I am only 18, not likely to be married any time soon, but I still wanted to express my sadness over the number of topics in this sub-forum about Natural Family Planning, and the mentality that it is “required” for a good Catholic marriage.
I understand that there are good reasons for some couples to use NFP, but it seems to me that is being used as more of a “Catholic contraceptive” than anything else these days. Whenever I hear young couples talking about their marriages or future marriages, I hear about NFP. The thing is, NFP is okay for certain purposes, but it is not necessary for Catholic marriage, and in some cases it can be destructive, and maybe even sinful for couples that are healthy enough, and financially stable enough to have children.
The fact is, NFP is not supposed to be used to avoid children altogether like condoms or birth control pills. If you are using it in your marriage with a mentality of convenience rather than necessity, than you probably shouldn’t be using it!
It breaks my heart to see threads on this forum and other forums, from unhappy husbands or wives talking about how their use of NFP is making their marriage difficult or unhappy. IMO A healthy, financially stable couple has no reason to use NFP.
Natural Family Planning should not be to appease immature Catholic couples who view children as an obnoxious byproduct of sex. Men and women preparing for marriage should be preparing for children as well by anticipating the financial needs and emotional needs of bringing up children, and preparing themselves mentally for that responsibility.
To conclude this post. I firmly believe that NFP is something that should be considered only if there is a real reason to avoid conception temporarily. I also believe that abstinence serves the same purpose for shorter periods of time. Both methods require REAL reasons to use. There is something seriously morally wrong with a young, healthy financially stable couple that uses NFP as soon as they are married.
By the way, I fully understand that NFP can be used to help achieve conception as well, that’s definitely a good thing! My argument is about the preventative aspect of NFP, and how it is, in my opinion, misused.