No Connection With My Wife


#1

I have not come here for a long time. Trying to find answers and reasons to things and just cannot, so I just blame myself and stay quiet. I’m at time a ball of emotions and yet just empty. Saying anything, even to my wife, makes me feel like I’m just complaining, weak, a failure, and I have no one to talk to I trust. I resent life, my wife, God, the church, myself.

I’ve tried to nail down what is the issue or causes, and blame it on no self-worth or self-esteem over the years, disagreeing on raising teenagers and feeling like I surrendered my better judgement, and disgreeing on the church’s position on sex. So there is really little communication and intimacy of any kind; I feel like I’m just a shell of person going thru life and going thru the motions of marriage. Add on top of that that my faith and trust in God has suffered and is suffering because I do not see or hear or feel answers - to life, to what God wants, to why I usually feel worthless, etc. I don’t want to say anything which might hurt my wife because I blame myself for all of this; it has to be me, what else? We cannot do anything about having given up my career years ago to stay in one place; still disagree on raising the teenagers, even after the first two; and while she is fine with whatever the church teaches on sex, I don’t get it, and it has hurt and not helped intimacy, no matter what the catechism says. And so we are disconnected and she knows it. I do not feel God, do not feel the love of my family nor do I feel the deep love I should for my family or anyone else. I’m just here each day, going thru life and not looking forward to the future at all, not even seeing one, though I’m trying to make things happen and even that causes me to question myself and what God wants.

I know I’m rambling and I’m probbly as clear as mud. But there you go.


#2

Contact your parish/diocese... see if they offer retrouvaille.org/... many have had their marriages saved through this experience.


#3

I agree with Em - also what is the specific teaching you are having an issue with. Maybe a logical understanding of it would help - not for us to scream, yell, or berate, but to explain in a different way that maybe has not been presented.

Also, may I suggest praying the Rosary as a family. HCC mentioned it the other day on a thread. Start small - maybe a decade at a time. But yes, sharing intimacy with Christ will help you share intimacy with each other as Christ is the third person in your marriage.

God bless.


#4

[quote="searching04, post:1, topic:217855"]
I have not come here for a long time. Trying to find answers and reasons to things and just cannot, so I just blame myself and stay quiet. I'm at time a ball of emotions and yet just empty. Saying anything, even to my wife, makes me feel like I'm just complaining, weak, a failure, and I have no one to talk to I trust. I resent life, my wife, God, the church, myself.

I've tried to nail down what is the issue or causes, and blame it on no self-worth or self-esteem over the years, disagreeing on raising teenagers and feeling like I surrendered my better judgement, and disgreeing on the church's position on sex. So there is really little communication and intimacy of any kind; I feel like I'm just a shell of person going thru life and going thru the motions of marriage. Add on top of that that my faith and trust in God has suffered and is suffering because I do not see or hear or feel answers - to life, to what God wants, to why I usually feel worthless, etc. I don't want to say anything which might hurt my wife because I blame myself for all of this; it has to be me, what else? We cannot do anything about having given up my career years ago to stay in one place; still disagree on raising the teenagers, even after the first two; and while she is fine with whatever the church teaches on sex, I don't get it, and it has hurt and not helped intimacy, no matter what the catechism says. And so we are disconnected and she knows it. I do not feel God, do not feel the love of my family nor do I feel the deep love I should for my family or anyone else. I'm just here each day, going thru life and not looking forward to the future at all, not even seeing one, though I'm trying to make things happen and even that causes me to question myself and what God wants.

I know I'm rambling and I'm probbly as clear as mud. But there you go.

[/quote]

Well, I think you're being attacked by Satan, and he's kicking your you-know-what.

Here's some advice from an old man. Take it for what it's worth...

You need to do the following things, ASAP:

  1. Go to Confession if you haven't been lately. Ask the priest to help you, if need be. Best bet, if you and the priest have time, is to ask him to do a "general Confession." It's like housecleaning from top to bottom, including the corners and under the bed and sofa! :)

  2. Begin saying the Rosary daily. I don't care if you don't like it. Just DO it. (Picture a Marine drill Sargent telling you this. :) The Rosary is the "preferred small arms" of God's army. It' is the scourge of the devil. It is incredibly powerful! If you don't know how to say the Rosary, you can download the audio version of it here: alabamacatholicresources.com/the_rosary.html If you don't have a Rosary and have trouble finding one, send me a private message with your address and I'll send you one.

