Pre-Cana NFP


Any ideas on how to respond to someone who feels my fiance and I should not be attending an NFP class as part of our marriage preparation? Her argument is that we “shouldn’t need to know about things like that yet”…and that it will be too uncomfortable for us to learn as an unmarried couple.

I might also add that she didn’t feel I needed to know the “facts of life” until I was 20…

How would you respond to someone like this?


How 'bout this:

:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:
“Hahahahahahhahahahah!!! Ma, you’re so funny!!”

And then quit talking to her about something that should be between you and your fiance.


Two responses could be:

“I appreciate your concern, but we feel this is a private matter between the two of us.”
(If you want her to butt out.)


“Why is it that you feel that way?”
(If you want to hear her reasoning behind it.)
Then you can conclude with:
“I will discuss these matters with my fiance, thank you.”


I’m guessing this is an older person - it might be best just to smile and say “I’ll take that under advisement” and not mention the classes again.


I’ve learned, concerning parents’ and well-meaning adults’ advice, is to just nod and smile and then go about your merry way. Esp. since 9 times out of 10, their minds are already made up, so explaining won’t get very far. Once you’ve done what they thought is not right, it’s too late and usually they get over it and accept it.

You might explain possibly that even though you are unmarried, it would take a while to learn once in marriage and if you need to postpone babies, then it would be too late.

Plus, honestly, it really helps with respect, in my opinion. When my husband and I took it during pre-cana, he knew NOTHING pretty much about a woman’s fertility and after learning about it, was in awe and had an even greater respect and appreciation for women in general, esp. me :).


Well, depending on who this someone is, I might say, “Mind your own business.” But I’m guessing it’s someone who falls under the “Honor thy father and mother” commandment. In which case, I’d explain that, as you wish to begin relations on your wedding night, you’ll need a few months experience charting before that time. I’d be sure this person knew that NFP training is not something that is (generally) arousing. And once that is respectfully explained, I’d drop the subject and decline to get involved in discussions about it in the future. The time is almost upon you to leave the homes of your parents and join together, so you may as well get used to taking your responsibility to the marriage as a higher priority than doing what a parent (or, you know, whoever you are talking about) thinks you should do.


I love it. And second it!!!


I wish we had learned NFP before marriage! I’m going to guess that you and your fiiance are waiting for sex until the big day. Okay, so when that day comes you will know how to practice NFP already and not have to start from scratch and abstain.


Amen to that. DH and I started with Creighton Classes about 5 months before the wedding, so I could get some good practice charting. DH knew basically nothing about my fertility and was totally intrigued. :slight_smile:

Cervical mucus may not be a conversation for the dinner table or for random strangers, but it doesn’t have to be a shameful thing, especially between a couple who is about to get married :slight_smile:


How about a frozen smile, as if somebody just smacked you across the face, and through clenched teeth, say, “Thank you for your concern” and change the subject?

My goodness, I hope you are not going to accept this advice, which is nuts!


Wow that comment really surprises me! I actually got interested in NFP before I was engaged, I can’t believe that lady doesn’t think you should know prior to the wedding. I think it’s a good idea to get in the habit of it before then :wink:

That said, we have marriage prep in a couple months and I think i will be embarrassed at that part- not because of my FH but because of all the other couples there!


I have heard two schools of thought on the pre-marriage NFP classes …

Catholics are to practice NFP (limit/postpone children) only for “grave and serious” reasons. There are some who feel that teaching couples NFP as part of marriage preparation fosters a contraceptive mindset, i.e. “Catholic birth control”.

Others feel that by teaching NFP, Catholics who desire to limit/postpone having children will at least do it in a way that doesn’t go against Church teaching, i.e. their reasons for using NFP to avoid having children may not be correct but they aren’t at least committing a mortal sin by using artificial means of contraception.

I have heard very good and reasoned arguments from both sides. Perhaps the person who made the comment to you falls in the first school of thought?

For your reply, you can just say that you feel this is the best decision for you.


I see from your little “time line” that you are getting married in five months. We did NFP classes about nine months before we got married and I thought it was great. if you really want to give this person a good reason, tell her that you would like to learn how to keep good track of your cycle for the next fiew months, so you’ll have it down pat when you are married. I was greatful for the extra months I had to learn all about my fertility and was a pro at charting already on our wedding day. It takes a fiew months to get it just right and why not do that BEFORE the wedding so you don’t “Mess up”? :slight_smile: also, I knew, several months before the wedding, where I would be in my cycle for our honeymoon.


how about “It is none of your business, this is a private matter between us.”


Well, if you want a real reason to actually help her see it your way…I have 2 good reasons:

  1. I am a single person who is not dating someone, and I have been doing NFP for my health for 4 years.

The charting helped me see I had some problems I wouldn’t have normally found. I go to an NFP only doc who can read my charts. The problems I encountered actually made the observations difficult. If I was married trying to learn this, it would have been a mess. I needed a good year to chart, diagnose, FIX, and then really learn how to do NFP with the probs fixed.

  1. I have seen MANY marriages that didn’t learn nfp till after married, and they went through VERY difficult times, because of it. THere is a learning curve, even when the body works perfectly. When I was learning NFP, I had experiences of awe and wonder at my body. I can only imagine that a couple learning it prior to marriage would bond and discover the beauty of God’s creation.

One more reason, some priests require their couples to attend an intro class before marriage


Well, I’d just ignore her and go about my business.

But, if you want actual responses:

(1) The Church herself recommends it. What makes mom think she knows better than the Church? In fact, in a number of dioceses it is required as part of marriage preparation. Your mom should study up on what the Church calls “proximate preparation for marriage” and sex information is a part of that preparation.

(2) NFP needs to be studied without intercourse, a woman cannot learn her cycle as effectively if there is seminal fluid present.

The Church disagrees-- again proximate preparation for marriage includes sexual topics.

Well, the best response I can give to this is Canon Law:

Can. 1096 ß1 For matrimonial consent to exist, it is necessary that the contracting parties be at least not ignorant of the fact that marriage is a permanent partnership between a man and a woman, ordered to the procreation of children through some form of sexual cooperation.

ß2 This ignorance is not presumed after puberty.

I’d ignore her completely. And, don’t discuss your business with your mother from here on out.


The Church recommends taking a full NFP course with your fiance prior to marriage? I find this interesting because last time I checked it was actually something different bishops had different opinions on. I’m not saying I don’t think this is true, I would just like to read something that shows this, if there is (for personal knowledge, since working in precana/ marriage prep etc is something we are considering).


SOme churchs do…the ones I have attended do not require it as part of the Pre-Cana /marriage prep.


See, athough some diocese do require it, others don’t. The bishops individually have different opinions on this (from what I have read), which makes me think it is something that different people in the Church may have different opinions on, rather that something the Catholic Church recommends that everyone should do (I am talking about going through a full NFP course with your fiance before marriage). This is me just thinking, though, I would welcome any Church document etc that says it is recommended (like I said, for personal knowledge in case I do go work with premarriage prep).


well if you are going to get married in the Catholic Church you will have to go through the marriage prep…as to if your marriage prep will include NFP depends on your parish

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