One of the common questions I get about FAM/NFP is how to get your (doubting) husband on board. Some ladies have husbands who either learn about the method first or are not so much doubting Thomases, but for the rest of us:
Present him with the (secular) facts. Using a straight-up Catholic argument was not going to work with my husband. He and I are in differing spots on our faith journey. If yours is like this, do your research on the secular facts, make a powerpoint, write up a report or present an oral presentation. This was the method I used when I was first researching STM. My husband is very logical and facts orientated, so I found the statistics comparing condoms, HBC and STM and essentially prepared a report and talked about the facts. Yes, we are nerds in love.
Sign up for an intro class and make it part of a date-night. If the archdiocese or NFP teacher in your area offers NFP classes (whatever method you are most curious about,) sign up for the intro class (tell him, of course) and couple it with coffee and pastries afterward to digest/ discuss. Who can turn down a date night… with pastries?!
Help him come to the logical conclusion. If the Pill/ IUD/ condoms are causing you physical pain/ negative effects, tell him. Logically, as your partner, he will want to help you avoid discomfort and may come to the conclusion that the status quo is not working. This was part of our journey. We knew that hormonal Birth Control was making me bat-shit crazy during the month, and as I have a latex sensitivity, lambskin condoms were costing us an arm and a leg (and we were not “together” often as there are only 3 in a pack for $9!) Then we were introduced to STM by a friend…
Be honest, about everything. If you have been a contracepting couple and are used to “sex on demand” (under normal circumstances) and want to switch to NFP/FAM, you and your husband should be clear that there may be periods of time where intercourse is not possible (if you are trying to avoid and are not planning on relying on barrier methods.) It will be hard as right around ovulation, you (the woman) will start expressing chemicals called “copulins” will make you more desirable to your mate than any other time of the month. When your male detects these copulins, his testosterone will increase and he will begin to secrete androsterones, making him more attractive to you (and it repels women who aren’t ovulating.) If you normally have a lower sex drive, you will find it increasing the closer you get to ovulation. Your lips will flush, your pupils will be slightly more dilated and you will have a glow to you. All of these are physical reactions to estrogen, created to make you more attractive as you are approaching your most fertile time.
Figure out the cost-benefit analysis. Your typical NFP/FAM class has some start up costs. Books cost money. Thermometers cost money. Charting Apps can cost money. But, once those start-up costs are complete… that’s it! You should not have to spend anything more on your FAM/NFP. If you are on birth control and it is costing you $30/month, that’s $360 a year! If you are on that birth control for 30 years… $10,800. A 36-pack of (latex) condoms is around $30. If you are together 2x/week, you are buying 2.6 boxes of 36 packs/ year… around $80. For 30 years: $2400 (plus a ton of trash.) If you have to use lambskin: $40/pack of 12… so 8 boxes a year: $320… for 30 years: $9600. Without insurance, and IUD can cost anywhere from $210- 800. (with insurance, you will usually still pay your normal office co-pay.)It can really add up!
If all else fails (and you are Catholic,) lay it all out there. I would really only use this as a worst case scenario because ideally, your spouse should be a little receptive to you as his bride. If you are a practicing Catholic, please know and understand that hormonal contraceptives/ barrier methods are seen as a mortal sin w/in our faith. Many couples will cite a “use your conscience” clause, but honestly… the CCC is pretty clear on this. And if he’s still not open, just tell him (as another reader did,) “I love you, but I am not going to hell for anyone, even you.” (If you are not Catholic, that might work, but probably not. For the record, for that couple it worked; he was willing to learn more.)
Pray and wait. Lucky for all of us, you don’t have to be Catholic or even religious to pray. The word “prayer” has roots in “to ask.” So pray and wait. Talk about it when it is comfortable, but do not hound him. Plant the seed and let it grow.
Be sure to head over to Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes!
- NFP Awareness Week: GUEST POST! A Secular, Liberal, Feminist Argument for the Promotion of Fertility Awareness and NFP
- NFP Awareness Week: What is NFP?
- NFP Awareness Week: Mucus only methods
- NFP Awareness Week: Symptothermal and Marquette Methods
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