Converts-Was it difficult for you to stop contraception?


#1

My wife and I are entering RCIA next month. I'm going to be 40 years of age next month and we have been married for almost 19 years. We have used ABC for our entire marriage. Are there any converts here that can share their experience on accepting the Church's teachings on this? BTW, I fully accept the Church's teachings on this, but I just pray I can be faithful to it. Thank you to all for your answers!


#2

My wife is a convert and I was an ignorant cradle Catholic. Though it was challenging at times to stop using ABC you couldn't pay me to go back to it. Some times I think the most difficult thing to overcome is the contraceptive mindset. Sadly I think many NFP couples hold to this flawed way of thinking.

I commend you for following the wisdom of the Church in this matter. Welcome home.

M


#3

Welcome back! We are struggling with this big time. Well, mostly me. My husband would use NFP (or nothing) in a second. I'm the one struggling with use of contraception mostly because I'm terrified of leaving it up to God. I would like nothing more than a big family but right now we cannot financially afford it and a huge part of me struggles with the guilt of not trusting God and the guilt of not being able to properly care for my baby if we were to get pregnant now. I pray on this constantly because I would like nothing more than to be free of the shackles and false hope of contraception and just give in to God's will. It's just such a big mental block for me right now and I struggle every day and pray for forgiveness every time I swallow one of those pills. I pray that you and your wife have a smooth transition into a contraception-free lifestyle.


#4

No. As soon as I understood the Natural Law, I knew the Church was absolutely right about contraception. I found even the idea of contraception repulsive. It's comparable to bulemia.


#5

I'm a sort of convert. I'v always been Roman Catholic but didnt really practice. One of the changes i made was ending a sinful rel'ship and i'm much happier now even though i get lonely at times.
When i was with him i used a contraceptive thing which is still in my body even though i'm completely celibate. I have an almost pathological fear of pregnancy for reasons i wont divulge here. I pray about this all the time, to have the fortitude to go to the doc+have this thing removed but i feel so terrified. I really think this is a big deal. I dont wanna go to Hell. I hope you're braver than me


#6

[quote="lo_amo87, post:3, topic:251269"]
I struggle every day and pray for forgiveness every time I swallow one of those pills.

[/quote]

If you've read the package insert, you know that the Pill can be an abortifacient. If you don't know it, please look into it.

I have a friend who has a blood clot caused by the Pill. She lives in fear that it will break loose and kill her. The Pill can cause blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks, as well as very early abortions.

Here's a website that may help -- they have a lot of information about the abortifacient pill and other helpful information about NFP. They sell a book of the stories of medical doctors who have become pro-life and have stopped prescribing contraceptives, especially the pill.

onemoresoul.com/

You might also consider contacting the Couple to Couple League. They have a website.

God be with you,

Jim Dandy


#7

I converted from atheism at 44, and also had used ABC for our entire marriage before then. My husband did not convert (he is atheist), but, I explained why I wanted to stop using ABC. He asked something like, what is the worse thing that could happen, we get pregnant? Which, simultaneously didn't sound like such a "worse thing" to us, at all, but also, a bit scary to think of being pregnant so late in life. We talked about the whatifs of a child with handicaps, as the risk is there for us, and agreed that we would just figure it out, like we have always done if/when the tough things arise.

For myself, the worry I had over being pregnant, having more kids, etc. etc. ended. I can't tell you today why I worried that much at all anyway. I think the breaking point of that mindset was when I was thinking about stopping ABC early in the RCIA process, and said something to our Dcn. about being asked to play Russian roulette, and why did he think I wanted to do that, exactly? He clarified for me the church's teaching on being open to life, and further the fact that pregnancy is not a sign of things gone wrong, but things gone right. Which were new concepts for me entirely. Over a few months I prayed and thought over the Church's teaching, and found I agreed with it. Any fears I had about conversion, lifestyle changes, the scary whatifs, left me as I came to know God and put my trust in Him.

Before my baptism I stopped using ABC and haven't used any since. I also don't use NFP. No baby to add to the end of this story.


#8

To say it has been a horrible, difficult burden for me would be an understatement. I've been trying my very best to learn to overcome my utter hatred of NFP and become one of the folks who love it but I'm just not there yet. I'm not sure I'll ever be, but I'll try because where it's brought me now is a miserable place to be. PM me if you're interested in hearing my personal experiences. I get a lot of flak here for sharing my experiences because they're negative and I'm just too beaten down in spirit by the whole thing to continue talking about it in the open.


