Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Is NFP too hard?

Now that I have started teaching NFP, I have to think again how to make it appealing to different people. In the class I have four couples and at least two are definitely planning on using the method - the other two are thinking about it. In the beginning of the class we announced the three criticisms
1. It's too hard
2. It doesn't work
3. We're to lazy/forgetful

We also announced that we would address all of them to the point where everyone could feel comfortable/safe using the method. Here is a post I originally wrote last summer addressing the first concern.

The biggest question/concern people have approached me with is the perceived idea that NFP must be too hard to follow - especially as newlyweds. I have a couple friends getting married in the near future and have had discussions with one. She seemed to like the idea behind NFP and the natural way it works - but thought it would be too hard to follow so she didn't want to risk it.

To everyone that is already married - think back to when you were just dating. Those of you that aren't married yet won't have to think back too far! There is excitement and a drive to go out and do new things or explore new places. My husband and I took part in a lot of different activities and date nights to keep the relationship interesting before getting married. We took dance lessons and impressed guests at the reception with our salsa moves. We still make a lot of time for new activities and outings with friends. With NFP there is a wonderful cycle of courtship and honeymoon periods that keep the relationship exciting and fresh. Even secular therapists are proposing times of abstinence to spice up the relationship. Granted there are some days when many couples would say it is easier said than done, but those same couples would take the next sentence to explain all the benefits and excitement the method brings.

I want to mention one such story very briefly. This is a couple that was first using the pill and then learned NFP. When using the pill they took their relationship for granted and were filled with the usual excuses (busy, tired, etc). When they started using NFP they knew there would be times of abstinence and made an effort to adjust schedules to make sure they could be with each other. In the end, they were/are together more often since starting NFP.

I have to agree with them that NFP helps keep me from taking things for granted. It has actually helped me change my point of view in other aspects of my life to truly appreciate each day that I am given. When I take the time to think about it, I am so filled with joy that I want to spread the knowledge and true happiness that I have and I am glad that I can do just that through this site.


  1. I don't think that it is fair to say that NFP is too hard. Abstinence may be too hard for some people, but I think that NFP itself isn't that difficult.

  2. I definitely agree that NFP isn't too difficult but abstinence is definitely part of it so I'm not sure what you mean by "abstinence may be too hard for some people" since all couples using NFP have some of those times.

  3. I guess that some people for whatever reason (really high sex drive, emotional insecurity, whatever) do not find periodic abstinence challenging, they find it impossible. I do not think that that is good or healthy, but I think that it is some people's reality.

    I have heard many people say that NFP is tough to learn, that charting takes a lot of work, etc. and I disagree. So I was trying to tease out the distinction between the understanding and information part of NFP and the practice.

    I actually agree with your post. :-)

  4. Interesting distinction - I don't think I have ever met someone that couldn't do the abstinence part and I really don't think it is something they can't do, just something they don't want to do. Yes, NFP is easy and many who say it is too hard don't say it because of charting but because of self-control. If the couple was motivated - I think they could handle it which is why I didn't understand your distinction at first - but interesting.