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 Robert and Maria’s story.
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Were you initially skeptical about NFP?
No. While we knew very little of the specifics about NFP at the beginning, we knew enough to know it was for us.
Was NFP difficult to learn?
Yes, I have hypothyroidism and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome which has proven to make NFP more difficult, but not impossible to use.
Has anything surprised you about NFP?
Yes, our whole attitude to the gift of our sexuality has changed. Mainstream views and media do not even touch on what a beautiful and fulfilling gift it is in marriage.
Who participates in observations, charting and interpreting?
I (Maria) observe and chart, and Robert and I often spend a lot of time interpreting what I record. This in turn leads to many open conversations on love and family.
What changes have you seen in the dynamics of your relationship (if any) since starting natural family planning?
By using NFP, our hearts have become more open to children. I (Maria) see them as more of a blessing and no longer want to be the one who controls the amount of children we have. I do think, however, it is important for my health and mental well-being that I space out my children, and this is something we prayerfully discern all the time. NFP is great for constantly discerning our family in a lot of ways. As a society, we have come so detached from the idea that sex and babies are intertwined.
Did you and your spouse ever disagree on NFP? How so? How do you work out those differences?
We have but it’s usually because we have other issues that need to be discussed. Sometimes, though, it just boils down to one of us having more of a sexual appetite than the other. This is totally normal and can be hard. Also, at times, it’s very hard to avoid lovemaking when I’m ovulating which can cause challenges, but as a couple you learn to come up with creative non-sexual ways of expressing your love for one other.
Does practicing NFP help you better understand the Church’s teaching on contraception?
Absolutely. The teachings of the Catholic Church are beautiful even though at times they can be difficult to put into practice. They show the utmost respect for every human in this world. I would be doing a disservice to myself, to my health, to our marriage and to any potential children I may have by using birth control. God truly wants what best for us.
Do you have an NFP love story to share? Contact Ann Gundlach at CCL at 800-745-8252 ext 1033. Or share this story with someone who needs to hear it!
New from CCL! Your Love Story: A Guide to Engagement and Marriage by William Turrentine. Learn more at www.ccli.org/yls.