Some help with getting husband on board...NFP

Hello! Just had baby #2 and we are wanting to avoid having another child too quickly (this last pregnancy was very painful, possibly due to not getting enough space between baby 1 an baby 2) and also for some serious reasons that aren’t really relevant to the discussion right now.

However, its enough to say that we really really really want to avoid…but as tempted as I am, I don’t even want to use condoms. I especially want to avoid birth control, withdrawal, and illicit forms of sex with my husband. This is for both personal and religious differences. However, he feels worn down about it all. He sees NFP and the church’s teaching on sexuality within marriage as nothing but rules rules rules…

I’m pretty sad because the big premise of NFP is that it will help your relationship and it doesn’t seem to be helping. I don’t think sex without boundaries helps either- especially since I’m the type to give into things just out of misplaced guilt.

The trouble is I’m very good at knowing the “rules” and can rattle off TOB at will, but I have a hard time showing how any of this is beneficial to our relationship, at least in a way that my husband will understand. Could anybody (particularly married couples) share how NFP has really helped the relationship? Maybe how your views changed, how you focused on the do’s rather than do nots? I need something positive, something helpful. I am exhausted from being the “gatekeeper” and being constantly bombarded.

Help, please?

It’s going to be really tough to do NFP postpartum with no past track record of success with it. Maybe a fertility monitor would work for you? That way it could be the “gatekeeper,” not you. Also, involve him in the charting and analysis process as much as possible so it’s never a surprise whether you are fertile or infertile.

Learn how to say, “Do you want another baby in 9 months, honey?” with a smile when he asks during fertile times. If he says yes, sit down with him and work out the logistics of your next pregnancy (medical expenses, time off work if any, daycare expenses if any, help around the house if needed, childcare for the babies while you’re in the hospital, additional grocery expenses, larger car if needed, larger home if needed, etc., etc.). Once you’ve worked all that out to your satisfaction, ask him again if he wants a baby in 9 months.

Best wishes!

My experience with NFP couples has led me to a conclusion about when it is easy or not easy for one partner to practice but not the other.
You and your husband need to be on the same page. If your husband is like me (he is probably not) then threatening a baby in 9 months will not do any good. I always want another baby.:smiley: But if your health and life are at risk (and it sounds like they are) Then your husband would certainly not risk the life of his wife for some gratification. Especially when, with NFP, a solution is presentable in the not so distant future. Make sure he knows YOUR fears your risks.

What can help too is if he is absolutely honest with you. “Babe, I am really wanting to be with you now because of XYZ. It is so frustrating” This allows you to be mindful of his frustrations and to not minimize them. I remember that when it was hard for my wife and I to practice NFP she had the false idea that cuddling up to me would make it better. It only made it worse. BUT it is a HUGE balance because if you go to far the other way you are being cold and distant.:shrug:

I pray for you and the only real takeaway I have for you is this.

NFP may be hard, it may be frustrating and it may be a stress, not a help, on your marraige. But, for you, it is the best and most loving option.

HoosierDaddy’s post was very good. I agree with everything he said.

NFP is hard. For my marriage, learning NFP increased charity between my husband and myself, especially his understanding of feminine sexuality and the feminine body. However, the actual practice of NFP was entirely different. Neither one of us liked feeling like we had to “make the most” out of the infertile time. Neither one of us liked having to deny each other during the fertile time. And our reasons were determined, through prayer and conversation, to not be very serious in our situation. So, we only used NFP for the period of time when my fertility returned while still breastfeeding a toddler, and then, decided to be totally open to whatever might happen as soon as the toddler was old enough. So, I guess you could say we abandoned the method twice, but we did not reject it. We will regretfully have to use it again when my fertility returns after this new baby.

I am not sure that you will find anyone saying that NFP was good for their marriage, except that it is better than having to abstain entirely. But the more serious one’s reasons are, the easier the practice becomes, for couples that are in accord. If you and your husband are not in accord, then my advice would be to pray hard for him, and to continue to gently explain as you hold fast to the teachings of the Church. This is difficult, but give the Holy Spirit time to work in your husband’s heart, so that he can see the beauty of God’s design for married sexuality.

God bless you and your marriage!

