In Night Sweats and Snores, ’til Death Do Us Part

Sixteen years ago today I stood in front of family and friends and hitched my wagon to my (soon to be) husband’s star. In truth, I can’t say it was holy matrimony but it was definitely legal.

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’.

Him: I promise I won’t hold your sleep talking against you, even after that one time you woke up insisting the baby wasn’t breathing and it took me an hour and a half to get back to sleep.

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…)

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36 thoughts on “In Night Sweats and Snores, ’til Death Do Us Part

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  1. This is so true – for all of us, I think! Interesting that you 2 were tying the knot on the very same day that your babysitter was born (in London). How weird is that?? Happy anniversary!!

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    1. Hooray! We’ll celebrate 20 years together in November this year. Another few and we’ll tip the balance into we’ve been together longer than we haven’t. I feel like that deserves its own celebration….and certainly another list ;-).

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    1. Yes! It is rather shocking, isn’t it? After I had my first son, I was limping to the toilet and felt what I could only presume was another head that was somehow forgotten…the nurse laughed and informed me it was merely a hemorrhoid….lovely stuff. What we do for love and kids, right?

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  2. This was wonderful. I especially liked the dish by the sink bit because it really is no big deal (and my husband does it ALL.THE.TIME.

    The “marital hygiene” picture? I remember seeing that picture came up in my google search of “Lysol Douche” — in the 30s and 40s, Lysol cleaner was hawked as a “marital hygiene” product for douching. Strangely, it coincided with a large number of sterile women.

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    1. Every damn day. Oh God, I had no idea about the Lysol douche–I was intrigued by the idea of ‘marital hygiene’–not necessarily physical hygiene, but how to actually keep your marriage ‘clean’. But a Lysol douche. Ew and wtf all rolled into one.

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    1. Lol, thanks Alice–I’m really trying (and mostly succeeding…I think…) to find a balance between topics these days. Mind you, it probably comes across as schizophrenic, but I worry what’s going to happen to my sanity if spend all my time in a bath of increasing outrage–the whole frog who doesn’t know it’s being boiled alive schtick….but you know, with my headspace!

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  3. I loved this and so very true I suspect to many of us (The sleep talking had me, L has woken me Laughing, Clapping, and Memorably shouting “Its the Chickens” and more alarmingly “The Octopus, get it of, get it off” I’m no sleep saint but seriously….). Happy Anniversary Guys!

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  4. Congratulations! Both on the anniversary and on the accumulating wisdom. There were quite a few that had me going, uhhuh, yep, check, oh yes…. My wife has that night-time scissor kick with she uses to tame the enroaching blankets, and it’s eye-opening if one is anywhere near its range. And I seem to have total amnesia about how to fold the laundry, or to remember that all “dark” don’t always go into the same washing session.

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    1. Thanks, Paul! Life really sometimes is just a big game of “if I knew then what I know now”, right? One of the hardest (and constant) lessons I’ve learned/am learning, is that if we accept each other (and each other’s help with…say..the laundry….), we have to be also willing to accept that everyone does things differently. We may do laundry differently, but we also love differently as well and just because it doesn’t necessarily match up with the way we’d do it, doesn’t make it any less valuable. But that’s a constantly evolving one. And hard to remember when you’re shivering in bed at night because your spouse has alligator death rolled the covers (my husband’s phrase ;-). )

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  5. Congrats on your anniversary. We celebrate our 47 on June 1. It is never easy for too folks to live together, but I wouldn’t trade my guy for nothing. I buy my own gifts and have him give them to me.It works for us all these years. We have two sons and two grandsons and all resemble their father, which is really good. It is a blessing to have someone in your life that enriches and empowers you. Keep it going.

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  6. Me: I promise not to steal credit, for even the smallest portion of this brilliant piece, when reading it to my Bride…..

    This. This did good things to my insides!!!

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D.E. Haggerty

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