Sixteen years on, I’ve learned a lot. If we had to stand in front of family and friends again today, I would heartily and truthfully say “I do!” even more enthusiastically. There are, however, a few things I’d add to those vows….
Me: I promise to love you through snoring, through man flu, and in World Cup years, ’til penalties do us part.
Him: I promise to love you through night sweats and hot flashes, through pork rage and red mist.
We promise not to offer each other unsolicited advice in the heat of the moment.
Me: I promise not to passive aggressively ask if you’re done with the coffee cup that’s on the counter, right near the dishwasher, and just put it in myself because it’s really no big deal. Really.
Him: I promise not to passive aggressively ask if you’re done with the straightening iron every single day and just graciously accept the fact that it is going to live on the floor by the bed.
We promise not to compare our marriage, sex lives, or financial state to anyone else’s.
Me: I promise to tell you what I’d like for Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and my birthday when you ask. I promise not to resent you if I tell you ‘oh, nothing’ and then you do ‘oh, nothing’.
Him: I promise to love you through muffin tops, fad diets, pregnancy hemorrhoids, and caffeine withdrawal.
We promise to accept that human beings change and evolve and grow, but then again, so does love.
Me: I promise I won’t expect you to read my mind, decode hidden meanings, or know what I want before I do.
Him: I promise never to ask if you have your period just because you’re angry.
However fierce a storm may rage, We promise to be patient enough to wait for the skies to clear.
Me: I promise not to say “It’s fine” if it’s not.
Him: I promise never to shush you.
We promise never to anger-sleep in the spare room for more than one night.
Me: I promise never to undermine, correct, or contradict you when we’re at a dinner party and you’re telling a story.
Him: I promise not to make fun of you for crying during television commercials.
We promise to keep our mouths shut when the other is talking, not simply to wait for our turn, but to actively listen.
Me: I promise not to ask you six hundred questions in the morning because I know you don’t like early mornings.
Him: I promise not to stretch the concept of early morning past 10 am.
We promise not to air our grievances on social media.
Me: I promise not to hit you too hard in the middle of the night if you are snoring, or hogging the blankets, or stink like beer and meat after a night out with ‘the guys’.
We promise not to freak out if we don’t have a mid-life couple’s hobby.
Me: I promise to leave you love notes when you least expect it.
Him: I promise to bring you flowers for no reason.
Me: I promise not to write about our marriage…too much.
Him: I promise to believe you…mostly.
Happy sweet sixteen, darlin’, I’d do it all again in a heartbeat, even if I would need reading glasses to read my vows.
(Me: I promise not to try to get the last word in…)