We are failures, we have no self control

It feels hopeless. It is the exception rather than the rule that my husband and I make it through a cycle without doing something illicit. I loathe and despite NFP. Pregnancy is just NOT a good option for serious physical and mental reasons. However I sometimes just think maybe we should just give up and that way we don’t sin and just be providentialists since we just can’t do it. But then it sounds so stupid to think that having a ton of kids I can handle, being horribly ill and risking my health in pregnancy is a better option.

Theoretically we ought to be able to abstain. No one forces us to do anything. But it’s always easier said than done. Everyone sins in areas that they don’t want to and keep falling over and over. I am just sick of this though. I think if I actually felt/believe that birth control was always wrong in every circumstance it might be easier. But we don’t. We understand that is what the Church teaches but it seems very wrong. It only seems right physically, mentally and spiritually to “be together”.

I just feel like a total failure and that we have no hope of not sinning in this area. It doesn’t help that the last time we went to confession our priest who has otherwise always seemed very orthodox told my husband that he can’t say we should use birth control…but… Get the jist? That he just really didn’t see how the alternative was better in some circumstances.

I don’t have advice for you, because I am still unmarried. But I see so much anguish in your post, I just wanted to reply to tell you that I will pray for you and your struggles. You are not a failure. God loves you.

I loathe and despite NFP. Pregnancy is just NOT a good option for serious physical and mental reasons.

Why do you loathe NFP? Is it the times of abstinence that are too demanding? A seemingly long fertile period can be a sign of other health issues, but it can be remedied.

I have noticed many posters here are knowledgeable about NFP, many have also struggled with it as you do. I hope one of them will come and give a more helpful reply soon.

years ago, my husband and i experienced this sort of failure to abstain. we didn’t engage in sinful behavior, we just didn’t abstain. when we did abstain it felt like torture. when we didn’t, we were frought with worry and regret, held our breath, and counted days till my period.

i really believed we (especially I) had grave reasons to avoid pregnancy.

but a close friend, my midwife, suggested that maybe abstinence was so terribly difficult because was God showing us to be more open to children and to trust him.

the pregnancy resulting from that advice was a time of profound spiritual growth for me. i’d been a returned Catholic before that time, but during that pregnancy i had a significant conversion experience. ***all ***the misgivings i’d had about Church teachings were removed from me. lots of other stuff, too. it didn’t matter that it was one of the sickest pregnancies i’d ever had-- it was attended by the tenderness of Divine Mercy every minute of the looooong way.

that child (who is ten years old) is especially generous and peaceful.

Thanks for being gentle with me. I am feeling really down right now. Yes, it’s the times of abstinence. My cycles are gradually returning to normal after my last baby so it is getting easier to chart. But really it is just that it is so hard to avoid when you are fertile because that is when a woman is actually most interested. I love my husband and being apart like that is really difficult.

Thanks. I need to think on this. I do feel we have grave reasons like you say you felt too. I almost died last time. I had two dr visits a week for about half the pregnancy and major surgery involving general anesthesia during the pregnancy. My pregnancies before that were hard but not life threatening. It made it harder on another level that we were following nfp rules and conceived anyway. I look at my daughter though and am so thankful for her and can’t imagine our lives without her.

But I am terrified of pregnancy and birth at this point. I can’t help but think another near year of pregnancy sickness will just be an issue of neglect towards the children I have. I wish I had more faith. When we got married we married with the intention to take all children God gave us and not avoid pregnancy at all intentionally. I think I struggle with a lot of guilt have coming so far from where we were. I feel like such a failure that I can’t do a better job with all that I need to do and be as a wife and mother that the idea of another pregnancy makes it seem impossible to do it all.

I really could use prayer. I know this is affecting my spiritual life so negatively.

I’m not married, so I can’t really give advice. I can pray for you, though! :signofcross:

another near year of pregnancy sickness will just be an issue of neglect towards the children I have.

I really understand this fear. i understand it so much. in fact, my final hold-out sounded something like this: * Lord, I might be willing to put myself through that turmoil again, but my kids deserve better than a year of unavailable mother. *

when i had the big conversion i wrote of, a lesson of gentleness appeared. be gentle with my kids. be gentle on myself. have gentle expectations of my husband.

i had three children after the conversion baby. God’s grace has been powerful in our family.

i will pray for you and your husband. confess. confess. confess. don’t let the devil fool you that you’ve fallen too many times to confess.

but what a great grace of the mystery of marriage-- that you and your husband LOVE each other so much that abstinence is difficult!! never lose sight of that blessing!!

it hurts to hear the turmoil that you are in. My heart breaks for you and your husband. Please realize you are in my prayers. My wife and I are going through something similar.

sosickofit I have nothing really to add to the good advice you have gotten but I will keep you in my prayers.

but a close friend, my midwife, suggested that maybe abstinence was so terribly difficult because was God showing us to be more open to children and to trust him.

monica WOW what a wonderful insight she gave you! This is something I think ALL couples struggling with NFP could stand to remember:thumbsup:

As for the prayer, I will gladly pray for you and your husband.

Prayers from here as well… not just because we often feel the same but because we know its difficult.

Yes I’m reading West’s books and I have JPIIs on the subject but it still seems like there is a double standard here. This could be because I was a protestant for 37 years.

I always taught couples that we should “renew” our marriage covenant often :slight_smile: that spiritual and emotional bond was important for a successful marriage. No where in the Bible did I see that contraception somehow nullified this… after many years that is a difficult belief to change.

We are trying but literally sometimes feel robbed as I believe you alluded too.

The other thing that is frustrating is that after years of study, every other teaching of the Church fell into place for me, it makes complete sense yet this one does not. Maybe it is because it’s so personal I don’t know, I DO understand the Theology… and I accept it but I can’t seem to truly put it into place.

For us we have been doing what I call “lazy NFP” we have tried to use it (we learned it years ago to help us get pregnant) but usually fail during abstinence more than once.

Of course none of this matter for at least another 10 months though, perhaps God is giving me some time to figure this out who knows.

It doesn’t matter for us now because even using stuff during the fertile time my wife is pregnant again. We had been praying even though we weren’t trusting Him we were “open to life” I guess He was listening. :slight_smile:

I’m not sure what my point is other than we have experienced the same but we are trying… we weren’t really sure we could handle 4 but maybe we will get a girl this time!


OP: I understand your anguish. I can truely say I do! I really shouldn’t have any more children, for my own health. I struggle wondering if leaving my children motherless is better than not contracepting. sigh
BUT since the church teaches this, and I BELIEVE it, we don’t contracept. It’s so very hard though. It sucks crying after making love, because we are terrified of me getting pregnant. We tried abstaining all together and it was tearing our marriage apart! Seriously. sigh
I want another baby so bad, but if I were to get pregnant the meds I’m on will do GREAT harm to my unborn child if not caught in time. THEN the stress it will put on my already failing Kidneys…:frowning: I cry when I see babies, it’s that bad.
Have Faith. God knows what he’s doing, of course it’s hard for me to say that at times.

DEAR GOD: I believe, please help my unbelief.

I am going through the same thing right now and it’s AWFUL. We also have grave reasons … doesn’t help that DH was raised Protestant and while he accepts the Church’s teaching, it’s hard for him to understand the whole abstinence thing.
Any words of wisdom from y’all who have been there would be appreciated.

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