NFP---getting husband to attend


#1

My DH and I will be married for 13 years at the end of this month and we have 4 amazing kids. My heart longs for more, every child we have had, has been at my insistance and while he reluctantly agrees, I feel it is only done to please me. He is a tremedous father, and I do not want to cast him in a bad light. Often times I am made to feel selfish for wanting more, not just by him, but by other family members, friends, and even strangers...."You have 4! So are finally done?" these types of comments hurt me deeply and lately have been bringing up some resentment towards him. I have even just started telling people that I really dont want anymore just to avoid the topic, and have even gotten rid of all my baby stuff. (my youngest is only 13 months old) DH and I got married in the Episcopal church (for no other reason than at the time we were living together and did not want to go through the Catholic marriage prep classes, specifically the NFP classes) looking back I am seeing the impact of the decison to close God off from the intimacy in our marriage. How can I get him to see that as well, my fear is that he will think I am "setting him up" to have another baby by asking him to join an NFP class, I also have been searching my heart to make sure I do not have selfish motives in wanting this class for us. Any suggestions, advice, expertise, and most importantly prayers on this would be greatly appreciated!


#2

I think it is very admirably that you want to start using NFP. One thing I would point out is that if it is used correctly it just as effective as birth control. Other advantages include the women gets to know her body much better. It makes the act much more intimate by making God the center of your marriage. Most people will say they think it is much more romantic. It brings unity between the couple in a much more powerful way than if birth control was used.

You won't be setting him up to have another baby because NFP can be used to avoid pregnancy.

Your motives do not sound selfish because NFP is not selfish. And having children is not selfish. It's actually just the opposite. Many people prevent having children so that they can have more to themselves - now that is selfish. By having a child you are sacrificing a lot and giving your self to that child. That is not selfish at all.

Curious, have you thought about getting your marriage blessed in the Church?


#3

We have talked about getting our marriage blessed, but then sadly we allow every day life to get us side tracked. This bothers me, I feel God calling me so clearly sometimes, but then I allow myself to lose His voice again. :( I really am seeing how my disconnect with God, is creating a dissconnect with the marriage.

I'm pretty sure DH will balk at the idea of NFP's effectiveness, he has refered to it as the "maybe baby" plan. I guess I feel selfish for wanting something that he does not want....I will not have a child, if he doesnt want one. (but if I held completely firm to that idea, I would not of talked him into the 4 we have now.) I think ALOT about the child we may or may not be missing out on if I were to just accept his no answer. Which makes me question, why not just take what I have now and be thankful. (don't get me wrong I LITERLY thank God EVERY DAY for the wonderful kids I have) I question, will I ever be like other people and just know and be content that my family is "done". :confused:

(sorry for the ramblings---I'm just really trying to work this out in my head and heart.):blush:


#4

:) I know how hard it can be to get hubby on board. Mine balked like crazy, and we have one kid who is almost 2!!! I was on birth control for medical reasons when we got married, so he was used to the idea that I was always going to be on birth control (might I add that I only have one fallopian tube, one ovary, and am missing a small part of my uterus). In addition, i was on birth control when my daughter was conceived! God REALLY wanted us to have our precious little Fiona. I started seeking holistic treatment for my medical issues, and they have gotten much better, so I went off of ABC. We have been consistently using NFP since about mid-February, and although it worries my husband, things have been very good. i have been observing mucus, cervical position, and basal body temperature. So far, so good... have faith in God, he will show you the way, and pray for your husband to understand why it is so pleasing to God. We are mostly abstaining during my fertile times, but we feel that if we got pregnant right now, it would be ok, and the timing will be right for whatever reason God has.

It is hard to surrender so much control, but you will be stronger!

Our thoughts and prayers are with you, my dear!
much love,
M


#5

Might I jump in here, with a question?

My husband and I used NFP for the first 6 years of marriage, intending to postpone having children until we could get on our feet, financially. We learned it through a special center at a well-known Catholic university, and we were both very well prepared and guided. We had 4 kids in those first six years. NO MONEY, folks. So, we painfully thought that either we become celibate (he insists that, as a married couple, we are not called to celibacy) or "do something about it". Artificial contraception was how we decided to proceed: it was a sad decision, but honestly, there was no way we could afford more children. We couldn't even afford the ones we had, and this is a constant source of terrible stress.

