How can I help my husband tolerate NFP?


#1

My husband and I have been happily married for 2 years and have a baby girl together. We used NFP prior to conceiving and after my fertility returned. My husband is a very new Catholic–went through RCIA a year before we got married. I think it was more my influence on him that lead him to taking RCIA than it being out of his own deep interest. He has always been open to using NFP (again, my influence) and cooperative, even though I know that it’s more challenging to him given that he is very new to the Faith and NFP. It is very tough on him during my fertile times (phase II) because, naturally he (we) want very much to make love but we have a serious reason for postponing at present. How can I help him and support him during the difficult times when NFP seems too burdensome to him? How can I help him to see the bigger picture, that NFP is not meant to torture us but to help us in our journey toward greater love and holiness? Thanks in advance :thumbsup:


#2

[quote="NurseyJ, post:1, topic:242771"]
My husband and I have been happily married for 2 years and have a baby girl together. We used NFP prior to conceiving and after my fertility returned. My husband is a very new Catholic--went through RCIA a year before we got married. I think it was more my influence on him that lead him to taking RCIA than it being out of his own deep interest. He has always been open to using NFP (again, my influence) and cooperative, even though I know that it's more challenging to him given that he is very new to the Faith and NFP. It is very tough on him during my fertile times (phase II) because, naturally he (we) want very much to make love but we have a serious reason for postponing at present. How can I help him and support him during the difficult times when NFP seems too burdensome to him? How can I help him to see the bigger picture, that NFP is not meant to torture us but to help us in our journey toward greater love and holiness? Thanks in advance :thumbsup:

[/quote]

Dear,

I'm going to pray for you because I am not exactly sure what advice to offer you. I'm going to transition from oral contraceptive to NFP--it's a long story. . :blush:--soon. The good news for me is, my husband is very willing to practice NFP, perhaps more so than I.

You said that you want to help him see the bigger picture, the fact that NFP is not meant to torment you, but to help you cultivate a greater love and holiness. Well said, dear! :thumbsup: In my humble opinion, that is a perfect way to look at it.

Have you tried just telling him that? -Telling him that NFP is not supposed to be punishment, but a way to greater love and holiness? I don't know your situation, and I don't know what the best way to go about it would be, but if I were you, I would just tell him exactly that. If my husband did not respond to that, I would go from there.

Good luck, and God bless you, dear!


#3

Well, it sounds like you don't need to convince him that it is a great thing to do, and the only thing I can suggest is to make sure that you make the most of the times you can do things.

Always keep him aware of what is going on, and how long before you expect to be safe. Keep the communication open, so he knows what to look forward to. Then, make the time you have as good as can be - be available to him during these times, try not to fight etc., so it's worth the wait.

All the best.


#4

[quote="NurseyJ, post:1, topic:242771"]
My husband and I have been happily married for 2 years and have a baby girl together. We used NFP prior to conceiving and after my fertility returned. My husband is a very new Catholic--went through RCIA a year before we got married.

It is very tough on him during my fertile times (phase II) because, naturally he (we) want very much to make love but we have a serious reason for postponing at present. How can I help him and support him during the difficult times when NFP seems too burdensome to him? How can I help him to see the bigger picture, that NFP is not meant to torture us but to help us in our journey toward greater love and holiness? Thanks in advance :thumbsup:

[/quote]

Sorry, why is it your responsibility to support him? Surely you have both decided not to have any children at the moment and he is not the only one who has the desire for sex. NFP as a method requires you to monitor your cycle closely, whilst he just has to deal without sex for a few days a month. He sounds as if he is being rather selfish and as such does not need support during the difficult times but reminding that you are a partnership and if you can put up with NFP's trials then so can he.

I honestly think that NFP is difficult and both partners need support to keep it going so perhaps praying together and making your 'safe' times more special will encourage him into this new routine.


#5

That’s a little harsh. Of course, it’s the responsibility of wives and husbands to support and help each other. It’s not selfish of a man to want to have sex with his wife and find not being able to do so difficult.

Practically, I have little advice of value to offer, having not been in this situation myself (I’m not being married for a few months yet), so take what I say with a grain of salt. Men, like women, like to feel appreciated and useful. Tell him you appreciate him putting up NFP, even though it can be unpleasant for him. Second, I remember Fulton Sheen saying somewhere that people can bear anything in this world, any kind of how, as long as we know the why. Have you contemplated reading about some theology of the body together to look into understanding better why you need to use nfp?


#6

[quote="NurseyJ, post:1, topic:242771"]
My husband and I have been happily married for 2 years and have a baby girl together. We used NFP prior to conceiving and after my fertility returned. My husband is a very new Catholic--went through RCIA a year before we got married. I think it was more my influence on him that lead him to taking RCIA than it being out of his own deep interest. He has always been open to using NFP (again, my influence) and cooperative, even though I know that it's more challenging to him given that he is very new to the Faith and NFP. It is very tough on him during my fertile times (phase II) because, naturally he (we) want very much to make love but we have a serious reason for postponing at present. How can I help him and support him during the difficult times when NFP seems too burdensome to him? How can I help him to see the bigger picture, that NFP is not meant to torture us but to help us in our journey toward greater love and holiness? Thanks in advance :thumbsup:

[/quote]

I hope that you don't mind some input from a man - - -
My suggestion would be to create a different focus during these times. One that is not focused on physical contact and intimacy. St Paul said:
Do not refuse one another except perhaps by agreement for a season, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, lest Satan tempt you through lack of self-control. (1 Cor 7:5)
So perhaps you could take these days and deovte them to God through prayer, spiritual reading, and activities that work to build up you spiritual lives - All the while knowing that at the end of the "season" you will "come together again", even more in Love with each other and with God.

