When we first got married, I feel pressure (from myself) to make sure that we followed the rules of our NFP method exactly. I did want to be the one to show that NFP does work to postpone pregnancy. It was important for us to avoid, so it was equally important for us to follow the guidelines of the method (which included abstinence if unsure about that days observations). I do think that the success of using NFP is partially equivalent to the seriousness of avoiding pregnancy. Imagine my surprise then, when I discovered on an online NFP forum that there were what seemed like multitudes of women who had ‘accidentally’ used a day and were concerned at the possibility of pregnancy.
I realize that I am a naive, recently married, and now sub-fertile woman with a whole life of supposed ‘fertility’ left, so there are many situations that I have yet to encounter in my marriage (that honestly, right now, does include a fair amount of sex – did you notice the sub-fertile part?) but I was amazed at the number of women that basically seemed to ‘cheat’* at the rules of NFP. This is not an admonishment (and I did learn about this back in my blissful “I must be fertile because my sister is” phase), but I started to wonder if I was in the minority of couples who rigorously followed the rules.
So a nosy question to all those who have used NFP to avoid pregnancy: I am curious, have you ever ‘cheated’ at NFP? Do you regularly cheat? Cheating for the sake of discussion here is when you knowingly break the guidelines of your method of NFP, i.e., when you knowingly decide to have intercourse on a fertile or unsure day, despite previously deciding to not attempt to achieve pregnancy. I do also want to say that understand about the frustration that accompanies long abstinence required during breast-feeding, but I still want to include being unsure about your signs s breaking the rules of NFP here.
So my answer first (because once upon a time, we did use NFP to avoid pregnancy). We have used the peak + 3 evening before and I remember feeling the need to tell someone that we technically could be pregnant that month, just so they wouldn’t blame it on the method! And I remember being really excited (hence my hypothesis that not all cheating is really cheating after all) at the possibility of pregnancy.
If you don’t want me or others to see your name, please feel free to make up a name/email or comment as anonymous. I promise no judging, I’m just trying to gauge if couples generally follow the rules to the tee or not. Thanks!
*And yes, I get the awkwardness of using the word cheat to define a personal decision between you and your spouse, so please forgive me. Or suggest a better word?