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Remembering your marriage vows

Updated on April 17, 2012

Remembering your wedding vows

Do you take your beloved spouse to love and live together in holy matrimony? Do you promise to love, comfort, honor and keep her or him for better or for worse? For richer or poorer, in sickness and in health until death do you part? Forsaking all others, being faithful only to your spouse so long as you both shall live... so help you God?

Remember those words all ye couples? These were more than mere words to repeat, but sincere, deepest promised vows on the highest level of commitment. Unfortunately, a large number of couples turn down the volume of these words just to skip to the "good part" only to find that later in their marriage the bumps in the road are monumental and are not just slow-downs, but completely unmanageable. The sad thing is, is that most of the bumps in the road are only to protect and make things easier - not to cause divorce!

Focus on your Marriage more than your wedding!

Story goes how a financially set engaged couple actually rented the Cinderella Disney castle in the Magic Kingdom Disneyworld. It's labeled, a "Fairy Tale Wedding".

But although their wedding was a "dream come true" and fully of "magical moments" on a night never to forget, complete with Beauty and the Beast and a cast of beloved Disney characters celebrating side by side with them. And their splendid, dreamy wedding had unmatched romance of being in a simulated real Castle... their marriage did not last more than a year. We tell this story that you may understand what your real focus should be on; not the wedding so much as the "marriage".

Truth is, we have been accustomed to focusing so much time, money and energy on the wedding itself, that we forget what the wedding is supposed to be about; The Marriage. When we truly focus on our marriage and relationship, the wedding is simply ice on the cake. It's the cake that's supposed to be the focal point.

1. Do you take your spouse to be your lawfully wedded spouse?

Understand that we simply cannot "undo" what is lawfully done simply because of differences, not getting along or a lack of happiness. It's a lawful document... as long as we both shall live!

2. Do you promise to love, comfort, honor and keep your spouse?

A big question we often give couples in Marriage Coaching Sessions is - Are you loving your spouse the way your spouse needs to be loved? Quite often without even realizing it, we love our spouse the way we need to be loved. This in fact, is counterproductive and in basic terms, we are meeting our own needs while not empowering our spouse to meet them. And vice versa.

As well, do we "honor" our spouse?

The word honor is simply defined by the dictionary as to "show respect". Respecting the other person does not mean you are giving in to them or putting them on a pedastal. it means to NOT DISRESPECT them either by yelling, name calling, talking down to them, ignoring them, speaking harsh and hurtful words, being rude, by physical means, etc.

3. Keep your spouse.

The word "keep" is a word of continuance. "keep" is a continual working towards keeping the closeness and intimacy that brought you together in the first place. It is a forceful act that you must "war" to keep and maintain your marriage.

4. For better or for worse, richer or poorer, sickness and health until death do you part...

Although it goes against the mentality of "prosperity", it is true nonetheless. You both succeed or both fail. One does not forsake their spouse in order to obtain success on their own. For richer or poorer. Getting married is not about prospering...it's about loving, through it all. until death.

5. Forsaking all others... ALL others.
During the exchanging of vows, most excited couples see the finish line throughout the entire experience. "Let's hurry up to the honeymoon!" But there is a reason for these vows.

It's told that the oldest traditional wedding vows can be traced back to the middle ages to the ‘Book of Common Prayer,’ published in 1549, although traced back to roots In derived from the time of the Roman Empire (17 B.C.- A.D. 476) when people had "free" marriages. The bride's father would deliver her to the groom, and the two agreed that they were wed, and would keep the vow of marriage by mutual consent. Wealthy Romans, though, would sign documents listing property rights to publicly declare that their union was legalized and not a common law marriage. This was the beginning of the official recording of marriages as we do today.

While we could take an entire article to break down each phrase in the vow exchange, there is one in particular that seems to be losing its potency drastically. "Forsaking all others..." Statics show that a large number of couples that never break off their ties from family have a much harder time gaining deep closeness with their new partner.

We realize that family is very important; especially during these troubled, economic times. But when a couple gets married, they must take the initiative to stop their reliance and intimate closeness with their family, and friends, and begin the new life of reliance upon their spouse. It is in fact a transfer of dependency. For some, it's a transfer of dependency not from family or friends, but even from themselves. They have learned to be a "survivor" all on their own. But marriage is a consent of dependency and reliance upon each other. After all, your marriage is a two-way street; each meeting the needs of the other, fully. One troubling statistic is that many of today's couples do not feel the need to rely on their spouse. Therefore, it is not as vital to "stay together forever". That is why the divorce rate is ridiculously high. The emphasis of intimate dependency and "oneness" in marriage was once a main ingredient to a successful marriage. That is no longer the case with many couples today.

Some have said that they meet each other halfway, but this is not accurate. Each must give 100% to meet the needs of the other partner, and in turn, each of the partner's needs are fully met. When a couple only gives 50%, (half), then only half of both partner's needs are met. It is usually at that point that the individuals in that marriage begin to seek other, external sources to meet unmet needs. This is the major reason of what leads to infidelity, unfaithfulness and an overall unhappiness within a marriage.

Many couples do not realize that their "love" began charged and revved up largely on emotions, expectations and a full cup of desire. But time takes its toll, and when the emotions and excitement die down, what is left to keep the relationship strong and close? Couples that have not put themselves in the arms of their spouse, but have the "just-in-case" mentality, will not learn how to resolve conflicts and become closer to their spouse. In time, the potential for a dissolving over resolving takes place.

In the movie, Marley & Me, a very positive and powerful statement was made, "Mend, don't end."

It's good to look up to, and even allow, the influence of, positive role models, friends and family. But external sources (i.e. friends, family, co-workers, etc.) must not be allowed to supersede the influence and closeness of your spouse. If your friends, family and others are closer than your spouse, there is a break in the relationship.

We encourage all couples to forsake all others, and "cling to their spouse".

Remembering your wedding vows

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