So in short - during this period, help each other to take your mind off of what you "can't do" and place the focus on something you "can do" that is positive for both of you.

Peace
James


#7

Have him read Contraception: Why Not? by Dr. Janet Smith. It might help him understand. :)


#8

Speaking as a man... I don't understand why men think it's such a big deal to go without sex for a couple of weeks or even a few months at a time. I dunno, it doesn't phase me much. There are all kinds of times in a married couple's life where you don't have sex all the time. For example - two kids at home. One of them gets sick. Then the other one gets sick. Then mom gets sick. She's just getting over it, then I get sick. Then I'm just getting over it, then she gets sick with something else. That's it, infertile period has passed, and before you know it it's two months in a row like that. Anyway, you get used to it after a while. Personally I'd have a harder time giving up beer.


#9

Me and my wife have been NFP for a few months now. It has been anything but easy. Not b/c of sexual frustration but b/c the sperm is burning her insides (allergic reaction ??) and b/c she has now started to have two periods per months. Something that hasn't happened to her since she was very young. Of course, I feel bad b/c I was the one who really pushed for us to do this and she's the one having to deal with all the issues...

Hope it works out for you.


#10

My husband had similar difficulty when we first started out with NFP. Open communication is going to be very important for the both of you during your fertile time. For example, my husband used to get very frustrated because I would all but ignore him physically during my fertile time. I didn’t want to give him the wrong idea or lead him on, so I wouldn’t give him more than a peck kiss when I was fertile, and that frustrated him. He wanted to still be able to sit with his arm around me on the couch, give/receive back rubs and stuff like that. Maybe check with him to see if he’s not feeling something similar?

The other thing that helped us is to change our focus a bit during fertile times so that we could focus on getting closer to God. We go to adoration together if we’re having a date night that falls during our fertile time. We say a rosary together before going to bed. Or we spend time just talking to each other about our faith. At the beginning, we talked a lot about NFP and why it was accepted by the church, what we liked and didn’t like about it, etc. It really helped us get reconnected in a way other than physically during that time.

Hope that helps a bit.


#11

Have you seen a doctor about this? It sounds like a serious problem.


#12

Thanks everyone. I appreciate the really great input. It's just tough b/c during my fertile periods, my husband will take the lead physically (starts making out w/ me/caressing/etc) then we end up going "too far" even though we're postponing, if you catch my drift. I always end up feeling bad about it later and even have to bring it up in confession. I mean, I want to be romantic and to kiss/cuddle, but then before long, my husband pushes the envelope and then we end up going waaay too far. I don't know what to do short of yelling "stop" which would feel really strange to say/do given that I am enjoying being close w/ my husband. Sigh...it can be so frustrating. I'm TOTALLY fine with abstaining, have no trouble with it and don't get things started or push the envelope, but he does, and I am too weak to speak up about it :( Sadly, this was even a problem when we were dating. I was very committed to chastity and he (being a very new and not totally fervent Catholic) would always push the envelope. It kind of makes me upset just thinking about it really......


#13

If I may offer a suggestion…
Since you say that you are, “too weak to speak up about it”, might I suggest that you write him a very loving very carefully worded letter telling him how you feel.
Tell him how much you love him, and how good a husband he is and how you really enjoy your inimate times together…but that you find the advances during your fertile periods to be too difficult and you really don’t feel that it should be up to you to call the halt.
Tell him you understand his desires and that you have them too, but that you and he must be patient and wait.
Then offer alternative activities that focus attention away from sex.

If he is the good and loving husband he should be, then he doesn’t want you to be uncomfortable and he doesn’t want to cause you to sin.

If this doesn’t work, you (as a couple) may need to get some counciling.

Good Luck

Peace
James


#14

My wife and I had to set limits for phase 2 cuddling. Okay, SHE had to set limits...:blush:

You need to come to an understanding of what is acceptable, from a church teaching point of view and from what the couple is comfortable with, and then set that as a limit. Out of respect for the other person, you don't cross the limit. You don't let them cross the limit.

If I sense that my wife is too, uhm, amorous, I have to slow down. If I am getting too aroused, she slows down. The goal during phase II cuddling is to prolong the closeness, not get to the happy ending, if you know what I mean. You want it to enhance closeness and not be frustrating.

I always found that knowing my wife was finding Phase II (fertile time) hard to endure helped me, instead of feeling that it was somehow my sole problem.


#15

Is he involved in the charting? Maybe if he knew before the cuddling that it was an avoidance day he would be able to set limits easier. Explain your frustration with starting and having to be the main one who says “stop”.


#16

Does your husband participate in the NFP with you? Does he know that he is trying to initiate sexual activity during your fertile time? My husband is always well aware of where I am in my cycle and knows when not to try to advance past cuddling.

If he knows where you are in your cycle and is disregarding that you are in your fertile time, then that’s a different problem. In that case, you do have to tell him to stop, regardless of how difficult it may be for you. Why do you feel too week to defend what is important to you? Not being firm about where the boundary exists during your fertile time may also be sending him mixed signals.

Either way, the two of you need to sit down and talk about this.


#17

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