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Prolife Forum: disagreement re:nfp between husband & wife

by Catherine Frakas 30 May 2002

disagreement re:nfp between husband & wife QUESTION from Loretta on April 29, 2002 Dear Troy, My husband is not on board with the idea of NFP. I recently have been strongly re-convicted of my Catholic faith, and have tried to steer my family towards obedience to doctrine. My husband does not want any more children. (We have 2 daughters, aged 8 and 5.) Financially, we are sound, though recently I had some health problems that make any pregnancy seem like a bad idea to others. I am not that concerned myself, as I do trust God with this issue. In any case, I am wondering how to approach sex with my husband.
ANSWER by Mr. Troy Martz on July 2, 2002 Dear Loretta:
Thank you for your question, unfortunately you situation is more common than you may realize.
You say that your husband is not entirely onboard -- for the sake of discussion, I will assume that he is a reasonable man who either has never been clearly and convincingly taught the truth about the damaging effects of contraceptives on the body, mind, and soul. With that in mind, I would suggest that you work on three themes: Avoidance of sin, Education about NFP, and Witnessing to the Truth.
First, avoid committing sin through contraception. Your husband may not understand all of the reasons, but if you firmly and clearly explain to him that you believe contraception to be sinful he should respect your wishes. This does not mean that you withold intimacy, rather that you practice periodic abstinance. At this stage you are effectively practicing NFP alone.
Second, educate him in the benefits of NFP. Things he may not know are:
-- NFP, when properly practiced, is considerably more effective than any other form of avoidance of pregnancy -- Surveys show that couples who use NFP rate their marriages as more satisfying than those who contracept -- Those same surveys show that NFP couples rate their satisfaction in their sexual relation considerably higher -- Divorce rates amoung couples practicing NFP are extremely low compared to the rest of society
A couple of good sources for materials are Human Life International and The Gift Foundation. HLI can provide copies of the tape Contraception: Why Not by Dr. Janet Smith along with massive amounts of information on human life issues. The Gift Foundation was expressly formed to educate people on the truth about contraception. Their conference tapes address a wide range of topics including the health (physical, mental, and spiritual) concerns, debunking population bomb myths, the effect of contraception on the children of contracepting parents (if my parents are taking a pill to keep from having more children like me then they probably don't want me either), and Biblical evidence of the sinfulness of contraception. Third, live a life of witness to the Truth. Pray for your husband (and all others who have been deceived by society in this way). Sacrificing of yourself for the sake of your husband and children will help him to understand the value that you place on family and service. Lovingly and quietly giving of yourself says much more about the value of living God's way than anything you or I could say. As St. Francis said:
Evangelize always, use words when necessary.
You will be in my (and I hope all of our readers') prayers.
Christ's Peace, Troy
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