NFP and spousal relationships


#1

My wife and I are going to start using NFP after our next child is born (no need to worry about it when she is pregnant ). I was wondering, for those who use, if they think their relationship has improved with their spouse since using NFP. This article seems to paint a pretty glowing picture of NFP use. From the article:

A scientific survey conducted in 2000 under the direction of Dr. Robert Lerner of the University of Chicago showed that couples who use NFP have a 0.2% divorce rate, attend church more often and have happier, stronger marriages. With NFP intimacy and communication are enhanced. The family is made stronger and consequently society is made stronger. Not only is the Church’s position not out of touch or impractical, it is the solution for much of what ails us.

Would those who use NFP agree?


#2

While I would agree, I’m not sure that I agree that it’s NFP per se, that causes the users to have all-around happier lives, but that the people who use NFP have a certain sort of disposition and stable character traits that perhaps make their marriage better. Traits like unconditional love and respect, the belief that God is God and his design for humanity is a good one, practiced pre-marital chastity, go to church regularly, spirituality is important, they have the belief that divorce is never an option, etc. Plus, they must be people who don’t do what everyone else is doing just because everyone else is doing it. In other words, people who choose NFP for their family planning are really among the best candidates for long term marriage to begin with. So NFP attracts the type of people who make good spouses in addition to forming a couple to have a genuine, Christ-like love for one another. And when you’ve used NFP, other forms of birth control seem terribly inadequate, because NFP is such a perfect thing for a marriage, everything else falls far short.


#3

Just keep in mind that the lower divorce rate and all the bliss which is reported here isn’t only because the couple practices NFP. It comes from understanding and appreciated the underlying reasons NFP is welcomed by the Church. NFP is a tool. The Theology of the Body is at the core of why NFP, as a tool, can bring couples closer together and keep them close.


#4

[quote=Cupofkindness]While I would agree, I’m not sure that I agree that it’s NFP per se
[/quote]

Well, sure, I don’t think that NFP carries any magical properties but conveys a real commitment to each other and the teaching of the Church.


#5

I think there are 2 groups of peole who use NFP:

  1. Those who decided to try it for anything other than spiritual reasons (like their spouse asked them to, health reasons, etc)

  2. Those who were already in tune with God’s will and would never think about using contraception

I fell into the first category. It was actually a combination of hubby’s pleas and health reasons that got me looking into it.

I am happy to say that it has improved my attitude and understanding of reproduction and marital love which in turn has improved my marriage and led me to convert to Catholicism.

I agree that NFP is just a tool that can, unfortunately, be used in negative ways (contraceptive mentality etc). But in our lives it was just one more tool that led me to the Truth.

arieh0310, I think if you and your wife approach NFP with the right attitude it can’t help but improve your marriage. Is she as willing to learn it as you are? That will make a huge difference.

It can be very hard for us women to believe that a “natural” method can be effective when we have been indoctrinated that using contraception is the only responsible thing to do.

Malia


#6

[quote=Feanaro’s Wife]arieh0310, I think if you and your wife approach NFP with the right attitude it can’t help but improve your marriage. Is she as willing to learn it as you are? That will make a huge difference.
[/quote]

Just for a little background, both my wife and I are currently Protestant (though I have few objections to the Catholic Church and it looks like my conversion is imminent). My wife and I had been using the pill until we found out that all denominations opposed ABCs until the 1930s and that there was Scriptural support for not using ABCs. So, wanting to follow our Lord wherever He leads we decided to learn NFP. As it turns out, only the Catholic Church has NFP instructors (so far as I have found). After the first session my wife was totally excited about using NFP, and totally sold that it is the only morally acceptable way to space our babies.


#7

Yes! Most definately our relationship has improved. We were both products of public school sex ed programs and secular media influence. The class was especially helpful to my husband who had been raised in a house where porno tapes were in the video cabinet.

Our intimacy changed drastically. During my fertile time I now knew when my husband was affectionate he didn’t have something more in mind. And by the time my infertile time came well as they say “absence makes the heart grow fonder”.

Although my husband basically went along with NFP because he knew it was important to me; he became a “star pupil” in our NFP class. He studied it, he knew it and he even helped others that were stuck.

We have had huge marriage issues in the past and I truly credit the grace God has given us to heal from past hurts to us following God’s will by not using ABC. It was a turning point in our marriage.

