The traditional vows we say at a wedding are very poetic and moving. And when couples make their own vows the personalization and that special touch really make it special, make the wedding their own. But as a marriage unfolds you start to realize that maybe there were more practical things that should have been included, and some warnings too. After all, marriage doesn’t come with an instruction manual. Of course vowing to stand by your partner and be honest with them is important. But there are plenty of nuances married people know that are left completely out of the wording on that special day. Often the assumptions couples enter a marriage with are thrown out the window when they actually have to make the marriage work. There’s no talk about sharing the chores, resolving issues, or any self-help advice whatsoever? Even if it isn’t part of the ceremony perhaps there should be a ritual where a wise married person takes you aside and explains to you things you haven’t expected that are bound to turn up. Here are some vows you should have to make on your wedding day, even if they aren’t out loud. You don’t want to ruin the party, but a little preparation would go a long way.
Why not a vow to recognize and thank your partner for all the positive contributions they make to the relationship? Couples should promise not to dwell on each other’s negative qualities but instead the positive ones. A vow to accept differences, a point of contention for some couples, could be in order. Couples should promise not to keep score when it comes to doing things such as household chores. Keeping score is not about love, it’s about selfishness. A promise to fight fairly and to watch what is said between two people who love each other could ensure against serious problems later. When it comes to irritating personality quirks, a vow to be more forgiving, patient and accepting is necessary to keep the peace. What about a promise to work on your own short-comings and a vow not to focus on the other person’s more than your own? A vow to love the person for who they are not what you want them to be is pivotal to the success of the marriage. Lastly, a promise to understand that most fights don’t arise from negligence, meanness or callousness but simply for a lack of communication, or poor communication, so a vow to understand that our partner wants to be loving and kind, and that the problem isn’t of negativity but misunderstanding should be put into place. With these vows a marriage would run a whole lot smoother, straight from the beginning. For more on this topic, read Starting Your Marriage Right: What You Need to Know in the Early Years to Make It Last a Lifetime by Dennis & Barbara Rainey.