My in-laws will be visiting for the holidays, and I would like to get some advice on how to handle this situation. Every time we get together with my husband’s parents, the subject of birth control comes up. Both of my husband’s parents are Catholic, as are my husband and I. My husband and I use NFP, and I am very happy with it. My husband is not completely convinced about why he should follow the Church’s teachings in this subject, however he “goes along” with it. (He would much rather not abstain during the fertile period and instead use a barrier method, as he doesn’t see a need for a married couple to abstain from sex.)
My mother in law always asks, and when I tell her we’re using NFP she always says, “that didn’t work for us. We had 3 kids using it, and after that we decided we were done having kids. We prayed about it and we’re ok with our decision not to use it anymore.” She encourages us to use a barrier method if that’s what makes my husband feel comfortable, because “we have to do what’s best for our family.” I usually tell her that NFP is working for us, but she insists that it didn’t work for her and that it’s ok to not use it in that instance.
So what’s best in this situation? Changing the subject doesn’t work with her, as she’ll keep bringing the subject up again and again, each time encouraging us to contracept. I need a tactful way to explain it to her, without making her feel like I’m judging her decision to go against church teaching. If that’s her choice, it’s her right to do so, but I don’t feel she should be encouraging my husband to do the same. (I say “my husband” because my mind is made up on the issue and there’s no way she will be able to convince me to go against church teaching. Since my husband doesn’t understand it, it’s much easier for her to convince him to go against it, which is usually what ends up happening.)