  3. Stop worrying about yourself and start serving everyone else. Put yourself last. Put God first. Your wife second. The rest of your family third. Everyone else fourth. And you dead last. I promise you it will bring you ineffable joy in the long run! The easiest way to do this is to always, always approach life as a servant. Always be the servant of everyone else. This is what Jesus Christ, Who is God, did. It should be very easy to find someone else worse off than yourself and help them. Give of yourself. Empty yourself of self, so that you may be filled up with Christ. Divine Physics says that two things cannot occupy the same soul at the same time. You can either be filled up with the world, or you can be filled up with Christ. But not both. Christ is far more satisfying and peace-giving than the world. You will only be miserable if you keep your soul filled with the things of this world. I guarantee you!

  4. Let go and let God. 90% of everything we worry about never happens. And the other 10%? We find out we couldn't have done anything about it anyway.


#5

[quote="searching04, post:1, topic:217855"]
I have not come here for a long time. Trying to find answers and reasons to things and just cannot, so I just blame myself and stay quiet. I'm at time a ball of emotions and yet just empty. Saying anything, even to my wife, makes me feel like I'm just complaining, weak, a failure, and I have no one to talk to I trust. I resent life, my wife, God, the church, myself.

I've tried to nail down what is the issue or causes, and blame it on no self-worth or self-esteem over the years, disagreeing on raising teenagers and feeling like I surrendered my better judgement, and disagreeing on the church's position on sex. So there is really little communication and intimacy of any kind; I feel like I'm just a shell of person going through life and going through the motions of marriage. Add on top of that that my faith and trust in God has suffered and is suffering because I do not see or hear or feel answers - to life, to what God wants, to why I usually feel worthless, etc. I don't want to say anything which might hurt my wife because I blame myself for all of this; it has to be me, what else? We cannot do anything about having given up my career years ago to stay in one place; still disagree on raising the teenagers, even after the first two; and while she is fine with whatever the church teaches on sex, I don't get it, and it has hurt and not helped intimacy, no matter what the catechism says. And so we are disconnected and she knows it. I do not feel God, do not feel the love of my family nor do I feel the deep love I should for my family or anyone else. I'm just here each day, going through life and not looking forward to the future at all, not even seeing one, though I'm trying to make things happen and even that causes me to question myself and what God wants.

I know I'm rambling and I'm probably as clear as mud. But there you go.

[/quote]

Hello my friend, I agree with Emily, you cannot go this alone and need guidance. You need to discuss all that bothers you even if you go see someone all by yourself. Look something is allot better then nothing, and confusion you know is from the devil. He would like to torment you as much as he can, fight back that's what you lost you lost your fight. Come on and stand up you can do this and you have on your Go Ye Shoes, those shoes will take you to the right places. Please don't blame yourself for anything listen we all make mistakes and we are the worst critics on ourselves. Walk tall and keep your eyes as a flint directed only on Jesus your source of eternal life, for without him you can do nothing .You know all this now you need to apply this and you will see things taking shape. Jesus will never leave you nor forsake you. He lives in your heart, he walks with you and talks to you. Listen to that small voice we tend to neglect, be still and know that i am God! He is your strength and defender your shield and buckler in Him do I trust.Get a good christian counselor and sit and rap with this person and see what steps you need to take to get back to your life. Take it slow because it took all your life to get to where you are now and we do tend to forget this and want it to happen yesterday. it wont, but you need to believe it will. Read the scriptures and pray before you read them for guidance and for Gods grace to open your eyes and heart. Do not let your heart become Stone. satan wants this more then anything because then he can work on you and your mind. He will bruise you in the head. Put on he whole armour of Christ, and fight this do not run away stay here and go to the church and get help from counseling and read and pray then your forces will be at the advantage and not satan's. You can do this, think Jesus, think Positive, be an over comer, like the Lord is, was, and will be forever.! Peace and Blessings to you! Fight the good fight! Psalms 35 Sister Angel


#6

Oddly, I’ve never read anywhere on this board where a woman had these issues, just guys.

The specific issue is no sex - intimacy - outside of intercourse. Thing is, it is not the"sex"; it is a lack of physical intimacy, even for a guy. Church says we are not supposed to engage in sex outside of intercourse, so we follow NFP and church teachings (which we didn’t always do; we didn’t know about it). We could not years ago and cannot now afford another child, let alone both of us being almost 50. So for years, sex has been once, maybe twice, a month if we’re lucky. I know CCC says NFP is supposed to be for serious instances and not to be prolonged (more or less). But if we did not, we may have had 12 kids as we are blessed with my wife being able to get pregnant easily. The debate, as always, is “well if God wants you to have 12 kids…” vs "use the head God gave you and realize you cannot support a larger family’’. We use to fall into bed for the fun of it, but also to be there for each other when we needed to be, physically and emotionally. I never once thought or believed or felt is was just sex or using each other.

