Since NFP often involves abstaining from marital relations for a certain period of time, abstinence is sometimes considered a disadvantage of NFP. After all, shouldn’t a married couple be free to engage in marital relations as often as possible?
Abstinence has been a challenging aspect of NFP for us, but I have also discovered that it is what has made our intimate life more exciting. As a woman, I have never felt used. When we abstain from marital relations, it doesn’t mean that we stop loving each other. In fact, we can become more aware of the friendship part of our relationship.
When my husband (James Hrkach) and I speak of our own experience at NFP or marriage preparation classes, he usually gives the bulk of the abstinence part of the talk. With his permission, I’ll share with you part of what he says:
….which brings us to that awkwardly avoided topic of abstinence. Did I know from the start that NFP involved refraining from intercourse for a certain period of time? And, if I did, who would want to go through that? For us, abstinence is difficult. It would be dishonest not to admit that. It would also be dishonest to say that it is impossible or bad. Society would have us believe that the sexual urge is natural and abstinence is unnatural. I don’t agree with this.
I remember one romantic evening Ellie and I had planned during the first year of our marriage. We were just settling in and Ellie’s mom called on the phone, bad news back home. The family wasn’t getting along and this added to the other depressing points of that day and didn’t make for a very happy wife. Ellie had everything on her mind except sexual intercourse.
Meanwhile, back in the bedroom, I lay in anticipation of the evening we had planned. Now, if I were following the natural urge theory, I could have found some way of attaining physical satisfaction. Some guys have even resorted to the myth that sperm will back up into their system and cause an infection and oh, what a mess we’ll be in then.
Not for me. It honestly seemed more natural to give Ellie a quiet time of understanding and abstain for that evening. My urge did not simply fly away on command and it was difficult to accept, but you can see that with a motive, it is possible, natural and very positive. (And in all the years we’ve used NFP, I’ve never had an infection.)
To tie this together, we see the marital chastity or abstinence which we experience while postponing pregnancy as a good thing. And with a positive attitude, it can even make your marriage more exciting.
Copyright June 2010 Ellen Gable Hrkach