby, they got this idea from all that my SIL tells them. Another reason why DH won’t talk to her is that she won’t listen. When she got pregnant with her son, she didn’t stop having this type of life. She kept it on and she’s had at least 4 guys in her life since the baby was born last yr. It saddens me so much… she’s part of my family now, but there is nothing I can say or do to make her change her mind about her lifestyle.

About the NFP, I can only tell her she can learn thru the CCLI book she has at her house. I cannot teach it to her, if I did, I’d be supporting her affair. I think next time I see her or talk to her I will let her know it makes me really uncomfortable when she puts me in this position. I have enough with my own sister who got a little distant when I told her I disapproved of her relationship w/her married b/f… I don’t want this to happen w/SIL and my DH and especially have it be my fault.


All the experience I have is only a gift when I can share it to help someone else.

Please please please please please teach your sister in law NFP.
I just learned it less than 2 years ago. If I had truly seen what an amazing God given body I had, I may not have acted like your sister-in-law.

The only time I thought about my cervix was at pap smear time.
why those women nurse practictioners and doctors didn’t educate me, I don’t know, not enough time, I guess, not their job.

My cervix make 4 kinds of lubrication in those little tiny cervical crypts. Amazing. Didn’t even know there were 4 kinds.

Sure I learned about the egg and fallopian tube, etc, and I did in fact notice similar changes each month, without knowing what they were. Well, now I’m at the point that I’m wondering will this be my last period, accepting it, also a little sad. Sure wish
I knew more about myself earlier in life.

A suggestion on her lurid details, interrupt and steer conversation to her b/f big fool? and how her child feels, talks, acts around him.

Praying for all of you.


What about just giving her the NFP book, giving her the url as was suggested earlier, and then telling her how happy you are that she want to learn NFP. I mean, I don’t approve of the circumstances in which she is learning it, but I DO believe that NFP will have a positive influence on any woman’s life. Look at the positives of her learning NFP…

  1. It is knowledge that she will be able to use when she totally turns back to her Catholic faith.

  2. It is a method that will protect her health.

  3. This is the most important. It is a method that will not harm any future children, should she conceive.

Using your approach, you would refuse to teach NFP to a couple using NFP for selfish reasons, or would refuse to teach a couple that is only civilly married. I think that is stepping outside of the line on your part…you don’t know that NFP won’t be a path for her to grow closer to God. By teaching her, you are not actively participating in an affair–you are giving her knowledge that every woman should have and you are protecting the lives of any children she might conceive in this affair.

And don’t forget what the materials she’ll be receiving talk about…it’s not just about sex. They discuss the role of marriage…the unity…the beauty…the openness to life… Honestly, I see this more and more as a chance to perhaps help her understand God’s plan for sex by teaching her NFP or at least helping her understand it a little more.

If I were you, I’d tell her that you don’t feel comfortable discussing her sex life, but I wouldn’t get so mad about her wanting to learn NFP. She may have the wrong reasons now, but those can always change…and she will have gained something of great value.


You might be right in a way but she only wants to know how to recognize the fertile times so her b/f can withdraw and then not to have to worry about it when phase 3 comes along. It is for the wrong reasons. She said she was lazy to read the book and has no way of using a computer, she doesn’t have one and doesn’t even know how to use the net.

I conviced her that the effects of ABC are harmful, and she well noticed it on her body, but I don’t know… that’s the only reason she wants to use NFP. I wouldn’t care if she were only civilly married and practicing NFP (NFP could bring them to marrying in the CC or becoming Catholic), the fact that this involves a married man and my SIL is what kills me. I do think I’d be contributing to her affair (nothing good will come out of this affair), but there is also the moral question of her not hurting any possible conceived babies…

Why can’t I decide what to do? I wish someone could decide for me, but then, that’d be too easy. Maybe I’ll wait till Saturday and ask my Pastor when I go to confession…

BTW, she already has the book, she’s had it for over a month but hasn’t read it yet.


I have read Thelogy of the Body…I am sorry that I have been misunderstood here. Of course it is not okay to encourage someone to fornicate and I sincerely hope that everyone here beleives the same.

Here is where we differ: I beleive that reading about NFP (because of the way it is presented in the books I have read) may actually draw here sister-in-law closer to Christ and away from her boyfriend.

You beleive that reading about NFP will encourage her to engage in fornication.

I respect your point of view. Please though, read other’s testimonies here…reading about NFP brought many closer to God (including myself) and so that is why I think so many of us are encouraging her to give her sister-in-law information about it. We are all hoping that learning about it and the true purpose of sex will open her eyes to what she is doing. Hope this helps clarify.

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