Frustration with NFP


#1

My wife and I have been practicing NFP for years. There are certain times of the month we can’t be sexually active. These are the trying times for me. I talk to Priests who tell me to pray for strength and courage. Yet, the urges are still there. I can’t understand my wife either. When phase 3 is here, she is not in the mood. Oh sure she’s in the mood during phase 2, when she’s untouchable. It’s like being married to a camel. She can go a long time without, period. Does anyone out there relate to what I’m going through? If so, what can I do to bring my wife out of the desert?:smiley:


#2

Rather than focusing on bringing your wife out of the desert ( :smiley: ), maybe you need to focus more on acclimating yourself to the aridity and sparseness of relief of desert travel where the thrist is not always immediately quenched – an opportunity for greater growth in self-mastery?


#3

Just pray a rosary when you start getting randy. Works better than a cold shower.


#4

Just to let you know, it should be no suprise that woman during fertile times in cycle are in the mood more because God designed a woman’s body that way so couples would together seek out those more fertile times and have a better chance of concieving. So she in a sense too is sacrificing because her greatest interest is at a time she knows she must avoid for practical reasons.
But again this is the beauty of NFP over contraception because sacrifice is the key to love and very helpful in avoiding selfishness. I would say that you talk with your wife and find compromises so you are both happy in this area. A couple who seek the needs and desires of the other over themselves will find much more happiness and they will learn to love the sacrifice when they see how happy it made the other. If you offer to do things that will make her happy, I am sure she will desire the same for you. Remember, God made it so a man must love so that he can be loved and a woman loved so she can love. The desire from your wife will come forth to please you when she is first shown love.
Also remember during that periodic abstinence phase to show love and intimacy (to a degree that does not place either in temptation of sin) because it offers a balanced approached to love and this is something women especially desire (long back rubs, or being held, ect). When they recieve that intimacy and know the sacrifice you are making, I am sure your wife will really wish to show you her gratitude and make sacrifices to make you happy.
As for the temptations i guess one could get a lot of good suggestions that you must find what works best. I think exercise or lifting weights is good. It gives us a nice endorphins rush and gets are minds on to other things. The best thing is to find a hobby or activity that distracts you and that you enjoy so much that the devil does not have an inlet to your thoughts. Other things are quick short prayers at the moment asking God for help like “Jesus help me to stay on this cross for the sake of my wife and family.” St. Paul struggled and Christ said his grace was sufficient. If we trust him when we call out, he will not deny us. It has helped me many a times in temptation. Hope that helps!


#5

what does she say her reasons are? (during the desert phase)


#6

Hmmm. Try being more lovable.

Really.

Are you taking care of her? Are you being a thoughtful, caring husband? Do you ask her about her day and then listen to what she has to say? Do you do what she asks of you and not do what she would rather you not do? In short are you being a good helpmate?

If so, that is its own reward and should be quite satisfying. If you are not satisfied with this, then you still have a way to go.

It takes a really good basic relationship for any consistant intimacy. So don’t badger her. Find out what more you can do to make her delighted with you as a husband.


#7

I can relate. I also replied to your similar post on Morality, I believe. Those are trying times for me too, and I have the same thing as far as wife not so interested in P3. I consider it uncharitable for a wife to let her husband feel undesired or undesirable. Esp under these circumstances. NFP shoudl be all the more reason she should redouble her passionate response, to the point of taking intitiative, in P3. The man is asked to be so supportive, to the point of going against his nature, and the wife has found a convenient way out of intimacy. A recipe for disaster. All the while we nfp catholics are bragging how great our marriages are.

And I do not expect every poster to relate. Some people, believe it or not, are just not as passionate as others, not nearly as amorous. The scale goes from one end to the other. You are not all tempted equally. Eg: Setter reduces every passion to some exerpts from canon law, and some rebukes about people’s licit turn ons. I am just not that intellectual when it comes to intimacy. If my wife were very unnatractive, or my hormone levels lower I could maybe see that. As it stands, nfp is just giving me more reasons to go to confession. So I started wondering at what point have I achieved anything spiritually or maritally out of it.

If I were a wife, like if the shoe were on the other foot, I wonder why it would be so hard to put in the effort, esp on a part time basis like nfp. Hate to think we are a bunch of frustrated husbands filling the pews sundays.


