First of all let me say that I am not married or engaged, so my questions are more theoretical than practical.
As a Protestant convert, I am excited about what I am learning about NFP - about being open to life, not filling my body with unecessary hormones, and strengthening my marriage someday. However, I am also aware that NFP is considered an acceptable form of spacing children for “severe” reasons. So what is severe?
Besides the obvious, I have two scenarios that I often wonder if they qualify:
A family that has a few or several very young children. (Say 4, 2, and an infant). The 2 and 4 year old are, let’s face it, pretty bratty. Mother is at her wit’s end. Frankly, I suppose her desire to even be with her husband might be decreased in this situation. However, is this a justifiable reason to space kids out - so that she can focus on getting her current children through their early years, develop good parenting skills, and so on?
Delaying a family for bonding with a new spouse. I have heard both sides of this issue in a non-Catholic environment, so I’d like to hear the Catholic response. On one hand, they say a married couple should wait as long as possible to have kids, so that they bond with each other and are not afraid of each other years down the line when the kids leave the home. On the other hand I have heard that having kids early gives the couple a reason to work things out. I’d like to think that whoever I marry would be the right guy, so having kids as “an excuse” would be out of the picture. However, I worry about introducing pregnancy very early on in a marriage. When you are finally free to experience your spouse 24/7, wouldn’t throwing hormones into the mix just mess everything up? He’d never get to know the real you. I’m not talking about using NFP for long…just long enough to “settle in” and get over the honeymoon stage.