I wouldn’t really say NFP helped or harmed our relationship. So I don’t think you’re going to “sell” your husband on NFP by promising it’s going to be great, because frankly it probably isn’t. It’s not fun having to abstain when you’d rather not. I don’t know who keeps preaching all these ideas about it being “so great” for your marriage or where that comes from- I’ve never heard that. I think maybe the cases where it is helpful could be when one or both partners have unhealthy ideas about sex (for instance, using one another or trying to guilt the other…things like that)- learning to respect each other and do other non-physical things together might help a relationship in those cases I’d suppose. But in good marriages, I think it’s simply a tool that can be used to keep up a level of intimacy when you’d otherwise have to abstain completely.

Your husband might respond to a secular book like Taking Charge of Your Fertility. This could backfire because the author does talk about using condoms during the fertile period, however it’s not in a way that suggests it is the best idea. Frankly, I cannot understand why anyone would ever use condoms while knowing they are fertile if they have a good reason to be avoiding. If you aren’t in a position to have a child, why play with fire like that? Perhaps that kind of reasoning would give your husband something to think about.

Thanks for the responses!

Hoosier Daddy- not so much differences. Autocorrect turned differences into reasons. We are both Catholic (reverts) although I’m the one who’s much more gung-ho about it. He relates differently to religious things, especially as his culture sees religion as an old woman thing. It’s taking a while to see that there’s a place for men too. Thank God our parish has good examples of that.

Lol- my husband does want another baby! If money and other things weren’t an issue we’d probably have another child next year. I wouldn’t mind a big family but we need to clear things up first and make sure my health doesn’t get ruined. Thanks for mentioning the cuddle thing- I’ve been doing that and nope, it doesn’t help.

Perhaps it would help to just acknowledge that NFP won’t be all that enjoyable, but that we need to use it temporarily. We already know its temporary anyways because on the health side at least my body just needs time to heal. The other reason I had shoul be cleared up on 2 years or less if we are lucky.

Everybody else-

Actually, we had success using NFP for a few months postpartum with baby 1. We still don’t have enough money to buy the fertility monitor from Marquette (200 dollars???) so I used the digital version you can buy at the drugstore and was super strict (also while monitoring all sorts of other stuff.)Until one day we just said to heck with it and took a risk on a risky day. The good part is we knew way before the sticks that we were pregnant.

While I’d like to give a book to my husband he wouldn’t be interested in reading, and he wouldn’t have time due to his work hours. I do like the idea of sitting down and budgeting it all out…however, its also probably not the best approach for my husband. I love planning- he just gets apprehensive looking at all the details.

I’m thinking now the best approach might be to stress that this is temporary. I love getting to know my fertility (he thinks its pretty cool too) especially since I had zero education on any of it (sex Ed consisted of waving a condom around and quoting from out if date studies) but I’d love to not have to avoid just as much as him.

I’m going to show this thread to him and see what he thinks. Thanks for the different perspectives (and its a relief that so many people also did not have NFP shower them with rainbows and glitter, much as I wish that could happen.)

So I read my husband the thread. It seemed to help, but it didn’t. If I can’t have sex normally then I need to at least do “other things” because otherwise what is the point of being married? Might as well use condoms then, even though I’m finding out they’re also a cancer risk and can screw with a woman’s reproductive system. Doesn’t matter what my religious beliefs are (my husband’s stop apparently when they interfere with sex) what my personal feelings are, or my health. Until my husband thinks I’m disabled enough, I don’t have any valid reasons he cares about to not have sex or do morally illicit things. I can say no occasionally but only for a while. I’m supposed to wait until 6 weeks postpartum to have sex, so I guess it will mean using other parts of my body until then.

We practiced NFP successfully before this pregnancy in the sense that we avoided for a few months. Looks like its the FAM method (NFP and condoms). Otherwise I get to constantly be pressured for sex and other things to the point that that is the only thing he will talk about. He promised me he wouldn’t do that again but hey he also made promises at the altar about being a Catholic husband. Love how I can go to hell for all of this when its a choice between that and having my husband basically treat me like a non-person until he gets enough sex. They feel similar right now. At least if I get this out of the way I can go back to something liveable and being treated like a partner (well except for when we do the airfoil stuff. But whatever.)

I really liked the idea of having a husband that could support something like NFP, but he only supports it in theory. Practice? No. When she got old enough I wanted to teach my daughter this but now I’m just a hypocrite. Besides, what’s the point of teaching her anything about the Church’s teachings on sexuality? She will end up in the same position I am in- no real support. Either do what he wants or learn to live without respect or affection.

