I want to tell you the story of three couples. Each of them experienced a serious stress early in their marriage relationship because of contraceptives:
- Couple number 1: shortly after her first child, Mayra got on Depo-Provera, an injectable hormonal contraceptive. She began to have major mood changes. Any little annoyance would make her very upset. She would get angry at her husband Jorge and even at their child. She was also depressed. The hormones made her gain weight, which added to her poor self-image. She says she could have lost her husband and hurt herself. The doctor said it was normal and would go away.
- Couple number 2: this couple had waited until marriage to have intercourse. Jackie thought it would be a good idea to get on the Pill before her marriage so that they wouldn’t have to worry about pregnancy and could enjoy their honey moon. But the Pill really affected her libido, to the point of leading her to question if she had married the right guy. Her husband was completely baffled by her attitude: “I couldn’t woo her.” The first five months of their marriage were very difficult and distressing for them until Jackie got off the Pill.
- Couple number 3: Lindsay had been on the Pill since her teens because of cramps and irregular bleeding. A few months after marrying Jason, she got off the Pill in order to get pregnant. But it didn’t work. She got the usual “give it time” from her doctor. Six months, one year passed. The reality is that she had PCOS and had never been diagnosed and treated, leading her to infertility. It was two years before they could conceive.
While none of these situations alone are the systematic and sole cause of divorce, they can be a major contributor. Arguing caused 56% of couples to split, and physical or verbal abuse ended 29% of couples’ marriages in a recent national survey[i]. Couples in “sex-less” marriage are more likely to consider divorce[ii]. It can also lead to cheating or being cheated on, which caused 55% of couples surveyed to end their marriage. Couples who go through infertility treatment and it doesn’t work are three times more likely to divorce, according to a study of 47,500 Danish women[iii]. There are a couple of other ways contraceptives contribute to divorce in my opinion:
- When a woman is on the Pill, she may be attracted to the wrong guy. There are natural hormones in a woman’s body that cause her to be interested in men of a different genetic makeup than hers. But when she’s pregnant, or on the Pill (which make her body thinks she’s pregnant), she is attracted to men with a similar make up as hers. It may happen that on the Pill that she marries a man with that similar makeup, then gets off the Pill, and suddenly feels she’s married to the “wrong” guy.
- Contraceptives make sex outside marriage easier. If something is not working out in the marriage, the temptation to look for comfort and satisfaction outside the marriage is strong. This is not something that just started with the Pill, but the contraceptives have just made it a lot easier to do that with no risk. Again, infidelity is a huge driver for divorce.
You will be glad to know that the couples I mentioned above are doing well today. Here is the rest of the story:
- Mayra and Jorge learned the Creighton Fertility Care model of fertility charting and have been using it ever since. They just planned their last pregnancy after waiting a year and half by using this method.
- Jackie got off the Pill and she and Miguel learned NFP with the Couple to Couple League using the Sympto-thermal method. She and Miguel are the closest, most in-love couple you could meet and just signed up to teach for Couple to Couple League. They have three children and planned the exact month of their births for the last two using the method.
- Lindsay started charting and got help from Dr. Steve Pilkington, a local ob-gyn and NaPro TECHNOLOGY doctor (and a member of Natural Womanhood’s board) to diagnose and treat her PCOS. She and Jason are the proud parents of a little girl and continue enjoying the practice of charting and NFP.
I met these couples as I was working on a documentary for Natural Womanhood. You will soon be able to hear their testimony in their own words. The reality is that natural birth control actually brought all of them much closer. But that’s another story. Stay tuned.
Be well, Gerard Migeon