Real couples really do use NFP, and we asked them to tell us their NFP story. We will be sharing them here on the blog — the good parts and the struggles. Each of these couples is writing their own love story, and have chosen to do so by following God’s plan for marriage.
Here is Collin and JoAnna’s story.
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Were you initially skeptical about NFP?
Yes, and we assumed that NFP was the “rhythm method» and very inaccurate. But when we started doing research, we realized that NFP was very accurate and based on scientific, biological principles of fertility biomarkers.
How did you learn?
I (JoAnna) actually read a couple of books first, including CCL’s The Art of Natural Family Planning, and started charting soon afterwards. We were able to successfully avoid pregnancy using STM. We took a CCL live onsite class about a year later, just to augment our knowledge. The class was helpful and we liked our teaching couple very much.
What has surprised you about NFP?
We honestly thought it would be more difficult than it was, and have been pleasantly surprised at how positive it has been for our marriage, in terms of our communication and our discernment. We can’t say we really enjoy the abstinence during the periods when we are trying to avoid pregnancy, but have found that the “honeymoon effect” is a real thing, and that CAN be quite enjoyable. 🙂
Was it difficult to transition to NFP?
Not as much as I’d feared. I went off birth control pills and we used condoms for three months as we learned the basics of charting (we weren’t Catholic at the time). Thankfully my cycles seemed to normalize rather quickly, although after I’d charted for a few months I could tell that they were longer than was typical.
What aspects of contraception are you glad you left behind?
The side effects (low libido, weight gain).
What changes have you seen in the dynamics of your relationship (if any) since starting NFP?
Our communication is much improved, and it’s beneficial that we each month we need to reevaluate our reasons for avoiding pregnancy. It makes us have much-needed conversations about our financial state, mutual goals, shared responsibilities, etc.
Did you and your spouse ever disagree on NFP? How so? How do you work out those differences?
No, although there are times (usually during the fertile phase of my cycle when we are trying to avoid pregnancy) when we’re tempted to chuck it out the window. 🙂
Has using NFP affected your relationship with God?
Yes, we feel much closer to God now that we know that we are giving ourselves to each other wholly, fertility and all, just as He intended. It’s made us more cognizant of the beauty of God’s design for our fertility and His plan for marriage.