What Our Wedding Vows Should Say

We make the nicest wedding vows, don’t we? In ceremonies as lavish as a royal wedding, we promise before God, family & friends to love, honor, cherish and obey our beloved. We swear that we will never forsake them. We take an oath that we will be on our bestest behavior every day for the rest of our lives.

Bullhockey.

You know how the Federal Trade Commission investigates whether advertisements are truthful? There needs to be a government agency that investigates whether a prospective bride or groom is full of hooey on their wedding day.

If we were totally honest, here’s what our vows would say:

“My darling, I promise to love you as best as my consistently selfish heart will allow. I promise to provide for you on my meager income, all the while watching our family budget like a hawk watches over its’ young. I vow that despite the many arguments and discussions we will undoubtedly have I will work hard to temporarily forgive you until your behavior annoys me again.

“It is my solemn oath that I will rarely obey you and when I do, it will only be out of a desire to receive something in return from you at a later date. I promise to care for you when you are sick but mainly because societal pressures demand that I do so.

“I swear that whatever is mine, is yours. Unless you’re talking about my favorite ice cream/pizza/candy/spot on the couch/shirt/pillow/blanket/coffee mug/item I suddenly decide that I cannot live without.

“I vow to rarely compliment you or point out the many, many thoughtful things you do for me and our children on a daily basis. Rather, I promise to persistently criticize and nag you.

“It is my intention to have the exact same argument over the exact same thing (who empties the dishwasher? who takes out the garbage? who cleaned the bathroom? who paid the bills?) daily, weekly, monthly, annually until we each reach a mutual breaking point.”

Sure, we have the best intentions on our wedding day but as we get into the weeds of our marriage, our true colors often shine through. I’d wager that if my wife knew half the things she’d have to put up with since we said, “I Do,” she might have been more inclined to say, “I Don’t.” That’s because as we grow more comfortable with one another our bad habits pour out. They’re hard to hide when you’re sharing a bathroom, dirty laundry and chores. They’re hard to hide when you inhabit the same space 24/7. They’re even harder to hide when you are parenting small children and trying to exist on a minimum of sleep.

This is what I’ve learned — our vows are aspirational. They are a goal — albeit a very lofty one — that we hope to one day achieve. We may never achieve them but it’s important to try. It’s even more important to go into marriage with our eyes wide open about our failings and the failings of our spouse. Maybe that’s what makes the small successes in marriage loom large and worthy by comparison.

(Photo credit: Katsunojiri / Foter / CC BY)

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About Happiest Daddy

Two boys, one wife and a ton of material. I live for family and I'm one of the most blessed people you will ever meet.

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