“...'Til Death Do Us Part”


Getting real with your vows can save your marriage and transform your life.

by Gregg DeMammos

Traditional marriage vows say, “I promise to love, honor and obey...'til death do us part...”

We think we know better than these ancient words.

We take our vows lightly. We don't bother to look at the wisdom in the vows and how far beyond us, beyond simply being in love, beyond our smallness, they are. Imagine who you'd have to become to honor your vows over years and years of marriage and actually be happy!

Marriage will tear you apart, IF YOU DO IT RIGHT.

It will tear apart your defenses, your ego, your idea of who you think you are, IF YOU DO IT RIGHT.

Marriage is not NICE.

Marriage is not SWEET.

Marriage is not SAFE.

Marriage is not COMFORTABLE!

Marriage is as serious as death (that's why it's in the vows) and the best reason to choose it is because you are ready to let go of control and trust something well beyond yourself, well beyond your spouse, for the sake of a powerful future. What you are trusting is your commitment, is the power of relationship itself. Honoring your word in this commitment will change your life. Our ancestors who wrote the classic words of our vows knew this, we just treat these words no better than some greeting card. We toss them away.

If you take your vows seriously, you must get better at solving your own problems.

You must get better at caring for yourself and others.

You must get better at listening and communicating.

You must get better at loving beyond appearance.

You must get better at understanding and addressing needs.

You must learn humility.

Imagine what you can accomplish and the kind of person you will be if you did that!

And most people default on these opportunities. They choose to stay as themselves, so they go back on their commitment and lose out on so much potential growth. They drop the value of their word. From making that vow, they have a chance to learn how to make everything in their lives work. Instead, most of us choose comfort, safety and a pretty picture or to abandon our word when things don't look so pretty.

The things you can't handle well about each other is the path to letting go, to learning and to becoming more. You just need to look someplace outside comfort. Deal with the consequences of being your word and your word being unconditional. What would you have to do, what would have to shift, if you choose to be your word, your vows 100% in your marriage?

To love, honor and obey also does not mean you become a doormat. It does not mean that there will be no resistance. What it does mean is that it is you must be who you are and take responsibility for the relationship. This is what frequently falls out of balance, because we are not looking at the relationship as something more important than ourselves. Your spouse is not more important, the relationship is. Both partners must shift and become bigger. Honoring the relationship itself will take care of you both. When we honor another person, we so often take it as a demand that we give in. Let's just look at what we are up to as something outside ourselves, something only we can both create. Without effort from both of you, it simply won't exist.

Get over it, the dream that your marriage was and may not resemble today. You're adults. Strap yourselves in. The wedding cake is the last perfect thing you'll have in your marriage. It's going to be a bumpy ride and if you both wake up to the responsibility and to the opportunity, the sky is the limit for you! The growth opportunity available in your marriage is endless.

If you see this for yourself, then every morning look over and choose her, choose him as the person you're willing to learn from, to grow and partner with and to do whatever it takes to be your word, no matter what happens.

Talk to your spouse, your fiance, your life partner. Have a conversation about this today, are you honoring your vows? You certainly don't have to, but I think we have an idea about how that will turn out.