What Marriage Vows Really Mean


I’m a happily married woman, but don’t tell my husband that. I like to keep him guessing.

We recently celebrated our anniversary and discussed renewing our vows next year. This isn’t so much because we need to remind ourselves of the contract we entered into — I’m reminded of that every night when I listen to him snore. Rather, we thought it would be good to have an excuse to leave the Midwest in April and return to the beach where we wed. After all, it beats scraping frost off of our windshields.

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When discussing our plans, I got to thinking about our vows and what they actually mean. I know what they’re supposed to mean and I take that part seriously, but after being married for a few years, I have realized there are alternate meaning to the vows…

· In sickness and in health … I will limit my eye rolls when you complain about being sick.

· I take thee to be my lawfully wedded spouse …  and I look forward to joint filing on taxes.

· I receive you into my life …  and my bank account.

· I promise to be faithful …  I don’t have time for anyone else.

· I will obey you …  as long as you agree with me.

· I promise to laugh with you …  and at you.

· I promise to be a patient parent to our children … and count to ten before I yell at them.

· I will help guide you through life … After all, I am the boss.

· To share in the gift of offspring …  because I can’t do it alone.

· I promise to comfort you in times of need … but not give up the comfortable spot on the couch.

· No matter what lies in our path …  or when I total our brand new car.

· I promise to hold your hand until the end of days …  or until your palms get sweaty.

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· With this ring I wed …  but it won’t be the only ring we’ll purchase for me.

· To have and to hold …  but not to spoon or snuggle too much.

· For richer or poorer …  but hopefully just for richer.

· ‘Til death do us part …  and until life insurance kicks in.

Even after analyzing these vows, I still think I will renew them next year. After all, I’ve discovered the secret to a happy marriage: It’s comprised of two parts love, one part honesty and respect and one part fear of the wife.

It’s a formula that works for us.

About the writer

Lisa is a humor blogger who plays an unconvincing lawyer in real life. She shouldn't be allowed around sharp objects, breakables, or anything with carbohydrates. She prefers dogs over most people, and food over most everything. She doesn't have children, mostly because she can barely take care of herself.  She does have a husband who tolerates her, but she’s not sure why. Her blog, lisanewlin.com, will make you feel better about your own life. It will also remind you that vodka is the answer to everything, except if the question is "What should I throw on this fire?" Then the answer is definitely NOT vodka.


Comments for this article are now closed.

Jenny Maricela Blaszczyk 1 year ago
Julie 1 year ago

Loved your article. But, I absolutely loved the comment thread. It left me snickering! :)

Meredith 1 year ago

“I promise to be faithful … I don’t have time for anyone else.” You kill me. YES!

Jennifer Outsmarted Mommy 1 year ago

People can say what they want but all I know is #1 this was funny and no one stole my sense of humor so I love to laugh and #2 the author’s husband came to her defense on more than one occasion and as far as I’m concerned if he’s sitting at a lap top ready to pounce on anyone who attacks her on the “inter-webs” well then people she is clearly doing marriage right!

Kristen Mae of Abandoning Pretense 1 year ago

Lisa, I don’t think you’ll be offended when I tell you I am just as entertained by these comments as I am by your piece. (Which was awesome!)

Jay 1 year ago

Is this how a lot of women see marriage? What they can ‘get’ out of a husband? How you’re only faithful because you have no time for anyone else? Would you not be faithful if you had an extra couple of hours a week? I get it, it supposed to be satire but I see this mentality a lot. I’m recently engaged so is this what I have to look forward too? Just being a cock and wallet?

    Lisa Newlin 1 year ago

    Wow. You must not think much of yourself if you describe yourself as “a cock and a wallet.” This is humor. Satire. Sarcasm. And believe it or not, not all men are the breadwinners in the marriage. I’m the primary breadwinner in our marriage. So I guess that makes me “a vagina and a wallet.”

    Funny, I always thought he was with me for my cooking.

Heather 1 year ago

Aw, I love it when a post get’s the MRA guys’ panties in a bunch. It always makes for good sport (and by good, I mean sad, but funny sad, you know?). Now, where did I put my popcorn?

    Lisa Newlin 1 year ago

    You’re right Heather! It always cracks me up that men come to a site with “mommy” in the title and then are surprised by strong women. It also couldn’t be any more clearly satire.

    Oh well. I guess it’s just for those of us with a superior sense of humor. Congrats on falling into that category!

Jill 1 year ago

Ms. Newlin –
Scratch that, Lisa. My sense of humour is intact and you’ll just have to take me at my word since I’m too lazy to submit my resume here in this forum. And by that, I mean geez people. What kind of uptightness exists in a post about wedding vows in a mommy forum. Namaste and jello shots, people. Woo saaaa.

