Discuss common goals, dreams during engagement

Clarion Herald Guest Column, Bridal Registry

Are you ready to delete your dreams and aspirations when you marry?

How does that title strike you? It seems strange to even think people would have to delete their dreams in order to get married. Well, think of this. From the time when we were young children, we have been bombarded with experiences, interesting ideas, all of which contribute to our forming dreams for the future.

All these thoughts and ideas were established when we were single. If you were questioned about what may happen when you get married, the answer may be your spouse would have to accept both you and your dreams.

Often times, I ask couples living together what they expect will change when they are married. Normally, the response is, “Probably nothing will change.”

It’s answers like this that sends my mind reeling. It takes a little time for my blood to cool and for me to recapture my ability to think. Their naiveté astounds me. Things will change!

What am I getting at? The engagement period must be a time for couples to discuss common goals, dreams and their future. All these discussions have to include both individuals completely.

No one career or package of dreams should take precedence over another. Honoring only one set of dreams cripples a marriage from the beginning.

The goal of every marriage is to become one. Should one party make a decision that will have binding obligations on the couple without the fiancé’s input, that will bring about difficult challenges. Nothing should or must be held back from one another.

Marriages today are entered into with each person thinking as an individual, intending to pick and choose whatever benefits them. There is a “cover all” for those elements not agreed upon by both: Love. The line goes: “If you really loved me, you’d go along with me!”

Scripture (John 15:13) reminds us: “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for his friends.” This is what marriage is all about. Two people placing their “single lives down” and starting over as a couple, forming new visions utilizing the skills and knowledge of each person to the fullest.

It is through this process the couple begins to forge a bond which will last a lifetime.

It’s time to delete two separate sets of plans and resetting from an entirely new perspective – looking at the plans of the couple. Each will be invested in the new plan, each will support the team with his/her specific resources and talents. Becoming one is now the goal. It is a realistic goal. Though never completely achievable, it will enable the couple to become fulfilled in the process.

Deacon Dave Farinelli is clinical supervisor and therapist for the Catholic Counseling Service. He can be reached at 861-6245 or 606-4342.

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