NFP Romance During fertile time


#1

Every month, this is a burden to me and my husband. I am very regular and charting has been rather easy, however, during the fertile phase we are made quite aware that we are created to, well, create.
I have done some reading on here and it has answered my initial question about 'alternative means of satisfaction'. So, my question now is, what is your advice for a newly-wed couple (7 months now) to help the romance during the difficult times?

Thanks so much :tiphat:


#2

First of all, after 7 months, it should be a regular time to consider whether you still have a serious reason to avoid pregnancy. The answer to that question might change the whole equation. :)

If the answer to the above is "yes", the fertile times are good times to set aside for special treats such as date nights, movie in front of the fireplace nights, go out and look at the stars, etc. Keep something special reserved for those times when you know you don't want to be intimate.


#3

My advice is to prayerful consider your reasons for using NFP. If your reasons are serious enough, it should not be too difficult to abstain. I would also recommend reflecting on the words of St. Paul from 1 corth 7 (paraphrased from memory) "do not deny each other except by mutual agreement for a time of prayer". So my advice would be to pray during the time of abstinence. I would recommend specifically praying together about being open to God's will for you family. St. Paul is wise and I think doing this could avoid a variety of different problems.

I would not recommend anything overly "romantic", perhaps showing your love in other ways by sacrificing something for each another.


#4

Take advantage of those date nights, and time out with friends and such.

It's harder when you have babies. You may not want to leave them with sitters, or can't afford it...

I'd make a list of all the things you enjoy, and like to do... and perhaps mark those days for special outings to do those things.


#5

By the time we get through with our full time jobs, do household chores, cook dinner, play with and bathe our daughter... we tend to be pretty pooped anyway. We make time for intimacy about 3-4 times a week, and when I am fertile we do extra things around the house,
I retreat to my art studio, he works on grading papers or coding projects, etc. By the time we actually get to bed after keeping ourselves busy, we go to sleep before our heads hit the pillow.

I imagine it is harder to abstain if you don't have kids yet.... you have so much more time and energy....

If we are needing together time and I am fertile, we watch a movie or read a book together. And by read a book together, I mean we find a book we both love and sit down and read it together. Sounds weird, but we laugh at the funny things, cry over sad things together, and make comments to each other. It's like our little book club.

Hope these ideas help?
M


#6

:thumbsup: Nice ideas!

[quote="themeginthemoon, post:5, topic:232651"]
By the time we get through with our full time jobs, do household chores, cook dinner, play with and bathe our daughter... we tend to be pretty pooped anyway. We make time for intimacy about 3-4 times a week, and when I am fertile we do extra things around the house,
I retreat to my art studio, he works on grading papers or coding projects, etc. By the time we actually get to bed after keeping ourselves busy, we go to sleep before our heads hit the pillow.

I imagine it is harder to abstain if you don't have kids yet.... you have so much more time and energy....

If we are needing together time and I am fertile, we watch a movie or read a book together. And by read a book together, I mean we find a book we both love and sit down and read it together. Sounds weird, but we laugh at the funny things, cry over sad things together, and make comments to each other. It's like our little book club.

Hope these ideas help?
M

[/quote]


#7

This may sound weird, but when that is an issue, we talk about it! We share how difficult it is to abstain, and we share how wonderful it is, from a spiritual point of view, to follow God's plan for marriage. We don't whine or complain, but rather we look on it in the same way as hunger during the Lenten fast; difficult, but enriching. We have medical reasons we can't have more kids, and we revisit those reasons to understand why God has us where we are at.

It is a great time to talk about your plans for your fertility. Whatever your reasons for postponing children now, it is always a good idea to revisit those reasons and make sure you are on the same page.

Good luck!


#8

My husband and I make it a point to go on a date once a week. So, when our date nights fall during abstinence times, we spend an hour in adoration together. We've found it's a great way for us to get closer to God during those times.

