For most couples, getting married includes some variation of vows, spoken in front of a priest, rabbi, judge, or Elvis impersonator. Some creative couples write their own, while some go the traditional route. Of course, we all know about the having and the holding, for better or worse, for richer, for poorer, promising love and respect…blah, blah, blah. All good stuff. All key for a good marriage. Honesty, trust, and communication are also paramount for a solid union. Not groping the neighbor and stuff like that — super important.
We know these promises, we speak them, and hopefully, we abide by them. But a great marriage is built on certain unspoken vows too. For my husband and me, that includes these iron-clad, if silent, marriage vows. Here’s what we promise to one another, as long as we both shall live:
1. To never watch ahead on Netflix.
If one of us does give in to temptation, we shall speak no spoilers.
2. To never put my one good bra in the dryer.
Just as I promise to honor his brand new razor by not shaving my legs with it. Hardly ever. Once a week, tops.
3. To hate the same people.
Uniting against a common enemy — like that bitch, Linda, in accounting whom you’ve never even met — is what good marriages are built on. Sometimes that common enemy is the kids.
4. To present a united front.
No matter how crazy wrong we are, we’re on each other’s team. We back each other up, especially in front of the kids. (See: common enemy.) Never let them see you divided, for they will conquer.
5. To love the other’s sports team as if it were your own.
In victory and defeat, I will be by your side with a beer. But you’re on your own with your fantasy football crap. That’s not real, honey. No. It’s not.
6. To always buy your binge foods.
Backstory: My husband has a serious addiction to Honeycomb cereal. The skinny bastard can eat a box a day, no problem. Even when he is on a health kick, I still buy his beloved Honeycomb. He does the same for me with my true love, Jamoca Almond Fudge.
7. To never question each other’s Amazon purchases.
We adopt a strict “don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t roll your eyes” policy — no matter if it’s yet another P90X Mega-Ripped! workout DVD or my 17th pair of black wedges. Not a word.
8. To not keep score, even when I am winning.
And I’m usually totally winning.
9. To never diet when I am in a fat phase.
When I am fat, you are fat. Let’s just be fat together — eat the Honeycomb, the ice cream, all the things — then let’s have fat sex and generally enjoy this. Preferably with the lights off. We put the solid in “solidarity.”
10. To always let me make the coffee.
Your coffee sucks and we both know this. Hey, I can’t bake, and we know this, too. Marriage is about letting each other shine. I make the coffee, you make the pie. But only make it when I am in a fat phase.
11. To put my phone down when you’re talking.
No text, Facebook post, or tweet is more important than what you’re talking about right now even if what you’re talking about is fantasy football. Eye contact is the new foreplay.
12. To avert your eyes when I’m putting on Spanx.
Forget what I said about eye contact — look away! The grunting, the sweating, the swearing. You’ve already seen me giving birth, and putting on Spanx is just as uncomfortable for both of us, but with 98% less bodily fluids. Not my best self. Just as I promise to avert my eyes when you are “manscaping.”
13. To always put gas in my car.
Because I hate putting gas in my car. Hate. It. The very same reason I always buy your underpants and plan all our vacations. You’re welcome.
14. To always put wine in my glass.
Sometimes, I don’t need a solution. At the end of a long day, the perfect answer to most of my silly gripes is usually, “More wine, dear?” Shut up and pour.
15. To never chime in about each other’s crazy families.
Only I can talk shit about my crazy family. That goes for each other’s friends too — except Larry from college with the nonstop calls about an “incredible investment opportunity.” We need to talk about that asshole.
I call these our “unspoken marriage vows,” but many came about after much trial, error, and
yelling discussion. And after many, many years together, we know this is what works for us. Remember that your spouse is not a mind reader after all. In this day of quickie divorces, it’s more important than ever that couples remind themselves to communicate fully, love selflessly, and above all, never lose their sense of humor.