NFP frustration VENT (warning TMI)


#1

I am at the end of my rope.

DH is not Catholic. He’s really not receptive to hearing the “Why’s” on the Catholic ban on contraception. He tolerates NFP. Although he fully understands the risks involved with hormonal BC and he fully supports my refusal to use it, he doesn’t “get” why barrier methods are wrong. But he reluctantly cooperates.

What he does not accept is my refusal to use other means to “take care of him” when I’m ovulating. He thinks I just don’t care about his misery and his needs and I’m just being selfish. He doesn’t get that oral sex is just another form of contraception.

So, every time there is a long period of abstinence, I have to deal with guilt trips and anger from him. I have had it. I am just near tears right now. There is a serious communication problem here and I don’t know what to do about it. How do I make him understand Church teaching when he doesn’t want to hear it. He would rather believe that I’m just being selfish.

I don’t know how much more of this I can take. :frowning: This has been going on for several years and I am beyond frustrated.


#2

I don’t envy you. It is hard enough to deal with the frustrations of NFP when DH is on board, let alone not! :wink:

My advice? Make the non fertile times “unforgettable”. I know that sounds really silly but it is my own way of helping the situation the rest of the month.

Have you discussed NFP from a non religious point of view? Some non Catholic spouses can handle that better. Tell him you don’t want all those chemicals in your body or that barrier methods aren’t fulfilling because you don’t feel as close to him.

As far as Oral gratification, that is a tough one. Just tell him that is not an option but make sure he knows that you are “taking care of his needs” by responsibily handling your fertility.

I am sorry I don’t have any better advice but I do hope you can hang in there without feeling pressure. You are doing the right thing!

LynnieLew


#3

First let me tell my husband is Catholic and we do follow NFP but there are times even though he knows the church teaching that he feels frustrated with the abstinence. I think it is much harder for men generally. Even though he’s not verbal about it I do feel this underlying pressure and even guilt at times because he’s frustrated and I can see it.

I asked my husband to get a mans perspective. He says if you have clearly shown your husband the teaching on oral sex not just verbally but somethng written from the church then he is the one being selfish. He says that your husband is guilting you intentionally to get what he wants. That being said his frustration is real.

What can you do? I’m not sure. Would he willing to talk to a priest about your situation? Maybe a marriage encounter weekend to help with communication. When you are infertile to you make “good use” of that time to be together? If you’re saying not tonight when it is possible to be together maybe he thinks you really just don’t feel like it at the times when you can’t and you’re just using it at an excuse?

I know it must be very difficult to feel pulled in two directions. Feeling like you have to choose between pleasing God or pleasing your husband. I wish I had some better advice for you. All I can say is go the extra mile when you are able to be together. Maybe that will help?

I will pray for you. God Bless.


#4

I was DH. Tell your hubby that he needs to ask himself if he really wants to make love to you or just have sex with you. For years my wife and I did the latter, and we did all the things that DH wants to do, and at the and of the day, we weren’t fufiled. We weren’t satisfied. We were together in bed, but really we were alone.

Have DH take a good look in the mirror - what it is that is holding him back from looking on you with eyes of love and not lust? What’s causing him to seek to use you for self-gratification? I had to ask myself these questions, and it’s not easy. For me, it was my years with pornography that palgued my desires and stained my soul. Has DH had similar struggles?

Make sure you love and support him, no matter how angry he gets. Make him ask the tough questions. And I assure you, and him, that finding the real love in lovemaking will be, as the previous blogger put it, unforgettable. It will take hard work and you will need to discard previous conventions, but the goal is the garden - where our first parents lived naked without shame.

Pax Christi -

Michael


#5

That’s the thing, I haven’t had a chance to really show him the Church teaching. The lines of communication regarding my religious beliefs are just not open. It’s a very sore spot between us. He grew up in an anti-Catholic home and he scoffs at anything close to “the Church teaches this or that” and he doesn’t care “why”. The most I’ve gotten out of my mouth was that it’s a sin. He thinks I’m crazy. He just doesn’t get it. He doesn’t want to get it.

He’s already frustrated enough because I just had a baby so sex has really been few and far between. But even before I got pregnant this was just a sore, stressful issue between us every month. Ironically, we have a good marriage all except for this one issue. This is where we struggle.

UGH, I just feel so alone right now. I’ve been praying for 13 years…is God ever going to convert him? :frowning:


#6

I’m so sorry you are going through this and feeling so alone. I reverted back to the church before my husband converted and I do remember him looking at me like I grown a second head or something. Religious discussion was a sore spot and he thought I was getting “too religious”. I think it was our NFP class that finally got my husband’s attention on how selfishly his attitude toward sex was.

It must be so hard not be able to discuss such an important part of your life with your hubby. Would he not consider a marriage encounter weekend? It’s not overly religious, it’s really mostly about communicating.


#7

If he’s not open to the Church’s teaching on the issue of oral sex, what about your feelings? The fact that you aren’t comfortable with that type of sex should be enough of a reason for him to not pressure you, no matter your reasons.


Would he be more understanding if you had a really sensitive gag reflex? What if you were abused that way as a child? Maybe if you put a different perspective on it, he may see that he is being the selfish one?