Seriously – loved this loved this. I was giving you the “Amen sister” as I was reading it.

Happy wife, happy life. True dat.

Jill R

    Lisa Newlin 1 year ago

    Thanks for the support Jill! Just know I was giving you a fist pump when I read your comment.

Denise 1 year ago

Wow. I don’t even remember our vows. We took the standard offering…and I was so freaked out during the ceremony all I can remember is:

1) never get married in a green house (it was a large conservatory at Forest Park, the Jewel Box. 90+ in April)
2) don’t get married while standing on a tiny mostly decorative stone bridge over a rocky pool (I thought for sure I’d faint from nerves and the heat and do a header into the pool)
3) my preacher was marking his place in the Bible with a Cassen’s Fasteners business card with Pantone #185 red thermography (I worked at a print shop back then)

But that was 18 years ago. I guess we’re doing something right.

And as for that jerk back there talking about divorce rates, he seems to forget that people who divorce are more likely to divorce AGAIN and thus throw off the bell curve for the rest of us.

    Lisa Newlin 1 year ago

    Denise, you got married at the Jewel Box in Forrest Park?! What?! A few of our friends have gotten married there, and it does get hotter than crazy in there! I had no idea you got married in my hometown!

    And good point about the bell curve. I love that my readers are not only funny, but smart!

Pam Shropshire 1 year ago

My hubby and I will have been married for 30 years this December. Mostly happily, but certainly not always. For all you not finding this article funny, believe me, you have to have a sense of humor to stay married. In fact, you have to find ways to laugh at things that are NOT funny in the least if you want to keep your sanity. I LOLed at “Til death do us part … and until life insurance kicks in.” Hubby jokes all the time about me kicking up my heels all the way to the bank after his funeral.

    Lisa Newlin 1 year ago

    I love it Pam! I always joke that if he’s going to do something super dangerous he needs to tell me in advance so I can up the life insurance policy!

    If you can’t laugh with your spouse then what’s the point of being married? We laugh every day. Sometimes it’s at him, but often times it’s at me. It’s what makes marriage the best decision I ever made.

    Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Margaret 1 year ago

      I’ve told my husband from the time that we got engaged that our vows are till death do us part and he has the power to decide when he dies. He knows that I will be getting my life insurance for him if he ever screws up and that I have friends who will help me hide his body. We live in the South……there’s a lot of open land out here. He was forewarned and had plenty of time to back out before the wedding! Marriage is about laughter and enjoying each other.

Carol 1 year ago

This was so funny. When I was first married we were always laughing. Unfortunately it didn’t work out, but now that we’re divorced, we’re back to being the best of friends and we laugh at all the stupid nonsense that made us fight. We know we weren’t meant for each other, but we were certainly meant to be in each other’s lives. I take this approach in my new relationship. Communication, laughter and love it’s definitely the way to go!

    Lisa Newlin 1 year ago

    It’s not awesome that you got divorced but I love that you guys are still friends and in each other’s lives. I feel like relationships, no matter what kind they are, are there to support you and make you laugh. It’s great he can still be a part of your life and you can laugh with him!

    Thanks for reading and commenting!

Heather 1 year ago

“[…]not to spoon or snuggle too much”? Huh? NO SUCH THING!

    Lisa Newlin 1 year ago

    You spoon and snuggle?! I think I’m the only woman who doesn’t like to snuggle. I feel so bad for my husband because I like my own space. Can I have him call you when he wants to snuggle next time? He’ll be gentle.

      Julie 1 year ago

      I’m with you. I have my personal bubble, and don’t like to have it burst. The big reason is my hubby is a major space heater, and it’s easy for me to get overheated. When we go to bed, I’m think, “There’s the middle of the bed. This is my side, that’s your’s. Stay there!” lol

Crystal 1 year ago

Does anyone else find it a tad bit strange that bitter men are hanging around a site called SCARY MOMMY! Scary Single Dudes was two URLs back. Get to your website! Love this post, Lisa! Like I always say, if you can’t find humor in marriage, there’s always your hand. These guys must have worn theirs out years ago.

    Lisa Newlin 1 year ago

    Do you think the men are on this site looking for babes? There ARE a lot of us on here….

Lisa Newlin 1 year ago

You have the right idea! Just because you laugh and make jokes about yourselves doesn’t mean you don’t love each other. My husband is my best friend and we laugh everyday. We’re also supportive of each other, as evidenced by the respose he wrote to a troll on the piece!

