Question for couples who use NFP to avoid pregnancy


#1

Disclaimer: Please do not turn this thread into a debate about what reasons are “good enough” to use NFP to avoid pregnancy. Thanks! :slight_smile:

I have a question for couples who use NFP to avoid pregnancy for the unforeseeable future, especially from those where one spouse desired more children and the other did not.

For a few months now (since my fertility returned after the birth of our son), DH and I have been talking about the idea of child #4. He has been not so sure about it and I am greatly desiring another baby. So, we’ve been using NFP, but not completely following the rules to a “T”. So of course, each month, there is a chance, albeit a small one some months, that I am pregnant. The rollercoaster ride is exhausting, especially for my DH and I’m worried that he’s going to want to “forget this NFP stuff.”

Does this eventually go away? Or every month for the next 20+ years, will I wonder if I am pregnant? Or once you follow the rules rather strictly, does all that uncertainty go away… knowing that anything is possible with God?

I suppose part of my “riding the rollercoaster” each month is because I am hoping for a miracle. I want to be pregnant so badly that I suppose I analyze my chart and count the days and look for any way possible that I could be pregnant. :o

Which leads me to my next question: how have you couples out there come to terms with the fact that one spouse desires more children and the other does not? I just don’t know how DH and I are ever going to get on the same page? (Again, I don’t want to turn this into a debate about whether or not we have reason enough to use NFP to avoid… for the record, I don’t think we do, DH does. :shrug:) It just doesn’t seem fair that his “no” counts more than my “yes”. Does that make sense?

Forgive my rambling… there is a lot of stuff rattling around in my brain and it’s getting late. :yawn:

I appreciate any words of wisdom and especially your prayers.


#2

**I can give you my prayers and also what could possibly pass for wisdom especially since you’re really tired and probably not thinking clearly, lol;)

I have a really hard time wrapping my mind around the his way or her way arguments too. There is no way to “agree to disagree”. No matter what, someone gets “their way” and someone “loses”. It is a really quick path to resentment…

I read an interesting piece of advice recently on another thread (sorry can’t remember who posted) that basically said that instead of praying for your spouse to come around to your way of thinking that you pray from both of you to come around to God’s way of thinking. That way there is a peace with whatever decision is made (or not made).

I am sure it is much easier said than done but it is all I can think of right now. Just be glad your DH hasn’t pulled the “I’m the head of the household so naturally whenever we disagree my decision wins” card:rolleyes:
**


#3

His no doesn’t count anymore than your yes. But your desires seem to be overshadowing his. Does that make sense?

We were there 10 years ago. I can definately appreciate what is going on in your life. We do have to understand what is a desire of one and not the other creates a selfish conflict. The results are not usually good. I like the change of perspective prayer routine suggested. It has helped me when I remember that option. Thanks!

I never, ever knew I could do that. Thanks! :wink:


#4

Not completely following the rules to a “T”=NOT using NFP.

So, are you postponing pregnancy or not?


#5

If you are not following the rules of your method and are having intercourse on fertile days, you have *abandoned *the method and are engaging in *achieving *behavior not avoiding behavior.

If your DH really feels strongly there is a reason to avoid, then why are you engaging in achieving behavior?

You need to pray for agreement and peace, not that he will change his mind or that you will get pregnant “accidentally”-- he may see that as you getting pregnant on purpose, breeding distrust.

Maybe it will be you who changes their mind through prayer and discernment, maybe it will be him. But what you need to pray about is discerning together. And, you need to return to following the rules of your method.


#6

I think DH and I were where you and your DH were from about December until the end of March. We “took a chance” here and there…did not get pregnant…but I don’t think we were both on the same page. Ever since Helen (our 2-year-old) was 6 months, I knew in my heart that I desired another child some day. I knew I didn’t want to try right away, but the desire was there. I told DH as we sat in front of the Christmas tree the Christmas Eve before Helen’s first birthday and tried to tell him that in my heart, I really felt that we were destined for another baby sometime in the future. He voiced his feeling that he felt completely content with things the way they were. We talked about it for a little while. He had perfectly good reasons for feeling like he did…Helen wasn’t even a year old. WE were struggling more financially and we were stressed out.