Find something that you both enjoy doing, and spend time doing that together. For example, my husband and I both enjoy photography, so when we have free time during our fertile time, we'll pack up the car and go take pictures together. It's given us a great opportunity to sharpen our night time photography skills! Sometimes we'll watch a TV show that we both like. The point is to do something to keep busy, so that you're not dwelling on the fact that you're fertile at the moment.

As some others have said, this is a great chance to talk about the reasons you are abstaining right now. If you feel that you still need to avoid pregnancy, talk about why. Many times reminding yourselves of the reason for abstaining will help. Or you might find that it's time to rethink whether or not you still have a good reason to avoid pregnancy right now. Either way, it's helpful to talk about it together.

Congrats on your new marriage, and good for you for using NFP! Good luck!


#9

[quote="SummerSmiles, post:8, topic:232651"]
My husband and I make it a point to go on a date once a week. So, when our date nights fall during abstinence times, we spend an hour in adoration together. We've found it's a great way for us to get closer to God during those times.

Find something that you both enjoy doing, and spend time doing that together. For example, my husband and I both enjoy photography, so when we have free time during our fertile time, we'll pack up the car and go take pictures together. It's given us a great opportunity to sharpen our night time photography skills! Sometimes we'll watch a TV show that we both like. The point is to do something to keep busy, so that you're not dwelling on the fact that you're fertile at the moment.

As some others have said, this is a great chance to talk about the reasons you are abstaining right now. If you feel that you still need to avoid pregnancy, talk about why. Many times reminding yourselves of the reason for abstaining will help. Or you might find that it's time to rethink whether or not you still have a good reason to avoid pregnancy right now. Either way, it's helpful to talk about it together.

Congrats on your new marriage, and good for you for using NFP! Good luck!

[/quote]

I LOVE the adoration idea! We are about 30min away from a church that has Perpetual Adoration, it is also in the same city we would go on a date to!
I, also, love photography, he enjoys it too, but we just have one camera. :( We have a couple of TV shows that we love and watch.
We talk about our reasons every month! LOL I know you can never 'afford' a child, but we aren't financially set yet and would like to have a house (it looks like we are going to build! :eek:) We are in an itty bitty apartment right now. We waited almost 6 years to get married and would like to enjoy it for a little while before little ones come along. ;)

Thank you for recognizing that we are using NFP, it is difficult, we have a great church family, but no one our age and in our situation, so our friends that are our age are generally non-Catholic and just don't get it, no matter how much I/we explain it.


#10

Go hiking, watch sports, go bowling. Take turns doing an activity together that one of you really loves but the other one doesn't appreciate quite as much (not a joke--it likely won't put you in an overly romantic mood but may get the other to appreciate their spouse's interests and give you something else to talk about).

As for wanting to enjoy married life for a while before kids come along, I'll tell you what I tell everyone: Everything is so much better with kids. I'm sure some won't agree with me, but I've been to Disney World as an adult, and I've been to Disney World as a parent. There's no comparison between the two. All my friends who waited for the same reason and have now started having kids have come to the awful realization that having kids not only would not have slowed them down while doing the things they enjoy, but also would have made all those experiences better because they'd have been doing them with their children. Not only that, but it's so much easier having them when you're younger. (If you don't buy the rest of what I've said, trust me on this: our kids range in age from less than a year to 20, so we have them in diapers and college.)


#11

Gordon,
The time together isn't our top reason for waiting, we are very eager to start our family, but we feel the need to be more stable before that happens.
Thank you for your advise!


#12

Maybe you could plan outings or dinner parties with other couples on some of those "no-go" nights.

When we have company, we usually stay up late with our friends, talking and laughing. By the time we get to bed, were too tires for any extracurricular activities!

P.S. If you're going to build a house...well, let's just say maybe you should find room in your tiny apartment for a crib because building ALWAYS takes so much longer than you think it will! LOL! My MIL likes to make us laugh with stories about how her oldest son slept for 11 months next to the TV in the living room...it was the only place in their tiny apartment where they could jam in a crib!


