For the Guys (Mostly): "Side Effects of NFP"


I’m going to dump a little here. I think I know some of the answers will be communication, counseling, and reading, but also need to know if I am alone in this or what. I will say that the kindness of posters here is letting me step out into this with a bit of trust and hesitency. It borders on TMI, but in order to find answers, I’d like to ask, so here goes:

So many people look forward to ph3 because “it is time!” In spite of the emotional need for sexual intimacy discussed in other threads and the limited time my wife and I have, I find that ph 3 actually creates an incredible amount of anxiety instead of anticipation. You would think it would be the opposite. This becomes a vicious circle with side effects.

If feels and seems that since there is little chance of taking advantage of ph3/1, I do not anticipate it. If there is nothing to anticipate, then there is nothing to miss if it does not happen. The lack of anticipation leads to a lack of desire, which in turn has led to let’s say, performance issues :blush: and no real physical satisfaction any more. In my desire to be giving and loving and in my need to feel accepted by my wife, I will do my best to physically satisfy her. But I feel that in her concern to not violate Church teachings in the bedroom or “reach that point together”, there is no reciprocation and feel rejected by this. And in that, there is no emotional satisfaction or intimacy. The anxiety feeds upon itself which affects everything. So:

  1. have any other guys out there had performance issues creep up due to the infrequency of intercourse (use it or lose it), 2) has anyone actually had their desire go way down, 3) do either husbands (or wives) find that their spouse is so focused on not violating Church teachings in the bedroom that it plain takes the enjoyment and intimacy away? 4) am I crazy?


First off, I’m not a guy, but I can definitely empathize. Sometimes during phase II I get so used to not being satisfied that it feels awkward when phase III finally rolls around. This is especially true when stress makes my cycle extra long (it’s long already anyway).

Since women and men are wired differently, what works for me may not work for you. I find that if I keep thinking about “I just really don’t feel like it” even when I oblige, it gets worse. Conversely, if I act like I’m really going to enjoy myself, it’s much better. Of course there is a fine line between faking it and willing yourself into the mood, and that’s something you have to figure out yourself. For some reason a midday nap can put me in the mood if I fall asleep telling myself I’m looking forward to it.

Another idea is to be more physical during phase II. I’ve been flamed before for calling it foreplay, and obviously the point is not to get as close as possible without reaching climax. The point is to maintain a healthy level of physical affection to reduce the awkwardness and increase anticipation for phase III.

Finally, if the strain is as serious as it sounds for you, maybe you need to weigh the importance of avoiding against the detrimental effects on your marriage.


I think the place to start is this statement: If feels and seems that since there is little chance of taking advantage of ph3/1, I do not anticipate it.

Why do you state there “little chance” of sexual intimacy in the infertile time? Is your wife rejecting you during this time? Is it circumstance-- like you are off on a business trip or something? I think clarifying this will shed light on the rest of your post.


Have you had a medical physical recently to rule out any physical problems? That’s where I would start, but I’m a woman and go to the doc yearly regardless :stuck_out_tongue:

or alternatively, do you 2 have serious reasons to NOT have children right now? Maybe you are being called to more children??? Just a few thoughts…



Hey Dude.

Yes…almost verbatim, I could have written that post…
Here goes the answers to specifics, sorry if there is TMI in my post too.

  1. Definately. This “maybe once a month” causes performance to be lacking…and I hate it.

  2. Yes. It has to do with the anticipation and anxiety, and the whole “Why bother” attitude. It would be easier to forego the whole initiation and rejection, so you start to feel like it’s not worth even trying, hence, lack of desire to start with. It’s a big barrier for me to break through every time…

  3. Yes. It sometimes seems like she is preoccupied or too over cautious with her actions, that she is unwilling to be spontaneous…It’s more like lets get this done and done right, like following a manual and not a romantic and intimate dance, like it should be.

  4. Nope, you are one of us.

I hope my feedback helped?



I don’t think NFP is the cause here. As a woman, I can tell you that not all wives act this way… some of us have a big countdown clock and when it hits zero… pounce. :thumbsup:


I agree that NFP is not directly to blame, but as searching06 rightfully stated i nthe title, I also think that this is a side effect of NFP. We never had this problem before, meaning when we were not converted to Catholocism, and didn’t pracice NFP.

