Nfp question

My wife and I have 4 children, the youngest of which is 19months, we practice NFP, but at this point have no reason be it monetary or physical to practice any form of birth control including NFP. We both have the strongest desire to always be open to life and love in our marriage, but at this point she just doen’t feel ready have more children, and do not feel that we should be concerned about it. If she gets pregnant, then great. If she doesn’t then that’s ok too. advice needed.

I’m confused…are you 2 both on the same page?

Or do you feel one way and your wife weels another?

Because you only have a problem if you feel differently from your wife. If you both want to abandon NFP , then do so…there’s no rule that you have to use NFP.

Obviuosly you cannot use ABC, but you guys know that.

I should have been more clear, she wants to continue w/ NFP for a while longer, before we quit using NFP and just enjoy our marriage with no obstacles. I think that at this point even using NFP is not needed.

I’m not exactly sure of the question either, but here is what might be relevant:
In order to use NFP (to avoid) you have to have discerned prayerfully with your wife that you have unselfish serious/just/grave reasons to avoid having children right now, and if you find you do, you can continually evaluate to see if the reason persists or not as time passes. If you have not honestly discerned any good reasons to avoid, you would then stop using it to avoid, but you are definitely not required to use it to try to conceive.

She probably needs to share more information about why she feels this way…
Is it because she’s overwhelmed and needs to catch her breath (definitely legitimate)…
Or is it because she has selfish motivations…

These are you to you and your wife to discern, but she needs to be honest with you and you need to listen to her and appreciate what she’s going through. It needs to be a mutual conversation of love and respect for what the other is experiencing…

Ok, I’m not sure what the obstacles are (babies?), but then definitely you guys need to talk and prayerfully discern whether there are unselfish serious/just/grave reasons that make you need to continue to use NFP, or if it is time to let go and not use anything.

OK she wants to use NFP…you want to stop and not use NFP.

Are you understanding or trying to understand her reasons? Is she very tired? is pregnancy hard on her? is nursing hard on her? Is she drained emotionally?

Economic and health reasons are not the only litmus test for validly using NFP.

You need to take in account mental health, marriage stability, your other children’s needs…etc. I think those reasons are just reasons as well.

I think you need to comunicate with each other and pray.

my difficulty is that there are no obstacles at this time, she just doesn’t feel ready. She is a very Holy women and wants to be in total Communion with the Church, she 's concerned that life is busy and will just get busier, she hasn’t had difficult pregnancies in the past, I do not want to be selfish, I am trying hard to put myself in her shoes, but it is difficult for me to understand. In the past when we have quit using NFP she has become pregnant very soon thereafter, but I know that this will probably not always be the case. Anyway, I am trying to understand her, and I am sure she is trying to understand me as well. I just want to be in communion at all times.

Being pregnant takes a toll on your body, whether you have complications or not, especially in the first trimester. Your LO is only 19 months old. I’m sure with a little time she will be feeling ready for another baby.

I should have been more clear, she wants to continue w/ NFP for a while longer, before we quit using NFP and just enjoy our marriage with no obstacles. I think that at this point even using NFP is not needed.

a woman with 4 kids, one being a nineteen month old, has all the serious reason she needs to avoid pregnancy. she shouldn’t have reason to feel defensive of her limitations in her relationship with her beloved husband. her limitations are not weaknesses which she should be urged to overcome. instead her limitations are simply human.

pray for deeper understanding of your wife’s perspective and a deeper understanding of the reality of her vocation as a mother.

it is difficult for me to understand.

pray for this understanding and TRUST your wife on this. just trust her. and be joyfully grateful to God that she is a holy woman in whom you can put your husbandly trust.

The fact that you wife feels unable to welcome another child at this time is itself an “obstacle.” **It seems you are not listening to her. **

It seems that you don’t understand. Maybe she should go on a 3 or 5 day holiday away while you do **everything **with the 4 kids **24/7 **and then maybe you would understand better.

