Help! Getting mixed messages about NFP


#1

My fiance and I are going to our first NFP class this coming Thursday. We are looking forward to going to the classes, but now I keep getting mixed messages when I try to read up on it online. On one hand I read where it is healthy, with God’s wishes, and strengthens the marriage relationship. On the other, I read where the husband or wife feels neglected due to lack for physical intimacy due to the periods of abstinance. My current take is that it will improve our relationship, and that the periods of abstinance are healthy and good for us to sacrifice that deep urge for Him. I would like to hear some opinions of people who currently use any form of NFP. All your help is greatly appreciated.

Xander


#2

First off… congratulations on your upcoming marriage!

NFP has been an enormous blessing in our lives. Like you, we took classes before getting married.
I think this aspect is important… many who have a difficult time with NFP are coming from a background of using artificial birth control - experiencing the “freedom” to have relations whenever THEY want to. For some of these couples, abstinence is very difficult.

You’ll get similar responses here on the forums, like you mentioned, some having a wonderful experience (:wave:)… and others finding it very difficult to manage in their marriage.

NFP is nothing more than information… information about a woman’s fertility cycle that can be used to determine whether or not you, as a married couple, feel called to engage in relations at that exact moment. This can take prayer, sacrifice, and lots of open communication… all of which can enhance your marriage and bring it to new levels of joy and love.

God bless you and good luck at your NFP class!


#3

“your mileage may vary”

This means that your experience with NFP will be unique to you and your spouse. Periodic continence is available for couples with just reasons to avoid a pregnancy for a time, or indefinitely. If you experience “neglect” then perhaps you need to evaluate whether your reasons are serious enough to continue abstaining.

I can only speak for Creighton Model NFP, but there is an entire section on SPICE-- which focuses on ways for the couple to share themselves in other ways when avoiding.


#4

Thanks for the information. We come from a background of ABC, we were not chaste up until very recently, and used ABC, but we weren’t intimate very often, I wont go in to details but it was less than most people think. But that being said, we want to live our lives as to what He wants and being abstinent for a few weeks a month doesn’t meen we can’t intimately enjoy each other. It just so confusing listening to the outside world and to what He wants.

Xander


#5

**Like mentioned above, NFP is only information. How you use that information will be up to you and your soon to be spouse. You may choose to use it to avoid pregnancy for a time, use it to achieve a pregnancy, it can help diagnose fertility issues, etc…

NFP used to avoid pregnancy is NOT the natural state of marriage. Being completely open to new life at any time is. So, for couples like my husband and I, NFP is a huge blessing but also a cross to bear. We use it to avoid due to serious health reasons. I am thankful that we have this moral option. And because we are both on the same page, it DOES enrich our marriage. But that does not make prolonged abstinence any easier, we just view it differently. When compared to total life long abstinence it is a real blessing.

So go and take your classes. Learn learn learn. Information is always good! And once you are married use prayer to discern your true calling about growing your family.

malia**


#6

We will be learning Creighton, because it seems the most scientific of all the methods. We are really looking forward to it, and our current thinking is that it will strengthen the times that we are intimate.


#7

I think it helps if you are both fully committed to NFP and it’s rules. If you are avoiding pregnancy, and both of you are on board with that, then it will be a lot easier than a spouse who whines and complains about not being spontaneous. It makes the committed spouse feel guilty for holding back on relations. But, it sounds like you and your fiancee are committed. You gotta work as a team!


#8

Unfortunately, that’s so true. Sounds like you really want to listen to what He wants though, and that’s wonderful! Best wishes regarding NFP and your marriage. :slight_smile:


#9

Possibly… usually much less! :wink:

We NFP’ers tend to “make up for lost time” during the rest of the cycle too…:wink: :smiley:


#10

This really makes me feel a lot better about what we are about to do. Because how can what He wants for us be bad for our relationship. Also I have read excerpts from Scott Han’s book, but not all of it yet, but I have heard it helps.


#11

Also, don’t forget that NFP is very positive for women’s health. I discovered I had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) by using NFP before I got married. I took my charts to my doctor and he ordered a blood test to confirm. I was right!

It can help more serious conditions like cervical cancer also. Women get so intuned to their bodies that when something is wrong they know faster than a woman using ABC.


#12

One of the benefits that stuck out most strongly was the openness that was created between my husband and me in regard to what my body is going through. It really allowed me to share every part of me with my husband, from what went on in my day to what’s going on in my body! It creates a sense of intimacy that I feel is lost with birth control. And the more intimacy between spouses, the stronger their marriage is!

Another wonderful aspect is how quickly we were able to tell that we were having a little one! My husband is the one that would hand me the thermometer in the morning and then we would chart my temperature together. As such, he was fully aware of what my chart looked like. We were able to start strongly suspecting that I was pregnant only after 6 or 7 days after conception!