Fast Forward about 15 months…I wrote my DH a note right before the cycle we got pregnant. I told him how tired I was of charting and that I’d really just like to stop charting and see what happens. We wouldn’t be sure when the fertile days were to actively try to achieve and we wouldn’t know when the fertile days were to actively try to avoid, either. He wrote me back and said it was fine not to chart and if we were blessed with another baby it would be wonderful, but that we should try and think of it being our last. We aren’t getting any younger…but we talked some more the next night and I told him that we really can’t make the decision on the future right now…just for being open at this time in our lives. He agreed, but he did say that he hoped it aligned with God’s will that one more might be the last. :smiley:

It was interesting the way that cycle worked out. And honestly…it was the first cycle that I ovulated on day 14 (you know…textbook cycle and all) and we got pregnant! It’s the only time we’ve gotten pregnant without actively TRYING to achieve and really it was the most stress-free time I remember in conceiving a child. I just feel very at peace with it all.

So, I guess I post this to give you encouragement to continue to talk with your DH and pray with your DH regarding God’s will for your family. Sometimes DH’s “no” is really just “not yet.” At least that’s been my experience with my DH and my sisters have experienced the same in their marriages.

But the most important thing was to continue to communicate with each other. If you both just keep getting “louder” with your “no” and “yes”, then the resentment will probably start to set in.


#7

I know this feeling so well! DH doesn’t want another now, though he’s open to the “idea” of it sometime in the future. Our littlest is almost 2 and I’m itching for another. I’m 35, too, so the old biological clock is ticking away. He doesn’t seem to be swayed much by that argument, though…

There are 5 years between my second and third-- we used NFP to avoid in part because we were living with my in-laws for a while. I wasn’t excited about it even then, but what helped me then (and now) is talking to DH and agreeing to discuss the matter again in 6 months (a year, whatever you like). I was able to let go of the contsant what-ifs since I knew we would discuss it again in the future. Maybe that would help? Kind of like writing down your anxieties so you can go focus on doing something else.


#8

I see what you are saying, but I guess we don’t see it as black and white as that. DH and I decide TOGETHER if we want to engage in any “activity” on a particular day. We look at my chart together and realize that the “rules” may say to wait 3 days after a temp shift for example, but after the first day of a rise, we BD, BOTH OF US knowing full well that we could, by some small chance, get pregnant.

Again, I want to make it clear that I am in no way trying to trick my DH or “accidentally” get pregnant. To me, that is not only dishonest, but also disrespectful of his wishes. That’s like a woman who’s on the pill who just stops taking it without telling her husband so that she gets pregnant. I would NEVER do that and DH knows it. We have talked at length that my charts are right there for him to look at, and like I said above, we decide TOGETHER if we will BD on a particular night. He is not comfortable engaging in the act during my 2 REALLY fertile days (based on my CM observations), but during other times, he basically says that if it happens, it was God’s will.

Maybe that doesn’t make sense to alot of you who tend to use NFP in more concrete terms, but that’s where we’re at and I am OK with that… and so is my DH! :slight_smile:

I know I really do need to just let go of this. It pretty much consumes me each time in my cycle that I get to the fertile days. I guess I’m afraid that if we wait too much longer, our kids will be older and then, we’ll say “We don’t want to go back to the baby stage again!” Ya know?

Oh, and I absolutely have been praying that we follow God’s will… not mine. I have never prayed for my DH to change his mind… wished it, yes… prayed for it, no. I really truly just want what God wants and if He doesn’t want us to have another baby, we won’t. But right now, I feel like DH has taken God out of the equation. He’s just so fearful of trusting Him. :o

Again, I appreciate all your feedback, but please don’t think I am tricking my husband or being dishonest. We really have great communication in our marriage and I would never want to compromise that, or make my husband not trust NFP because I lied about my chart. We’re in this together and are just trying to come to peace about it together.