Hoosier Daddy- I hope you weren’t the same way to uour wife. If you were just know that she’s probably terrified of the day that she won’t be able to do everything you want. Also, you can bet she doesn’t trust you anymore.

Airfoil= sinful. Autocorrect I hate you.

No, My wife and I have an incredibly happy and healthy marriage. There is no resentment or frustration sexually or religiously. Both of us are devout and practicing Catholics who, when we fall, frequent confession. We have an unconventional family in that I stay home, homeschool, and am the “domestic” one. She is a very motivated and successful woman, wife and mother. She feels she has chosen wisely in a husband and father for her children and I am willing to let her believe that.

There was a lot of hurt in your post and I feel for you incredibly.

There are many who are in your same boat. And this is discussed frequently when one spouse is not in line with the Church with this on these threads. Know this,

  1. You cannot partake in sin. You may be intimate with one who contracepts but you can never do it.
  2. You also cannot allows your body to be used in an unholy way. Not only does this go against the Church and God, but against your own dignity.

Pray pray pray for your husband and yourself.

Both of you should have an adoration hour each week for your marriage. And he should find some sort of men’s group

If there is not one at your parish he is interested in there is an organization called E5 men. It is taking the verse in Ephesians 5 about laying your life down for your wife and applying it to your marriage. It is real man, and honor, and masculine spirituality.

Seriously, check it out
e5men.org/

I will pray for your marriage as well.

I’m glad you have a great marriage. No, there’s no men’s group other than Knights of Columbus, and there’s no Spanish speaking element. Ephesians was actually used at our wedding, ironically. We are now at a “compromise” which isn’t a compromise for me at all, and means its going to be months before we can actually go to Confession and receive the Eucharist. Supposedly he will learn NFP more and somehow grow closer to God which I doubt will happen under these circumstances. I wish he could see what he’s really doing, and actually care. I’m just tired of fighting. I’m not even 30 days after having a baby. I just want to rest.

It’s probably a sin to go that much into detail, so i am going to stop writing/replying. Thanks for the prayers. Hopefully they “work”. It’s good to know i’m not alone and that there are a few people who don’t contraception and do everything the “modern” world prescribes.

If you’re not even a month out from having a baby, surely you’re on pelvic rest anyway for the moment? I had a scheduled C-section, so nothing “down there” was affected, but my doc still had me on strict pelvic rest until my 6-week checkup.

One thing to bear in mind: if he uses condoms, you (plural) can still have sex and you (OP) will not be committing a sin as long as you’ve made your objections clear to him and do so again periodically in the future. He will still be sinning, but you will not. Obviously, this isn’t ideal, and you should (as I imagine you do) pray for a change of heart in him, but it is an acceptable option for you, spiritually speaking.

For whatever it’s worth, DH is on board with our using NFP, but it is still hard for us. For me, what made me especially resentful was perhaps not the teaching itself, but everything around it. I had (still have, but it’s gotten slowly better) PPD. I was miserable, terribly lonely (no friends or family in the area), sleep-deprived, stressed…and darn it, all I wanted was the comfort of being with my husband that way, but I couldn’t because it wouldn’t be responsible for us. It was the icing on top of a very unpleasant cake. Seven months out, it’s gotten somewhat better. NFP still annoys me and we still have to use it for health reasons, but it’s at least a little more predictable, and my PPD has lightened enough that things overall are a lot more bearable. Perhaps things will get better with a little time for you, too. I hope that’s the case. :slight_smile:

Peace be with you.

Nopales, if it is your husband resorting to condoms and not you using anything, your ‘compromise’ does not bar you from receiving Communion. Just remember that. Keep gently reminding him of how following Church teaching in this matter is your ideal and my advice is don’t fall into the pattern of contracepting only when you know you are fertile. If he wants to go that way… make it an everytime thing. That reduces the abuse of your fertility.

God bless you both.

This is going to be the last reply until this is all resolved. Yep, I’m on pelvic rest but husband wants me to please him other ways. Take a wild guess how many of those aren’t a sin? I’m trying to get him to discuss this instead of just whine, push, and be grumpy. Either he doesn’t know or he doesn’t care how much he is damaging our marriage and my respect of him. He wants what he wants when he wants it, and I don’t really factor into it at all except as a living, breathing masturbatory aid.

