My fiance is finishing his last year of seminary, with the end goal of becoming a pastor in the UCC (United Church of Christ). I am totally fine with this, but also realize that this job has some... unique aspects, particularly relating to one's spouse and family. Can you help me start to prepare myself?
I read the responses to this question
and found some good insights, but I feel my situation is a bit different. My fiance is in his last year of seminary, and will be looking for positions as a pastor in the UCC. I knew this going in to the relationship, so this is not a surprise to me. He is a wonderfully intelligent and open-minded man; the UCC is a very progressive denomination, and he is active in GLBT and anti-poverty work. Our religious beliefs align very closely, so there is no conflict there.
We've spoken about the challenges that may lay ahead, but because he hasn't started his ministry yet, he isn't really equipped to answer many questions about what my role will be. I'm feeling a bit nervous about it all; I never really anticipated this for my life, and I grew up Catholic, so I didn't see any examples of how pastor's families worked. The only examples I've seen are from popular media, which tend to be somewhat antiquated or apply to more conservative churches, which isn't really applicable to our situation.
I will say that ultimately, I'm okay with sort of... taking on the "sidekick" role, if that makes sense. I have always been the type who dreams more of having and raising a family, rather than following an ambitious career path, so I don't anticipate a lot of tension between his career and my career. (Of course, our financial situation will determine how viable this is, but I of course can't predict that.)
I know I'm thinking way too far ahead, but I am the type who likes to gather as much information as possible before stepping in to a situation. Do you have any anecdotes to share? Favorite parts, least-favorite parts? Dynamics you've observed in your own churches (or in your own families/peer groups)? Good books on the subject? I plan to share this information with my fiance, hopefully it will spark some more good discussions. Thank you in advance!