“I, Kristen, take thee, [husband], to be my lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part.”
In June 2021 my husband and I celebrated 10 years of wedded bliss.
When I look back at pictures from our wedding, I can’t help but think about what babies we were and how little we knew about what we were promising back then. It’s not that I would vow different things now, it’s just that I have a clearer picture of what, exactly, marriage entails.
So one night, after a few glasses of wine, my husband and I sat down and penned out the “older and wiser” 10-year expansion pack for our wedding vows. Without further ado, here you go:
I still take thee, to be my lawfully wedded husband/wife.
I promise to still have and hold you, in the 20 kid-free-work-free-not-sleeping minutes we have each day, even when it is inconvenient for both of our busy schedules. I will still choose to prioritize you, even when I’m touched out and my version of fantasizing is imagining being alone in a room that is completely quiet and clean. I will still choose you, even when you fart a lot or forget to shave your legs.
I promise to believe in you, even when you struggle to believe in yourself. I promise to hope for the best from you, even when I’ve seen the worst from you. When it would be easier to walk away, I promise to stay and keep fighting. And when we get to have sweet moments, like our first date night out after a year of COVID, I promise not to spoil them by getting attitude-y about something silly like how long it took us to find a parking spot.
I’ll be there when we make reasonable choices that end up going south, like that long road trip in the middle of potty training or that one investment that one time. And when we later regret the choices we made, I won’t blame you for them. I won’t let shame or the illusion of strength keep me from being known.
I’ll be honest with you about what I want and need, rather than expecting you to be a mind reader. I’ll continue to be vulnerable, even when it’s easier just to talk about the kids or schedules. Or, let’s be honest, figuring out how to manage the kids’ schedules.
When we have no money or just less money than feels comfortable, I promise not to blame you or gripe about where we could have been if we had made different choices. I’m committing to having awkward, honest, painful conversations about money with you, whether we have a lot or a little of it. [Since we have kids, let’s face it, it’ll probably always be the latter.]
I promise to not make fun of you when you get wiped out by a minor cold or freaked out about some symptom that I don’t think is serious. I’ll cover for you in parenting duties when you’re under the weather, even though I’m exhausted, too.
I promise to still like you, even when you drive me crazy. I’ll stop and look you in the eyes and actually see you, even when my to-do list isn’t done. I promise to treat you as well or better than I treat strangers — including in how I talk about you when you’re not there.
I’m not going anywhere, even when things are hard. I’ll forgive you, over and over [and over] again for all the dumb little things that make me kind of resent you. Because at the end of the day, even 10 years in, fully into the expansion pack of our vows, marrying you is still the best decision I ever made.
So I’m here for it all. I’m your person, and I’d promise it all over again — even though I now know more about what all that entails.
Until death do us part.
[But please don’t die anytime soon, OK?]