I’m brand new here, but came specifically to get some good advice.
My husband and I have been married a little over 3 years. I entered the church the week before our wedding, and had been a faithful non-denominational Protestant since I was very young. So needless to say, my entrance into the church brough about a lot of changes. I would say that I was well-informed about what those changes meant, and as prepared as I could have been about my decision to enter the church.
However, some of the realities that have come about have placed a great deal of stress on me and as a result, our marriage. We started off using NFP and had two kids the first two years of our marriage. Now I am so afraid of marital relations, that I keep about a 3-week window every month to be extra sure that a pregnancy will not occur. It’s not that I don’t know how to use NFP correctly, but that I conceived #2 when I totally thought it was safe (no regrets). Plus, my cycles have changed a lot since my pregnancies, making them feel a bit unpredictable. Anyway, it seems that once we’re in the “safe” window of time, my husband has forgotten about/lost interest in sex. I’ve wound up feeling like I’m doing a lot of “work” (charting) for nothing. NFP had not fostered any amount of tenderness between us, has not enriched our marriage by any means, and has ushered apathy into our marriage. We both just “turn off” and forget about each other, while he proceeds to “relieve” himself and confess every week. (I’ve caught him a few times/suspect the rest of it) My husband is a cradle catholic, and very proud of the fact that we practice NFP.
I know the church’s teachings on these things. I just get so frustrated when I think about how these rules have been kept in place for years, by people who don’t know the stresses that can come with family life. My husband and I live without the blessings that the marital act was meant to bring into our marriage and therefore, we live inside a compromised union. I’m not happy in my marriage because I see only responsibilities (bills, diapers, groceries, chores, work, meetings, school, etc.), and the very few opportunites we do find for sex, are often in the “unsafe” zone. Even though there are other ways to physically please each other during those times, we’ll end up in mortal sin and possibly damned to hell. It’s just so cruel. Plus, it goes against my conscience/logic to think that God would send me to hell because my husband and I orgasm outside of intercourse. My upbringing taught me a sin is a sin. Now as a Catholic, there are so many rules, nuances, and technicalities that I sometimes feel I am sinning by being so “legalistic”.
I may be rambling a bit, sorry. I just want advice and/or others who are willing to share their experiences with these things.
Thank you so much for reading/responding.
P.S. I have not shared with him about how I feel, because I already feel like I’ve let him down in so many other ways.