Marriage question on NFP


#1

I have been sitting with this for four years and if you can help me, I’d really appreciate it. I feel very very guilty.

A decade ago my husband and I came back to the Catholic church. We came back to a rather lax parish where we did not get a lot of instruction, and we thought we were doing things correctly according to the Church. But then, four years ago we were drawn to a wonderfully traditional and educational parish, and my husband and I heard about NFP and what we were supposed to do intimately.

Well, from then to now we have not been using birth control, but have not been open to life in every act. My husband does not want anything to do with NFP, it would make things too textbook and rote and it is not 100% effective, so he doesn’t believe it is useful. He absolutely doesn’t want any more children (we have three already); I am not interested in having more children either. We are both almost 51 years old. I am close to menopause and my periods are not totally regular – and I have heard that NFP at that point is not as reliable.

I have confessed this to a priest and he told me to pray for our marriage every day, which I have. I don’t want to continually go back to confession with the same sin over and over again, but should I?

I have told my husband several times that I have a problem with what we’re doing and that we should try NFP, but he doesn’t believe the Church is right. I wonder if the Church is right or wrong, and I can see his side of it, so I am not completely innocent in this either. And, we are almost 50 and having children now would be very difficult physically and mentally for both of us. We are both by nature high-strung and have anxiety.

I am trying to keep our marriage good and unified and loving. Our home is more loving now, I have seen it. When we were not intimate for some time, he was angrier and more unpleasant. I have also seen the effects of a married couple not being intimate – my parents live in different bedrooms and they are not happy at all. I don’t want to replicate that pain and loneliness and sorrow in my own marriage.

If you have read this far, thank you so much. If you have any advice, I would really appreciate it.


#2

I read a case study the otherday that said that NFP if used correctly can be 99% effective. ( this is around the same ammount as some artificial contraception) I realise that you are close to menopause and you have irregular periods but there are so many methods of NFP that you are sure to find one that will work for you.
Have you thought about using ovulation test kits clear blue has an amazing one in conjunction with something else ie your basal body temp or cervical discharge it may work.
Everyone has different ways they make NFP work you just have to find the method that works for you


#3

So you think NFP might still validly work at my age? I will look into it, thank you, even if I have to do it alone as my husband is not interested in doing NFP or knowing about it.


#4

It might work you could look at talking to an NFP coach


#5

When I am going to be intimate with my husband, I like to have fresh breath, to have maybe taken a shower or at LEAST freshen up in the bathroom for a bit.

Every day I am going to brush my teeth, that does not become rote, I am going to use the toilet and take 5 extra seconds to observe my mucous when I go to the bathroom. Nothing rote about that, I simply check and see if I have fertile mucous today.

Remember there are many many many ways to “do NFP”. Look at all of the methods, I prefer Creighton.


#6

I am 52, and I use the Creighton model of natural family planning.

We have used NFP for 13 years, since we got married.


#7

Observation of cycles in pre menaupose can be hard if cycles are erratics. Perhaps all methods Cannot be applied.
But in counter part the fertility is very very low. May you take informations on this ? Is this something that can be acceptable for you?


#8

The fact that the fertility rate is very low at my age is good and may help.


#9

Is that model reliable for you? May I ask if you are in menopause or peri-menopause yet?

Thank you –


#10

Creighton has instruction for all types of situations. And although it doesn’t use temp as a normal part of the method, you can always add it as a cross check.

I have not yet reached menopause— 12 months with no period. Darn!

I did go 7 months earlier this year, then had to start over in my counting. Grrr! So I’m still in perimenopause, which I’ve been in for about the last 5 years.

A girl can hope— that this year is it, and I’ll be done. We will see.


#11

Eh, not quite a barrel of monkeys on this side of that line :wink:


#12

Yeah, but i’m ready.


#13

The bottom line is not whether I am okay with NFP or not . . . it’s really a question of what if my husband still refuses to do NFP even after I try to persuade him. Is it a sin to be intimate if this is the case? What do I do in that situation?


#14

Remember, NFP is information, not an action or a device. So, you record your information.

On your fertile days you say “honey, I am likely fertile right now”.

He does not have to do anything except understand where you are in your cycle. If you two decide to have marital relations on a fertile day, then you understand that a child may result. If your husband is intent on using a condom, then, that sin is on him.


#15

A little simplistic, I think.

In a situation where a couple is having relations during infertile days, and when the husband insist on using a condom during fertiles days (only), the wife can simply refuse during those days. It is not the same as to refuse relations all times.

Conjugal relations must always been agreed by the two partners.
No one should (even in the civil law it is illegal) force the other. No one have the duty to force himself.
We are responsibles of our acts.


#16

That is something to discuss with your priest.

See the document Vademecum for Confessors which outlines counseling penitents in that situation.


#17

Note that I said the same thing.


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