A Modern Couple's Experience
with Natural Family Planning

— (an article from Catholic San Francisco)

      Why would a young, busy couple use Natural Family Planning?   Meet Gabrielle and Steve Lucey from San Francisco.   She’s a marketing consultant for a financial services company, and he’s a writer for a strategy-consulting firm.   Despite their often hectic work schedules, they’ve managed to make NFP part of their lives.

      Gabe and Steve’s six months of marriage preparation included attending an introductory presentation of the Creighton Model Fertility Care System at St. Dominic’s Church.   After attending the informational session, Gabe and Steve decided to learn how to use the method in their marriage.   Here’s what they have to say about why NFP was a good fit for them, and why other young couples should consider the method too.

How important was discussing family planning during your marriage preparation process?

      Extremely important. We felt that the core basis of a solid marriage rests in respect for life, each other and God. The only way to prepare for this responsibility and gift was through guided discussions and open communication with each other about our expectations for planning and raising a family.

How did you each view family planning?

      We view family planning like every other part of our marriage: a team effort. It’s something that we worked through and decided was right for our marriage together. We believe it will help nurture and grow our relationship with each other in a committed, loving way that’s in sync with God’s plan for us. We didn’t view this responsibility as only the "woman’s" responsibility. Marriage really is a partnership—family planning is no exception. So once we researched Natural Family Planning, we realized how effective it is, and how it encourages sharing and love between us in a respectful way—we knew it was the right fit for us.

When looking at all your options, why did you choose a natural method?

      The basis for our decision was our belief in taking responsibility for the gift of life. We initially met with Cristina, and she explained the method, and how it was easy to use, and very reliable. After that meeting, we felt really good about it, and were a lot more confident about NFP. Lots of times, incorrect information floats around about Natural Family Planning—and many people confuse it with the rhythm method. But after talking with Cristina, and other friends who were practicing the method and praying about it, we knew in our hearts that it was the right thing to do. And we felt that it would make us a stronger, more united couple.

You were unconventional among your peers because you decided to "wait" until your honeymoon to consecrate your marriage. What challenges did you face by doing this? How did you respond to those who questioned your decision? How did it enhance your newlywed experience—or even your marriage now?

      Although "waiting" until you’re married is clearly the exception these days, we both made this commitment to ourselves early on in our lives. So while it may have seemed like a difficult challenge for us to others when they considered our choice, it was really much easier for us because we were able to rely on one another for both support and encouragement to keep our personal commitments while we were dating. And looking back on it now, we feel that our decision to wait brought us even closer together as a couple. It was one of the best choices we made together in our relationship so far—and our marriage is stronger because of it.

What was the most difficult thing about learning a natural method?

      It honestly wasn’t difficult, but probably the most challenging part was simply getting into the daily habit of recording the day’s observations. But like anything else, once you get into a routine it’s pretty simple to manage.

What have been some of the benefits of using a natural method?

      We have grown closer together as a couple because it’s something that we manage together. And by using a natural method there’s no need for medication as is the case with people who choose to use the pill.

What advice would you give to other young, busy couples preparing for marriage regarding family planning?

      Our advice would be to consider Natural Family Planning! Talk to people who use the method, and learn more about it. And most of all talk to one another and pray about family planning. We feel positive about Natural Family Planning and are so happy with our experience. It’s easy to use and brings you closer together as a couple.

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