Now, after 15 years, I would like to go back to NFP, in the hopes that maybe it will work better for us, now. But he simply refuses to open up that can of worms, and the idea of putting so much pressure on him is enough to make me avoid the subject. I ask you: what can be done in a case, in which one member of the couple wants to do NFP, and the other refuses?

CeciliaS


#6

NFP isn't for every couple nor does everyone see NFP as the greatest since running water. It's my opinion about NFP is the same as your husbands - it's really a roll of the dice. I don't think practicing this method makes you holier or even closer to God.


#7

[quote="convert38, post:6, topic:232556"]
NFP isn't for every couple nor does everyone see NFP as the greatest since running water. It's my opinion about NFP is the same as your husbands - it's really a roll of the dice. I don't think practicing this method makes you holier or even closer to God.

[/quote]

This is NOT a teaching of the Catholic Church. Using contraception IS a sin. Except for the rare circumstances that it is necessary for medical reasons. But to use contraception to avoid pregnancy is a sin. It may be hard to swallow for some. But there is no way to water it down. God will provide for us if we do his will. If God blesses you with more children than he will provide in some way or another. Pray about it.


#8

[quote="convert38, post:6, topic:232556"]
... It's my opinion about NFP is the same as your husbands - it's really a roll of the dice. ...

[/quote]

No, it isn't a roll of the dice. When used properly, NFP is highly effective.

The Natural Family Planning Information Site
nfpsite.aldred.org/effect.php

The Couple to Couple League - About NFP and More
ccli.org/nfp/effectiveness/index.php

NFP and More
nfpandmore.org/Effectiveness.shtml

[quote="convert38, post:6, topic:232556"]
... I don't think practicing this method makes you holier or even closer to God.

[/quote]

Your opinion directly contradicts Chuch teachings, unless you are indicating that you support no family planning at all and support just letting nature take its course without trying to time or plan when children are born. Some Catholics reject NFP altogether because they view it as contraception, so perhaps you fall into that category.

We know that Holy Mother Church teaches that using contraception is grave sin, which certainly moves one away from God, but using NFP with good reason is acceptable.


#9

I suppose what makes me sad is the polar attitude I find regarding opinions. It seems that there are two scenarios: either we are living in total openness to God's plan, or else we are closed to life, corrupted by the mentality of our society, and maybe even almost sort of nasty. It is so easy for someone who has enough money to live from paycheck to paycheck, and who maybe isn't even married, to make people like me feel that way.

Well, I started my marriage SO open to life, we embraced NFP, we prayerfully accepted that we needed to wait before having children, and my husband and I wound up with 4 little angels in 6 years. We love them dearly and thank Him for them, but providing for them is OUR responsibility, and I don't see (nor do I expect) anyone to step in. Nor do I see that NFP helped us in this.

We started out starry eyed, in a positive and very Christian way. It was painful for us to switch to ABC, but... and here I am getting back to my previous comment: God has evidently made me so fertile that NFP doesn't work for me, unless we embrace total chastity. But if it is true that He wants me to have more children, why hasn't He given us the means to provide for them? And is it even right for a married couple to embrace total chastity? And, even if I did give up intimacy for good (and if it were God's will, I would make this sacrifice) my husband doesn't think this is right. Does one refuse one's husband??

CeciliaS


#10

There are 2 different types of people. Those who accept Gods law and try to conform their own lifestyles to Gods law. And those who accept their own lifestyle and try to conform Gods law to their lifestyle. Which way do you think God will say is righteous?

The Church is very clear about the evil's of contraception. The Church has the authority to bind and loose on earth. Therefore, if you go against the Church than you are going against God.

I understand that for some the practice of NFP is very difficult. Just because it is difficult does not mean you can ignore the rule. Jesus never said that all of his laws were going to be easy. In fact, he said just the opposite through out scripture. He says pick up your crosses and follow me. That doesn't sound like this life is going to be a cake walk. It is true that some of God's laws will be easier for some. But I guarantee that there is not one person here on earth that does not struggle with at least some of God's laws. Just because some find NFP easier than others does not make it OK to use contraception for those that do not.

