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Consider this a proposed addendum to the traditional vows of your choice rather than a replacement.  Avoiding incrimination, insinuation or further qualification, I submit the following:

  • I promise to ignore your passive aggressive behavior as you ignore mine, taking neither personally, as we encourage each other in healthy ways to communicate.
  • I promise to tell you the truth in the kindest way possible when it’s vital to your growth or to our continuing intimacy.
  • I promise to tolerate the truth and not complain about it when there is nothing either of us can do to change it.
  • I promise to smooth over the truth when it promotes growth and confidence and it hurts no one.
  • I promise not to turn a blind eye when you are making huge parenting mistakes (see vow #2).
  • I promise to assert my role in our children’s lives to insure that my influence is as vital as yours.
  • I promise to protect our children from physical and emotional harm even if it means protecting them from you.  I will protect the child rather than myself; protect the innocent rather than secure or promote my position with you.
  • I promise to remember that we married for love and friendship, and I will not treat you like the enemy (when the real war is going on inside me).
  • I promise not to hang on to my resentment when I realize how different the parenting roles really are and the many ways these roles permanently change us.
  • I promise to get the damn counseling if you want the damn counseling, even if a loved one urges us to get the damn counseling, and I promise to give it my best shot.
  • I promise to be a partner not a dependent.
  • I promise not to assume you are “taking care of it.”
  • I promise to create my own joy and fulfillment and not to hold you responsible for it.
  • I promise to be thankful for your good qualities every day, especially on the bad days.
  • I promise not to tell you my “really interesting dream” unless you are actually in it and doing something truly interesting.”
  • I promise to keep your secrets (the legal ones).
  • I promise to side with you in a disagreement with your parents (and tell you you’re wrong in private.)
  • I promise to care for myself so I’m able to care for you when the occasion arises.
  • I promise to do my part to keep our life interesting.
  • I promise to promote you in the eyes of the children and not to bare your flaws to them.  In the case that you turn out to be an appalling jackass, I promise to promote you right out the door with blessings for a happy and prosperous future, from which point I will continue to promote your relationship with your kids for as long as you continue to behave as a rational, law-abiding human, and they feel happy and safe being around you.

**Kiss or handshake optional

Author and husband, October 21, 2006


Comments on: "Wedding Vows: Conditions, Covenants and Restrictions" (2)

  1. The ONLY problem with these vows is that the wedding guests might start to cough and shift in their seats b/c of the length. BUT the content? flawless.

    And only someone who has lived through marriage, divorce, marriage again (great guy!) and allll the rest could have written with such insight.

    Glad you’re back!

    PS the Every Day Diva stuff is FUN-NY! Keep going . . .


    • HulaGirl, you are RIGHT. It is too long. I may edit for the fun of the exercise. And based on a great suggestion from my friend, Mark, I’m changing the title to Wedding Vows: Conditions, Covenants and Restrictions. I’m *almost* back.

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