Engaged and hoping to practice NFP


This is one of my first posts here, but I thought this would be a good place to come ask a delicate question.

My fiance and I are both Catholic, and we are to be married in two months. Neither of us want to use contraception in our marriage, and we are hoping to learn about and practice NFP for at least a few months to a year… to be quite frank, we aren’t looking for a long term avoidance of children, but think it would be more responsible, financially and otherwise, to have probably a year or maybe a little more before we have children. I won’t get into it, but after a good deal of prayer and consideration or our personal situation, I think we have sufficiently just reasons for wanting to postpone pregnancy, for at least a short time.

However, we are coming up on a bit of a predicament. My fiance has read about NFP and has been tracking her periods and everything, and is reasonably certain that starting right about our wedding day, and for the following week (which would be our honeymoon), would be her most fertile time of the month.
Like I said, neither of us wants to use artificial birth control.

My opposition to using it is firmly rooted in my faith and in my understanding of Church teaching - in other words, I do think it would be a gravely immoral thing to do, and not a good foot to start a marriage on.
She has somewhat of a similar understanding, as in she believes that contraception diminishes the act, and isn’t a good (or healthy) thing to practice in marriage over the long term, but is prone to think that it is acceptable in certain situations.

So this is a tough spot. In my mind, there are two moral options -one is to put it in God’s hands, and accept a new life if it comes, and the other is to abstain - for the very first week of our marriage, including our wedding night. There’s a part of me that isn’t even sure that’s moral either. I mean, it’s the physical expression of the vows we are going to take that day, right?

I am also, unfortunately, fearful that my fiance is going to want to use some form birth control for that first week to avoid pregnancy right away. She has friends who are proponents of contraception, and even told her that she should just go on the pill without telling me, since they know my stance on the issue. Thank God she dismissed that option out of hand, but this is only to illustrate the situation we’re in. They basically are trying to convince her that whethre she goes on birth control or not is entirely up to her - “it’s her body.” I think this idea contradicts the idea of a genuine marriage at its core, and thankfully she’s not particularly susceptible to it, and wants us to make the decision together. Long story short, she doesn’t like the idea of contraception, but isn’t ultimately opposed to it in all circumstances.

I love her dearly and want to be sensitive about this, and I think she is ultimately doesn’t want to use contraception, and will grow in time into believing with the Church, especially as we practice NFP, but this first week of our marriage has thrown us for a loop. She doesn’t (and I don’t really either, but I’m trying to be open to what God calls us to) want a pregnancy right off the bat. Remember, we’re not talking about wanting to travel the world and satisfying all our material desires before entering the “burdensome” world of parenthood. We just don’t think a honeymoon baby would be best for that baby. (Of course, maybe God has other plans, I dont know.) How do you get started on NFP when you get married during the woman’s most fertile period?

Basically, any advice one could give, either about the practical aspects, or perhaps how I can talk to my fiance - who is mostly on board with the Church teaching, but who has told me she thinks that at times contraception can be justified. What can we do? I know, or I hope, no one tells me we should use contraception, I just can’t reconcile that with what I believe we are doing on our wedding day. Do we just put it in God’s hands, though? Anyone ever heard of abstaining on your wedding night or honeymoon?

Prayers are appreciated.

I just wanted to come and congratulate you and to just say one thing… don’t assume that you are fertile and put off pregnancy for too long as you could be surprised and have a hard time getting pregnant. I tell you from personal experience. 2 yrs into my marriage, trying to conceive for one yr and we miscarried our first and only baby and still haven’t been able to get pregnant again, and we practice NFP.

A woman is only fertile for those few days, but there is only about 20-25% chance that she’d end up pregnant. But that’s just my take on it.

I know of some couples here who abstained during their first nights as husband and wife because of being fertile during the honeymoon.

I pray that you find your answer and hope your future wife doesn’t end up falling for contraception, besides, contraception is not 100% proof. There’s always a chance with contraception to get pregnant too, so I think you should talk about it more and pray for God’s will on it.

First, go to NFP classes now. It took me 2 years to get it down because I had health issues. Just merely “timing” things out could change drastically with one month of stress.

2nd, you said this:

I am also, unfortunately, fearful that my fiance is going to want to use some form birth control for that first week to avoid pregnancy right away

Do you understand that this is a red flag? You are scared your fiance will commit a mortal sin and drag you into it.