CCC says couples should be brought closer together by this, the sacrifice - like, how? Part of me understands the sex is for procreation thing and that for the guy, orgasm outside of intercourse is supposed to be wrong. But I don’t know if I really feel that way or it is because “the church says so” and we are supposed to just follow it; the other part of me does not feel that. I strongly believe and always have that if a couple is having sex in whatever way, intercourse or not, out of love for each other, then it is not wrong; it is physcally lovng each other and being intimate when having a baby is not an option.

All that said, the lack of physical intimacy affects and has affected the emotional intimacy. How the heck am I supposed to be emotionally intimate or intimate on a daily basis without the physical intimacy? Sex is now just “well, its phase 3 or whatever, lets go to bed”. There is no anticipation or spontaneity or expectation, at least not for me. And without getting explicit, when we are in bed, I love making love to my wife, love making her feel as good as I can; that makes a guy feel good to do so. It just isn’t reciprocal.

So I struggle with trying to figure out why the church and God wants couples to be struggling with sex following church teachings, because the fact is, couples do. We can’t be alone. I struggle with the church telling me what is in my heart if we had sex outside of intercourse. I struggle with how other religions do not teach this and cannot see how everyone else is going to hell because of sex other than intercourse.

So we follow CCC, and though I’ve tried to explain to my wife, she doesn’t get it. More so, there is nothing that can be done about it. She believes we are supposed to follow it and that’s it. While she is getting closer to menopause and all that, and maybe we will not have to worry about abstaining so much, it sure does not help now.


#7

[quote="Scoobyshme, post:4, topic:217855"]
Well, I think you're being attacked by Satan, and he's kicking your you-know-what.

Here's some advice from an old man. Take it for what it's worth...

You need to do the following things, ASAP:

  1. Go to Confession if you haven't been lately. Ask the priest to help you, if need be. Best bet, if you and the priest have time, is to ask him to do a "general Confession." It's like housecleaning from top to bottom, including the corners and under the bed and sofa! :)

  2. Begin saying the Rosary daily. I don't care if you don't like it. Just DO it. (Picture a Marine drill Sargent telling you this. :) The Rosary is the "preferred small arms" of God's army. It' is the scourge of the devil. It is incredibly powerful! If you don't know how to say the Rosary, you can download the audio version of it here: alabamacatholicresources.com/the_rosary.html If you don't have a Rosary and have trouble finding one, send me a private message with your address and I'll send you one.

  3. Stop worrying about yourself and start serving everyone else. Put yourself last. Put God first. Your wife second. The rest of your family third. Everyone else fourth. And you dead last. I promise you it will bring you ineffable joy in the long run! The easiest way to do this is to always, always approach life as a servant. Always be the servant of everyone else. This is what Jesus Christ, Who is God, did. It should be very easy to find someone else worse off than yourself and help them. Give of yourself. Empty yourself of self, so that you may be filled up with Christ. Divine Physics says that two things cannot occupy the same soul at the same time. You can either be filled up with the world, or you can be filled up with Christ. But not both. Christ is far more satisfying and peace-giving than the world. You will only be miserable if you keep your soul filled with the things of this world. I guarantee you!

  4. Let go and let God. 90% of everything we worry about never happens. And the other 10%? We find out we couldn't have done anything about it anyway.

[/quote]

Well, 3 and 4 hit it on the head. Divine Physics - never heard that one before. Oddly, I've felt I've put myself last for a long time, giving up the career I wanted to keep the family in one place, taking whatever job I needed to make a paycheck. And yet, I feel guilty even thinking that way - a father/husband is supposed to give things up for the family. So why am I so empty? Am I not supposed to push myself to exceed and be better? My job defined who I was and what I believe, and I felt like I had to give that up and I've just settled for whatever happens. Yes, it is better for the family, but if this is what God wants, I don't get it.


