When using Natural Family Planning, married couples must frequently pray about and discuss their desire and plans for having more children.
And in some circumstances, through prayer and discernment, husbands and wives may make the decision to postpone a pregnancy (or another pregnancy).
Abstaining from sex during periods of fertility can prove challenging for couples, and they may find themselves having difficulty connecting with one another during these times.
But there are so many ways to feel intimate with your spouse even when you can’t be intimate.
Communication is key for couples trying to avoid pregnancy. Couples should not only remind each other of their “why” for avoiding, but should also discuss the challenges that may arise in doing so.
But even more importantly, take this time to grow in emotional intimacy. Share your feelings, dreams, and interests with your spouse and actively listen to his.
Praying with your spouse during this time strengthens both your individual relationships with God as well as your marriage.
Prayer fosters humility, vulnerability, and trust. It calls husband and wife to look outside of themselves toward the other and Christ.
Just because the night can’t end in sex doesn’t mean you have to avoid all physical contact with your spouse until you’re back in your infertile time.
Couples should focus on physical touch that affirms each other rather than arouses. Hand holding, hugging, even kissing can help couples feel intimate during times of abstinence.
But if you have a serious reason to avoid pregnancy, you should know what physical contact you can handle and which will only make the avoiding harder.
You can get creative with how you and your husband can spend your free time together during times of abstinence.
Carving out quality time with your partner can help you to connect in a new and fun way. Go bowling, play a board game or try a new hobby. Enjoy one another’s company.
Find ways to make each other laugh. Laughter releases tension and can really help couples during times when facing the challenges of abstaining. Not only that, but sharing jokes and laughter will draw you and your spouse closer together.