Perry and Liza’s love story
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 Perry and Liza’s story.*
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Were you initially skeptical about NFP?
No. We had great NFP teachers so we had no doubts. We were just anxious to try NFP out.
Was NFP difficult to learn?
At first it was confusing, but we had help from our teachers and after a few months we got the hang of charting our fertility.
Has anything surprised you about NFP?
I (Liza) have Crohn’s disease, and I found that I was able to tell based upon my charting when my Crohn’s was going to flare. I could then prepare myself to lessen the gut pain by changing my diet, taking pain medication as well as an anti-spastic to lessen the discomfort.
Who participates in charting, observations and interpreting?
I observe and my husband asks if I am in a fertile or non-fertile time. He reminds me to chart if I forget, plus during the times when we had to abstain for some serious health issues that I had, he would make me a nice meal, rent a movie or we’d relax and play board games. We also went to Mass together to pray to the Lord to strengthen our union and help us through the rough times (during my health issues).
What changes have you seen in the dynamics of your relationship (if any) since starting natural family planning?
We always put the other first in our marriage. My husband is a very kind and giving man. After I had a stroke, he had to work full-time, do all of the housework, make sure I had someone to take me to my appointments, and he encouraged me to try a new hobby so I wouldn’t be depressed while recovering.
Did you and your spouse ever disagree on NFP?
We are both for NFP 110 percent because it is safe to use, there are no chemicals to deal with and it strengthened our marriage by making us both aware of the true meaning of our union — putting the other first and not focusing on ourselves every time.
Has using NFP affected your relationship with God?
NFP has taught us that marriage is based upon allowing Christ in the center of our union and treating each other with love and respect. Contraception doesn’t do that because it’s all about self-centeredness and sex on demand without respecting the woman. NFP makes us aware of our fertility and helps us realize that there is more to a relationship than the physical aspects. There is communication, spirituality, respect, love, understanding and working together as a team to keep the marriage strong.
Does practicing NFP help you better understand the Church’s teaching on contraception?
I knew ahead of time the dangers of hormonal contraception. The Church’s teaching made us realize that the barrier methods don’t bring a couple closer in the marriage and put the family planning burden too much on one person. NFP is open to life and respects a couple’s fertility.
*Names have been changed for privacy reasons.
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.