#8

[quote="searching04, post:7, topic:217855"]
Well, 3 and 4 hit it on the head. Divine Physics - never heard that one before. Oddly, I've felt I've put myself last for a long time, giving up the career I wanted to keep the family in one place, taking whatever job I needed to make a paycheck. And yet, I feel guilty even thinking that way - a father/husband is supposed to give things up for the family. So why am I so empty? Am I not supposed to push myself to exceed and be better? My job defined who I was and what I believe, and I felt like I had to give that up and I've just settled for whatever happens. Yes, it is better for the family, but if this is what God wants, I don't get it.

[/quote]

Oh, I know what you're saying, but keep this in mind... God never called us to be "successful" in this life. He called us to be faithful. Your family needs YOU much more than they need the nicer things that a better job can provide you. If I ever see a hearse pulling a U-Haul, then I'll start worrying about how much "stuff" I or my family has. LOL Until then, my family is more important. The time I spend with them, the love I give to them from myself.

When we say put them first, I mean more on a personal level. Wife's tired? Clean the house and cook for her. Let her take a load off her feet. Even if you've put in a full day. That sorta thing. And try to do it without griping, okay? LOL

The other thing is not to define yourself by your job. As guys, we find that easier to say than do in our society. I guarantee you. But it's really just ego, we just don't like to say it that way. :) We should, however, define ourselves by our relation with Christ and our family. That's going to last a lot longer than a job or career. It took me a while to realize that. I used to be a supervisor/director all the time when I was a young man. Then, I lost a job as one and got to thinking. For about 80% of the same salary, I could have a LOT more time to spend with my family, and a lot less headaches! Add to that the graduation of my oldest daughter and it was like, "WAIT! I'm not ready for you to leave yet! How'd you get so big so fast!" I had missed many of her formative years so I could "do a good job and promote my career." That was a mistake. If I had it to do over again, I would spend a lot more time with my family. I've never seen anyone in a nursing home, sitting there rocking, going over past paycheck stubs. "Boy, this was a good one! Had overtime!" LOL I have seen people, though, going through family pictures and reminiscing. And those folks who spent a lot of time with their families had more visitors more often. I'm just sayin'... :)

Part of the emptiness you are feeling, is, I suspect, an emptiness of soul. Mother Theresa of Calcutta talked to a bunch of priests from the U.S. one time, who had an interest in going to India to "help out," because people were starving on the streets. People would pick up dog manure and eat it just to get something in their stomachs. Mother Theresa told them, though, "The greatest starvation is not in India. Don't come to India. The greatest starvation is in the United States! People are starving spiritually! They kill the unborn in order to have a bigger house, a second car, another TV, some material advantage!" She's right. We are starving spiritually here in this country, and the country is going down. As Fr. Corapi says, "The moral demise of a nation always precedes its ultimate demise."

Is there a parish relatively close by where you and the family can make a holy hour before the Blessed Sacrament? You might look into that. Friday nights or Saturday mornings are good times. But the "when" is up to you. You might ask 'em if they'd be interested in doing that. (And watch the expressions on their face. LOL)


#9

There's an emptiness of soul, alright. And I'm already planning on going to confession tomorrow to once again, start to try once again. Hate the cycle. But thanks, you're right.

I've just settled into rationalizing or giving up or thinking this is what God wants and waiting for Him to answer, and not undertanding, but He doesn't answer loudly.


#10

One of the most common questions we hear these days is why does God allow evil? And the answer is a theological no-brainer. God allows evil to happen so that He can bring about a greater good from it. Best case example: Jesus being persecuted and crucified on the Cross for us. Big evil. But the greatest good came out of it! Our redemption!

I was in the military when I was a young man. We learned a few things about the value of sacrifice. Like “No pain, no gain.” “Pain is just weakness leaving the body.” The same is true in our spiritual lives. We cannot have an Easter Sunday without having our Good Friday. We need to have a cross in our lives. Wisdom comes from suffering, for one thing. And there is the concept of Redemptive Suffering. So much suffering is wasted in our culture! I remember many times hearing the phrase, “Offer it up,” meaning offer up your pain through the Immaculate Heart of Mary who will unite it with Jesus on the Cross! That’s very powerful, I guarantee you! If you want your soul to get stronger, like your muscles, you’re going to have to exercise it. And there’s no better way than prayer and penance (offering up your suffering, fasting, etc.).

You feel spiritually empty because you’re spiritually out of shape. You need to get up off the spiritual couch and get with the program. :slight_smile:


#11

[quote="searching04, post:6, topic:217855"]

So we follow CCC, and though I've tried to explain to my wife, she doesn't get it. More so, there is nothing that can be done about it. She believes we are supposed to follow it and that's it. While she is getting closer to menopause and all that, and maybe we will not have to worry about abstaining so much, it sure does not help now.

