What Marriage Vows Really Mean

by Lisa Newlin
Originally Published: 

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.

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.

· 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.

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