Exactly how involved should the man be with charting?

Some people think that men shouldn’t be involved with learning the biological aspect until after the couple is married. I guess before I say too much else I should state my bias: my husband does all of my charting for me. I love that he does this for me. One of my favorite things about NFP is that it makes it OUR fertility instead of just mine, him charting helps do that even more.

Another more practical aspect of why the man should be involved is because he’s trusting in the system too and inherently knows less about it. The woman has at least been getting an idea of how it works since her early teens, or at least should have been, while the guy is kind of just getting thrown into it. So whether they’re trying to achieve or avoid a pregnancy knowing the method to the madness that is NFP makes it much easier. I could only imagine what my husband’s confusion would be if he came across my chart covered in stamps with babies and cryptic writing in numbers and abbreviations if he hadn’t been in on the learning process. And I can only imagine how much crazier I would have seemed to him during that learning process as well and Lord knows I seemed crazy enough.

While I understand that it can be somewhat uncomfortable for the guy at first, especially if he doesn’t have sisters or close girl friends, that is no need to exclude him from the conversation. In fact that’s just the opposite thing to do because it insinuates that it is just the girl’s ‘problem.’ Something that she should take care of and keep quiet about. But fertility is not and never will be a problem to be dealt with, it is the woman’s body working just as it should just as it was designed to. Unless the man in the relationship can appreciate that I think it would be hard for him to truly appreciate the rest of his partner.

A lot of couples getting married have to attend marriage prep classes.  In them they talk about many different issues that may be a bit troublesome once the couple is married, things like money, household duties, family traditions, and of course sex. Whether a couple arrives at their wedding day as virgins or something else, getting adjusted to sex life during marriage is going to be an issue. Accordingly, one of the questions asked is ” Ideally, how many times a week will you and your spouse have sex?”* One of my friends told me about the discrepancy of her and her now husband’s answers. She had answered 3-4 times per week and he had answered 14.

Now imagine that this couple were practicing NFP and the woman was the sole proprietor of the chart. If they were trying to avoid a pregnancy, for probably 2 weeks out of a month she would have to turn him down for sex twice a day, not to mention any other time she just benignly didn’t feel up to it. I can only imagine how this would feel. Many women have said that because they take care of all of their NFP needs, they feel like a gatekeeper. This attitude can be damaging to a newlywed couple that’s just starting to get a grip on all the hats they will be wearing within their marriage.

I’m not trying to say that if you chart and your husband does not that your marriage is doomed to fail or that you’re awful people, not by any means. What I am trying to say is, let him give it a try. Maybe he’ll love being involved with it; I know that my husband does. Or maybe he’ll hate it, that’s fine too. If the latter is the case, at least he will grow to appreciate the effort it takes to keep the chart up. He can also understand that the wife isn’t being a gatekeeper, she’s just trying to be a faithful spouse.

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