songofjoy02: (Yours Truly b/w)
[personal profile] songofjoy02
Preparing for marriage is kind of an interesting process. We have to take care of all these little details of wedding planning while we're also working on our relationship and preparing for a lifetime of building a solid relationship. So I find myself in a quandary occasionally about whether to work on wedding plans or sit down and read a marriage book. I finished the book I was reading by Dennis and Barbara Rainey and now I'm working on Marriage on the Rock, by Jimmy Evans. The Raineys' book was excellent and very, very practical. They talked about making plans, discussing things, budgeting, etc.

Jimmy Evans is starting out by focusing on what the title would suggest - preparing a solid foundation for marriage. One of the first things he addresses in the book is priorities and what a good priority list should look like - God, spouse, kids, etc. - in that order, not to be mixed up. And he talks about how our specific daily choices reflect what priority we place on these relationships. If God truly comes first, we'll give Him the most and best of our time; if our spouses (after God) are supposed to come before other people/things, then we can check that by looking at the time investment we're making...what do I choose to do over spending time with my [future] spouse?

I actually had been working on figuring this out because I've struggled a lot in our relationship with figuring out a balance. It's true that we can't spend all our time with each other. We do have to work, make plans, etc. (and, at the moment, we aren't living anywhere near each other), but these are practical things that, if prioritized properly, merely reflect our commitment to each other - because we work and plan to fulfill our goals of being together and to do what we intend to do together. So the work, etc. is largely a means to an end (or perhaps to multiple ends...since pleasing God is foremost).

Anyway, what I have been realizing over the last several months is that my priority shift in my relationship with Josh has and should cause a change in the way I live my daily life. At work, my supervisor commented (not negatively) that I wasn't as dedicated to staying late since I fell in love. :-P And that is very true. Although I'm committed to doing my job, I no longer obsess and try to pour everything into it. So that's one thing that has changed. But at the same time, in a lot of ways, I've felt guilty...

Because I've neglected so many people and so many things since getting engaged. Things that used to be high priorities have shifted to the back burner. Perhaps that is as it should be, but I often feel very badly about it. I guess I tend to have this mindset of, "Well, now I'm engaged, sure...but shouldn't my life get back to normal?" And I'm not talking about actions alone; I refer to attitudes as well. I don't enjoy being with other people nearly as much without Josh around and that makes me feel guilty for missing him because I think, "I used to enjoy this much more. What's wrong with me?"

Typically, when my feelings don't line up with what I think is right, I try to compensate by altering my actions significantly. I say, "Okay, I should feel happier than I do when I'm with people besides Josh. Maybe I should spend more time with people other than Josh so that my feelings will be as they should." But if it is reality that my priorities should shift, then...to try to change my feelings so that I'm neutral/happy without Josh (because it's not quite so bad that I'm worthless away from him :-P) would be harmful to our relationship.

So anyway...it's kind of confusing for me, at least partly because of my streak of perfectionism.
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songofjoy02

July 2009

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