[/quote]

It doesn't really sound like the problem is the church's teaching, or NFP... it's your wife's attitude toward you when initiating..?? As if simply "doing the deed" would make you happy. When you're really looking for that spark and that feeling of spontaneous excitement... am I right or misreading?
That's not the fault of NFP or the teaching... it's the fault of how your wife approaches sex and how she treats you. Maybe her attitude is a reflection of your entire marriage... this is probably where counseling/Retrouvaille would do you a benefit.

And I totally get what you mean about not hearing what God wants you to do in life. Sometimes our plans just aren't what God has in mind, and that's often difficult to accept. I understand that feeling of being locked into a "career" that wasn't/isn't your dream. It's a daily struggle and a daily life of prayer in order to get through each moment when you aren't happy. It requires a lot to be able to surrender that to God... a lot of prayer.
I'm sorry you're struggling... please look at this as God knocking on the door to re-enter your life. He wants you to be closer to Him. The closer we are to Christ, the better we understand how He's working in our lives...
God bless you...


#12

Satan would like nothing better than to break up your marriage. Tell him to get away. Try
with all the fortitutde you can muster and slog through this and keep your family together.

I will pray for you brother. Stay strong!


#13

[quote="Scoobyshme, post:10, topic:217855"]
One of the most common questions we hear these days is why does God allow evil? And the answer is a theological no-brainer. God allows evil to happen so that He can bring about a greater good from it. Best case example: Jesus being persecuted and crucified on the Cross for us. Big evil. But the greatest good came out of it! Our redemption!

I was in the military when I was a young man. We learned a few things about the value of sacrifice. Like "No pain, no gain." "Pain is just weakness leaving the body." The same is true in our spiritual lives. We cannot have an Easter Sunday without having our Good Friday. We need to have a cross in our lives. Wisdom comes from suffering, for one thing. And there is the concept of Redemptive Suffering. So much suffering is wasted in our culture! I remember many times hearing the phrase, "Offer it up," meaning offer up your pain through the Immaculate Heart of Mary who will unite it with Jesus on the Cross! That's very powerful, I guarantee you! If you want your soul to get stronger, like your muscles, you're going to have to exercise it. And there's no better way than prayer and penance (offering up your suffering, fasting, etc.).

You feel spiritually empty because you're spiritually out of shape. You need to get up off the spiritual couch and get with the program. :)

[/quote]

We must be kindred spirits or something. The military is what I gave up, and didn't want to. I was active, did reserves, I'm with our State Guard now, and trying to go back into the Reserves or something, anything to feel like I'm doing my part. I've been sittin on my butt since the war started unable to go back in, until recently; now it is a running battle to try to get it to work. But it goes right back to the God thing - is it what He wants, is it just what I want, is it His will, why would the possibility and everything seem to be working in my favor when all of a suddden it doesn't? I have honestly prayed God isn't pulling a joke on me - getting real close and then it falls apart. And I have honestly prayed that it has to be God's will, not mine. I may be mad and struggling with God, but I can't pray for anything else, and praying and trusting is hard.


#14

[quote="Em_in_FL, post:11, topic:217855"]
It doesn't really sound like the problem is the church's teaching, or NFP... it's your wife's attitude toward you when initiating..?? As if simply "doing the deed" would make you happy. When you're really looking for that spark and that feeling of spontaneous excitement... am I right or misreading?
That's not the fault of NFP or the teaching... it's the fault of how your wife approaches sex and how she treats you. Maybe her attitude is a reflection of your entire marriage... this is probably where counseling/Retrouvaille would do you a benefit.

And I totally get what you mean about not hearing what God wants you to do in life. Sometimes our plans just aren't what God has in mind, and that's often difficult to accept. I understand that feeling of being locked into a "career" that wasn't/isn't your dream. It's a daily struggle and a daily life of prayer in order to get through each moment when you aren't happy. It requires a lot to be able to surrender that to God... a lot of prayer.
I'm sorry you're struggling... please look at this as God knocking on the door to re-enter your life. He wants you to be closer to Him. The closer we are to Christ, the better we understand how He's working in our lives...
God bless you...