Doug, you don’t have to “understand” her reasons for them to be valid. It seems like you are discounting her reasons as not valid. Instead of trying to “understand” her reasons, how about focusing on respecting her reasons.

I’m just curious about this, how do you know this for sure, that in this specific case, for this specific couple, this is absolutely true? I am not saying it isn’t, but I was just surprised, usually I agree with your posts. I mean even at one point the OP mentioned she wanted to “continue w/ NFP for a while longer, before we quit using NFP just enjoy our marriage with no obstacles”, and didn’t want life to get busier, along with not feeling ready (which could mean many things). The beauty of NFP is the couple discerning it together, asking for God to help them see a clear path. It might not be lack of trust in his wife, he might just be trying to understand what she is feeling and help her discern if the wanting to wait is a need or not.

Darn, discerning NFP is something that is done together. Its not something one decides and the other has to accept blindly. They will both be responsible in front of God for their decision. Maybe he is trying to understand what his wife is feeling because it is important to be on the same page, both of them will be abstaining and it is important for them to understand why they are. It seems like he is trying to listen to her and figure it out. He didn’t say he was trying to ditch NFP regardless if she feels like they have serious reasons, it sounded to me like he is trying to discern whether they do, which, in the end, is what couples are supposed to do.

I don’t disagree that it needs to be discerned together. But, she’s communicated the reasons she wants to wait a little while longer and he seems to discount them completely. He said they have “no reason” to use NFP and he said he thinks NFP is “not needed”, and she has clearly stated that she **does **have a reason.

Having a reason does not = having an unselfish/serious/just/grave reason. In NFP we need to discern if our reasons are the right ones, its not automatically have any reason= ok. I think that is what they need to figure out, if her reasons are in that category. Not being ready could mean a million things (and being busier is not necessarily bad, and wanting time to enjoy a marriage isn’t a reason on its own in a healthy marriage, since babies aren’t an impediment to marital love, marriage is ordered towards receiving these blessings). Its good for him to ask, maybe he can even help her out more in those areas if she tells him what they are.
Honestly, if my dh said he wanted to wait longer to enjoy our marriage without obstacles (assuming having more kids would be the obstacles), I would ask what he meant and how he felt that was unselfish/serious/just reason, I wouldn’t just say ok honey whatever you say. Who knows, maybe after reflecting he doesn’t feel it is a good reason.

I sort of think a mom of 4 children and the little one being only 19 months* is* being selfless.

I have three children. My children’s needs come first…my needs are on the back-burner. If my kids need shoes, clothes etc. I sacrifice haircuts, new clothes, new winter coats, vacations, sleep more sleep etc. .

OP says his wife wants to wait…not that she never wants more children.

I’m just curious about this, how do you know this for sure, that in this specific case, for this specific couple, this is absolutely true?

if there were absolutes, the Church would have given us a list of acceptable "serious’ reasons. the beautiful thing is the Church leaves it up to us to inform our consciences and prayerfully discern ‘serious reasons’ as a couple.

our serious reason may be the next couple’s cop out.

but how do i know this for sure? *** i ***probably don’t. but the OPs wife does know for sure. today, this minute, she’s not ready for another child.

what we can glean from his posts: OP should be more willing to consider his wife’s perspective as real and current and valid. he writes of her with glowing praise; yet he seems to not believe she knows her own mind/ body/ energy level/ coping skills in all of this.

Well perhaps look at it this way. Your conscience is saying “There’s no valid reason to abstain now. It may even be wrong to abstain.” while your wife conscience, however educated or not, isn’t there. This I think is going to lead into an argument where she just feels like you’re saying “Your judgment is wrong. You’re being selfish. Here’s why your feelings don’t matter to me or the Church or God.” Its like trying to convert someone simply on good logical arguments. There is more to it than that.

