I can't think of anything more ridiculous (and antiquated) than promising to "obey" someone until you die. Kill me now! I also think it's just completely unrealistic to "promise" that through it all, no matter WHAT, you will remain true and faithful forever and ever and ever...
What if your spouse had a sex change? What if your spouse couldn't stop cheating on you? What if your spouse was found molesting children or beating up old people? Would you truly, through thick and thin, stay faithful and committed? No chance! Why would you promise that "no matter what" you'll forever be married to someone! Come on now...those old "vows" are nothing more than a bunch of horse shirt clouded by a lack of judgment and inexperience on that "special day".
As a relationship blogger and author (and someone whose been married for over 7 years) I can assure you there are some "real" vows that will help keep your marriage together, and strong!
1. Vow to listen and understand instead of attempting to “prove a point” or simply win the argument. The truth is that everyone just wants to feel heard. They need to feel as though their feelings are important. Showing your spouse that their words and feelings mean something to you, even if you don't truly understand them, is paramount in all successful relationships.
Here's a fun fact about your relationship you may not realize. IF your spouse keeps bringing up the same argument over and over (and over and over) IT IS ONLY because he/she doesn't feel as though you've "heard" them on the issue.
Want to end the argument? Ask them to explain their feelings and then repeat back what you heard, and then put yourself in their position and empathize with them on an emotional level they will understand.
In 99% of the cases, the argument will end there. Everyone wants to feel "heard"! You don't always have to understand but you must always let them know you care enough to listen!
2. Vow to say "thank you" as often as you can! Remember to truly appreciate your spouse for all of the little things he/she does, not just the big things. It's actually the #1 reason why most people cheat...NOT because they found someone more attractive...NOT because they found someone that makes their heart pitter patter...but because they found someone that appreciates something about them (that you do not acknowledge)! Everyone wants to feel appreciated!!
Never forget to say thank you and appreciate your spouse for all of the little things. It’s the little things that keep our lives together, but more often than not it’s also those little things, when unacknowledged, that also break couples up.
3. Vow to remain friends and have fun together! Always stop in the chaotic moments of life and remember that at the core of it all are two people that fell in love. Most couples forget to spend time together because life happens, kids happen, work happens, obligations happen. Vow to always remember that at the core of it all are two people that fell in love and must remain committed to their love in order to make it all work.
4. Vow to give each other some room to grow. I think one of the number one reasons all couples split up is because they grow apart. Growing TOGETHER is essential in any healthy relationship, and this requires you to allow your partner to grow individually as well.
Usually what happens is one person grows and the other stays stagnant and then the person that grew ends up with someone more on their “level”. Grow individually. Grow together. Just make sure you’re both growing through life, not just “going” through life.
5. Vow to never allow one another to be complacent in life. This is where most couples go wrong. It reminds me of the movie "The Family Man" (with Nick Cage) where he goes back and lives a "family life" instead of a career life and he looks at his wife and says "WHY DID YOU LET ME DO THIS TO MYSELF, I COULD HAVE BEEN AMAZING".
Here's the trick...never let your spouse stop being amazing! Encourage them, push them, refuse to accept their BS excuses as to why they're not bigger or better than before...and always be their #1 supporter!
TRUST ME on this one: IF YOU DO NOT PUSH YOUR SPOUSE and challenge them to be the best human being they can be, they will be extremely vulnerable to the first person that comes into their lives that does this! It's the classic Brad/Jennifer and Brad/Angelina case here.
Brad Pitt left his beautiful wife for someone who challenged him in life.
So many women get stuck on this idea that their husbands only care about how they look. Your husband wants you to push him and challenge him. He wants you to believe in him and expect more from his life!
Do not let your husband or your wife ever become less than their fullest potential! It is probably the most important vow you can make to another human being!
You don't have to love them more than you love yourself....but love them more than you love your insecurities and fears!
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