[/quote]

No, you're not misreading; you're in the ball park. She really does look at it as making love and not just doing it, but that somehow everything is supposed to be just peachy afterwards because we took advantage of the calendar; that somehow just jumping into bed because we can will keep us close because we did what the church says. Don't know if I'm even coming across right.... And how can there be a spark and spontaneity when we have to run by a calendar? Unfortunately, it just makes me feel like "whatever" even though I love making love to her; but there isn't the emotional connection she feels, and I feel guilty. I don't really initiate much because I just don't know when or if we are able to do so, when she initiates it, its the "hey, we can, let's go", and either way, things are usually pretty much one sided, if you catch my drift. I have little desire or drive, and have to wonder if it is it the spiritual and emotional affecting the physical or vice versa.

You're dead on about the career thing; I just don't know what God wants, though at times I thought I did.

This is a bit odd or even awkward, but I think a number of years ago when I posted here, you answered, and seemed to understand. I had asked at some point if there is even such a thing as good, fun, "guiltless" Catholic sex. Now really isn't a whole lot different; I don't think there is.


#15

[quote="searching04, post:14, topic:217855"]
I don't really initiate much because I just don't know when or if we are able to do so, when she initiates it, its the "hey, we can, let's go", and either way, things are usually pretty much one sided, if you catch my drift. I have little desire or drive, and have to wonder if it is it the spiritual and emotional affecting the physical or vice versa.

You're dead on about the career thing; I just don't know what God wants, though at times I thought I did.

This is a bit odd or even awkward, but I think a number of years ago when I posted here, you answered, and seemed to understand. I had asked at some point if there is even such a thing as good, fun, "guiltless" Catholic sex. Now really isn't a whole lot different; I don't think there is.

[/quote]

No, I think I get it... sorry...

Wait... you don't initiate!?! :eek: Dude, that makes women feel unwanted, undesired, unsexy (is that a word? LOL), and all that! I WANT to be WANTED by my husband - that's like half the JOY in intimacy! Flirting makes intimacy intimate... it's a huge part of marital relations!

GET INVOLVED in her charting! I'm not saying you should do any of the nitty-gritty work, but understand where she is in her cycle and what she's experiencing... and for crying out loud - start flirting when you know she's approaching phase 3! THIS is why couples who succeed with NFP actually succeed. It's because they communicate and understand fundamentally what's going on. NO you shouldn't have to "guess" and "ask" if it's okay to be with her at any given moment... you should already KNOW! It's not HER choice that her fertility is what it is at any given moment in the cycle - it's not like she's "controlling" it.

We flirt insatiably... my DH will talk about wanting to be with me and how he looks forward to it! Then we make up for lost time! ;)

Now, none of this is even discussing the spiritual aspect of using NFP... it should be a DAILY prayer and evaluation for WHY you're avoiding conception at any given moment. Maybe this is God's way of wanting you to reevaluate your reasonings for using it in the first place! :shrug:
NFP isn't just about sex... it's about prayer.


#16

If you can make it a priority to go to Adoration once a week, I would highly recommend it. Invite your wife to go with you. When my husband started his weekly holy hour a couple of years ago there were incredible changes in our lives.


#17

Good for you in facing your feelings and problems, and not just hiding your head in the sand.
You may be going through a "dark night of the soul", common to many Christians. Sometimes, unfortunately, it may last for a while.
Your weapon is prayer.
Pray the Rosary. It is a most powerful weapon.
Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. It is very healing.
Go to Adoration and spend time with Jesus.
Do the right thing at the right time, even when it seems nearly impossible to put one foot in front of the other.
This too will pass.
My prayers are with you.


#18

OK - just a couple of things - and sorry I haven’t gotten back since I asked loaded question:

  1. It seems like you should be able to have more than one or two “instances” where you and your wife can enjoy sexual relations. I would suggest BOTH of you going to an NFP coach and BOTH of you getting involved in her charting - this will help you get involved and being able to initiate as one other poster already mentioned and being able to use multiple methods to be able to narrow down those days to be sure. By getting involved in the charting you will be also involved in a very intimate way.

  2. You, your wife, and your priest know your situation the best - you need to talk to him and see if the prolonged practice of NFP at this point is appropriate - you have children - you know how grave your situation is financially, etc and how much strain there is on the marriage. Talk to your priest not people on the forums - he will best guide you on that matter.

  3. Physical intimacy can sometimes be achieved not so much through culmination in orgasm but through mere cuddling and holding - this is an expression of emotional intimacy and can be loving and will help move you back in the right direction.

  4. Menopause is around the corner and God will soon lift this Cross.


#19

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