It’s been almost nine years since my husband and I said “I Do” in front of our loved ones. We exchanged rings, looked longingly into each other’s eyes, and said a bunch of beautiful words about loving each other forever. We then kissed and marched down the aisle as husband and wife, full of joy and naiveté. We thought our vows had covered it all. Sickness, health, rich, poor – we were going to make it through it all.
But our vows were sorely lacking in the “real world” department. In our marriage we’ve moved five times, added two kids, a dog, and (temporarily) a cat to the mix. We have gone through job changes, empty bank accounts, and more fights about how to properly dispense toothpaste than seems humanly feasible. If I could go back and re-write our lovey-dovey vows into real wedding vows, here is what I would say:
- I promise to love you, even if you have packrat tendencies and refuse to get rid of that box of random crap that we’ve moved around to four different houses now. The one that’s still taped up in the back of the closet.
- I promise to make your coffee extra strong after we’ve been up all night with a sick baby.
- I promise to accept you and support your questionable style choices.
- I promise not to be too mad when you shave your glorious beard into a creepy mustache.
- I promise to honor you as the father of my children, even when I think you made a dumb move by letting them eat cookies five minutes before dinner is ready.
- I promise not to nag you (too much) about the dirty socks on the floor, the empty toilet roll, the overflowing garbage bag, or the almost empty bottle of juice in the refrigerator.
- I promise not to resent you when I’m up in the middle of the night nursing a teething baby while you snore peacefully next to me.
- I promise to laugh and laugh when our kid accidentally hits you in the groin with a soccer ball.
- I promise to take turns picking show to binge on Netflix.
- I promise to laugh at all your dad jokes, so our kids won’t think you’re too lame. Or maybe they’ll just think we’re both lame.
- I promise to be patient when it takes you approximately 37 minutes to pick a movie for us to watch. How many titles do you need to scan through really??
- I promise to let you kill every spider and cockroach that dares to enter our home. You’ll always be the hero in our house.
- I promise to love and respect you even when you make yet another meal for our kids consisting solely of chicken nuggets and strawberries. It’s not your fault they’re so picky, I would’ve done the same thing.
- I promise to love you through all the tantrums (yours, mine, the children’s), sleeplessness, silly arguments, not-so-silly arguments, strained finances, hopes lost, and hopes realized.
Honestly, marriage has been a lot harder than 23 year old me ever thought it would be, but I’m glad I took the leap. I think when we keep our sense of humor through it all, we can overcome mountains.