NFP is killing my marriage...help!


#1

Hello!

It has been a while since I posted here, but I am back and in need of some help. My wife and I were celibate prior to marriage…for five years. During that time, we began the study of Theology of the Body and quickly determined that a life without birth control was the life we wanted. We then looked for information about NFP, and settled on the Creighton Model.

After getting married in February, we stared practicing NFP and I have to say that I love the way that it works. If you follow the teaching, you avoid pregnancy…simple as that. So, I no problem with the function.

My question surrounds my wife’s cycle. Due to some condition that we have not yet nailed down, she has a VERY limited amount of time in which we can have sex and not get pregnant. This is limiting our sexual activity to about twice a month. I am not selfish about this, and have accepted it. However, it is starting to cause some issues between us. My wife is very frustrated with it, and I am getting there as well. What I am asking for here is some kind of hope that things get better. We have both been praying and attending mass regularly, and we have been trying other ways of being affectionate. However, our lack of a sex life is really killing our marriage and we are starting to fight a lot.

Is there something we can do and still be within church teaching?

Help…please.


#2

Could you speak to your instructor re this? I

f you are having so few days post-peak, might signal a hormonal problem.


#3

There are other issues as well. This seems to take all of the spontaneity out of the act. She feels as if we MUST have sex on the few green days we get, and that is killing the romance of it. It becomes like a forced act. It is feeling like work for her and she resents it.


#4

I agree that you need to see an instructor and a "good" doctor, or look into other methods. Indeed the post peak "safe" days should be about a week, where you could plan to spontaneously renew your marriage during that week. The fact that it is not means there might be a problem with your wife's fertility/hormones, you are misinterpreting the signs, or that this method does not work for you.

Also if this is causing problems maybe you guys should re-evaluate why you are avoiding children. Are your reasons serious/just/grave (pick your term) to merit problems in your marriage? Just some things to think about. Hope this helps.


#5

I'm a Creighton student as well....The chapter on SPICE is very important, IMO.


#6

[quote="jilly4ski, post:4, topic:204916"]
I agree that you need to see an instructor and a "good" doctor, or look into other methods. Indeed the post peak "safe" days should be about a week, where you could plan to spontaneously renew your marriage during that week. The fact that it is not means there might be a problem with your wife's fertility/hormones, you are misinterpreting the signs, or that this method does not work for you.

Also if this is causing problems maybe you guys should re-evaluate why you are avoiding children. Are your reasons serious/just/grave (pick your term) to merit problems in your marriage? Just some things to think about. Hope this helps.

[/quote]

I agree that you should re-evaluate. NFP is not to be used with a contraceptive mentality.


#7

[quote="sadie2723, post:3, topic:204916"]
There are other issues as well. This seems to take all of the spontaneity out of the act. She feels as if we MUST have sex on the few green days we get, and that is killing the romance of it. It becomes like a forced act. It is feeling like work for her and she resents it.

[/quote]

One thing that I hear very often from married couples is that they don't have time or energy for romance while juggling kids and work and other family and house reponsibilities.They joke about not having sex for months just from bad timing. Often it is suggested that they schedule dates and it seems to help. I know you guys aren't crazy busy yet, and things are still fresh, but maybe you should take the advice of those that say scheduling it in and making it fun helps? Who ever said that getting married means you stop going out on dates? :)


#8

So stop using it.

Having to use NFP is a very negative thing and a very negative influence on your marriage. A couple should consider themselves blessed if they never have to use NFP. You are supposed to use NFP when there is no other choice but complete abstinence. If you're newlyweds then there probably no good reason to use anything at all, unless you're a masochist that is. :)


#9

[quote="KostyaJMJ, post:8, topic:204916"]
So stop using it.

Having to use NFP is a very negative thing and a very negative influence on your marriage. A couple should consider themselves blessed if they never have to use NFP. You are supposed to use NFP when there is no other choice but complete abstinence. If you're newlyweds then there probably no good reason to use anything at all, unless you're a masochist that is. :)

[/quote]

:thumbsup: The point that seems to always get lost in the NFP discussions is that NFP is not an alternative to contraception; it's an alternative to abstinance.

[quote="sadie2723, post:1, topic:204916"]
Hello!

It has been a while since I posted here, but I am back and in need of some help. My wife and I were celibate prior to marriage...for five years. During that time, we began the study of Theology of the Body and quickly determined that a life without birth control was the life we wanted. We then looked for information about NFP, and settled on the Creighton Model.

[/quote]

NFP* is *birth control. If you are using any form of spacing or delaying pregnancy; it's birth control. NFP is not contraception.

After getting married in February, we stared practicing NFP and I have to say that I love the way that it works. If you follow the teaching, you avoid pregnancy...simple as that. So, I no problem with the function.

My question surrounds my wife's cycle. Due to some condition that we have not yet nailed down, she has a VERY limited amount of time in which we can have sex and not get pregnant. This is limiting our sexual activity to about twice a month.

