One of the big differences between the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) and NFP is whether couples use barrier methods during fertile times in the woman's cycle. Reader's may remember that when we first married, we assumed that we would use condoms, but a few months ago decided we wouldn't use them anymore. In fact, we've grown to feel that barrier methods are wrong, something we did 't anticipate before marriage.
If sex naturally leads to bonding and babies, it's not hard to see how barrier methods would interfere with both. Barrier methods literally place something between a husband and wife when they are supposed to be most intimate. In our experience, making love with condoms was a pale imitation of the natural act - not as intimate, not as pleasurable, and, of course, not as open to life.
Our original use of condoms was driven by two things - being unwilling to abstain and being deeply worried about pregnancy. Abstaining is hard for newlyweds of course, and it is normal to worry about pregnancy. When we were first engaged, I assumed we would use hormonal contraceptives, and I am very grateful we chose NFP with condoms mixed in instead. I am very happy we never made love using contraceptives that would prevent implantation of fertilized eggs. Condoms were the lesser evil and I'm very happy we used them rather than the pill, but it would have been better to not use either.
In many ways, giving up condoms was an easy decision. Making love without them is so much better that we preferred abstaining to using them! There is wisdom in the Church's teachings on contraceptives and marriage - and we're happy we learned quickly even though we learned the hard way.