Obstacles to God’s Plan for Spousal Love
"Real Women Don't Like Lust" (Part 1) by KC Schnitker
Kimberly (KC) Schnitker is an NFP teacher in the D.C. area. She has extensive experience with many couples exploring NFP. She works closely with priests and doctors, and encourages them to promote this part of God’s plan for marriage and spousal love. Here is a first hand story from one of her clients which explains the struggle many women go through to arrive at God’s plan for their marriage and spousal love. People need to hear about these struggles and discover the many benefits of NFP. —Fr. Matthew Habiger OSB
I am compelled to write this series, "Real Women Don't Like Lust", in response to various media (movies, magazines, television and print) continually characterizing women as sex objects and as insatiable wild lusty types while in reality all the emphasis on 'sex' and 'sexy' and 'sex lives' separated from real meaning and purpose is having the exact opposite effect -- driving couples further apart and in the long run making women feel kind of pukey about it all.
I am an instructor of The Ovulation Method of natural family planning (NFP) and I've become so frustrated by these dishonest, inaccurate and harmful portrayals of truly beautiful and life-bearing woman and the obnoxious emphasis on the errant notion of a 'sex life' that I came up with the following to express my thoughts and frustration:
There should be no such thing as a "sex life". There is "married life" and within it, the many expressions of love which includes the renewal of the wedding vows.
I received the testimony below from a woman I instructed who has experienced that very aversion that happens to women over time in this culture. She enthusiastically relates what a difference natural family planning- NFP (a.k.a.- the practice of chastity in marriage) has made in the intimate area of their marriage and in her attitude toward the renewal of their wedding vows:
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"NFP. We were huge advocates of it during the first 17 years of our marriage, when we were happy to welcome more children, and we had no real reason to avoid another pregnancy. However, in my 40’s, with children aging from teens to toddler, I felt unable to handle another baby. It was time to practice what we preached.
“My husband was NOT happy! He came into the faith late, and therefore had never had to exercise any sort of discipline in that area; not as a teen, not in single life, and not in married life. In our culture, from the time boys begin to feel any urges at all, they are encouraged to release them; they are certainly not told they need to conquer them. We were both born and raised in that culture.
“When we first looked at actually practicing NFP, we figured there would be two week stretches without intimacy and he staunchly refused to consider such a sacrifice. This led to months of upheaval, as I was panicked every month, and he was sick of my emotional swings. I was angry with him that he couldn’t contain himself for my sake. He was mad because I was not…enthusiastically participating in our intimate life.
“Finally he said he was going to get a vasectomy. I was devastated! Not only for the fact that he would be committing a grave moral evil, but, admittedly, because there would be no reason for me to say ‘no’ to sex, at any time. I’d done enough reflecting on sexuality that I knew the effects of objectification, and I knew that I would end up feeling used for gratification if there was no reason to abstain. It was during this reflection that I recognized that, in spite of contraception, this divide still exists between men and women in our culture. It is considered comical, and quite normal, for a woman to feign a headache in order to avoid making love to her husband, as evidenced in TV, movies and magazines.
“I put my foot down. We had to go get some NFP training and, at the very least, give it a good try for a few months. He avoided the instruction for weeks, but finally agreed to yield an hour. I can’t even remember all of the things said, but it had a huge impact on me. Not so much the science part as the relationship part of it. I do remember the instructor saying that lust can never be satisfied, and that pretty much summed up what I felt was happening, and would continue to happen in our marriage, if we didn’t use NFP.
“Reluctantly, my husband agreed to give it a shot. I won’t bore you with all of the details, but this experience has proven to my husband, more categorically than anything else, that God knows what He’s talking about! We have had more intimacy, and more enthusiastic intimacy than we had in the first 17 years of our marriage. He is stunned to see me invite him to union, which was a constant source of strain in our marriage before. He didn’t feel loved, and neither did I. The best way I can define it is this: during the stretches of abstinence I see him giving; giving me peace of mind, giving me love in the countless other kindnesses that I know are not just a prelude to sex. During the safe times, I am so in love with him for his generosity that I desperately want to be near him. I am thrilled to have that closeness with him, and I want to give him all that I can. NFP has been a tremendous blessing, in ways that I never imagined, and on a level of depth of heart and soul that I didn’t even know existed between two people. “
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Living in this culture I don’t think people understand that there is another way and it is difficult to admit, “I’m sick of it all!!” But, there really is another way as evidenced by the above testimony -- a way that is much more fulfilling, satisfying and loving.
For a time a woman may participate and engage in the marriage act where lust is predominant, but after that, especially after infatuation has faded… well… everyone knows what “I have a headache” is referring to AND everyone knows that the one saying it is… THE WOMAN.
Why is it that the woman is the one getting the headaches??
I have some suggestions in to offer in Part 2, “Why Women Get…Headaches”.