Something is wrong here. We have posters here with VERY serious reasons to use NFP to avoid another pregnancy - life threatening reasons - and 2 days a month is extreme. Either: A) there is something about your wife's cycle that needs to be evaluated medically or B) the method you have chosen isn't the best one for you.

I am not selfish about this, and have accepted it. However, it is starting to cause some issues between us. My wife is very frustrated with it, and I am getting there as well. What I am asking for here is some kind of hope that things get better. We have both been praying and attending mass regularly, and we have been trying other ways of being affectionate. However, our lack of a sex life is really killing our marriage and we are starting to fight a lot.

Is there something we can do and still be within church teaching?

You don't need to answer in the forum but is the serious reason you are avoiding a pregnancy still as serious as it was when you started NFP? Sometimes (not always) frustration with periodic abstinence is a sign that abstinance is no longer the best choice and it's time to stop avoiding a pregnancy.

With that in mind, and without going into medical advice, cycles change after a woman has been through a pregnancy. NFP, if you need it again, might work better after a child or two.


#10

[quote="sadie2723, post:1, topic:204916"]
Hello!

It has been a while since I posted here, but I am back and in need of some help. My wife and I were celibate prior to marriage...for five years. During that time, we began the study of Theology of the Body and quickly determined that a life without birth control was the life we wanted. We then looked for information about NFP, and settled on the Creighton Model.

After getting married in February, we stared practicing NFP and I have to say that I love the way that it works. If you follow the teaching, you avoid pregnancy...simple as that. So, I no problem with the function.

My question surrounds my wife's cycle. Due to some condition that we have not yet nailed down, she has a VERY limited amount of time in which we can have sex and not get pregnant. This is limiting our sexual activity to about twice a month. I am not selfish about this, and have accepted it. However, it is starting to cause some issues between us. My wife is very frustrated with it, and I am getting there as well. What I am asking for here is some kind of hope that things get better. We have both been praying and attending mass regularly, and we have been trying other ways of being affectionate. However, our lack of a sex life is really killing our marriage and we are starting to fight a lot.

Is there something we can do and still be within church teaching?

Help...please.

[/quote]

How about this- (and I do feel for you guys)- how about adding a GOOD fertility monitor into the mix. This should make it extremely clear the EXACT days when you shouldn't be intimate. I hope you nail down the condition soon, but I think the fertility monitor will help back up and enforce the method you're using. There is nothing against using those monitors and some of the good one are extremely effective (there are some that use a vaginal sensor as well as spittle so you're making extra sure!)
Good Luck and God Bless
Rye


#11

NFP is not an artificial method to prevent births- but I do understand why people call it birth control when it is used to avoid pregnancy. At the same time, (and I"m glad you didn’t say that he needed to specify), the Church leaves it up to each couple to determine the reasons for putting off or spacing children. I may cause a little bit of controversy here, but our Priest agreed with us when we said that we wanted to put off having children not only for medical reasons but also because we just wanted time to get to know each other as husband and wife without a pregnancy involved (we had a pretty good clue from the other women in my family that I had a good chance of being very fertile).
It can be financial, it can be for health reasons-there are many reasons that a couple may wish to avoid having a pregnancy soon after getting married. For some couples, they’re ready to use NFP right after getting married in order to conceive. One thing that bothered me about the post was saying that (and I paraphrase) “after one or two pregnancies NFP may work better…” - I disagree - if NFP is supposed to be 97-99% effective (if used properly) then this should not be so! As a newly wed, I’m sure that this couple (especially after staying chaste for 5 years-congrats by the way!) must have a pretty good reason for being willing to abstain for as much time as they are. And couple, by the way, if you’d like me to reccomend a fertility monitor that has worked for others, let me know - I just don’t want to be told that I’m pushing a product or brand- it seems to happen on here sometimes.
God Bless
Rye


#12

Hey sadie2723,

First of all, let me tell you that I completely feel your pain about this. My husband and I were married a little over a year ago and we struggled with almost the EXACT same problems (we had about 8 days/month that were "safe" - which rarely seemed to line up with our semi-conflicting work schedules and intimacy did seem forced and completely unspontaneous). We were very frustrated because we felt like we waited so long and then it was even MORE frustrating to be married, living together, and still "waiting" most of the time. Then, like many people here were suggesting, we sort of stepped back and asked ourselves and each other why we were putting ourselves through this? Would having a baby be the worst thing that could happen in our lives? Were our reasons (I'm still in school, I work with hazardous chemicals everyday, we just spent almost all of our savings on a wedding, etc.) really legitimate or were we just trying to have control and script the lives we thought would be right for us rather than letting God choose when to bless us with children?

In the end, after prayer and lots of talking to each other (and some particularly good advice/guidance during confession), we decided to - let go and let God. It's worked out so far and things have gotten a lot better in the home life! I don't know if this will be helpful to you but I wanted to let you know that you are not alone and at least one other couple has gone through the same thing! We'll be praying for you guys!


