Wow, I hate to sound like one of those know-it-all types from Touched By An Angel … and I’m no angel … but I can help here. First, I am always intrigued by the conversations about what people “have in common” like you’ve got a common interest in college or particle physics or Star Trek or cats or whatever. There is truly only one “common ground” upon which to base all interpersonal relationships, and that is of course Jesus Christ, co-creator of the Universe and savior of humanity. He - God - thinks so much of us that He went through a LOT of trouble to make a rather unconventional house-call to us. He didn’t HAVE to come here as a conceived egg by the power of the Holy Spirit to a full-term Baby Jesus. But He decided He really wanted to come along for the full ride - as God - to enjoy exactly what it is to be one of His own human creations first-hand. Yes, both human and Divine, experienced just what we go through as He never could have as a distant but involved observer from far-away heaven.
So when I hear the stories about contraception and confession … yes - they are big things, but not unsurmountable obstacles. The big issue with contraception is not necessarily that this prevents pregnancy. I know some in the Church would like to believe that contraception is a great evil, but it is not. Contraception becomes sinful when it is falsely believed that pregnancy mitigation equates to sin mitigation - and it does not. Thus, many believe, where there is no pregnancy, there is no evidence of sin. Yet God sees all, and the sin is the sin whether contraception is used or not. I have a female friend who was raped and who now has all types of venereal diseases - all contagious, none curable, and some potentially deadly. And she uses contraception when making love to her husband, and it is both foolish and ridiculous to believe that God would frown upon that, as God is the one who designed the laws of physics, including how bacteria and viruses are transmitted between living cells. In this case, for the Church to say contraception is a sin does nothing but make the Church look foolish, and it becomes one of those times when Jesus Christ would say that the views and opinions of the Magistrerium do not necessarly reflect those of Jesus, His Spirit, or His Father in heaven.
So far as Confession - there are plenty of examples supporting this in the Bible, and with one Confession, all sins are washed away by Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. By each Confession, all of the righteous consequences (and Jesus Himself was fond of saying “all righteousness must be fulfilled”) of sin are transferred from the burden of judgement in the afterlife to the Cross 1,977 years ago on Calvary. It is sort of rude - actually - to not avail oneself of the right to a Confession, because it is tied in closely to the very purpose Jesus came to us. It is not that the sins we have committed are just let go. There is still a price to be paid - a heavy one - but through Confession Jesus Christ takes these sins from us, and transfers the punishment for what we have done to his shoulders, so that upon the day we are to be judged, He can turn to us and tell us that we are as pure as the white driven snow because He has - through our Confession - wiped away our sins, and suffered our consequences for us. When the Priest says “your sins are forgiven,” believe it - and just let the sins go - because joyfully and with a great smile He has. And when the Priest says “Go, and sin no more,” yes - try to do that, too.