I’ve never been married. While I’ve always wanted to be married or in an extremely committed relationship; it simply hasn’t turned out that way…yet!
About 6 years ago, my mother came across a book that she wanted to make sure I had read: Lies at The Alter, by Robin L. Smith. She wanted me to have a more realistic perspective regarding marriage and vows or, as she used to say, “Do as I say, not as I Do.” She was doing her best to make sure I avoided the mistakes/mis-perceptions she had made in life.
In a nutshell, the book describes how the traditional vows and promises we make are nearly impossible for us to keep. For instance:
TRADITION VOW #1: For richer, for poorer…
TRUTH #1: As she states in her book, ” The major lie couples tell themselves about money is that it isn’t an issue at all.”
TRADITIONAL VOW #2: In sickness and in health…
TRUTH #1: “Few couples take the time (or wish to take the risk) to clearly define the implication of this vow before their marriage.” Does this include weight? Will you stay with me if I let my health go or does this only apply to diseases?
There is so much great truth in that book that I read so long ago. So much that it made me decide that when I get married or seriously commit my life with someone, we would write our own vows creating a marriage or commitment that was clear, real and honest for the two of us. Since my significant other hasn’t magically appeared in my living room yet, I have been focusing a lot of time and energy on dating; something I had put on the back burner for the last 4 years while I was focused on building my business.
Recently, while I was laying around holding the couch down (yes…in my living room where Mr. Right still has not magically appeared) going in and out of consciousness while watching too much OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network), I thought to myself, perhaps Mr. Wonderful hasn’t appeared because I’ve been blocking myself. Maybe I need to make myself clear on what I am willing to commit to? So, I began to write my vows as I see them now. This is a very rough draft and, when Mr. Wonderful jumps into my life, we can clarify these together.
MY ROUGH DRAFT VOWS
1. I vow to make our relationship my top priority after my relationship with myself. (After all, if I am not clear for myself, how can I be available to truly contribute to the relationship?)
2. I vow to do my absolute best to be truthful with myself and my feelings so that I can be truthful with you.
3. I vow to do my best to communicate my expectations and needs so that you have an opportunity to meet them.
4. I vow to do my best in asking you about and meeting your needs and expectations, and to support you so that you always feel loved and that I’ve got your backside.
5. I vow to do my best to be there to simply listen, be understanding, and compassionate to where you are and what you need in that moment rather than offer-up my knowledge and wisdom to solve a problem you are not looking to have solved.
6. I vow to do my best to not judge you or fight to be right. (And not keep score.)
7. I vow to do my best to respect you and honor your wishes, even when I may disagree.
8. I vow to do my best to take ownership of my own happiness and don’t expect you to carry the burden or responsibility of making me happy.
9. I vow to do my best to be positive & grateful and celebrate things big and small with you.
10. I vow to love you in the best way I know how and in the ways that make you feel loved.
Has this got you thinking?
What do you vow?
Be bold….share your marriage wisdom with others, or your own vows in the comments below!
Or, simply share this link with a friend…