#13

[quote="ryecroft, post:11, topic:204916"]
One thing that bothered me about the post was saying that (and I paraphrase) "after one or two pregnancies NFP may work better..." - I disagree - if NFP is supposed to be 97-99% effective (if used properly) then this should not be so! Rye

[/quote]

The efficacy of NFP is irrelevant here. It's about the ease of use. NFP can be more challenging to use (but still quite effective) if the couple has the complication of irregular cycles or other conditions that confuse the indicators. Without getting into medical advice ;) many women, according to my past and present OB/GYN physicians, experience more regularity after a successful pregnancy.


#14

[quote="sadie2723, post:1, topic:204916"]
My question surrounds my wife's cycle. Due to some condition that we have not yet nailed down, she has a VERY limited amount of time in which we can have sex and not get pregnant. This is limiting our sexual activity to about twice a month. I.

[/quote]

get medical help asap from a pro-NFP doctor, and get assistance with your charting from those who taught you NFP or try another method.

NFP is not killing your marriage,
the attitude "if we can't have sex more than twice a month we are finished" is killing your marriage

reality check: every couple should be required to sign a waive before they marry that warns "in real life there are going to be times when sex is simply not possible. If you can't live with that reality you are not ready to get married."

the other alternative is of course to let God decide when you will be blessed with children and simply be together when and as you can in joy.


#15

There is a good reason it is often said that one should not marry until you are ready to have kids.

But if it is really necessary, I agree that having your wife's cycles evaluated is a good idea. If there is a problem though, it might not be possible to fix it.


#16

I would like to say thank you to all of the people who commented on my situation in both public and private formats. You guys are a blessing. Thanks!

I do want to note that NFP is just what it says it is (Natural Family Planning). Thus, my wife and I are planning our family. That starts with the two of us and God. Right now, both of us have discussed the idea of children with each other and with God, and we firmly believe that this is a horrid time for us to consider it. We have our reasons (financial and otherwise) and I will leave it at that. I will thank you in advance for not judging our decision making process on this, as I assure you that God has been involved the whole way.

Again, I thank you all for your comments. I am blessed by them and I will give them all prayerful consideration.

Thank you all!


#17

[quote="puzzleannie, post:14, topic:204916"]

reality check: every couple should be required to sign a waive before they marry that warns "in real life there are going to be times when sex is simply not possible. If you can't live with that reality you are not ready to get married."

[/quote]

I really object to this. This is a true cheep shot. You have no right at all to judge whether I am fit for marriage or not. You should be ashamed of that comment. I came on this forum seeking peaceful advice and not scorn. I am truly hurt by this.


#18

Why not use a Fertility Awareness Method, which is in accordance with your wedding vows “to love and to cherish until death do you part”. It’s also important that you feel loved in marriage both physically and emotionally.

I’d recommend Toni Weschler “Taking charge of your fertility”, which is available on amazon.

Non spermicidal barrier methods are the most ethical during a woman’s fertile time of the month although they may reduce reliability of method. Spermicide damages the lining of the vagina and is banned on many condoms but some manufacturers still put it on.


#19

[quote="sadie2723, post:17, topic:204916"]
I really object to this. This is a true cheep shot. You have no right at all to judge whether I am fit for marriage or not. You should be ashamed of that comment. I came on this forum seeking peaceful advice and not scorn. I am truly hurt by this.

[/quote]

Please don't take that post personally. It wasn't addressed to you specifically.

Sometimes those of us who see the same questions/issues posted over and over and over and over and over again wonder why this is not already common knowledge. (And yes, your problem has been addressed MANY times.)

It's easy for those of us who have been here a while to get frustrated too.

(But I do sympathize with your issue because we dealt with something similar in our own marriage. :gopray2: for your situation.)


#20

[quote="sadie2723, post:16, topic:204916"]
I would like to say thank you to all of the people who commented on my situation in both public and private formats. You guys are a blessing. Thanks!

I do want to note that NFP is just what it says it is (Natural Family Planning). Thus, my wife and I are planning our family. That starts with the two of us and God. Right now, both of us have discussed the idea of children with each other and with God, and we firmly believe that this is a horrid time for us to consider it. We have our reasons (financial and otherwise) and I will leave it at that. I will thank you in advance for not judging our decision making process on this, as I assure you that God has been involved the whole way.

Again, I thank you all for your comments. I am blessed by them and I will give them all prayerful consideration.

Thank you all!

[/quote]

First - get in contact with your Creighton teachers...
Second - this inability to track her cycles with certainty may be a medical issue. Consider finding an NFP-only doctor (onemoresoul.com/nfp-providers) or seeing a specialist (Reproductive Endocrinologist) who can further assist in diagnosing any issues...
Third - If the Creighton model isn't working for you - consider another method. There are others out there - Marquette, Sympto-Thermal, etc... if you need more information on those please ask. No one method is "better" than another - it's just what works for YOU...

God bless... you'll be in my prayers...


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