#13

[quote="iamhis, post:11, topic:232651"]
Gordon,
The time together isn't our top reason for waiting, we are very eager to start our family, but we feel the need to be more stable before that happens.
Thank you for your advise!

[/quote]

I can understand this :) You want to give your child the best life possible. If you do get pregnant, though, even while practicing NFP, it's God telling you "I have different plans". I got pregnant on ABC (medical reasons) and with several of my reproductive organs missing! If that's not God saying "I have different plans", I don't know what is lol.

It is tough to have a baby in a small space, but it is possible! They don't take up a lot of space initially. Also, you can have a baby on a budget - I understand your reasons for not being ready quite yet, but it is all possible even when you think it would be extremely difficult :) You probably know that already, but I just thought I would tell you again... it's always good to get a reminder!

All things possible through God,
Much love and prayers
-M


#14

[quote="iamhis, post:9, topic:232651"]
I LOVE the adoration idea! We are about 30min away from a church that has Perpetual Adoration, it is also in the same city we would go on a date to!
I, also, love photography, he enjoys it too, but we just have one camera. :( We have a couple of TV shows that we love and watch.
We talk about our reasons every month! LOL I know you can never 'afford' a child, but we aren't financially set yet and would like to have a house (it looks like we are going to build! :eek:) We are in an itty bitty apartment right now. We waited almost 6 years to get married and would like to enjoy it for a little while before little ones come along. ;)

Thank you for recognizing that we are using NFP, it is difficult, we have a great church family, but no one our age and in our situation, so our friends that are our age are generally non-Catholic and just don't get it, no matter how much I/we explain it.

[/quote]

I hope you realize catholic or not your a VERY small percent of couples that actually uses NFP. There is a reason many couples don't use NFP and it only took you 7 months to figure it out! In my opinion - it's just a matter of time before you end up praggo anyways - look at the posts, for a method that claims such a high success rate, I hear WAY more we opps babies then other methods. I'm not saying go on pill, we struggle with birth control as well...just a few rambling thoughts


#15

Thanks Meg, and everyone.

I am so open to whatever God plans, even if it is a baby in this tiny apt, but I talked to my husband last night and he dropped a bomb on me. I starting talking to him about moving forward with the house plans (talking to a builder, costing out things, talking to a bank, and fine-tuning the floor plans) and he hemmed and hawed around and finally said "I'm not ready." I asked him ready for what, and he sighed and didn't give me a clear answer. I told him that I don't expect to get pregnant as soon as we have a house, but at this rate (a snails pace) it'll be a year and a half more (making it two years we will be married) before we are in a house, so it would be time to have a baby. (at least as far as my/our plan goes, never know what the Almighty has in store) He hates being in this apt, he grew up in the country and we are down-town now, so I thought he'd be more motivated to move out.

Is it just me, or is he too scared of children to move forward? OH! and he mentioned last night his views on NFP being 'natural'. He said "we have the power, the technology to know when you are fertile and can avoid it, and we also have the technology of a condom." Then he said something about NFP isn't natural bc we don't 'do it' when I am fertile, since that is what intercourse is for; to procreate. I told him that barriers aren't natural and are interfering with God's design, same with the pill. I pointed out to him that a woman's body can have a hysterical pregnancy (fool her body into thinking it is preg.) that's how powerful our bodies are. I told him "we could 'do it' a week before I am fertile, I could ovulate early, or your little guys could be tough and live a week. I could want to not be fertile so badly, that I make my signs say I'm not any more and I really could be."

That is the open to life part. I thought he knew this before hand. I didn't know he felt this way. All I keep thinking in my head is what my mom told me growing up, "Don't have sex unless you are read to have a baby." He said he isn't ready. To me that means everything, not ready to be married, have a house, or a baby.

