The Line I Cut From My Wedding Vows

October 3, 2016 by NJPainter

Last night, B & I compared how we each handle tension.
He shuts down and falls asleep, I immediately need to express each and every detail until we are “O.K.”

I (may have) unwarrantedly criticized his method and he (may have) served me a generalized critique that I was insulted by. We stopped talking about it and went to bed.

This morning, I woke up in a bad mood.
He, I’m sure, woke up carefree.

I left for work, popped in my headphones and clicked ‘play’ on my podcast app.

That’s when ‘The Wedding Toast‘ started.
A slap in the face, sent from above.

I want to say that at various points in your marriage, may it last forever, you will look at this person and feel only rage. You will gaze at this man you once adored and think, “It sure would be nice to have this whole place to myself.”

I laughed, alone on the train, surrounded by strangers, and reminded myself of the single line I cut while revising our vows the morning of our wedding:

I vow to love you without reservation and to demonstrate that love in action, as well as word.
I vow to passionately pursue you, empower you and save the best of myself for you and for our home.
I vow to turn to you and not on you in uneasy waters and to weather any storms that head our way with patience, understanding, humor and love.
I vow to practice honest and thoughtful communication, especially when it is difficult to do so.
I vow to take ownership of my health and to care for yours.
I vow to challenge and inspire you – and to openly welcome the same.
I vow to grow along with you and be flexible as we develop individually and as a couple.
I vow to keep it at the center of my mind that we stood here today and chose each other.
I vow these things because I have been assured by many of our friends and family, that parts of this will be awful.

While I remembering wanting to recognize in that moment that we knew marriage did not equal a lifetime of bliss, it felt like it stuck out. I cut the line.

But I stand by it.

Marriage is a funny balance. As you choose the person who you think will be the best light-hearted co-pilot / coffee maker / travel partner / advice giver,  you also unwittingly choose the person with whom you will fight with in the car. The person who be on the receiving end of your worst possible self. The person whose socks you will pick up. For the rest of your goddamned life.

The writer of this column puts it perfectly:

One thing I love about marriage (and I love a lot of things about marriage) is that you can have a bad day or even a bad few years, full of doubt and fights and confusion and storming out of the house. But as long as you don’t get divorced, you are no less married than couples who never have a hint of trouble (I am told such people exist).

You can be bad at a religion and still be 100 percent that religion. Just because you take the Lord’s name in vain doesn’t make you suddenly a non-Christian. You can be a sinner. In fact, I think it’s good theology that no matter how hard you try, you are sure to be a sinner, just as you are sure to be lousy, at least sometimes, at being married. There is perfection only in death.

My intention is not to broadcast a disagreement with my husband. My husband, who might be totally unaware that we are even having a disagreement, or at the very least, not thinking about it all day, like I did.

My intention was to just share in the absolute necessity of rolling your eyes, laughing at the “balance” we are all desperately trying to keep and admitting out loud, that sometimes it’s very hard to be good at this thing we stood confidently in front of everyone we knew and vowed to adhere to until the day we died.

I needed this story this morning.
Here’s to a better night.