Congratulations on your upcoming marriage! I can tell you from experience that it is the best blessing God has ever given my husband and me!!


#13

Through charting I was able to determine that I had low progesterone levels (possibly why I had a miscarriage 4 months ago). I’m sure there are lots of other examples…using NFP is also a huge positive when you and your fiancee are married and are ready to start a family. You can take all that “avoiding” knowledge and apply it…backwards…:smiley:


#14

Whew! Well I am feeling so much better about going to our classes now. All your kind words are really helping, I will admit that I was thinking we were going to have to sleep in separate beds haha :smiley:


#15

Well, we haven’t had the best experience with NFP. Make sure both you and your spouse are 100% committed to it, and I’m sure it will be fine. If one of you isn’t, it can be a heavy burden and a challenge. But it is still the most physically and spiritually healthy way of avoiding or achieving pregnancy.


#16

My daughter and her new husband are using NFP. (How else would you morally avoid preganancy?) She has quite a bit of problems with her period, always has. Her comments to me are that NFP might give her the answers to those problems. Charting has given her a better idea about which phase of her cycle is most problematic. She has come to realize that she is at risk of miscarriage–she thinks her progesterone levels aren’t right. My daughter believes NFP is the best way for a woman to come to know her own body, it gives her and her husband a good platform of communicating about the most intimate area of their lives, and provides them with structure and discipline as they begin their married lives. NFP is bringing them even closer together. Is it hard? YES Is it a pain in the neck at times? YES But they rest in the knowledge that their fertility is really in the hands of God. They trust in Him, not some chemical or device. God bless you as you continue your search for what God wants for you as a married couple. :slight_smile:


#17

This is inaccurate. A serious reason for avoiding makes abstinence possible, it does not reduce desire for one’s spouse or dissatisfaction with not being able to be intimate.


#18

My husband and I have used NFP successfully ever since our son’s birth 2 1/2 years ago, following our conversion to the Catholic faith.

As an already married couple who had been contraception, we had difficulty getting used to the periodic abstinence in the beginning. Had we started off with NFP, this would have seemd much more natural. However, over time, we have come to love the method. My husband told me recently that he has fallen in love with me all over again. This came as a complete surprise to me, especially since I’ve been so grouchy with my two “terrible two” toddlers lately! But the times of abstinence really do bring you back to those days of courtship.

Another unexpected bonus of NFP was the effect charting had on my outlook as a wife. No matter what kind of day I’m having, or how I happen to feel toward my husband at the time, each day I have to chart very personal information about myself, in anticipation of our next union. There is nothing I’ve found that reinforces commitment to one’s spouse like this act of sacrifice. It is an openness, an honesty, a vulnerability that is never found in the contracepted marriage.

I would not trade NFP for any other method on earth. :wink:


#19

I didn’t read all the responses… but We use creighton too. We went when we were first engaged… I can’t tell by the post if you are male or female but I would engage the husband to do all the charting and the wife (naturally) the observations. This way everyone understands what time of the month it is and when you stand when it comes to fertility. That being said - NFP is a blessing- The communication and information it gives is amazing… its awsome to know when you are about to be intimate wheather or not a pregnnacy is possible. It it opens the lines of comunication between spouses about all the sexual stuff… which is so important to be open and honest with your spouse. NFP can also be a cross at times. It is hard to abstain for certain peroids of time… It does keep sex fresh and exciting because you can’t always have it when you want- It can sometimes take the spontaniaty out of sex but that is minor. We currently use NFP to avoid because our daughter is only 8 months old and I would like her to be weaned before I get pregnant again… or at least a year old. There is about 2 weeks out of every month that we must abstain- yes its hard… we are young and only 1 1/2 years married but we deal with it and pray about it. Its the only option when it comes to following your faith and being knowledgable about your fertility. So to sum it all up… its a blessing but it also can be frustraing and challenging… But like anything God teaches us… you learn and grow and it will help your marriage!! Congrats on your upcoming marriage!


#20

I’m a woman engaged to be married in August, and we are learning the Creighton method of NFP. It’s been great so far! I really think that most women should learn how to use it, married or not, because it is just such an excellent way to understand your health in a very simple way.

While I certainly can’t speak to using it in day to day married life, I can say that learning it together has gotten us to talk about some things we otherwise would not have, and created just a greater openness with one another. He has attended the sessions with me, looked through the method instruction book, and we have talked about my chart. BUT I do not now, nor do I ever, plan on having him do the observations for me (or to chart them…that seems silly). I don’t think that it’s necessary for spouses to share in that aspect of any NFP program (for example, I read about how *The Art of NFP *book suggests that the husband help his wife in assessing cervical position?). That seems oddly unnecessary to me. Maybe help remind her with a phone call or text to take her temp, or hand her the thermometer in the morning…but other than that, when it comes to NFP, the man is there as a supporter and someone to talk to.

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!


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