I’m going to talk to you today about what I call a corrective marriage vow, what a marriage vow should be because clearly what it tends to be is not working, not when the divorce rate is well over 50%, probably 70% at this point. So what I mean by corrective is this: rather than marriage most being “I promise I am going to do this” and “I’m sure you’re going to do that till death us do part” and “I do” and all that kind of stuff.
Really what it comes down to and it’s a little bit more elaborate, but what I talk to my couples about is this: what marriage vows should be, is along the lines of…
“Look I know I bring a lot of baggage that pre-existed before I even met you and I know I’m bringing it with me into the relationship; some of it I’ve worked through, some of it I haven’t, but I know it’s there. And there are going to be times when I’m going to blame you or project on to you that you are the baggage or that you are responsible for me having baggage and I know now that is not true, but just remind me when that happens, that I’m going to have that illusion.
I think there are going to be times when I wish you could take it away from me and there are going to be times when I’m going to deny it even exists and I’m going to accuse you of it, even your baggage and that’s likely to come. So what I am unconditionally committed to is accepting you while you work through all of your baggage and I ask the same of you that you can hold me and unconditionally accept me while I own working through mine. And together as a team, we can support each other to win.”
Much more likely that that marriage is going to work out, so I’ll just have you think about that. Whether you have given traditional vows or not, whether you have renewed your vows or not, you might just want to privately have a little renewal opportunity with your partner and see if you can get behind a corrective marriage vow.