I’m glad you’re enjoying marriage. It’s how it’s supposed to be. Thanks for reading and commenting. :-)

Kristy Honeycutt Brennan 1 year ago

This was hilarious, we have been married to long to take each other serious. Need to have humor in marriage vows maybe marriages would last longer.

    Lisa Newlin 1 year ago

    I agree about the humor in the vows! I would NEVER cheat on my husband or do anything to hurt him….but I will also laugh hysterically when he trips over his own feet and falls down.

    Isn’t that what love is all about?

Shannon 1 year ago

Nailed it with humor like always Lisa! I see you even brought out a few bitter dudes. Nice work. Bonus points!

    Lisa Newlin 1 year ago

    Personally, I love the comment from one of the guys knocking me for being a mommy blogger. First, um no. Second, YOU’RE ON A SITE WITH ‘MOMMY’ IN THE TITLE!!!!

    Awesome. Purely awesome.

Pattie 1 year ago

We have been happily married for 33 years and we both would say it is because we appreciate and respect each other. We have so much fun living a great life that we are building together. And we would agree 100% with your vows. Humor is how we got through the crappiest of times, and sarcasm is the theme of my blog.

    Lisa Newlin 1 year ago

    I have no doubt you guys have a fun marriage. It’s who you are! And I think the keys are what another commenter wrote; faithfulness and communication. I would add laughter/sarcasm to that mix as well. We laugh every day. Sometimes it’s at ourselves, sometimes each other, but we always make things light-hearted. If you can’t laugh with your spouse, then it’s going to be a long “forever.”

    Thanks for always supporting me. I appreciate it!

      Pattie 1 year ago

      You are the best (Dirty) Pirate Hooker ever. I got your back, and your front all the time! 😉

Stacia Ellermeier 1 year ago

Sarcasm at its best!

    Lisa Newlin 1 year ago

    I’m glad you got that memo about sarcasm….then again….duh.

stacey 1 year ago

No mention of TV remote controls? This is so spot on! I especially liked the line “but it won’t be the only ring we’ll purchase for me.” Hilarious. And quite true in my marriage! 😉

    Lisa Newlin 1 year ago

    You make an excellent point. TV remotes will always be a point of contention. Interestingly I don’t want to be in charge of the remote. It’s so much pressure what with volume and channels. I make him deal with it and then just complain if I don’t like something.

    It’s the best of both worlds. :-)

Noah Balser 1 year ago

I am super sarcastic to all the shit heads in the world daily just not about my spouse as she is one of a few that isnt a complete waste of time.

Hannah Hynson 1 year ago

And this is why I didn’t have traditional vows, I’m entering into a loving relationship whole heatedly not purchasing a business or a house.

    Lisa Newlin 1 year ago


Lisa Newlin 1 year ago

I’m so glad you guys are enjoying this piece. You guys rock!

Katie Givens Manley 1 year ago

I think it’s funny!!! And maybe marriages fail because people don’t have a sense of humor;)

Jeana R. 1 year ago

What good is a marriage if you can’t enjoy it, which includes poking some fun.

And Lisa doesn’t just lay there and take it. She prefers positions which allow her to watch “The Wonder Years” and surf Tinder without interruption.

Priorities. 😉

    Lisa Newlin 1 year ago

    You know me so well! And don’t forget my good friend Doogie Howser. I’m nothing without him and his genius mind.

Chris Gray Burdette 1 year ago

I haven’t read this yet. Tell me what it means Tammy Fugate. LOL

    Lisa Newlin 1 year ago

    You’re a smart man! Asking the wife is always the right answer! Enjoy and thanks for commenting. :-)

Roshni 1 year ago

Ooh! The ‘I promise to laugh with you … and at you.’ clause is a good one!! I’m gonna use it extensively from now on!!

    Lisa Newlin 1 year ago

    I’m really all about helping out marriages. It’s pretty much my public service. :-) I’m glad I could help add a little more laughter to your day!

Victoria Lovato 1 year ago


    Lisa Newlin 1 year ago

    I’m glad you enjoyed this! Thanks for reading and commenting.

Danielle 1 year ago

Haha! Loved this. The comfy spot on the couch is mine! Hilarious!

    Lisa Newlin 1 year ago

    I like to think I’m like Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory when it comes to sitting on the couch. Don’t. Touch. It.

Noah Balser 1 year ago

One sided from a needy woman dont you think? I can only imagine the sex life with this enthusiasm. Sounds like a lay there and take it approach.

    Lisa Newlin 1 year ago

    I don’t need to lay there and take it guys, I have people like you guys with your negative comments to screw me over all day long!

    Matt Newlin 1 year ago

    Noah, you can imagine a sex life? That surprising! Good for you. Are you familiar with the “lay there and take it approach” from your many nights with a pillow?

