Mindfulness And Marriage: I Pledge Thee My Present-Moment Awareness

If ever there’s a time when we’re most present, it’s when we fall in love. Coup de foudre, which is French for “lighting strike,” describes how, when we experience such an intense feeling of love for someone, it can best be described as a thunderbolt moving through us.  

That feeling, as we know, diminishes with time, and although we may still love the person who once made us feel as if we were being struck by an electric current, eventually we can begin to experience more gray, cloudy days together that feel anything but electrifying. 

The “honeymoon phase” -- the term that describes the beginning of a relationship when everything seems perfect and you and your partner give yourselves your undivided attention -- cannot last. Before you know it, you find yourselves disagreeing and focusing more on separate needs. It can seem like you differ on everything, and wonder what happened to the time when you were literally willing to be struck by lightning and die for one another, because that’s how much love you felt for each other.

The problem with relationships is that they start with such intense and heightened feelings of love, but then the focus gradually drifts to other matters that capture our attention. We’re no longer as present with our partner. If we allow our smart phones or all the hypnotic apps on them to become more exciting and tantalizing than our partners, we’ll begin to shortchange those moments of togetherness. 

However, Mindfulness, which is about being in the present moment with total awareness, is something we can cultivate with our loved one to regain that focus. Otherwise, invariably, we’ll stop valuing their presence.

The only way a marriage can sustain and endure the difficulties and challenges it will face, especially during these times when “scrolling” or “swiping” have turned into addictions, is by making Mindfulness a regular practice. It can be considered “divorce prevention.” It’s how couples can uphold their marriage vows to honor and cherish one another “until death do us part.” 

As a wedding officiant, I’d like to present a modern-day version of vows that include Mindfulness. If two people enter into their marriage vowing to be fully present with one another, they’ll stand a much greater chance of enjoying a lasting marriage.

Here’s my recommendation of marriage vows that include staying present with one another: 

“I, ___, take thee, ___, to be my wedded husband/wife. I vow to be present with you from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until death do us part. If my mind wanders at any time, and takes my focus or attention away from you, gently remind me, as I will you, that we have joined together in our union to hold each other sacred in our love. May I honor and respect you at all times, and may no moment undermine or diminish my love for you by taking me out of the present where my heart dwells with you always. This moment, right now, is the greatest gift I have ever known, and may I never forget the love I see in your eyes, which will always remind me to be present with you.”

If you’re planning to get married and these vows resonate with you and your partner, please use them. You can also change them to suit your personal sentiments or beliefs. Whatever vows you make on your wedding day, I hope you consider using Mindfulness to honor your commitment to be present with one another in all the moments of your sacred union.

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Ora Nadrich is founder and president of the Institute for Transformational Thinking and author of Live True: A Mindfulness Guide to Authenticity, named in the 100 Best Mindfulness Books of All Time by BookAuthority. She is a certified life coach and mindfulness teacher, specializing in transformational thinking, self-discovery and mentoring new coaches as they develop their careers. Contact her at theiftt.org. 

This article was originally published at Marriage.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.