Girl Trouble, Sort Of

I’ve been dating a nice Lutheran-but-not-really girl for several months now, and things are starting to get serious. We share almost identical values and tastes and, though I’m sure this would make some of the old guard chuckle, I think we’re very much in love.

Oh, but she is a class act ---- she’s cute, frugal, ditzy but smarter than she lets on, and she really has the Goodwill chic look down pat. I could gush but I don’t want to cloud the actual issue. She was worried about me being Catholic for a time, until I explain that Catholics aren’t fundamentalists who take the Bible literally, etc. I expect to be explaining Mary shortly.

The Point: Where we did have a bit of friction was on the idea of birth control. I say no, she say yes. We both would want either two or four kids, so it isn’t like I’m want them by the dozen and she not at all, but I think this would become a major issue if we didn’t settle it soon. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and, potentially, for the rest of our lives we could be bickering about this. I hope to nip in in the bud.

I don’t want to hurt her feelings, and I’ve thought about natural family planning, though honestly it’d be years before it becomes a practical part of our lives, so I’m not sure how to bring it up, but what if she says no? Or prefers the pill? I can’t turn a blind eye, because then I’d reap the benefits as much as she from something I believe is fundamentally wrong.

What should I do? Is there any reasonable compromise? I have a feeling I know the answer already, but I really don’t want to lose her.

Hello. Sorry to hear about your situation. There really is no compromise that can be made on the matter. Couples can’t go into marriage saying “I want X number of children and no more.” Catholic couples need to be completely open to children, and have as many as God wants them to have.

Abstinance has the highest success rate.

But NFP is very effective; I would encourage you to look into it in more depth yourself; and when you have a greater understanding of it; to discuss it with her.

The Catholic church definitely takes the bible literally- Holy Mother Church takes the author’s intent and historical perspective into consideration.

Anyway, I dated a woman for four years that did not share my faith in the Catholic Church. I ended things with her in April and it was the best thing I have ever done. I am alone, lonely, depressed and so on. But, it was definitely a great decision. I have had two short “flings” since then with devout, holy Catholic women. There really is no comparison. Spiritual intimacy is the greatest feeling. I would rather be alone for the rest of my life than be with someone that doesn’t share the faith. Maybe I will be desperate enough to settle some day, as of now I just don’t think it’s worth it. I think it really just depends on whether you believe that the Catholic Church was created by our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ. If so then I think it is totally worth waiting for someone that loves Him equally and believes that this is His church. Hope that made some sense.

You can talk about it being sinful, but since she is Lutheran, she may not accept that. I would suggest you develop your reasons for using NFP instead of contraception. You can point to the success rate of marriages, the damaging effects of the pill, and so on. But I would also say that you focus on the idea that NFP presents you with a way of demonstrating just how much you do love her by being willing and able to control your natural urges for her sake (so that she does not need to put poison in her body). That is definitely part of what being a man for her means. It also helps you understand how her body works, which I will tell you leads to an even greater respect and awe of her and how she was created.

Just a couple of ideas… Good luck:thumbsup:

What does your instinct tell you?

If you want to avoid creating a third son or daughter, then the two of you would have to practice NFP continuously, every month, without fail, for the rest of her fertile decades.

If she gets pregnant with twins on her wedding night, then it would be for the remainder of her fertile decades. Which would basically be all of them.

Is that something the two of you think you’d like to do?

Elijah, I assume you are discussing birth control in the future tense. You should discuss NFP which I bet she has never heard of. NFP is birth control, but not artificial birth control. As you know, it is important to be open to life. If you don’t know fully what NFP is, by all means, buy a good book and get informed first. NFP is effective and safe.

You are right to foresee future serious issues now. To be honest, I don’t think you can or should “compromise” your faith and values. How could you when you know the truth? I also do not see anything in your post that makes me think this could not be resolved with gentle and loving education.

You should talk about your faith, why it is important to you and what you believe. She may be more receptive than you think.

I will pray for you as you both.

“Reap the benefits”? Of contraception? Contraception is an intrinsic evil that offers no benefits. Unless you believe that yourself you’ll never be able to convince your girlfriend.

Maybe you need to do more searching yourself before trying to convince her. I notice that you identify yourself as a lapsed Catholic? Definitely decide what it is you want for yourself before discussing marriage with her.


You should bring up natural family planning into these conversations. She probably has no idea there is a viable alternative to contraception in regulating family size. Make sure to emphasize that it is as effective as contraception, bears none of the side effects and is approved by the Church.

As for the immorality of contraception, I recently completed an exegetical study that may help her. PM me if you would like a copy.

I agree with the first response. My brother, you should strongly consider whether or not you wish to marry someone who has different morals than your own. Aside from birth control, (ugh, I feel dirty just typing the phrase) you disagree about the Church entirely.
I know some have managed to “make it work,” but I would advise against it unless she truly wanted to become Catholic. There are many beautiful Catholic women out there who need a good Catholic husband.

What is a Lutheran “but not really” girl?

None of these are a reason to marry her. Actually, being “smarter than she lets on” is actually a reason not to marry her. It is a very immature way to behave. How old are you two?

This is at the very core of a marriage. Do not move foward wiht a woman who wants to bring in intrinsic evil into your marital bed.

If you cannot be honest about who you are and what you believe-- and what you cannot compromise on-- you are not ready to be in a serious relationship.

If she says no, you don’t waste any more time dating her.

Don’t confuse the purpose of dating. It’s not so you can feel good at the cost of avoiding difficult conversations and pretending there are no issues. Dating is to discover if there are any dealbreakers early on-- and to MOVE ON if there are. Don’t continue to get emotionally involved-- you already say you ‘love’ her-- with someone with whom you know you have a core moral and religious issue over which you cannot agree.

Then you don’t want to date or marry her.

No. There is no compromise.

It’s great that you’re thinking about this BEFORE you get married. How far off do you think this is? How old are you?

I would start out getting yourself very educated on NFP. I would also find out why your girlfriend liens towards the Pill.

The ONE thing I was never made aware of when on the pill, is that it can allow conception, but the body kicks it out… sort of abortive. This is not common knowledge. It’s something every woman should KNOW!

check out this High Tech Version of monitoring her cycle.

You need to make sure you’re on the same page with lots of issues before you get married.

I would try discussing NFP - but honestly if she is not hearing it - end it now save yourself the heartache.

We’re 23 and 19, and she’s more shy than immature. Actually, she’s more mature than older gals I’ve dated.

For lack of a better term, of course. The point was that I couldn’t reasonably turn a blind eye.

Maybe you need to do more searching yourself before trying to convince her. I notice that you identify yourself as a lapsed Catholic? Definitely decide what it is you want for yourself before discussing marriage with her.

Getting back into the swing of Sunday churchgoing was already on the agenda, and I attended mass for the first time in a long time last Sunday. Naturally, my hope is that I can bring her to the faith at the same time I come back, but birth control seemed a more immediate issue.

I think the most important point would be to see if we agree on this …

As you know, it is important to be open to life.

… and by far, I believe we’re both on the same page. Now it’s a matter of getting on the right page, and I don’t think we’re too far off.

Brother, run to the Lord. Go to confession if you haven’t yet, receive Him in the Eucharist and embrace his love and salvation. Welcome back.

If you’re worried about contraception you could read a book together. I recently read “Sex Au Naturel” by Patrick Coffin, it’s great. Read it and discuss what you have read with your lady.

Sex au Naturel: What It Is and Why It’s Good for Your Marriage

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