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For Your Marriage

Meet Sara and Justin. They married in June 2011, they welcomed their first child in August 2012.

No More “Dream” Engagement

Sara: I’ve begun to realize the oh-my-gosh side of marriage.

Since we got engaged, I’ve been living in “dream” engagement world. You know, the world where I sit and daydream about how wonderful it will be to be married to Justin. I’d think about FINALLY living in the same household, making dinner for each other, and having guests over to our home. Renewing our marriage vows, no more packing up our lives each weekend to see each other, and being able to talk to each other in person instead of the phone also topped the list.

I didn’t think about any of the hard things.

This week, I started to realize just how much I’m sacrificing to marry Justin. No longer is it just what I want, like buying a flowered comforter or my beautiful pink bathroom. Now I have to take Justin’s feelings into account.

On most of the small things, this is a compromise, but not necessarily a big deal. Okay, we register for a shower curtain with moose instead of a floral print. Not a big deal.

But there are bigger – and lots scarier things we both need to agree on. Like where to live after we get married.

Justin and I are currently in the “negotiations” portion of deciding even the region where we want to live. Justin and I work just under an hour apart, so it’s totally do-able to keep our same jobs. In dream engagement world, I was excited about living close to Justin’s work. We’ve got some friends that live nearby, so it would be fun to be close to them. I also looked forward to living an hour closer to my parents, who I really don’t see as often as I’d like.

However, in this week’s “real world,” I realize I don’t want to leave my home for the past 3 ½ years. I like my apartment, and the close proximity to work when I have night meetings. I’ve built up a network of friends over the past few years that I will be sad to leave behind. And my aunt lives ten minutes away, so we have had dinner together at least once a week for the past 3 ½ years. And I don’t want to give any of that up. Also, the idea of driving two hours each day to get to work isn’t as exciting as I once thought, especially if there are snowy conditions.

After a few tears on my behalf, Justin and I discussed my change of heart. We both realize that neither of us have any great answers right now. So, we continue to pray God will show us his wisdom.

In the meantime, I’ve decided to realize that sacrifices are called sacrifices because they are hard. I am marrying Justin “for richer or for poorer” and “in good times and in bad” so I need to be willing to compromise.

Justin: It is not so much things that I have to give up that I find hard to sacrifice. Rather, it is giving up some of my independence and realizing that my decisions no longer affect me alone. I think the hardest thing is remembering I need to consider Sara’s feelings even in trivial matters. For instance, Sara is concerned that she does not like the carpet, wallpaper, or closet space in several of the apartments we are looking at renting. I’m lucky if I notice that there is wallpaper in the apartment. I just have to remember that if it is important to her, it is important to me.