Marriage is about helping the other get to heaven. It doesn’t seem that she would really be doing her part in that. Maybe you are firm in this particular issue, but what if you weren’t? What other areas are you scared that she willing to “compromise” in? You don’t have to answer, just questions to think about.

This seems like a way big deal to me.

A woman is only fertile for those few days, but there is only about 20-25% chance that she’d end up pregnant. But that’s just my take on it.

This statistic has no scientific or experiential backing. If there are fertile signs, consider fertile. Pregnancy can occur.

Thank you for your advice. I agree, we don’t plan on putting it off for a long time, and have thought about how contraception isn’t 100% either. She has even suggested that if we use contraception and she still gets pregnant, that will be like a sign from God that’s its meant to be. I tend to think of that as having a more superstitious than genuinely faithful approach - of course God can bring good out of sin, but that doesn’t make the sinning ok.

As for the matter of her actual fertile period, that is an empirical matter that of course we will try to nail down as best we can. It is interesting to hear that others have put off being together for the first few days of their marriage though.

In addition to what others have said…

The stress of the final days of preparing for a wedding and the subsequent marriage have been know to throw off the cycles of many a bride. Now some women will be as regular as clockwork, even if there are bombs falling all around. But others (and this is very common) will find that stress greatly impacts the length of her cycle and the number of days to abstain (if you are tying to avoid pregnancy.)

With two months to go before the wedding you can speculate that she may be fertile but you really won’t know until the time comes.

This happened to us, and we abstained on our wedding night and part of our honeymoon. We still had an amazingly special wedding night, there are so many more intimate things than just intercourse. We’d never slept in a bed together, never slept in the same room together, it was awesome!!! You’re exhausted after the day, and to just be able to come home (we stayed in a B&B) and hang out, relax, know that one or the other doesn’t have to go home, and then fall asleep lying next to eachother, it was actually perfect.

Um, yeah, and this happened to us too. I didn’t mention it in the last post b/c I wanted to focus on that one thing. But our honeymoon baby is just fine, and we made it through NOT having time to adjust, become financially stable, etc. And I still don’t regret not having intercourse on our wedding night :wink: .

Same here!

We chose to use NFP when we first got married (multiple reasons…) and abstained for the first two nights of our honeymoon. We survived! :wink:

First, 2 months isn’t very long to learn NFP. “Tracking her period” is NOT the same as NFP.

Second, if you are fertile on your honeymoon/wedding night, just abstain until you aren’t. Lots of people do this.

Thanks for all your feedback! I have thought of some of these things, especially the stress impact, and the fact that tracking the period really isn’t the same as NFP.

I guess we’d better get going on this. How long must a woman practice (I don’t know all that is involved, taking temps, etc.) before you can reliably determine her fertile period?

It’s good to know though, that we wouldn’t be totally weird to abstain for a couple of nights after the wedding.

Three to four months is the average/recommended depending on method. She would definitely have to abstain long enough to distinguish her mucus patterns and get comfortable with reading the signs of fertility-- seminal fluid can obscure the readings and confuse someone who is new to NFP.

Call an instructor TODAY.

This is true. I also want to add though, that real NFP does not ever rely on past cycles. It’s not like you need 4 months of patters in order to determine what fertility is today. Actually, if one knows the method well, and hasn’t been tracking, then just started to track, you only need 4 days to determine fertility for that day. (to be sure one is past peak day). This is also the “when in doubt” rule. Consider yourself fertile and count 3 days. (Unless of course, fertile signs show up).

However, depending on any health situations that come up, 4 months to learn the method is a good start. Some people take longer. With the creighton method, if a married couple is learning it for the first time, they require one complete cycle of abstaining, then the teachers slowly start adding in allowable times until the couple is comfortable with it.

Good advice from everyone…

I was one of those brides whose cycles got thrown off with the wedding, so keep that in mind.

Also, DH and I have been trying for a baby our entire marriage and we’re approaching our 1 year anniversary. Like Yessisan said–if you have fertile signs, you can become pregnant, but even couples with perfect fertility only have about a 1 in 4 chance of becoming pregnant with optimally timed intercourse. So it’s a risk and you need to be open to a baby if you don’t decide to abstain, but it also isn’t an absolute given.