#9

Thanks so much for sharing your story! It helps so much to hear from other people who’ve struggled with the same issues. Out here in the real world, we don’t know anyone who looks at getting pregnant in quite the same way (they have their 2 kids and then they’re done. tubes tied, vasectomy, whatever.) so it can feel pretty lonely sometimes.

You’re story did indeed give me some encouragement that all things are possible with God and prayer. :slight_smile:


#10

Ha ha ha! Thanks Malia! :wink: I think prayers are probably what we need the most right now!


#11

I am so with you on this! Sometimes I try and think about what it might be like to “know” you’re “done” like so many women I know. I just can’t imagine it! :slight_smile:


#12

I didn’t say that you would try to trick your husband or “accidentally” get pregnant, only that sloppy charting and activity on fertile days could-- if you were to become pregnant-- *create *a feeling of mistrust.

Then you are NOT trying to avoid. Having intercourse on a day that is fertile is achieving behavior. And, it doesn’t sound like you DH has a really strong desire to avoid.

Well, I’m really confused. You say your DH does not want another child at this time, but you two are regularly engaging in achieving behavior. Something doesn’t add up.


#13

That’s true I suppose. Although I would definitely remind my DH that we chose TOGETHER to BD on the particular night in question. :wink:

I’m sorry to confuse you! LOL. :stuck_out_tongue: Trust me, it’s been a confusing couple of months for me too! I guess maybe a better way to word it would be that he doesn’t desire another child at this point and that he doesn’t want to actively TRY to achieve, but if it happens during a time that is marginally fertile, then it was God’s will? Does that make more sense?


#14

…It just doesn’t seem fair that his “no” counts more than my “yes”. Does that make sense?..

One of these days soon I’m going to start a thread about that topic. I agree with you, but I don’t know if “fair” is the right word.

We no longer use NFP. We struggled with the Church teachings on this, but we eventually sorted it out. Our culture is obsessed about controlling birth. Women spend our fertile years worrying about either becoming pregnant or avoiding pregnancy. I got to a point of not wanting to worry about pregnancy; if I got pregnant–fine, if I didn’t get pregnant–fine. My husband and I worked out something similar to what you wrote here. I informed him when I thought I was fertile, and I left the decision to have relations or not in his control. Now my husband doesn’t even want me to tell him when I think I’m fertile because he doesn’t want to worry either. I haven’t gotten pregnant since the birth of our seventh child over two years ago, and my fertility definately shows signs that it is declining. Maybe we will have another baby at some point in the future, maybe not. I’m okay either way.


#15

I think I am about at this point, myself. Of course, I’m pregnant for now…but when the baby is born, I don’t really want to go back to worrying about it myself. I’m in my mid-thirties and I notice a wan in my fertility (though I’m still pretty fertile I guess)…so, I could see this or maybe one more being the last one anyway…


#16

Well, I have an update to my ongoing saga! All your prayers must definitely be working!!

So, DH comes up to me a couple mornings ago and says “Have you been praying for me regarding the baby thing?” And I replied that I had been praying for BOTH of us to allow God to work through us, in whatever way that may be.

And he says, “Well, it’s working because I feel completely different about having a baby this morning. I really want to try to conceive and put all my trust in God.” :eek:

I just about fell over!!! And then immediately began praising God. :slight_smile:

So, when he told me this, I just happened to be in the fertile margin and he said he definitely wanted to try this month, so… we’ll see! I’m only 2dpo right now it looks like, but I just can’t wait to see what God has in store for us now that He has opened our hearts to just letting Him guide us.

I also wanted to address the other question in my original post? For you who use NFP to indefinitely postpone pregnancy, do you find yourself “worrying” every month about a possible pregnancy or do you feel confident with it and don’t question it every single cycle?


#17

The roller coaster is shallower when you follow the system to a “T”. If it’s NFP, it’s “to a ‘T’”.


#18

:wink: Congratulations. You have a very loving husband, indeed!

I lost much sleep over this monthly concern. Mostly because we never learned NFP properly and did not trust it. I can only think that if we had received better education and had a better understanding of the true meaning of love and sex, life would have been so much better for us.


#19

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.