A Lifetime of Honeymoons
It's no secret that when using any type of NFP, a period of abstinence is used during the fertile time of a woman’s cycle if the couple has discerned that they are called to avoid a pregnancy that month. As any married couple can tell you, this is not a fun position to be in. Like not at all. Waiting is hard, especially when a couple puts the good and holy desire to be united with each other on hold for where God is calling their marriage and family. Putting someone else’s will before your own- your children’s, your spouse’s, even God’s will- is downright difficult and not always enjoyable. But can there be a positive side effect to periods of abstinence during marriage? Let’s take a further look.
Let’s go back to the couple who has discerned that they are not called to a pregnancy at this time in their marriage. What are they supposed to do during times of abstinence? Sleep in separate bedrooms? Avoid each other entirely?? White knuckle it until Peak +4??? No. None of those scenarios would play out well for the couple (read: resentment). As we have said before, that’s the time to get SPICE-y and focus on all of those things you love about your spouse-their spiritual, physical, intellectual, creative / communication and emotional sides that make your spouse…well, your spouse. Your lovely GFCC Practitioners have written many topics about SPICE and examples of what living that out in your marriage can look like. But something that needs to be mentioned is the honeymoon effect.
Ah yes, the honeymoon effect. A chance to “recreate” all of the experiences and feelings a couple had on their honeymoon as they were able to come together fully as man and wife at the beginning of their married life. And yes, maybe things aren’t 100% like they were then. More than likely you are not at some dreamy, all-inclusive resort. Maybe there is a high chance that at least one child will be waking you up before your alarm goes off in the morning and you scramble through your morning routine to get everyone out the door on time. The important things though, the stuff that really matters, will be the same. You will be waking up next to the love of your life, the person you have fallen more and more in love with since the day you both said “I do”. The person who knows you better than anyone, because of all of the times you two have spent exploring how you have grown as individuals and as a couple during times of abstinence and trials, and loves you all the more for it. All of this and more because of a time of abstinence each month.
So yes, there are positive side effects to times of abstinence. The honeymoon effect is REAL. When that time of abstinence rolls around next month, focus on how your marriage is being strengthened and deepened and how you can connect to your spouse in a new and meaningful way. Once your period of abstinence is over and your “honeymoon” has started, enjoy and celebrate your spouse with all the enthusiasm of a newly married couple! And if your marriage needs some extra help experiencing the honeymoon effect created by using the Creighton Model, reach out to one of our Practitioners today!