#8

So much for my appeal to the intellectual mastering one’s God given sexual desire. :rolleyes:

In a kindly quest to avoid the pitfalls of “a recipe for disaster” resulting from prolonged and festering marital frustration (in this case related to NFP morally sanctioned marital continence), one has to conider a few basic realities: 1) Our biggest sex organ is the brain; 2) Frustration most often results from unmet expectations and wants (versus needs in the strict sencse which normally focuses in flight/fright and anxiety response when not adequate); 3) Growth into manhood and greater Christian maturity and virtue most always involves pain, sacrifice, giving up what we otherwise would prefer or feel entitled too; 4) One can learn to acquire taste for less is better and good for the soul; 5) Procreative sexual pleasure is only for this side of the grave; 6) I know of no other way that one may harness, control, tame, and acquire the maturity and self-possesion of one’s sexual desire so our spousal sexuality is truly an other centered, freely given gift, than through our God given rational powers; 7) In absence of growth in self-mastery (spiritually and intellectually attained), one is suspectible to detest and resent the mutually enjoined sacrifice of NFP.


#9

I am a lot like you wife. Thankfully we are not trying to avoid right now so phase 2 is okay right now :wink:

When we are trying to space babies, this is a huge obsticle for us (okay, me). I have come to understand, though, that my phase 3 non-interest hurts our relationship so I have to be the one to change. Someone wrote that the brain is the most important sexual organ and that’s true. I have to work more to be interested during phase 3, but when I do, its worth it. I don’t know how you convey this to your wife, though. I did read Dr. Laura’s book about the Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands and it does talk about this sort of issue (not the NFP part), again, don’t know if you should get it for her LOL she might take offense! :slight_smile: Don’t know how helpful I’ve been but I’ll say a prayer for you both!

Jennifer

PS It could also be the Lord calling you both to another child! :wink:


#10

Someone once told me that Dr. James Dobson said that sex begins in the kitchen. If your wife is not wanting to have sex often, don’t blame it on NFP, look at your relationship and the situation you are both in. What’s her routine like? Is she spending all her time looking after the kids or working or taking care of the house (or all three)? After all of that, there’s not much energy left over for sex. Or, perhaps there’s a psychological reason behind her lack of interest. Whatever the reason, the two of you need to deal with this.


#11

Don’t forget, women’s sex drives are naturally high when they’re ovulating. Nature’s way to make sure we get pregnant.

One piece of advice. Don’t tell you’re wife you feel like you’re married to a camel, unless you plan on moving to the Sahara permanently.


#12

I can attest to this through experience.


#13

Setter, I appreciated your taking that well. I think I agree with points 1-7, all of it, and I also don’t dispute when you cite a magesterial source.

All that said, I stand by the opinion that where one is at at a certain time in life (and other factors) has a big effect on how open they are to being reasoned with in this way. And since St Paul says abstain only for a [short] time, I think he was just being reasonable, knowing this is tough on a lot of guys, and they might fall into sin through this.

Not to say nfp is not justified. Best thing is get back to my larger point that if the wife could just be sensitive to this, and turn up the juice when it is okay to, it would go a long way for taking the edge off. Jennifer J seems to ave admitted to this, and a generous change of heart on hr part I might say.


#14

Dude do I hear you. LOUD and clear. NFP for 7 years now, and though simple, it ain’t easy.

But it has started to make me learn something. You know how YOU feel when the green light times (dunno this phase stuff, we use Billings method) come and she isn’t interested.

Guess what? That’s how SHE most likely feels too. Not about the physical stuff, but about the lack of feeling cherished and loved.

Boy I sound good on the internet. Truth is that I STINK at making my wife feel this way. But conceptually, I am convinced that one of the main benefits of NFP only comes if the man uses the ineligible fertile time to give his woman what SHE needs (romantic outings, love notes, scrub the kitchen floor). Similarly, the woman needs to choose to get in the mood when the time is right, even though it requires a choice instead of being spontaneous.

So, what is it going to be? Are you going to browbeat her into giving what you need, or will you do your part first? I’m trying the latter approach, but it is bloody hard to think like a woman!


