Monday, April 28, 2014

REAL Wedding Vows

After nearly 24 years of marriage, I've learned a lot.  
I've learned this is what people should be promising at their weddings . . 

I promise first of all to fully commit to this new family we are creating.  I promise to keep my vows and to view this promise as sacred.  I promise to look past all this fluff, flowers, and window dressing to realize I am promising that the rest of life will occur at your side.

I promise to watch out for the little problems, for they are what can wear us down.  I vow to watch for the magic of making you laugh.  I will marvel at the fact that you come home to me every night.  And when I find myself wallowing in the bills, the weather, the home repair, the groceries, I will take you into my arms and be thrilled that you are alive, and here to share this life.

I promise to realize that sadness, loneliness, anger, frustration and disillusion are a completely normal part of any adult life, and to not immediately assume it means our marriage is wrong.  I promise to look at my own behavior and attitudes for change, and not to blame all my negative feelings on you.  I also promise to remember that life changes frequently, and that our marriage can survive any storm if we decide it will.

I promise that our marriage will always be a priority - above my hobbies, my job, the car, and the house.  It will be more important than any material thing we own.  I will remember that keeping our marriage alive is the best gift we could give to any kids.

I promise to balance that priority with outside interests, because I also promise to HAVE outside interests.  I will keep my friendships strong and will work to cultivate my own world apart from you.  Because I will not expect you to fill my every need for companionship and entertainment.

I promise to defend you against my family, your family, or even our own kids.  I will tell the world that if you mess with one of us, you mess with both of us.  And when I can't defend you, I promise to let you know and why.  And together we will work it out.

I promise that when I'm ready to walk away, or have an affair, I will use that signal to enter counseling and take it seriously.  I will give our marriage every effort in world.  I promise to never destroy your dignity with infidelity.

As we age, I promise to watch our decline with loving eyes.  To remember that every winkle, every pound, every gray hair, is a symbol of our lives lived in the sun, raising children, laughing, smiling, and loving.

I promise to remember, day in-day out, all my life, that you have agreed to be my partner.  That you have put aside your freedom to stand at my side.  That you have chosen me.