I’ve discussed our wedding vows and why I loved them. But I’ve not talked about why it was important to me that they weren’t your typical vows. Aside from the fact that I think typical wedding vows just don’t suit Tyler and me, there’s also the fact that I’ve said those “normal” vows before. And that didn’t work out too well, now did it?
There are two parts to this equation.
1. We all already know I’ve broken those vows in the past, so promising not to do something I’ve already done just seems…wrong. And silly. Like who am I trying to kid, here?
2. Soooooo much about my relationship with Tyler is different than my relationship with my ex, so it felt very inauthentic to use the same vows. Different time. Different life. Different Me. We needed different vows.
So here’s the thing about why we chose the vows we did – nobody can predict the future. Nobody. Not me, not him, not anyone at that wedding (except for God, if you believe in that sort of thing) knows what will happen tomorrow, let alone forty years from now. That being the case, why the hell would I promise to stick around someone for my entire life when I have no clue who he will be or what he will do before one of us dies? Nope. I most definitely cannot promise to stick around “for worse” if worse means he becomes a serial killer. Or abusive. Or just someone who makes me miserable every damn day.
Let me be clear – I have no reason to believe ANY of the hypothetical circumstances above would become reality. But I watch a lot of Dateline and have seen every episode of Dexter. I know crazy shit happens!
Anyway, I’m sure these hypotheticals are vow “loopholes,” and any sane person would totally understand if I chose to get out of my marriage should they occur. But not me. Like I said. I’ve been there. I’ve broken my vows. While I still stand by my decision to do so, it took me a looooooong time to forgive myself for it. I don’t ever want to feel that way again. Maybe this is just my craziness coming out, but if I promised to stay with Tyler “for worse” and he became a serial killer, I would still feel it was wrong to leave him. I either wouldn’t do it, or I would and then hate myself for going back on another wedding vow. So nope, I’m just not saying it. I will not make that promise.
The likelihood of my husband becoming a serial killer is slim compared to the likelihood of our relationship falling apart at some point. And if it does, I don’t promise to stay. I would never want either of us to live an unhappy life because of the other. But what I did promise, and meant with every fiber of my being, is that I will do whatever I can to keep our relationship from falling apart. I’ll listen before I talk. I’ll ask for help when I need it and I’ll give help in return. I’ll work every day to grow stronger as a couple without losing myself in the process.
I don’t think I could vow anything else that would give us a better shot at maintaining a relationship strong enough to last a lifetime.
So, no, I don’t promise till death do us part. I can’t. I just can’t. But I promise to be the best wife to Tyler that I can possibly be, so that our relationship has the best chance it can possibly have to last forever.
Oh, and toenails. I promise to clip his toenails. That helps, too.