About refusing ones husband... IF the husband desires you to go against God's law than yes you must refuse your husband.


#11

[quote="CeciliaS, post:9, topic:232556"]

We started out starry eyed, in a positive and very Christian way. It was painful for us to switch to ABC, but... and here I am getting back to my previous comment: God has evidently made me so fertile that NFP doesn't work for me, unless we embrace total chastity.

CeciliaS

[/quote]

I'm confused. It is my understanding that no woman is fertile more than a few days a month. I mean, an egg only lives for a certain amount of time. How could you be "more fertile?" I'm seriously wondering.

Katie


#12

[quote="ktmeyer, post:11, topic:232556"]
I'm confused. It is my understanding that no woman is fertile more than a few days a month. I mean, an egg only lives for a certain amount of time. How could you be "more fertile?" I'm seriously wondering.

Katie

[/quote]

I had the same reaction and thoughts. I'm guessing she meant it is hard for her to determine her fertile days, and because of that difficulty, pregnancy was the result. Perhaps exploring another method of NFP is the answer? In our case, I couldn't determine my fertile days with Creighton, so hubby and I switched to the Marquette method. Figuring out what worked for us was frustrating and took time and discipline, but we did it because we chose to follow Church teachings and wanted to avoid grave sin and displeasing God. It is a choice we have never regretted.


#13

Thank-you everyone for your responses. It really does help to see others points of view and just to know there are others in the same situation. I think I know what I am being called to do, I just want to make sure that I am not confusing my own wants with God's Will.
Cecilia I will pray that God will come to you with the answers and the help you seek.


#14

Hi, again!

Thank you to those who replied. Not to get too technical, or too explicit, but when my "fertile days" or "possibly fertile days" were calculated, honestly, I had three days a month when we could be intimate and avoid pregnancy. And more than once, on one of those rare days, we were intimate and nine months later had another baby. My ob.gyn (a very devout Catholic) told us that I seem to be very blessed in the fertility department, and thought that I probably experience double ovulations during the month, sometimes.

In Confession, four priests gave me four different bits of advice:

One said that I have already shown myself to be open to life, and not to cry so much (he said it in a nice way) (and I always cry over this, it is all very upsetting to me)

Another said that if I refuse my husband, he might go out and commit adultery, and what good would that do?

Yet another said that my husband can use condoms in an interrim period, in which I get him used to the idea that we go back to NFP.

The fourth said that God doesn't mean for us to be so hung up and upset on these matters, that He means for us to be serene, and that I am not allowing myself to live out my Christian life by making such a big deal, when I have already shown that I am open to life.

Any comments?

CeciliaS

ps edited to say a special thank you to SwizzleStick: I am going to look in to the Marquette method, right now! And thanks to lawrnmom, too, for your prayers!!


#15

[quote="SwizzleStick, post:12, topic:232556"]
I had the same reaction and thoughts. I'm guessing she meant it is hard for her to determine her fertile days, and because of that difficulty, pregnancy was the result. Perhaps exploring another method of NFP is the answer? In our case, I couldn't determine my fertile days with Creighton, so hubby and I switched to the Marquette method. Figuring out what worked for us was frustrating and took time and discipline, but we did it because we chose to follow Church teachings and wanted to avoid grave sin and displeasing God. It is a choice we have never regretted.

[/quote]

Prayer is more effective than NFP or ABC. My wife and I use it, and she is pregnant right now with no. 7 (but we planned this one).:)


#16

Cecilia - I understand your frustration. And I will pray for you. Although I may not understand your exact situation I have had my own times when it was very difficult for me to follow God's laws.

Let me ask you something, do you think that God make's exceptions to those who have a harder time following his laws due to their situation? My answer would be no. After all, the commandments were set in stone (literally).

Using contraception is NOT being open to life. We have to be open to life 100% of the time. Not only when its convenient, but 100% of the time.

