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Rod Dreher-A Dissent on Ecological Breastfeeding

Actually, EB aside, I thought this paragraph was so familiar, and well, vindicating:

It reminded me of how, early in my marriage, as my wife and I adjusted to NFP, Julie joined an NFP listserv, and mentioned that we were struggling with it. She never said, "And so we're thinking about ceasing to follow NFP," or anything like that. She just said that nothing in the literature prepared us for how difficult it could be to follow.

The reaction was telling. She was completely ignored. It was weird, actually. Any idea that NFP is anything other than the perfect, most easily implemented way of life seemed forbidden in that online circle. It was as if you couldn't admit to having problems with it, even within the context of fidelity to NFP. For an online support group, that was discouraging. She dropped off the list after that.

I friggin' hate NFP. While I would never tell anyone not to use it, and I think every married couple should learn it, I hate it. Why? Six kids and counting. I love my kids, they are all blessings from God, but I have actively used NFP with the intentions of not having six kids. I know that in the catacombs of faithful married Catholics, I am positive I am not alone.

Mr. Dreher links to And Sometimes Tea: The Great NFP Debate which also has a comment (actually quite a few) that ring true to me as well:

They may express the idea that a couple who doesn't use NFP may experience periods of satiety, when their supposed lack of self-control has a dampening effect on the mystery and romance of marital union. They may even start to hint about a lack of prudence, or to discuss the importance of focused types of parenting.

I also hate the other great NFP lie: That NFP is 99.999999% percent effective for everyone who takes the time to learn it. I think that is true, Deo Gratias, for a lot of people, so don't think I am making excuses not to learn NFP. I think for some people, it just does not work very well for whatever reason.

I have been told that my only problem with NFP is a total lack of self-restraint on my part and I must have a secret porn addiction or that I must be overly scrupulous and therefore what Red Cardigan calls a "QP". Needless to say, "wha' the?"

I am actually so jealous of people whose lives are so uncomplicated that this is a black and white issue for them.


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Hmmm... well... I wasn't supposed to have 5 kids either. And although I have enver taken an actual weekend course on NFP, (DH wasn't interested) I think I have a fairly good idea of when I am fertile (most of the time), and I was CERTAIN that I had been fertile THE WEEK BEFORE... and I couldn't have mistaken (err sorry for the crudeness) leftover sperm for mucus because nothing was actually going on. In fact it is amazing that the kid was even conceived, there was so little action between the parents for months... so, I still haven't figured out that one...

I admit it, I hate NFP, too.

I had my kids late because I married late. Took years to conceive the first one. Having my last two back-to-back caused me not only physical problems, not only financial problems, but emotional problems, too. It was really tough to drag myself out of PPD.

My husband is now dead-set against another child. I've pretty much healed up, but I do have some permanent heart damage that I have to be careful of. It's possible another pregnancy would weaken my heart even more, I don't know. I didn't ask. Once I hit 40, everybody assumed we were done.

So we are using NFP and we're pretty successful at it, although we give the ovulatory phase a wide bearth, if you know what I mean.

What I really hate, though, is that my 43-yr-old, half-ruined body only responds sexually during ovulation. The rest of the time, sex is annoying at best and painful at worse.

It's hard on my husband, who is a fabulous and generous lover. He wants so much to make it a positive experience for me, but it just isn't. And he doesn't want me to fake it or put up with sex for his sake. But what choice do I have? He shouldn't have to suffer just because my body is broken and can't be fixed.

So I fake it. Or I just go along with it and try to be as generous with him as he is with me. Honestly, I'd rather be celibate. It would be a welcome change to sex that doesn't feel good.

(This is anon, but I have posted here before. You can see why I left my name off of it. I have to for my husband's sake.)

Awww, Anon, thank you for your openess. I will offer up some of my difficulties for you.

Praying for you, Anon.

(Have you looked into something like this?)

Anon, you're not alone, I've had some of the same problems, with just being all dried up and sex being painful. (and annoying - I sooo get that) Breastfeeding probably does that to a person... I mean indirectly... I didn't have any menstrual cycle for 18 months. So it's like my body stopped producing, ummm, lubricants, and I bet being tired didn't help either. I don't think I'm as bad as you, but there was a whole year or two when I would have gladly gotten on the celibate train and never had sex again. (Poor husband) I have to say, that product looks interesting.

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