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 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.