Pledging your love “until in death do you part” is such a lovely, romantic notion. What person wouldn’t love for her mate to take that vow and live it? Usually, when standing at the altar, our souls are fully committed and we feel this pledge with all of our hearts. Too bad that what comes from our lips are very different from the reality of most marriages. Embedded in our vows is a lot of fine print that state disclaimers and exclusions that sound like this:
I, _____, take thee, _____, to be my lawfully wedded husband. To have (and this means I own you, control you, and boss you around) and to hold (unless I’m PMSing, going through menopause, or just plain pissed off at you) from this day forward, for better (unless someone even better comes along) or for worse (unless worse means you’ve become intolerable to me) , for richer (in which case, I’ll demand half, including alimony, child support, and the house in the event of a divorce) , for poorer (unless you stop contributing to our financial pool, max out the credit cards, mishandle the finances or spend money on unapproved purchases and activities and we lose the house) , in sickness (unless you lapse into a vegetative state or can no longer provide financially) and in health (unless you become obsessed about health issues or plague me about mine) , to love (unless I get bored of you or you disappoint or hurt me) and to cherish (unless I lose respect for you due to any of the aforementioned) , until death do us part (or earlier depending upon if any of the aforementioned occurs).
Not so romantic now. But that is the sad truth of how many of us really uphold our wedding vows. Wouldn’t it be great if we really stood by our vows? Read them again with the fine print that states what each phrase really means:
I, ____, take thee, ____, to be my lawfully wedding husband. To have (which means we belong to each other but do not own each other) and to hold (any time you need or want me) from this day forward, for better (I will help you make life better and better each day) or for worse (even if life throws us the unexpected and unwanted) , for richer (and there is no yours or mine but ours) , for poorer (I will follow you into the streets as well as mansions, regardless of the reason) , in sickness (I will be by your bedside to nurse you though any affliction, including physical, mental and emotional problems) and in health (encouraging and supporting good health but never nagging or threatening whatever you should choose) , to love (I will continually find new ways to express my love throughout the years) and to cherish (I will learn to accept your faults and eventually find them to be endearing parts of who you are) until in death do we part (and never before.) For I am your true soul mate to complete you, not replicate you or correct you. With me by your side, there will only be love.
When a person can make this pledge to another person then there is true and unconditional love.