#15

Maybe it can rightly be seen through St. Paul’s prism of trial and temptation to purify one’s faith:

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthian 10: 13

Not to say nfp is not justified. Best thing is get back to my larger point that if the wife could just be sensitive to this, and turn up the juice when it is okay to, it would go a long way for taking the edge off. Jennifer J seems to ave admitted to this, and a generous change of heart on hr part I might say.

You then should be talking to you wife about this and actively looking for ways to warm up p3 climate.


#16

Maybe it can rightly be seen through St. Paul’s prism of trial and temptation to purify one’s faith:

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthian 10: 13

Not to say nfp is not justified. Best thing is get back to my larger point that if the wife could just be sensitive to this, and turn up the juice when it is okay to, it would go a long way for taking the edge off. Jennifer J seems to ave admitted to this, and a generous change of heart on hr part I might say.

You then should be talking to you wife about this and actively looking for ways to warm up p3. :love:


#17

Manualman, these are good points, but I tell you honestly, I do all those nice things already by nature, so much so that she takes it for granted. And when it comes to be her turn, she makes it look like work on her part, which brings me down. And heaven forbid I mess up in any way shape or form, because that can undo all my effort in one shot.

Setter, as to St Paul’s time and as to temptation, it seems like marriage is supposed to be there for me to help me NOT be in this kind of anxious mindset. Assuming dear hubby is reasonable in his anxiety. I mean, if the wife has a good heart, she would not suffer her man to feel this way right? Discipline is a 2 way street. When the green light comes on, it is just not nice of the wife to have playing catch up be anything less than a major priority.


#18

Hi pilot,

Yep, count me and the wife in your boat.

She’s just as frustrated. We all wish we could transfer the ovulatory enthusiasm ahead a few days.

I’ve found it difficult to strike a balance in P3.
Since I do the charting I get to tell her that we are in P3.
The difficult balance comes when I need to determine her mood and motivation.
I gently remind her that we are in P3 and that I am interested in relations.
The rest is in her hands.
Surely she will appreciate the reminder - but anything else would be considered “pressure”.
– As if our wives need more to worry about !

The key word is “expectation”. Frustration comes about when we have un-met expectations.

If we expect a P3 15 day “lovefest” then we will be extremely frustrated.

Discuss your shared expectations of P3 with your spouse.
Try to come to a consensus. A shared expectation.

That way she will know how you feel during P3 and you will be able to use your new “expectations” to help master your frustrations.

Keep telling yourself that is has been “your choice”.
You brought this on yourself.
You would not have to restrict yourself if you wanted to seek pregnancy.

Any frustration you feel is self-inflicted. This is what I tell myself… and eventually the frustration fades into love when I realize this is mostly my own selfishness talking.

  • I have never bought those old ideas of doing alternative things when you are frustrated - like back rubs or walks in the park.
    Frankly, we should be doing this with our wives all the time.
    And it certainly doesn’t help at 2:00am gazing at your wife’s beauty by the light of the clock radio.

It’s not easy. But, it’s the right thing to do.

In the long run it is worth it. Frustrations fade away.
Question ?: Do you still hold resentment for some frustration that happened two or three months ago ? I’d think not.

Basically - I think Men may have strong passions - but we can also get over things pretty easily.

God Bless


#19

What if your expectations are actually your rights, meaning they are rightful? What if we have been trained to think we have to keep earning intimacy, and that our inclinations are wrong when they are actually right? Isn’t a husband entitled to wife’s enthusiasm in P3 same as any othe phase, even moreso when he has stepped up already and sworn off a good third of his love life with the wife to be on board with nfp? My point is we are always losing ground, never gaining any. It ain’t the old days anymore. I think we are getting used to being handed a handful of you know what and being grateful for it. Sorry if my cave dweller angst is coming thru in this.


#20

It sounds like you and your wife have bigger issues then NFP. You sound bitter about having to abstain at times and it sounds like you and your wife never have sex. You two need to find a good compromise on what works for the two of you. Could the two of you go for counseling to work on this issue?

Are there physical or mental issues behind your wife not wanting to have sex? As an example, I was quite sick for about a year before I had surgery to correct the problem. Without going into details, my interest in sex was gone, my wonderful husband didn’t complain, he just went with me to the doc when needed and saw me through the situation. There has to be more to your story; you don’t need to share it with us, but please think about it.


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