#9

[quote="T_More, post:1, topic:251269"]
My wife and I are entering RCIA next month. I'm going to be 40 years of age next month and we have been married for almost 19 years. We have used ABC for our entire marriage. Are there any converts here that can share their experience on accepting the Church's teachings on this? BTW, I fully accept the Church's teachings on this, but I just pray I can be faithful to it. Thank you to all for your answers!

[/quote]

Welcome home to the Church! :)

I'm a cradle Catholic, but I didn't always follow the Church's teachings -- I didn't really know some of them! I knew I wasn't *supposed *to have premarital sex or use ABC, but I didn't know why, so hormones won out. :o :(

We stopped using ABC early in our marriage and haven't ever used it since. We only learned NFP last year, during the postpartum time after our youngest was born, and I've only now had about 4 "regular" (post-BFing) cycles. I can say that the years we were just open and not trying or avoiding were the best (so far). Learning NFP and practicing it conservatively since we need to avoid pregnancy for a time has not been easy, but it has been so worth it and I would never, ever go back to ABC.

This may be TMI, but in the 13 or so months since we learned NFP, we've only had relations 15 times. We had a stretch of 5 months of complete abstinence, and it was not easy! Also, my husband is not Catholic so he doesn't understand or agree with some of the Church teachings on sexuality, but likes NFP from a scientific standpoint and he respects and loves me enough to practice NFP because it is so important to me. I can honestly say that our sex life now is far better than it ever was when we used ABC, and I regret those days greatly. (Thank God for the sacrament of reconciliation!)

I am so thankful that I have learned and understand the true meaning of sexuality and the Church's teachings make perfect sense to me. They are not always easy to follow -- let's face it, we are human and want what we want when we want it. But if we love God, we can do anything, including abide by what He says is best for us, whether that means leaving it all up to Him or abstaining if we need to avoid pregnancy. You will have difficult days, but when you do, look to the cross. He will help you. (There are lots of people here at CAF who are very supportive too.)

Best wishes for your RCIA classes! :D


#10

[quote="T_More, post:1, topic:251269"]
My wife and I are entering RCIA next month. I'm going to be 40 years of age next month and we have been married for almost 19 years. We have used ABC for our entire marriage. Are there any converts here that can share their experience on accepting the Church's teachings on this? BTW, I fully accept the Church's teachings on this, but I just pray I can be faithful to it. Thank you to all for your answers!

[/quote]

My husband and I are going through this change right now. For the last 9yrs we have used ABC (both pills and condoms), but God has shown us that this is wrong. I won't lie to you, it is a struggle (we have had to remain abstinent while we figure out my cycles for NFP), but it is the RIGHT thing to do and the knowledge that we are doing the right thing is encouraging.

We bought a book called "Taking Charge of your Fertility" by Toni Weschler (as recommended by somebody on here for me!) and is available from Amazon. I've found it very helpful in the actual understanding of my fertility and this has put a lot of doubts to bed.

Good luck with your journey :)


#11

I agree with others that overcoming the contraceptive mentality is crucial. Unfortunately, many people who do use NFP do so with the contracpetive mentality and imo miss the point completely about being open to life and trusting God. This is a very difficult teaching for many today because it is so completely counter-cultural and asks us not to be control freaks but to put our trust in God. It took me ages to understand and accept this trusting in God business, and not only in the domain of sexuality and procreation, but in my whole life.

For me it was possible to let go of ABC when I finally understood that babies are not a curse but a blessing. I realised that getting pregnant was not the end of the world, even when not planned. So when my 2nd pregnancy happened - unplanned and very close to the birth of my first baby - I freaked out big time and panicked for a couple of weeks. It happened because we were not careful and forgot to take notice of my cycle, not because NFP failed. And then I came to my senses and applied what I learned about it: that my new baby is a blessing. God wants that for me and my husband. I have 4 months to go and seriously, it is not the end of the world. On the contrary ;)

These are excellent posts on this subject by a convert who came to fully embrace the teaching on openess to life and I hope you find them helpful.

ncregister.com/blog/does-contraception-make-marriage-easier/

ncregister.com/blog/bad-at-nfp-and-proud/


#12

Another blogpost recommendation.


#13

Wife used the depo shot. When we commited to NFP the cycles were so messed up coming off the shot that it was worse than PP cycles for about 8 months. I will stand by this till I die but the unnatural esscence of ABC wreaks havoc on a woman's body. It is actually hard coming off and most people Ive talked to have concieved soon after but getting it right as far as NFP is easier to learn PP than coming off the shot. But I assume it is different for everyone.


