How many people have mouthed the words, “until we are parted by death” while privately plotting to move on as soon as a more attractive option presents itself?
Here’s a set of wedding promises with practical merit. They might sound unconventional and unromantic. They’re certainly not poetic, but these promises, if kept, will go far in sealing a marriage for the ages.
1. I promise to clarify my expectations
Expectations are unique, and come packaged inside your fiance’s brain. You may assume them to be ‘universal’ or that ‘everyone know what it takes’ but the truth is, expectations are yours alone.
2. I promise to give you the benefit of the doubt when it comes to money.
If your spouse spends a lot of money on something, trust that they know what they’re doing. Trust them until it becomes impossible not to trust them. Don’t come out of the gate suspicious. You didn’t marry an idiot, right?
3. I promise to make sure I’m not just hungry before I yell at you.
Do your wife or husband a favor: Eat your favorite sandwich and then come back and yell at her/him all you want, if you still feel like it.
4. I promise not to give in to you for the sole purpose of using my compliance against you later.
Being so good that next time there’s an argument, you can point back to this moment as an example of how your goodness practically rent the sky in half — that’s not goodness. Don’t do that. It’s not going to help in the long run.
5. I promise to defend you to others, even if you are wrong.
There is nothing uglier than watching a husband degrade his wife or a wife demean her husband in front of other people. It doesn’t make you smart or funny. It’s just a low behavior.
6. I promise to try to put you before the children.
Your physiology will be directing you to eat the face off your spouse if he or she threatens the children’s progress and happiness in any way. This is why it’s possible to make this promise to each other: to really try to prioritise each other sometimes.
7. I promise to do the stuff neither of us wants to do, if you really don’t want to do it more than I don’t.
Come up with a compromise to do the thing you hate less and do them instead. Teamwork!
8. I promise not to keep score.
You can’t win marriage. There are no points. Any reckoning or score-keeping on your part is only going to result in told-you-so trumpeting or sad dissatisfaction. Not keeping score means you don’t have to pay back the good stuff, and you don’t get to punish the failures.
9. I promise to not care if you get fat or skinny or old.
The truth is, you don’t really care about these things. Your favorite person is your favorite person until the end of time, even if their head falls off or they grow a third leg.
10. I promise to put your happiness before mine.
If you’re both working for the other’s happiness, earnestly and sincerely, then you’re both going to be ridiculously happy.
The original version of this post can be found here