What’s An NFP Guy To Do?

By Jim Volpe

Pain Points

In the software industry, we have a saying, “Run towards the pain.” In Business, after identifying a pain point, we exercise that process more until we find out what is wrong. Then we fix it. This is a great strategy with computers, but things are a bit different with humans. In a marriage, we can’t constantly run at all the pain points, but we certainly can’t ignore them either. As NFP Guys, we are already dealing with the challenges of abstinence in a constant way. That can be difficult for our wives to understand. This might make it easy to run away when the charts and observations begin. But I think this is a helpful place to run towards the pain.

An Opportunity

Over the years of teaching, I have seen many couples where the woman handles the NFP responsibilities and even makes the “green light” decisions. While marriages can work in many ways, this is a lost opportunity for a marriage to improve. It may be more efficient to have one person know all this material. However, in my experience, it is more effective to have both the husband and wife informed in this delicate area. As a teaching couple, we have observed that those couples where the man is involved and knowledgeable seem the most confident and best able to grasp the method. Wives and future wives all appreciate not being alone in learning this material which is so countercultural. Informed husbands become automatic cheerleaders in this challenging area.

Don’t Do It Alone!

As an NFP cheerleader, I’ve pretty much taken over all aspects of NFP charting and temperature taking. Jen handles the mucus observation and, of course, we discuss our parenting intentions for the cycle together. That should not be done alone! While we were engaged, learning the material was the easiest part for me to pick up. As soon as we were married and living together, I started recording the temperature. I can now usually take my wife’s temperature without even waking her up. Although this did involve some years of practice on my part and at least one inserting of the thermometer into the nasal passage instead of the mouth.

Use That App

Despite this, temperature is the easiest observation for the husband to record but, as a minimum, husbands should be involved in the conversation about whether this is a cycle to attempt to achieve a pregnancy. Those conversations are always valuable in setting up a vision for your marriage and family life. Next, I would recommend getting the PeakDay app on your phone, as well as hers, so you can log into the same account to record information and track her cycle live, 24/7.

Of course, paper charts would work too, but in this digital age, ease of access facilitates ease of recording. PeakDay can also send a handy notification reminding you to make sure this important detail is not forgotten. Since using the app can involve some specialized knowledge, this is a great place for the husband to lift a burden from his wife. He can enter data, read the daily FAQ, and post questions to the board when an issue arises.

NFP Guys

There are many great supplemental materials that a husband can read, such as The Theology of the Body Explained by Christopher West and Fertility, Cycles, and Nutrition by Marilyn Shannon which can enable him to support his wife when issues or questions might arise. Smaller pain points where a husband can be a help to his wife is to relieve his wife of some of the daily burdens; cooking, cleaning, laundry, budgeting, shopping, and child duties are all ways to build up the domestic life of the family which assist with NFP charting by removing stress. Running towards the pain is what an NFP Guy should be doing.

This article was originally published in Family Foundations magazine.