As we prepare to begin the new year, my husband and I are in the process of dealing with our finances and creating a workable family budget. As we make decisions about what steps we need to take to create long-term financial well-being for our family, the discussion inherently turns to issues of our goals, values, beliefs, and desires--monetary and otherwise. Where do we really see ourselves in ten years, and how are we going to get there?
As we discuss and plan, there are some areas where we are in agreement and some areas where there is discord. Just because we are married doesn't mean that we don't have individual personalities and goals. We have dreams and interests that we each want to pursue for ourselves and we also have shared goals and visions for ourselves as a family. How to balance and harmonize sometimes conflicting goals and priorities is a delicate question.
One thing that is certain however is that, like running a three-legged race, we aren't going to get very far if each person is trying to run in a different direction! This is where communication and compromise enter the picture. I suspect that this really the crux of the axiom "marriage is work"! It takes time and energy to hash these things all out, and it isn't always fun. But when we can manage to keep in mind that our highest goals are for a happy, healthy, and secure life for ourselves and our kids, it makes it easier to keep moving in the same direction.