Spouse refuses to NFP... now what?


I have been struggling emotionally with this lately… can anyone offer some advice?

When I met my wife about 10 years ago, I was a different man. We were both Catholic and regular churchgoers, but my faith was not nearly where it is now. When we got married five years ago, we both agreed that birth control pills would be our best option.

After experiencing a renewal of faith… of sorts, reading Catholic literature, and learning more, I have decided that we should not be using birth control. After the birth of our daughter last March, I ordered the CCL home study course and we began studying NFP… me more than she. When my wife went to the doctor for her checkup one month after giving birth, the Dr. convinced her that NFP is notoriously ineffective and strengthened my wife’s belief that birth control is the same as the body’s natural processes. She believes that the pill prevents fertilization and bristles at my objections due to implantation prevention. Ever since, my wife has continued with the birth control pills.

My wife is a beautiful person with great personal faith. These discussions have really hurt our marriage, so I have felt forced to back off and simply pray.

I am horribly torn right now… Even to the point of planning “relations” for times when she should not be fertile just to try to ensure that we are not causing an abortion by failed implantation.

What can I do? I love my family so much! I don’t want to hurt our marriage, but I don’t want either of us to go to Hell.


If your wife is scientifically minded perhaps search online or at a local science library (medical schools) for research supporting NFP. If you show her the effectiveness, it might counteract the doctor’s opinion. Being an almost physician, I know the misleading facts they present in the classroom about NFP.


Has she gone to the web site for the brand of BCPs she uses? There will be detailed information that will tell her how the pill she is using actually works.

As she is a smart woman, she will see the abortificent nature and then perhaps be opend to listen.

Can you find a local teaching couple or class? It always helps to meet some real live flesh and blood couples who are using NFP.


I’m sorry you have to go through this.

Does your wife know you love her SO much that you don’t want her damagaing her body w/ those chemicals? Maybe coming at it from that angle might help. You can research the medical facts and bring them up at an appropriate time.


If you are not actively engaged in using the ABC, and you continue to try to persuade her at “teachable moments” (this does not mean nag, of course), the Church doesn’t require you to abstain or hold you accountable for this sin.

Since, she is so ill informed, she probably is not guilty of a mortal sin, either because she doesn’t have full knowledge.

As for the abortaficent factor, I think you should just trust God.

But, another option is to abstain during the time she would be fertile–about two weeks before her period starts.


My personal story is that my nonCatholic spouse goes through phases where he will agree to NFP and other times when he does not. It’s been a bumpy road. The first priest I consulted told me that I couldn’t engage in relations without going into Mortal sin, and my spouse and I almost separated over the issue.

But, since being on CAF, I’ve learned that the Church doesn’t hold the nonconsenting spouse to that standard. And, my current confessor is in allignment with what I’ve learned on CAF.

Be at peace.


Does she ever read the little inserts with her BC packets? She is smart; but does she understand things such as “tightens the endometrial lining” and “prevents the fertilized egg from implanting onto the uterus”?

I hope you are able to lovingly persuade her to try other methods. There is nothing healthy about taking synthetic hormones as a hormonal replacement therapy to avoid pregnancy, or, depending on what kind she uses, to cause early term abortions.

All that being said, I’ve noticed that women who are able to grasp the health risks and the danger of abortion in using certain ABC, still continue to do so for psychological reasons. Something about the physical action of swallowing a pill gives them a feeling of control and protection.


While I can offer no advice on how to solve your dilemma, in your wife’s defense, please allow me to point out that you changed your agreement with her regarding birth control. Clearly you are doing this for moral reasons, and you undoubtedly have your family’s best interests at heart. Still, this is one of those situations that require both of you to agree.

I pray that you situation gets resolved.


I agree. You made the agreement when you married, so you need to be accepting every bit as much of the responsibility at this point. My wife and I agreed to use NFP before we married. We studied it and used it from the beginning of our marriage. We agreed that if we had 4 children, then we would “re-evaluate”. Our first was born 10 months after our marriage…and we had been using the “avoid pregnancy” practices when he was conceived. Our second was born 4 years after the first and we had wanted him to be about 2 years apart. Our third was born 2 years after the second…(got one right). The day after our third was born, I was visiting my wife and new daughter in the hospital and a nurse comes into the room and says to my wife…“we have your tubal ligation scheduled for first thing in the morning”. I was stunned. My wife looks at me, then at the nurse and says you must have me confused with some other patient. The nurse apoligizes and leaves. Me, the fool, thought it was just an honest mistake by the nurse. For the next 5 years we are doing the abstaining during fertile times to avoid pregnancy routine…which is hell in my opinion. My wife is late one month and I say to her “wow, maybe you are pregnant”. She says…“no”. I say how can you be so sure? She says…“I know”. It occurs to me that since our last was born, not once had she thought that she was pregnant. So, I ask her…“are you using artificial birth control?”. She says…“no comment”. The fact is I will never know. Look at the bright side at least your wife is being honest with you about birth control…be thankfull for that. Don’t condemn her for that. My wife had 3 difficult births and they are 3 great kids and they need both their parents. God will have to sort it all out because I can’t.


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