How To Write Your Own Meaningful Vows

chelseyp wedding

My husband and I, June 22 2013

First of all, let me be the first person to acknowledge that I am a Newlywed. I have not been married for 5, 10, 20, 25 years, yet. Maybe you will read this and think I don’t know WTF I am talking about. But these are my beliefs based on my observations and personal life experiences. I  learn from other’s mistakes and see what I can do differently.

Secondly, let me also make it clear that if a marriage is abusive, that is not a marriage. Divorce in that case, when your life or your children’s lives are in danger, is the only answer. If you are in an abusive relationship, that is not a real marriage and you need to get out of that. (For help, click here.)

Now to address my headline: How do generic vows make it easier to divorce? Well if you don’t actually promise to anything specific, it is easier to walk away.

chelseyp wedding vowsTraditional vows have the lines like for better or worse, richer or poorer, sickness and health. So how can people split up? When you vow to stick it out for “worse”, you didn’t vow to stay together “for worse to a point until I get tired and give up or I just shut down and start to look for someone else” but it easy for someone to make that stretch because traditional vows don’t come with a definition of worse. So people make up their own.

This brings me to the next vow problem –  modern style vows. During my engagement, I was hooked on the TLC show Four Weddings. I watched every single episode. And one recurring thing made me want to throw my shoe at the TV. So many couples wrote their own “vows” but they weren’t actually vowing to anything! They would have a nice little speech about how they have “loved you from the moment I first saw you”, “will be there for you always” (where is there, exactly? Not very specific), and “I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you”. That’s it!! They never actually promised or vowed to do anything. If you don’t have a clear understanding of what you both expect out of your marriage, how can you possibly hold yourself or your partner to it? This types of modern “vows” also don’t really make it difficult at all to fall apart and divorce.

So what did my husband and I do when we got married? We sat down, several times, and really had a conversation of what our expectations are and what we are willing to put into the marriage. We were honest and realistic. We first made a list of what our core values and what was most important to us. Then we wrote out each point in a specific and clear way. When we married, we became a team. Me and him, him and I. We had 6 points to say so we each said 3 of the vows and before each vow we started with “Do you agree with me that we will….” and the other person answered “I do.”

These are our actual vows. Our Officiant held up a card which we took turns reading from while he preformed a hand-fasting ceremony.

handfasting chelseyp

Husband: Do you agree with me that we will love each other unconditionally.  Love each other independent of the other.  Accept our faults, flaws, and mistakes.  Love each other without strings or conditions.
ChelseyP: I do.

ChelseyP: Do you agree with me that we will never forbid or try to control the other. Trust each other to make the right decision by always taking the other into account.
Husband: I do.

Husband: Do you agree with me that we will remember we are a team.  We will always have each others back no matter what.  We will stick together and work through life’s hurdles using teamwork.
ChelseyP: I do.

ChelseyP: Do you agree with me that we will value each moment of life we are gifted together.  Never waste a moment with each other.  Never miss an opportunity for a kiss or an “I love you”.
Husband: I do.

Husband: Do you agree with me that we will remain active participants in our marriage.  We will make the effort to remain engaged in our relationship.
ChelseyP: I do.

ChelseyP: Do you agree with me that we will love each other with our whole hearts for our whole lives.
Husband: I do.

I have no problem for anyone to use our vows as a guideline. I do encourage to find the right shared core values that are specific to you and your relationship though.

This is just one of the steps we have taken to do everything we can to give our marriage the best start. We have decided we are staying together, happy or depressed, fulfilled or miserable, satisfied or frustrated. This is our motivation to stay engaged and active in keeping our relationship strong and our vows are our guidelines. This is how we will keep our team of 2 strong for the rest of our lives.

~with love, ChelseyP

About Chelsey Pear

Chelsey Pear Charm Jewelry Co. Founder & Designer
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