September 23, 2020
Vows – “a solemn promise, pledge, or personal commitment”
The most important vow we make in our lifetime is a commitment of marriage to another person, another human being.
The words of commitment sometimes include “To love and honor, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, until death do you part”
Those words alone indicate that marriage should not be taken lightly. Unfortunately for some these are just words.
I met a person that is going through tremendous struggle within his marriage. He is in recovering from his own personal addictions and it affected his marriage to the point of separation.
He remains hopeful that she will reconsider and come back to him despite the fact she is already involved with someone else that is supposedly living with her per what he has said.
He whole heartedly believes in his vows of marriage but from what I view as an outsider, she doesn’t seem to be in that same boat.
I do not claim to know the inner workings of their marriage, what kind of relationship they had, or what finally broke her enough to leave. There was something broken within the relationship though that is obvious. A person just doesn’t walk away unless they have given up. I did just that and for me it was the best decision.
As a person who was married for 17 years and also believed in my vows as well as marriage itself I see a few things from my own perspective that bother me about what I see going on but I would never interfere with what he is going through. I did that once with another person and still regret some of that to this day.
To love and honor
Out of the vows this is the most sacred part of the commitment.
If you truly do not love the person with your whole being then you are not “one” within the marriage. Marriage is a promise to always be there and in your eyes there is and should be no one else.
The way you respect and treat the person is what the honor is all about whether it is when you are with them or when you are on your own.
If you flirt with others, see or date others, or have affairs with another person then you never truly loved your partner wholly.
The pain you know it will cause by the behavior should be at the forefront of your thoughts but most times it is not, it’s an afterthought.
Infidelity in a relationship is a hard one to move past and it weakens the relationship. A person may say they forgive the other but it always there and always will be.
It takes both people to understand what went wrong and to be accountable for personal actions that lead to the result.
If only one person is forgiving the other without the other asking for forgiveness and taking the responsibility for their own actions it will never be truly resolved.
In sickness and in health
Whenever your life partner is battling an illness or addiction this is your ultimate test of commitment.
This can be seen early on in a relationship before you ever make a life long commitment. If you get sick and the person doesn’t show concern or isn’t there to comfort you with words or actions that will not change later in the marriage.
Compassion is not a part of everyone’s character makeup, unfortunately. It something we are usually born with but it also can be learned.
It requires putting yourself in the other person’s shoes to see what they are struggling with and how you can make it easier for them. It requires you thinking about someone else’s needs and putting yours aside if only temporarily. As mothers we usually have that innate sense but not all do and you can see their struggle.
A person that loves and cares about you knows this. They will either be drawn more to you or keep their distance. There is no in between. We cannot choose what part of the illness to be there for and if it is debatable within yourself then you should be honest about it with the person about how it makes you feel. If anything reassuring one another goes a long way.
Being a caretaker of another is not for everyone and some come out with resentment for the other person. They may feel that it was unfair to them. That is usually when the ties that bind begin to unravel.
For richer or poorer
This is also a test for both people and their ability to grow and work together.
When we get married it is either a spur of the moment idea because you are enamored and passionate about the person or a well thought out plan for your life. Most of us that are or have been married fit into either category.
Either way once you become one household there should be a plan of what is in store for your future. This is where you should be discussing your strengths and weaknesses. Learning about each other’s goals and aspirations then making a commitment to support one another.
Marriage is not only about the day to day going ons within the household but also where will you be a year, 5 years, or further down the road.
Life is full of unexpected obstacles and either you are helping one another through it and going all in or you are jumping ship to save yourself.
Open and honest communication is vital to any relationship and most fail because it is not there.
Marriage is not a one sided relationship and if it is from the beginning then it is hard to change later.
Rarely do long successful marriages start out with the couple having everything they need or want at the beginning.
Success requires sacrifice, hard work, and a commitment. You are either both in it to win it or not. There is no in between and that responsibility should never be placed on or taken on by one person’s shoulders.
The foundation of marriage is stronger when two pairs of hands are building it instead of only one.
Until death do you part
This part of marriage vows is debatable for most.
When you make a life long commitment to someone you are telling them that you will always be there for them if they are there for you too.
Marriages these days don’t always have those long commitments. Divorce and separation are all too common place when the commitment or communication has broken down.
We become obstinate and stubborn in our belief that we are right without any consideration of what the other person is feeling is saying. That is why it becomes broken.
We give up too easily and don’t fight to keep it going. Yet, some people do put up the fight but if the other person isn’t making the same effort then it will have to be conceded at some point. Marriages do end despite best efforts.
Marriage should be a lifetime commitment to another but if you can’t envision yourself being old with the person then why even consider it?
I have a sister who has just walked away from her 3rd marriage. This one ending I agree with because he wasn’t a good fit for her. She tried until she had to finally let it go for her and her son’s safety, health and well being.
I just remember her words though on the day of her first wedding when I asked why she was getting married “…if it doesn’t work then I’ll just get divorced…”.
I knew then that her view of marriage was skewed somewhat most likely because of how she viewed her own parent’s marriage which was abusive towards each other.
I on the other hand had my grandparents marriage as my ideal, they were married for over 52 years when he passed away.
We grew up in the same household but had two totally different views on relationships, marriage, and commitment.
As is common in life though, we grow and we change as people. How we embody our ideals is ever changing. When we take on a commitment of marriage we also take on the ideals of the other person too.
We are either going to go through trials and tribulations together becoming stronger in the end or it will it end and we still become stronger as a person.
Thank you for stopping by.
Have a great week ahead!
Peace, love, and good vibes to you!