What you want is to try to get your consciences united and you don’t want this disagreement to hurt your marriage. I think overall you need to turn to God in prayer both separately and individually. Express to her that you feel very disunited and express it in terms that you feel guilty for abstaining during fertile time, you maybe feel a bit unnecessarily rejected and you’re having trouble seeing it from her side. Give her the benefit of the doubt that its not just a poorly formed conscience and selfishness. Let her know that you really do think the best of her, but express more of your feelings than merely your thoughts about it. Then perhaps start praying a daily rosary that your consciences may be united and that both of you are able to learn from each other and be open to allowing the Holy Spirit to correct you. Don’t approach it as a “I’m right and you’re wrong.” Let God unite your consciences and wills together.

I mean it just sounds like she’s already well aware of what the Church teaches. Sometimes morality can be confusing so we need to be able to ask people questions to get the objective answer. But when we are already both pretty certain we’re right and we’re both divided, than I think you need to work on opening yourselves to letting God unite you.

I just wanted to add that just/grave reasons for periodically abstaining during the fertile time are definitely left up to the couple to discern together. I mean, with this pregnancy, I think objectively speaking we had plenty of reasons that many couples do validly choose to prevent pregnancy without falling into sin. The point is this needs to be discerned together so that one person isn’t feeling unnecessarily rejected and forced by the partner into sin while the other feels pressured to take on more than she feels she can handle.

I think a lot of people are perceiving DOUGH’s questions as antagonistic toward his wife. I didn’t pick up on that when I read his posts. I suspect that he would like to abandon NFP simply because the periodic abstinence is an obstacle that gets in the way of him spending ‘intimate’ time with his lovely wife. He seems to adore her, and speaks of her highly, and obviously finds using a method that requires periodic continence to be getting in the way. It is okay for him to say that he feels this way. His wife, on the other hand, simply needs more time before she is ready. This is okay, too. Their youngest is not yet 2 years old. I bet things will change for her as their LO approaches the age of 3. At that point, the child is clearly not a baby any longer, and doesn’t have as many intense physical demands upon the mother’s body.
To the OP, help your wife to realize that you would welcome another child if she were to get pregnant. Show her that you are so thankful to her that she bears your children for you. Make her realize how special her place in your life is. Later, when she is more rested and ready, she will probably be more open about abandoning the method, and removing those obstacles to intimacy. Then, when and if she does get pregnant, she will know she can count on your support and encouragement, as she will be tired with pregnancy.
It sounds like you have a wonderful wife and a happy marriage. It makes me happy to hear about a man who loves his wife so much and happily welcomes more babies. You are a rare gem in the world today, as is your wife. :thumbsup:

FWIW, I agree with lifeisbeautiful, based on what the OP has said, I don’t think that he’s being unreasonable or that they are on the same page as to what is a serious reason to avoid.

Mary Gail, I quoted you because I’m curious about something (bear in mind our only little one is just around 7 weeks old). On the bolded section. I don’t think 19 months is that young…I mean, even if they got pregnant TODAY, that little one would be over 2 years old when the new baby was born. Is that really so young that you think “oh my, I need more time to recover”? I’m curious, not trying to be antagonistic. Because my husband and I have discussed it and we are just leaving our fertility in God’s hands. We’re not old, but don’t want to wait and have problems with secondary fertility. Not to mention we just don’t have a serious reason to avoid. Am I afraid that with my baby only 7 weeks old I could get pregnant (not able to breastfeed, I’m pumping but don’t know what that does to fertility)? A little. But, I’m trusting God. So, honestly it boggles my mind that so many have said “her youngest is only 19 months old”.

PS I am not saying that it is not difficult to have 4 small children (don’t know if he said how old the other ones are, can’t remember), or that every woman and family can handle a family of that size. Not discounting the perceived feelings of the OP’s wife or anyone else that may have decided to wait because they were overwhelmed. I’m just trying to understand it. :slight_smile:

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