      Pattie 1 year ago

      This is so funny. I am just dying laughing. So very many Hi^5’s to Matt.

        Lisa Newlin 1 year ago

        I love how my HUSBAND stepped in to defend me. I guess that means I don’t have such a crappy marriage after all. Who knew?!

      donofalltrades 1 year ago

      Hahaha, good for Matt getting in on this fun. I don’t know why you respond to some of these people, Lisa. There’s a mass stick extrication event that would do some of these folks some good. Carry on.

Zelko Kecman 1 year ago

Well this clears a lot up… :)

    Lisa Newlin 1 year ago

    I’m glad I could help!

Nadia Arias 1 year ago

Yeah Idk what the F I was thinking getting married… Lol don’t think I’ll be doing that again…

    Lisa Newlin 1 year ago

    Well if you do decide to take the plunge again, I suggest incorporating these into your vows….and eloping!

Mike 1 year ago

Great article. Thanks for reminding us men why we should not, NEVER, EVER even think of getting married. I pity the poor dude that married you.

    Magen 1 year ago

    Well I guess someone left his sense of humor somewhere small, dark, and full of spiders. It’s called satire.

      Lisa Newlin 1 year ago

      Magen, it’s good to know your sense of humor and sarcasm are in tact. It also looks like Mike could use a tune-up on satire…

      Cheers! I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for commenting!

    Jess at Welcome to the Bundle 1 year ago

    Geez, Mike, that comment barely seems worth the effort of climbing out of your mom’s basement to log on to her computer.

    Marriage takes a sense of humor. If we can’t laugh at our own insecurities and our sometimes ridiculous expectations, then, yeah, marriage would be out of the question. Fortunately, this writer gets it. And I’m betting her marriage is, in fact, a happy one.

      Lisa Newlin 1 year ago

      Jess, you rock and the comment about coming out from his mom’s basement made me snort outloud!

      I agree, marriage needs a sense of humor. I love my husband more than anything in this world and we laugh everyday….often at each other!

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Dried-on Milk 1 year ago


      Ashley Fuchs 1 year ago

      I started to say this Jess, but AS USUAL, you said it better and funnier.

    Nicole Jankowski 1 year ago

    Thank you for never marrying, Mike. The world is a safer place for women everywhere because of it. :)

      Lisa Newlin 1 year ago

      STOP IT NICOLE! This is awesome! I would never marry Mike, mostly because I can’t go more than 10 minutes without cracking up. I suspect he isn’t the same….

      Roshni 1 year ago

      Exactly my sentiments!! “a fit, tall, rich, attractive man”!! Well, apparently he thinks ‘the bloom is not yet off his rose’, but I’d say he’s off his rocker!!

    Danielle 1 year ago

    Hopefully you find a woman with as little a sense of humor as you. This was great!

      Lisa Newlin 1 year ago

      Thanks Danielle! I guess everyone can’t be as hilarious as we are!

    Lisa Newlin 1 year ago

    Tom, you silly, silly goose! I’m not a mommy blogger! I have no kids, mostly because I spend too much time laughing at comments from fun people like you!

    I had no idea you knew so much about my salary, investments and bank account. Please let me know where you got this info, as I need to protect my millions just in case I got hacked.

    Come to think of it, I’ll just change my investments anyway. We just met with our financial planner this morning so it will be easy to do.

    Thanks for alerting me to the breach!

    P.S. You sound really fun.

      Kathleen 1 year ago

      Lisa, you forgot to say “Namaste!” :)

        Lisa Newlin 1 year ago

        Kathleen, you’re absolutely right! NAMASTE!!!!!

    Magnolia 1 year ago

    Clearly you haven’t been married… it is funny but real – unless you are in one of those sects that actually thinks wives obey. This is supposed to be a laugh so be a dear and smile. Life is too short.

      Lisa Newlin 1 year ago

      Thanks Magnolia! I totally agree that people need to lighten up! I’m that horrible of a wife!

    Emelie Samuelson 1 year ago

    Dude… you do realize that this is satire and it’s from the perspective of BOTH sides of the marriage, right? Are you also the one who corners stand-up comedians after their set to yell at them for their jokes? You should know that no one likes that guy.

    Ken Susman 1 year ago

    I’ve known Lisa for a long time, and her husband for much longer, and they are a loving and hilarious couple. Spend thirty seconds with them and you can clearly see that this piece is humor.

    Actually, you shouldn’t have to know them to figure it out… Her bio says she’s a humor blogger…

      Lisa Newlin 1 year ago

      And we’re in love, Damnit! Kenny, don’t forget about that part!