I also agree that Question 3 could be unrelated to NFP, and possible more the wive’s struggle to be a catholic and a wife at the same time…

But 1 and 2 are most certainly side effects as stated by a few guys here.

PS: Your husband is lucky! :slight_smile:


Your wife is misunderstanding the Church’s teachings. There is no requirement to “reach that point together”.

You may want to speak to a priest together about this or advise your wife to do so.
This may be a form of scrupulosity in that she thinks normal marital relations are “wrong”…


Have you asked her about it directly? A big change in her behavior has to have an underlying reason.


Agree 100%


I would also suggest you both study–together–the Church’s teachings on human sexuality and writings by Pope John Paul (Theology of the Body) and Christopher West’s study on the Theology of the Body. This might help you both put the marital embrace into perspective.



I also wonder now if your wife is also dealing with a possible scrupulosity issue… thinking that normal marital relations are not “holy”…

Definitely advise you also to speak to a priest together.




We have touched on it, but it’s not something she speaks about often. What I could understand is that she is extremely intent on being the best possible Catholic she can be. She avoids and sin and the occasion of sin more vigorously than anyone else I have ever met. That is very very commendable, but I honestly think that that fear is translated into the bedroom, to do things as sin-free as possible. It removes spontaneity completely, and I am working on it to educate her in this and to have her be more free.

Like I said earlier I think it’s more my wife’s struggle to be a catholic and a wife at the same time…

Thanks for asking clarification on that :slight_smile:


First, thank you to all for responding, esp. the women, and for the honesty in it. Let me see if I can clarify.

The “little chance” of intimacy during infertile times is very much due to our schedules. We get to see each other about two days a week. So the stars have to align for us to be together in ph3, which they did this weekend and hence, this message. And with overall intimacy reduced anyway, this gets tough.

A medical check is probably next on the list. I did have some bloodwork done, but it was minor and I don’t think it checked for everything. Good thing is that the person I see is Catholic (female, but Catholic). Being called to have more kids? Maybe, but my heart does not tell me so.

And true, NFP is not the causes as such, but there is Church teachings on no sex between infertile times. My wife gets excited to a degree. She said last night, “We’re going to have aa good time this weekend; it’s ph3.” My first thoughts brought stress, not excitement.


Please clarify what you mean here? You can have sex whenever you want, just not contracept…if there is serious need to avoid a child, then NFP is allowed.



Thank you for your honesty here. It does seem that, while we do want to be tactful and avoid detailed activities:blush: :blush: :blush: :blush: , it is what it is - sex and yes, foreplay. There is no shame or problem in that even as Catholics. The “maintain a healthy level of physical affection, etc.” part - very tough for guys to do in ph2, at all, if it is even close to sexual intimacy, without wanting to go too far. And then when we cannot, it is more like a tease and rejection. It is a very much a cause of reduced overall intimacy - why get that close when there is no chance of anything sexual? May not be right and it is not intentional, more like a defense mechanism.

I love your honesty in the last sentence, but I am guessing you are referring to avoiding intercourse, not other sexual activity between infertile times.


Oh you poor thing!

Maybe your DW should not show her enthusiasm in such an anxiety-inducing manner. It’s good to know, though, that she isn’t rejecting you

We had a little bit of scheduling conflict a while back also. DH is on the school board and so when he has a meeting it goes super late, then the next day he has a bad headache from getting up early and usually wants to go straight to bed early … then on the next night we had something else that got us home late… GRRR… No fun…

In general, neither of us makes a big deal out of the infertile time (lest we feel pressure if one of us is tired, etc). My “pounce” comment was not literal, but merely to indicate that I am not rejecting him and in fact look forward to his advances (or making my own advances). We just start snuggling, kissing, etc,and then move into the rest.

Maybe that would help with the “command performance” pressure. Both of you approach it with the attitude of “if it happens, it happens”…


PM, thank you as always for your unabashed honesty. In this it helps in knowing I am not alone in this area.


Scruples can be an awful cross to bear. I hope that you and your wife can read some Christopher West & JPII together. She definitely has the wrong idea about marital sex.

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