I feel so alone :(


#16

[quote="convert38, post:14, topic:232651"]
I hope you realize catholic or not your a VERY small percent of couples that actually uses NFP. There is a reason many couples don't use NFP and it only took you 7 months to figure it out! In my opinion - it's just a matter of time before you end up praggo anyways - look at the posts, for a method that claims such a high success rate, I hear WAY more we opps babies then other methods. I'm not saying go on pill, we struggle with birth control as well...just a few rambling thoughts

[/quote]

Yes, I realize that it can be difficult and that not many people use it. But that is not what my post is about. I have never heard of an NFP 'oops' baby. Even if the baby was not actively tried for, the other half of NFP is being open to life. There are instances where you can not deny that 'Someone' made something happen. Try as a couple may to avoid (key word there, avoid, not prevent) a mans sperm can live up to a week inside the woman. A woman could ovulate early and not know it, she could miss read her signs and think she is in the infertile phase and really still be fertile.
Yes, it is a matter of time before I have a baby, and I will praise the day I find out I am going to, whether or not it is our plan or God's. Life is nothing short of a miracle and should be looked at and treated as such.


#17

Oh, no. I am sorry you are having a hard time.

I think the best thing to do, is keep talking! Try not to get too upset, but ask him gently a lot of questions about his statement "I'm not ready." Don't just say things like "There's never a good time!" but ask him to express his fears to you. Exactly what are his fears? It could be things like losing his job, or it may be fear of being a bad father. He could be afraid that he will lose himself when he becomes a dad, a homeowner, etc. It could be simply fear to jump in and make that momentous decision to become parents. There's a lot of unknowns there! The more he expresses his fears, I suspect, the easier it will be for you to reassure him, and let him know that you, too, have fears but that they can be faced together.

His back-peddling on NFP may be coming from someone else's influence on him. Ask him gently about that too. He is making the typical arguments to support the use of artificial birth control.

I think that many men have always had fears about fatherhood, all the way back in history. But I think that another consequence of the "birth control is OK" society we live in, is that it makes it more difficult to overcome that fear, since you can indefinitely postpone the consequences of lovemaking. Before ABC, our desire for each other would eventual overcome our fears (at least in the moment, lol!).

I will keep you in my thoughts.


#18

[quote="StJudePray4Me, post:17, topic:232651"]
Oh, no. I am sorry you are having a hard time.

I think the best thing to do, is keep talking! Try not to get too upset, but ask him gently a lot of questions about his statement "I'm not ready." Don't just say things like "There's never a good time!" but ask him to express his fears to you. Exactly what are his fears? It could be things like losing his job, or it may be fear of being a bad father. He could be afraid that he will lose himself when he becomes a dad, a homeowner, etc. It could be simply fear to jump in and make that momentous decision to become parents. There's a lot of unknowns there! The more he expresses his fears, I suspect, the easier it will be for you to reassure him, and let him know that you, too, have fears but that they can be faced together.

[/quote]

This is exactly what I plan to do, but he is at work today, so it will have to wait till tomorrow.

His back-peddling on NFP may be coming from someone else's influence on him. Ask him gently about that too. He is making the typical arguments to support the use of artificial birth control.

I am wondering. The people he works with (typical Firefighters) don't really get it and probably are being the 'devil on the shoulder'.

I think that many men have always had fears about fatherhood, all the way back in history. But I think that another consequence of the "birth control is OK" society we live in, is that it makes it more difficult to overcome that fear, since you can indefinitely postpone the consequences of lovemaking. Before ABC, our desire for each other would eventual overcome our fears (at least in the moment, lol!).

I will keep you in my thoughts.

I know he is scared about that, he has never been around babies or kids like I have. But, when he is around them now (we have a God-daughter who is 8 months old) he seems great!

My desire usually out weighs anything else! LOL Usually I am fine with the idea of having a baby now, but then I think about our reasons and then I am back to waiting.