Ya’ll need to schedule a NFP class and take it together. I can tell you from my own experience that my husband’s involvement makes me feel that our family planning is something we undertake together…and it helps so much to be able to figure things out with someone who cares just as much about the outcome as you do. So learn it with your fiancee…:thumbsup:

Congratulations on your upcoming marriage and good luck! :slight_smile:


We were also fertile during our wedding/honeymoon. B/c the honeymoon was a few weeks after and was a few weeks long, we came across the issue 2x.

Our finances and life situation were not ideal for a bambino. But, we decided to trust God with the outcome and embraced each other. We prayed beforehand each time. These are some of the most precious experiences of our marriage. We felt the gravity of what we were doing, as well as God’s nearness to us.

We did not get pregnant until 7 months later, and we lost that baby. We conceived again not long after and I am holding my precious sleeping one as I type (one handed).

Now I’m not saying on the basis of our story that you should go ahead and do it. Rather, trust in God’s leading, ask for the gift of discernment, and do not be afraid.

God bless you and your marriage!

Congratulations on your upcoming marriage!

Try not to worry to much right now about what will happen with your soon to be wife’s cycles the week of your wedding. Wedding stress can make crazy things happen. :slight_smile: Just make sure you both are comfortable with abstaining if you have to, or decided that regardless you wont abstain and possibly welcome a honeymoon baby.

DH and I decided to postpone children for numerous reasons when we were 1st married. When we decided to stop postponing we were shocked when month after month it didn’t happen. Everything in our life - education, finances, jobs, house were all taken care of and things were good all that we couldn’t control was this baby we wanted so bad. Fast forward three years later, I am out of work, we have more bills then we ever have caring a mortgage and rent - and 2 weeks ago I found out that I am pregnant!!! :whacky: This is probably the worst time IMO for us to have a child (and if I (we) would have thought it would happen probably would have abstained) - God apparently thinks differently. :extrahappy: :gopray2:

Trust in God!

We took an NFP course before we got married…according to my calculations I was not fertile during our honeymoon; and we then abstained when I was. Well, to our surprise, God had other plans and we conceived a honeymoon baby. She is napping in her swing right now…only 3 weeks and 6 days old.

I would not change a thing. Life is grand.

First of all, welcome to the forums and congratulations on your up and coming wedding!

You have received some great advice here on abstinence and cycles and honeymoons. That being said I am not going to comment on that, but instead comment on something else that really bothered me about your post.

From your post and the above quote, it seems a serious issue to me that your wife-to-be is talking about these personal matters to her friends. Perhaps I am not getting the whole picture here of course but how would her friends know that she will be fertile and that you don’t want to use artificial contraception? Are you a really “open” couple or is she giving her friends too much information? Those matters seem to me, to be private matters. In addition, her “friends” are encouraging her to lie to her husband about taking birth control pills…YIKES! This is serious.

Please, please talk to your wife-to-be about her friends. She should seriously consider whether or not to keep a “friend” that would encourage her to deliberately go against her husbands wishes, deceive him and lie to him about taking a medication that he beleives is immoral. This is a serious issue in my opinion. If your wife continues to keep these friends close to her then you may be facing serious problems. Maybe this issue is not as serious as I perceive, I hope not but thought I would give my two cents.

God bless you!

This happened to us too. We keep thinking it will be that easy next time, but reading these posts, who knows?

Hey! Congrats on your upcoming marriage! I’m also engaged and expect to be married next year. I am SO glad to hear you are going to use NFP. Here are some helpful things I’ve heard from couples who were fertile during their wedding night and part of honeymoon:

  1. Sex isn’t the end all and be all of your marriage. Waiting a week or so to have sex when you have waited your entire dating relationship is not that terrible of a thing.

  2. If you’re fertile during your honeymoon, you’ll have many fun memories of doing activites outside of the bedroom.

From my personal perspective, yes my fiance and I hope to not be fertile during our wedding night & honeymoon. The great thing about NFP is htat it allows God to be in the picture. He will do what He thinks is best for you. If it just so works out that your wife-to-be is fertile on the wedding night, trust that God had a hand in that. Keep praying and God will show you the way. Best wishes!

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