Hello, out there -
I’m new to this and looking for answers, help, support. My wife and I have been married a good long time and have been following NFP for most of it. Until the last few years, we were “there for each other” in between phases and to me, this was and is natural and normal. However, my wife had a friend who enlightened us several years ago that the church says that no sex other than intercourse is allowed outside of phase 3, and certain things are not allowed even then. For us, that limits us to being together once a month if we are lucky. Yes, we could take the chance and have more kids (we have four) and that would be fine with both of us if we could afford it. Doing otherwise then makes us irresponsible to bring children into this world we cannot take care of properly. Yes, we could totally throw it open to trusting God, but my wife gets pregnant easily and we always have thought He expects us to use the brains He gave us.
I read and hear that NFP is supposed to bring us closer together because of a mutual sacrifice, but over time, it has not. Granted, it is but one piece of what has been a number of stressful years - different work hours for both of us, very tough time with teenagers, unhappy at work - but frankly, I am pretty much to the point of “who cares” when phase 3 rolls around. I do not really look forward to it, at times have to talk myself into it so I can be there for my wife, and there is no connection or real intimacy at all in our relationship anymore. I have no drive or desire anymore; “use it or lose it” has become “it’s lost”. It should not be this way. In between phase 3’s, my mind tells me I should be desiring my wife, but I do not much. And trying to get myself so, sends me to the confessional. We do not really get to have sex, so when phase 3 rolls around, it just doesn’t really matter.
So, is this the way NFP is supposed to be over time? Does the church and God want a marriage to be almost sexless? While it is my greatest weakness, it seems I am left with the choice of sinning alone or bringing my wife to sin, which I cannot do. Or does this all fall under “no one guaranteed happiness in this life”? Yes, there is supposed to be more to intimacy than sex, but it helps when I can be close in that way with my wife. I can’t.
I am resentful of my wife, the church, and even God somewhat. Problem is, a part of me says I’m sure everyone is right but me. But I do not understand it at all. It is just another piece of my life I have no control over - the one thing I tend to think God gave to a husband and wife to share is something we almost cannot have.
I’d love to hear from anyone else feeling as I do and especially anyone who has gotten through it with a better relationship. Sorry for the long winded-ness.