Thank you!


#19

[quote="iamhis, post:15, topic:232651"]
Thanks Meg, and everyone.

I am so open to whatever God plans, even if it is a baby in this tiny apt, but I talked to my husband last night and he dropped a bomb on me. I starting talking to him about moving forward with the house plans (talking to a builder, costing out things, talking to a bank, and fine-tuning the floor plans) and he hemmed and hawed around and finally said "I'm not ready." I asked him ready for what, and he sighed and didn't give me a clear answer. I told him that I don't expect to get pregnant as soon as we have a house, but at this rate (a snails pace) it'll be a year and a half more (making it two years we will be married) before we are in a house, so it would be time to have a baby. (at least as far as my/our plan goes, never know what the Almighty has in store) He hates being in this apt, he grew up in the country and we are down-town now, so I thought he'd be more motivated to move out.

Is it just me, or is he too scared of children to move forward? OH! and he mentioned last night his views on NFP being 'natural'. He said "we have the power, the technology to know when you are fertile and can avoid it, and we also have the technology of a condom." Then he said something about NFP isn't natural bc we don't 'do it' when I am fertile, since that is what intercourse is for; to procreate. I told him that barriers aren't natural and are interfering with God's design, same with the pill. I pointed out to him that a woman's body can have a hysterical pregnancy (fool her body into thinking it is preg.) that's how powerful our bodies are. I told him "we could 'do it' a week before I am fertile, I could ovulate early, or your little guys could be tough and live a week. I could want to not be fertile so badly, that I make my signs say I'm not any more and I really could be."

That is the open to life part. I thought he knew this before hand. I didn't know he felt this way. All I keep thinking in my head is what my mom told me growing up, "Don't have sex unless you are read to have a baby." He said he isn't ready. To me that means everything, not ready to be married, have a house, or a baby.

I feel so alone :(

[/quote]

Sorry to hear you're having some difficulty. Try not to let it get you down. No one ever said that doing the right thing would be easy. :hug1:

My suggestion is to keep talking about it. Ask him what he means about not being ready. Is he scared for the finances? Thinks he might lose his job? Or is he scared of being a father, and not being a good father? Or is it something else entirely? The beautiful thing about marriage is that we can help each other grow. Just be there for him and let him talk about what his fears are, without judging him. It can be scary to take that first leap and have that first baby. Try to be understanding of whatever is bothering him.

It sounds like he's reconsidering his stance on NFP. My husband went through the same thing when we first started. After a few months of dealing with the inconvenience of periodic abstinence, he was tempted to take the easy road and turn to ABC. But we were able to talk together. We read some catholic books about NFP together. It really helped remind us *why *we should use NFP, and we were able to get back on the same page again.


#20

[quote="SummerSmiles, post:19, topic:232651"]
Sorry to hear you're having some difficulty. Try not to let it get you down. No one ever said that doing the right thing would be easy. :hug1:

My suggestion is to keep talking about it. Ask him what he means about not being ready. Is he scared for the finances? Thinks he might lose his job? Or is he scared of being a father, and not being a good father? Or is it something else entirely? The beautiful thing about marriage is that we can help each other grow. Just be there for him and let him talk about what his fears are, without judging him. It can be scary to take that first leap and have that first baby. Try to be understanding of whatever is bothering him.

It sounds like he's reconsidering his stance on NFP. My husband went through the same thing when we first started. After a few months of dealing with the inconvenience of periodic abstinence, he was tempted to take the easy road and turn to ABC. But we were able to talk together. We read some catholic books about NFP together. It really helped remind us *why *we should use NFP, and we were able to get back on the same page again.

[/quote]

I am pretty sure it is finances, and just general fear of being a parent. I have read more on reasons to use NFP and I thought me educating him (plus our classes) was enough. I guess I was wrong. :(
Thanks for the pep talk! It helps a lot!


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