Each marriage relationship is unique. If one partner is not on board with the NFP thing it could easily cause more difficulty then improvement. And there is struggle during times when you must refrain from sexual intimacy - even nine years into this. It is especialy difficult and frustrating for my husband at times. And it is hard for me to see his frustration and not be able to help. But it has made our initmacy more special and appreciated since we can’t do it any time we want. It helps us realize that is truly a gift that God has given us and not fall into secular ideas of self satisfaction.

I think NFP is the Catholic Church’s best kept secret.


#8

[quote=rayne89]I think NFP is the Catholic Church’s best kept secret.
[/quote]

This almost sounds like a backhanded compliment. Let the secret out!


#9

[quote=arieh0310]Just for a little background, both my wife and I are currently Protestant (though I have few objections to the Catholic Church and it looks like my conversion is imminent). My wife and I had been using the pill until we found out that all denominations opposed ABCs until the 1930s and that there was Scriptural support for not using ABCs. So, wanting to follow our Lord wherever He leads we decided to learn NFP. As it turns out, only the Catholic Church has NFP instructors (so far as I have found). After the first session my wife was totally excited about using NFP, and totally sold that it is the only morally acceptable way to space our babies.
[/quote]

Sounds like you are following the same road as Scott and Kimberly Hahn. Are you familiar with their story?


#10

We have only used NFP, so I can’t compare to anything else… and only been married a few months.

But, I 100% agree with this statement. I believe it fosters a view of sexuality and intimacy that is counter cultural, but very satisfying and uplifting. After talking with newlyweds on a secular board, I can see the difference in the way NFP couples and contacepting couples view sex in general and each sex act specifically.

It’s amazing. And, I see how NFP sets you up to have a better marriage.


#11

We have been Blessed with a great marriage all along, but I can say that using NFP has made our “intimate” life better :).


#12

[quote=mvinca]Sounds like you are following the same road as Scott and Kimberly Hahn. Are you familiar with their story?
[/quote]

I know who Scott Hahn is and have listened to the Hail Holy Queen series on ewtn.com, but I have never heard his conversion story. Is there one online.


#13

[quote=arieh0310]I know who Scott Hahn is and have listened to the Hail Holy Queen series on ewtn.com, but I have never heard his conversion story. Is there one online.
[/quote]

It’s not available free online, but you can get the conversion story from www.SaintJoe.com on CD, video, etc.


#14

[quote=arieh0310]I know who Scott Hahn is and have listened to the Hail Holy Queen series on ewtn.com, but I have never heard his conversion story. Is there one online.
[/quote]

Here are some transcripts:
chnetwork.org/scotthconv.htm


#15

Scott Hahn’s conversion story is available free through the mary foundation:

secure.catholicity.com/mary/

Blessings
Danielle


#16

[quote=arieh0310]I know who Scott Hahn is and have listened to the Hail Holy Queen series on ewtn.com, but I have never heard his conversion story. Is there one online.
[/quote]

Consider reading his excellent book “Rome Sweet Home” about his road to conversion, and his wife’s difficult journey as well (which came after his own).


#17

[quote=cailliaugirl]Scott Hahn’s conversion story is available free through the mary foundation:

secure.catholicity.com/mary/

Blessings
Danielle
[/quote]

Wow, I didn’t know that. I’d only found it on St Joe’s. That’s cool.


#18

arieh0310-- I am going to be praying for you and your wife!! This investigation into NFP is what started my road towards the Church, and I have been Catholic now for a year and a half! Praise the Lord!! It made me so happy and excited to read your post.

My first (of many) Catholic books was Rome Sweet Home–Scott Hahn’s conversion story. I have lots more to recommend if you are interested! :slight_smile:

God Bless You.


#19

[quote=aterrell]arieh0310-- I am going to be praying for you and your wife!! This investigation into NFP is what started my road towards the Church, and I have been Catholic now for a year and a half! Praise the Lord!! It made me so happy and excited to read your post.

My first (of many) Catholic books was Rome Sweet Home–Scott Hahn’s conversion story. I have lots more to recommend if you are interested! :slight_smile:

God Bless You.
[/quote]

There is nothing I appreciate more than prayer, thank you. To know that there are people on earth and in heaven praying for my wife and I is great consolation. By the way, my name is Arieh (pronounced like Zachariah minus the Zach) and my wife’s name is Sunni.


#20

Arieh-- I will be praying for you and Sunni. God bless you on your journey!

Amy


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