I recently read an article titled “10 Vows for Not-So-Newlyweds”. While most of it was pretty silly, there were a few that made sense. I agree with the author that when you say your initial wedding vows, the reality of marriage isn’t as finely tuned as it is after five or six years. Take me for example. This is the third marriage for both myself and my husband. We always said we knew what it takes to make it work. And I believe that we really do. Other issues and circumstances have taken its toll but the core vows still hold strong. We had a stupid misunderstanding last night over bad communication and misconceptions. Afterwards I laid in bed, thinking of what I would vow today, with our fourth wedding anniversary coming soon next month. Here it is… some were said at our wedding and some I want to add.
1. I vow to stand beside you, through sickness and health.
2. I vow to stay strong in times of hardship, mentally, physically and financially.
3. I vow to listen, really listen, to look in your eyes when you speak, to hear with my ears, heart and soul, in every conversation we have.
4. I vow to make us the priority.
5. I vow to make more decisions and not pass it off to you.
6. I vow to make a better effort to understand the way you think.
7. I vow to “see” you, really and truly “see” you.
8. I vow to have more patience.
9. I vow to speak up and not to bury my needs because they are just as important as yours.
10. I vow to let you take care of me more often.
11. I vow to share the chores with you.
12. I vow to wash your truck once a month because I know how much it means to you.
13. I vow not to second guess what you are trying to say and take what you say at face value.
14. I vow not to put you into an uncomfortable position concerning crowds, events and other circumstances that make you nervous.
15. I vow to direct us into a more positive light and not let moods darken our door.
I know there are more vows I would like to say but they need to be said in private. Just as there are vows I need to hear. It’s never one-sided. There is always room for improvement. After being a couple for a while, what vows would you say today that you didn’t say back then?
Do you tell your partner what you’re thankful for? Or has the daily grind of work, children and housekeeping taken all your energy and you think to yourself that he/she knows how you feel? Have you gotten to the point that you take them for granted and you no longer show appreciation? Do you tell your spouse “thank you”?
Here’s what I’m thankful for.
1. You never fail to tell me thank you even for the smallest thing like cooking dinner.
2. You are my best friend.
3. You always tell me that you’re proud of me and I know that you mean it.
4. You will take me out to dinner without me asking you to.
5. You will help with the chores if I ask for help.
6. You are an awesome provider.
7. I know that you have my back.
8. You let me vent and don’t pass judgement.
9. You are faithful.
10. You always reach for my hand when we are in public.
11. You open my car door all the time.
12. You have amazing manners.
13. You make an effort to be as charming today as you were when we first met.
14. You tell me all the time that you love me.
15. You make an effort to improve your communication.
So there you have it, the beginning of the list of both new vows and stuff I’m thankful for. I challenge you to make your own list, to open your eyes once more to why you fell in love and married your partner. Marriage has its ups and downs, love will ebb and flow over the years. Make it a point to remember that and why you want to spend the rest of your life with this person.
Let me know what you think a good marriage needs to be successful. And until next time… give your significant other a big kiss, right after you look them in the eye and say… I love you.