Hurrah, I might still have a “loophole” (that’s what it feels like anyway) in that as long as I don’t give in to incessant demands to please him “other ways” I can still go to Confession and Communion. Although I should probably consult a priest since I have to buy the condoms due to a language barrier, and since neither of us have ever used them we don’t know which ones will be okay. (From what I researched a lot of people don’t like condoms because of reduced sensation or even pain. Oh the joys of unnatural sex.) Also,how am I supposed to avoid a near occasion of sin when that occasion of sin is my own husband? For him a “no” isn’t an answer. Neither are 200 more no’s. eventually I just do what he wants because I’d like to sleep, or take a shower, or have five minutes to myself, or be taken seriously as a human being even if temporarily.

If anything works out, I will write a follow up. I appreciate the prayers, please keep praying for us. And yes, I’m angry and incredibly hurt. At this point I’m just waiting for him to cheat on me since without constant gratification I’m worthless. He promises he won’t but this entire summer and fall has been nothing but broken promises. What’s one more? Who cares if I cry? I do it so often now and it can all be blamed on my fragile female little mind and all its mysterious wacky hormones. It’s not like I’m a person or anything.

So yep, pray. Also pray neither one of us dies with mortal sin on our soul.

Uhhh no. There is no place on this planet where not speaking the language is a “barrier” (pardon the pun) to buying a latex condom. He can purchase his own sin.

At the risk of causing the Apocalypse, I’ve gotta say that I agree with HD here. :wink: :stuck_out_tongue:

If the guy is incapable of picking up a box of condoms, handing them to the clerk, and then handing the clerk his card or some cash, how on earth does he survive basic activities of daily living? This hardly requires an in-depth conversation–or any at all.

I’m sorry but your posts go beyond getting your husband on board, simple frustration with NFP or marital communication problems. The fact that you say that you have said “no” many times and your spouse persists until he gets what he wants is abuse. To be harassing your spouse until she gives in so you can use her body is more than an unfortunate circumstance. This is emotional abuse and I urge you to seek counseling - if not from your priest then an outside source.

My prayers are with you.

I said I wouldn’t post until I had some good news, so here it is!

So, I went along with all of it. Did condoms- HATE THEM. I could write an entire booklet about how much I hate condoms, and my husband would write the intro. For a long time he refused to follow any method or support any method, so when I attempted it was all up to me. Eventually we devolved into using withdrawal and other illicit methods,which I hate almost as much as condoms.

Yep, he was being abusive and selfish, and the more we did things his way the less I wanted to have relations with him. But I needed some sort of peace, and couldn’t have it with him sulking and refusing to help with the house and kids. Eventually it degraded to the point where I left the house unsure if I was going to return or not. I did, but when I came back I was brutally honest. I have never been so harsh in my life, and I’m rather harsh anyways.

I let him know that sex was now an obligation similar to doing the dishes, that I had begun to fantasize about any other husband than him (like for helping out or being a friend) that I no longer trusted him and felt completely disrespected. I asked him if he’d like for me to go on the pill so he could get his orgasm and I could get strokes, cancer, possible miscarriages, bleeding issues, mood swings, weight swings, and the bonus of mortal sin. I told him I felt as used as a sex toy, and that there was a reason I wasn’t enjoying sex…lets just say I pretty much had an itemized list of how bad the sex really was. I didn’t yell, but I coldly told him we could continue as we were, and I could guarantee a divorce within 10 years or less, or he could change his behavior and rebuild my trust in him. I also told him I was almost looking forward to being celibate and I meant it.

Finally, he got it. Thank you for your prayers. He really thought about it, examined himself, and started rooting out that selfishness that was driving the abusive behavior. Wish we could say we have a therapist, but nope, still too poor. I won’t say every day since has been perfect, or that we dot get very annoyed with each other on abstaining days, but he has become a much better husband and lover. And no, its not a “honeymoon” period- I grew up in an abusive family and psychoanalyzed myself out of it. As soon as I smell a whiff of “the cycle of abuse” my fight or flight kicks in.

We got ourselves some instructors (I’m surprised I like Billings over Marquette) and I think it really helped being taught by a young couple like ourselves, from his culture. Global culture in general is not conducive to self restraint, but a lot of men from his area of the world have been taught that sex is a right and you may as well die without it. Similar to how American culture thinks that intercourse makes the man. So now we are following along on NFP with minor hiccups.

Still not easy, and I’m looking forward to when we can TTC or TTW, but its much better than where we were. Thank you guys so much for prayers and advice.

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