I am really sorry that you are facing this situation right now, ESPECIALLY after just having a baby.


** I will pray for you tonight, so that you can find some way to deal with this and open the lines of communication and have a happier marriage. I pray that your husband develops some sensitivity towards your feelings and starts treating you like the mother of his child (or is it children?) instead of something to be used for sexual pleasure.**


Malia


#8

I agree that showing him clear teaching against other forms of stimulation could help, and I think after showing him that you believe that is very wrong it might help if you could think of something that he would find very immoral and ask him how he would feel if you were pressuring him to do that.

I don’t know just how hard your husband strives for chastity, but with my first child only three weeks old I’ve found that periodic abstinence during fertile periods was hard enough and being in the middle of an even longer stretch away is nearly making my head explode. He might be more understanding once he’s had some distance from that period, so even though it shows forth a larger issue that needs to be dealt with it might help him if you offerred up your own discomfort with the situation for just a bit longer in order to meet him at a better spot.


#9

So… he’s the only one who has “needs” during periods of abstinence? I agree with the other posters that taking an NFP class together, or going to Marriage encounter might be helpful, if he is willing to go. He needs to realize that your purpose as a wife is not simply to “satisfy” him when he thinks he needs it.


#10

My husband is not Catholic, he is of no faith. We began using NFP after our second child. I refused to do anything but. We have had the exact same thing go on in our house. I explained how selfish it is for someone to recieve all the pleasure while the other does not. He hated the entire thing. He threw fits. He threatened to go find other ways to please himself. I cried and prayed. Finally, I fasted and fasted for him. Each time he began his tissy, I would drop my head and pray a “Glory Be” silently. I took all he had to toss my way and offered it all up to Jesus to shower him with the grace to understand. Slowly my husband is coming around. I leave Christopher West books in the bathroom and he has begun to read them. It gets better. I will pray.


#11

Well I’ll be the devil’s advocate here…


It sounds to me like your dh is trying to be as accepting as he can be and it’s leaving him feeling cold and alienated by you. He is okay with you using NFP, although he doesn’t agree with it and doesn’t want to use it. That is worth something and give credit where it is warranted.


I hope you keep in mind that as much as you think you are being hurt - your dh is feeling 10 times as hurt. You are turning him down for the sake of dogma. (in his mind anyhow) Telling him he is selfish or sinful for wanting sex with his wife is NOT going to endear him to this or you. Because it isn’t selfish and it isn’t sinful for a man to desire his wife. It natural to feel that way about ones spouse and we all need to know that our spouses feel the same for us. To tell him he is selfish and sinning for wanting his wife is not fair nor will it help your marriage.


Does you dh know that you still desire him?


This may be the dumbest question ever, but is it an option to just not use anything, NFP or otherwise? Would your dh be okay with that?


#12

I agree.

And he probably does doubt my “desire” for him. I just had a baby and any sexual interest has gone out the window here. I try my best to, well you know (don’t know how else to put it…) but he knows I’m just not interested.

Tossing NFP out the window isn’t really an option right now for financial and health reasons.

I think the root of the problem really isn’t NFP, but communication in our marriage. I need to make him understand the “why’s” of the Church’s teaching on sex and birth control. But it’s hard to communicate that to someone who has such a negative attitude towards Catholicism. And even though I understand the “why’s”, I feel incapable of explaining it to him.


#13

What you need to do is sit down and explain that you feel this strongly. That your faith has become a part of who you are. And you need to know he can love you even if he doesn’t always understand you. (he needs to know this too, btw!) And you need to him to tell you how you can work with him so that both of you feel close to each. In bed and out of it.


You need to talk honestly and with GIVING hearts.


#14

Were you very interested before the baby?


#15

My husband is not Catholic, but has great respect and admiration for John Paul II. I ordered Christopher West’s CD from the Mary Foundation (free), and asked him to listen to it. Your husband may not be ready to receive this information, but it worked for my dh.

The part that impressed him the most is that with each marital act we are renewing our marriage vows to love totally, faithfully, and fruitfully.

Here’s the link to the ordering information: catholicity.com/cds/west.html


#16

I wish that we could post a direct link to THIS thread everytime someone comes onto this site who is considering a Catholic/nonCatholic marriage.


#17

Well…yea. But I have zero, zip, zilch interest when I’m breastfeeding. This is my 4th baby and it was the same way with my other babies.

I think he knows that…he knows why I’m not interested. We talk about that a lot.

I think this is God’s other natural way of spacing babies, lol!


#18

Interfaith marriage is hard. And it is especially a cross for me to bear because I happened to marry someone who not only is not Catholic, but was raised in an anti-Catholic Baptist church. It would definitely be easier for me if he was more accepting/understanding of Catholicism.

But I have to offer up my frustration, my loneliness, my sadness when I have to go to Mass alone and watch other couples attend together, and our marriage struggles for his conversion. I have always believed that is what God wanted. (although He sure is taking a long time on this conversion road…:frowning: )


#19

#20

There’s a protestant book about this: Open Embrace: A Protestant Couple Rethinks Contraception by Sam Torode, Bethany Torode. I haven’t read it, but have heard good things about it. I’m not sure what their view is on barrier methods and “other” activities. Maybe check it out at your library…

God bless,
Jennifer


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