One said that I have already shown myself to be open to life, and not to cry so much (he said it in a nice way) (and I always cry over this, it is all very upsetting to me)

I don't doubt that you have shown it. But it is important to continue to show it. When God calls us to do things he does not just ask us to do it once. He ask us to do it our entire lives. I will use an example. A girl wants to have premarital sex with me and I tell her no, I say "look God I followed your commandment and turned away from sin". God says "I am so proud of you for showing your love to me. Now that you have proved to me that you can do it you don't have to follow my commandment anymore." :rolleyes: Obviously, this is NOT how God would respond. Rather, he would respond "I am so proud of you for showing your love to me. Now continue to show me your love for me and continue to turn away from sin."

I know this must be extremely difficult for you and my heart goes out to you.

Another said that if I refuse my husband, he might go out and commit adultery, and what good would that do?

It is wrong to commit a sin to stop some one else from sinning. If your husband ends up committing adultery because you were trying to do what is right than he will have to answer to God for that. I know that it will hurt you too. But that is not the right approach when answering God's call. There are other approaches to help your husband.

Yet another said that my husband can use condoms in an interrim period, in which I get him used to the idea that we go back to NFP.

This is wrong. If a priest told you this he is wrong. Yes it may start you on the right path, but to say that it is OK to use condoms is wrong.

The fourth said that God doesn't mean for us to be so hung up and upset on these matters, that He means for us to be serene, and that I am not allowing myself to live out my Christian life by making such a big deal, when I have already shown that I am open to life.

The Lord said carry our crosses. There are some things in this life that cause suffering. We should lift up this suffering to the Lord. You have to show that you are open to life every day. Not just a few times in your life.


#17

[quote="CeciliaS, post:14, topic:232556"]
...ps edited to say a special thank you to SwizzleStick: I am going to look in to the Marquette method, right now! ...

[/quote]

You're welcome! If Marquette turns out not to be the NFP method for you for whatever reason, look into yet another method and so on.

With that being said, believe me, I do understand that it is difficult and frustrating to research, learn and try to implement a method and then find it is not effective for you so that you may not be able to "celebrate your sacrament" for a length of time. It is difficult and discouraging. Hubby and I can attest to that. But, we do not regret making the decision to use NFP even though it was not always an easy thing to do.

My best to you in finding what NFP method works for you!


#18

[quote="CeciliaS, post:14, topic:232556"]
Hi, again!

Thank you to those who replied. Not to get too technical, or too explicit, but when my "fertile days" or "possibly fertile days" were calculated, honestly, I had three days a month when we could be intimate and avoid pregnancy. And more than once, on one of those rare days, we were intimate and nine months later had another baby. My ob.gyn (a very devout Catholic) told us that I seem to be very blessed in the fertility department, and thought that I probably experience double ovulations during the month, sometimes.

In Confession, four priests gave me four different bits of advice:

One said that I have already shown myself to be open to life, and not to cry so much (he said it in a nice way) (and I always cry over this, it is all very upsetting to me)

Another said that if I refuse my husband, he might go out and commit adultery, and what good would that do?

Yet another said that my husband can use condoms in an interrim period, in which I get him used to the idea that we go back to NFP.

The fourth said that God doesn't mean for us to be so hung up and upset on these matters, that He means for us to be serene, and that I am not allowing myself to live out my Christian life by making such a big deal, when I have already shown that I am open to life.

Any comments?

CeciliaS

ps edited to say a special thank you to SwizzleStick: I am going to look in to the Marquette method, right now! And thanks to lawrnmom, too, for your prayers!!

[/quote]

Maybe try confessing to a married eastern catholic priest with orthodox views. Maybe he could empathize with you without giving you heretical positions like these men did.


#19

Thanks, Everyone!!

CeciliaS


#20

[quote="notredame_999, post:18, topic:232556"]
Maybe try confessing to a married eastern catholic priest with orthodox views. Maybe he could empathize with you without giving you heretical positions like these men did.

[/quote]

Again, this is a prime example of one trying to change God's law to fit ones lifestyle instead of changing ones lifestyle to fit God's law. So, I guess, if you don't like the laws of the Church or the laws of the Church aren't consistent with your way of life just go find a church where they say your way of life is OK? Is that right? :shrug: That sounds pretty heretical to me. Not to mention that this is one significant reason for the thousands of protestant churches we have today. There is one Church only - the Catholic Church. There is one Truth that can be found in the Catholic Church.


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