Suzanne Dreitlein 1 year ago

Snicker… my husband and I wrote ours. We simplified the list to a) be faithful and b) communicate. 15 years later and we’re faithful and communicating pretty well. Score!

    Lisa Newlin 1 year ago

    Those really are the two biggest things. If you do both you’re destined for a long and happy marriage, just like yours. Of course, I add lots of laughter in there too!

    Thanks for reading and commenting.

Lisa Geipel 1 year ago

Haha, funny stuff!

    Lisa Newlin 1 year ago

    Thanks Lisa! I’m glad I could bring a smile to your day. Thanks for reading and commenting!

Mary Jane Holland 1 year ago

My husband and i didnt do vows cuz f*** that sh*t haha

    Lisa Newlin 1 year ago

    I think you might be brilliant for not doing vows. If I had to do it over again I would probaby just say “yada, yada, yada.”

Venessa Falk 1 year ago

This is why marriage fails.

    Lisa Newlin 1 year ago

    Not necessarily. My marriage is wonderul. This piece isn’t meant to be serious. It’s a sattire on marriage. It’s a humor site that pokes fun at things. I’m married and he isn’t going anywhere!

      Jay 1 year ago

      Many truths are told in jest. Your husband “isn’t going anywhere” because he knows how financially disastrous it would for him.
      What’s it like being a 45+ year old teenager?

        Matt Newlin 1 year ago

        Jay, if I wanted to know what it was like to be a 45+ year old teenager, I’d just ask you.

        As for me and my wife, we couldn’t be happier and I agree with her; I’m not going anywhere (except for all the trips we take.)

        Matt Newlin 1 year ago

        And I’m most offended that you would say I’m in my 40s. Perhaps that’s the worst part of all of this. I’m 31!

Lindsay Goggan-Jones 1 year ago

I guess I need to scare him real good lol…it helps that I’m currently pregnant. The hormone goddess are on my side. ..muahaha lmao

    Lisa Newlin 1 year ago

    I think you have ALL the cards right now since you’re pregnant! I would blame everything on hormones and eat whatever I wanted ALL. THE. TIME!

    And after the baby comes, you’ll always have the built in excuse of “I grew this baby and sacrificed myself. So I’m taking a nap now.”

    It’s part of the reason I’m sad I don’t have kids….for the excuse!

    Thanks for reading and commenting!

Jess Meyer 1 year ago

And that’s why I’m divorced, the ex just didn’t get it at all!!

    Lisa Newlin 1 year ago

    At least you learned it early! I’m a little jealous of you because I bet you don’t have to share the covers at night!

Kristy Honeycutt Brennan 1 year ago

I was waiting for a soul mate joke. That is one saying I can’t stand.”I am marrying my soul mate.” 😛

    Lisa Newlin 1 year ago

    Excellent point about the soul mate! I didn’t even think about that one! And that phrase makes it sound like your soul is doing the nasty.

Amy Thompson 1 year ago


    Lisa Newlin 1 year ago

    Thanks Amy! I’m so glad you enjoyed it and commented. Have a great day! :-)

Dorothy Kelly 1 year ago

Happy wife, happy life!

    Lisa Newlin 1 year ago

    You ain’t lyin’ Dorothy. I tell my husband that all the time and I think he knows it’s true.

    Thanks for reading and commenting.

    JasperPants 1 year ago

    Nervous wife, happy husband.

      Lisa Newlin 1 year ago

      Also true!

Meghan Hoch 1 year ago

This is funny! And so true!!

    Lisa Newlin 1 year ago

    Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed this one! It was fun to write. Thanks for reading and commenting. :-)

Jenn Galbraith 1 year ago

LOL. The obey part was never part of my vows. That’s not allowed haha 😉

    Lisa Newlin 1 year ago

    I don’t think that obey part should be in any person’s vows, mostly because it doesn’t make sense. If you both say you will obey each other, then who ends up being the decision maker? It seems like a recipe for stalemate.

    I prefer to just be in charge. It works for us.

      Jay 1 year ago

      ‘It works for *us*.’ It works for *you*. I doubt you give any consideration to your husband’s thoughts, input, feelings, etc. Just so long as he’s signing the checks, amirite.
      Yes. I realize the article is for humor.

        Matt Newlin 1 year ago

        As Lisa’s husband I can say that she’s an amazing wife and our marriage works for *US.* She is a funny woman who writes sarcastic pieces; pieces that are usually enjoyed by people who don’t take themselves too seriously.

        Sorry you didn’t get the joke.

          Emelie Samuelson 1 year ago

          To Matt: Thank you.

          As for you other boys? Stop trolling. No one likes the guys under the bridge.


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