When my husband and I said, “I do” seven years ago, I thought our vows were touching and honest. Now I know they were shallow lies.
However, they were woefully incomplete, so I offer a more realistic reimagining for couples everywhere:
Do you take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband?
Do you pledge to accept him at 3 AM when his snoring wakes a sleeping baby and he then proceeds to sleep through the crying that ensues (mainly yours)?
Do you promise to honor and obey him when you feel he only sees what you haven’t done versus all that you have?
Will you cherish him even when he has morning breath and eye crusties?
Do you promise to love him in sicker and poorer? No, seriously sicker, like hear it though the bathroom door sicker. And poorer, like over extended, cancel all the extras, in over our heads, poorer?
Until death do you part…think before you answer. Death may be a long way off.
I kid. But seriously. I look back at that day and think of the hope and enthusiasm with which I entered not only the pact of marriage but the prospect of being a homeowner, a mother. I saw myself as the bride with roses in her cheeks, the mother holding the sweet smelling, sleepy baby and the owner of a home where nothing ever broke and there was always banana bread in the oven and shining floors underfoot.
And still, I’d say “I do” all over again to the man I only see for fleeting hours each day in what feels more like a partners’ debrief than the meeting of two people in love.
He has seen me at my most unloveable and yet still lies beside me each night, reaching to find my hand in the dark. I’ve confessed to him my darkest thoughts and he still tells me I’m a good person, a great mother. At the end of the day, I have so little left to give and he gets that.
I may not have the twinkly eyed enthusiasm with which I first said “I do” but the fact that I’d say yes all over again- even under the influence of time, truth and awareness- is worth celebrating.