Willis & I snuck out for dinner last weekend. As our appetizer was delivered, a bride and groom and their large wedding party crowded into the bar and began doing shots. As I watched the bride in her elegant gown get more and more hammered (not pretty sweetheart), I wondered if she had any clue what she’s in for.
My wedding day was so beautiful. We had a morning wedding. The flowers, the dresses, the food – all perfect. I had just turned 22 and I was marrying the man of my dreams. We didn’t know shit from shampoo.
As I look back past nearly 15 years of marriage, there’s one pivotal moment that I would change about that day. I was standing at the front of the church in a fabulous gown, in front of everyone I had ever met. That’s the moment I was asked, “Do you take this man to be your husband for better or for worse?” It sounds like such a simple question, but actually, it’s a dirty trick. As a married woman, I can attest that this simple, seemingly innocuous question breezes over a LOT of territory.
Marriage is wonderful, but it’s also hard, which is why so many fail. So, in order to ensure that people really know what they’re getting themselves into, I propose that the vows be changed to something more like:
Do you take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife through career successes and unemployment, through family celebrations and pregnancy hormones, through inside jokes and plumbing disasters?
Do you take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband through financial stability and crushing student loan debt, through loving teamwork and oceans of baby vomit, through romantic travels and dog urinary tract infections?
Then you both have a realistic view of what your marriage may bring. I now pronounce you mature, committed, clear-eyed husband & wife.
Congratulations & Good Luck!