Where in the list of your life’s priorities is your relationship? It is often an interesting exercise for couples to separately create their list of their top five priorities. Then compare to see where they differ on priorities and which priorities are the same.
Where does your job come in on the list of life’s priorities? For some people, a job is low on the list and might be below marriage, family, and friends. For others, their job might come first. Even a person who is very dedicated to their relationship may feel that the job needs to come first as without an income source there would be no way to take care of the family.
Where do kids fall on the list? For some people, kids are the top priority because they want to put the needs of the children first. For others, their marriage is first and this may be motivated by a desire to keep a loving two-parent home for the children.
Extended family is another area where couples may differ. For some people, their parents, siblings, and other extended family may be high on the priority list. It may be important to talk to them daily and visit with them frequently. For other people, their extended family may not even be on the list.
Where do friends fall on the list? This can be an area of conflict for some couples. Some people hold their friends in high esteem and want to have time each week to spend with friends. Other people rarely interact with friends.
Other things that might make a person’s list of priorities may include their faith or spirituality, exercising, or participating in hobbies. If you aren’t sure what your top five priorities are, take a look at how you spend your time. Spend one week logging how you spend your time each day. This can give you some insight into what you are putting your effort into. You may find you spend hours each day watching television or using the computer, without spending nearly as much time with friends or family.
Once you and your partner each complete your lists, come together to talk about what similarities you have and what differences you have. You may find that many of your disagreements are due to having differences in your priorities. Talking about these differences can help you learn to appreciate each other’s differences and have a better understanding of one another’s needs.