#14

Welcome home, T More! :)

When my husband and I converted together in 2004, we initially received very poor catechesis on the subject of contraception. As a result, we were not aware of the Church's teaching until six months later when we picked up a free copy of "Contraception: Why Not," by Dr. Janet Smith. Our jaws about hit the floor. Here we had received the sacrament of Confirmation and been practicing all this time while committing grave moral evil. It was a real shocker for us both.

As it so happens, we had been holding off on deciding to have our second child, and rather than try to learn NFP straightaway, we opted to get pregnant again instead and learn the basics of NFP during that time (though we had to wait to practice it until our son was born the following year).

So while our circumstance is probably not the same as yours, we can relate in having to re-program our approach to intimacy and our consciences. It took a while for me even to understand the Church's teaching on the subject, and a while yet longer for my husband, but we accepted it nonetheless and have been blessed in many, many ways for simple obedience.

I applaud your readiness to surrender to the truth and make this drastic change. God will bless your willing hearts so very much.

Mary


#15

I’m not sure what PP stands for but my wife’s cycles were a mess too until she got that junk all out of her system.

M


#16

I’ve never been too happy being on birth control, and have tried to avoid the ones (like IUD) that I knew are abortifacient. I’m pregnant with our first together, but this will bring us to 5 children. I just lost my job… We would prefer I stay home with the baby anyway, but…

I’m nervous. OP, I understand what you mean. My guy is 40 now. I’m no spring chicken myself.

I have tried charting my fertility, and thought I was doing a great job. Well, I conceived two days after my last period! I know that with 100% certainty.

I wonder if our local RC church has NFP classes open to other faiths. I need to ask this week. I’m very open to the idea; it’s natural and I have always been opposed to getting “sterilized.” I’m nervous about successful I would be. I do not want to put anymore pressure on my guy. :frowning:

Best to you both!

Cara


#17

@ Cara

Yes yes yes you will be welcome at an NFP class regardless of your faith tradition or no faith at all. There are different methods of NFP so do some homework.

M


#18

[quote="ScareBear, post:16, topic:251269"]
I've never been too happy being on birth control, and have tried to avoid the ones (like IUD) that I knew are abortifacient. I'm pregnant with our first together, but this will bring us to 5 children. I just lost my job... We would prefer I stay home with the baby anyway, but...

I'm nervous. OP, I understand what you mean. My guy is 40 now. I'm no spring chicken myself.

I have tried charting my fertility, and thought I was doing a great job. Well, I conceived two days after my last period! I know that with 100% certainty.

I wonder if our local RC church has NFP classes open to other faiths. I need to ask this week. I'm very open to the idea; it's natural and I have always been opposed to getting "sterilized." I'm nervous about successful I would be. I do not want to put anymore pressure on my guy. :(

Best to you both!

Cara

[/quote]

Yup, actually our first NFP class was taught at our parish by a nice mormon couple as the instructors.


#19

[quote="mlldrl, post:15, topic:251269"]
I'm not sure what PP stands for but my wife's cycles were a mess too until she got that junk all out of her system.

M

[/quote]

PP= Post Partum


#20

[quote="Jim_Dandy, post:6, topic:251269"]
If you've read the package insert, you know that the Pill can be an abortifacient. If you don't know it, please look into it.

I have a friend who has a blood clot caused by the Pill. She lives in fear that it will break loose and kill her. The Pill can cause blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks, as well as very early abortions.

Here's a website that may help -- they have a lot of information about the abortifacient pill and other helpful information about NFP. They sell a book of the stories of medical doctors who have become pro-life and have stopped prescribing contraceptives, especially the pill.

onemoresoul.com/

You might also consider contacting the Couple to Couple League. They have a website.

God be with you,

Jim Dandy

[/quote]

So, I went to the website and after reading what the pill does to a woman's body, and especially after reading that on average, the pill causes about 1 abortion a year, I felt like I was going to be sick. It makes me angry because I asked my obgyn before I was put on the pill if it would abort a fetus, but she assured me that it "doesn't work that way." I would hate to think that she was either lying, or perhaps doesn't consider a fertilized egg not being able to attach to the uterine wall as a fetus that's been aborted. Either way, I feel a little betrayed. When I went to take my pill last night, it actually fell out of my hands and almost rolled out of sight. I'm a little suspicious of the incident considering all the research I did yesterday.

I plan on telling my husband that unless we stop contracepting, we are going to be looking at abstaining for a while until we can take an NFP class. What's great is I know he will agree. I just wish he had pushed me a little more into looking at what I'm putting in my body every day. But perhaps this is something I simply have to fully realize on my own.


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