Several of this week's marriage tips from For Your Marriage have related to the marriage vows, I've been thinking about them. I have to admit that I hadn't given much thought to our vows between our wedding almost six years ago and when we saw Father Leo Patalinghug give his "Spicing Up Married Life" talk and cooking demonstration. One thing Fr. Leo includes in his talk was to have everyone renew their marriage vows.
"I, Stephanie, take you, Husbandido, to be my husband. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love and honor you all the days of my life."
By the time we were finished, we both had tears streaming down our faces. Reciting those vows again, we couldn't help but be overcome by how little we knew what we were getting into when we first said them.
Four months after our wedding, Husbandido lost his job; with it, we also lost our health insurance. The timing meant that instead of his employer paying the tuition for the two classes he was taking, we would be hit with a big bill from the university. At the time I was working as a temp; Cobra alone took most of my paycheck. We weren't sure how we would make it through. After much thought, we decided that the best thing was for Husbandido to switch to full time after that semester so he could more quickly finish his degree and get a better paying job. Being the sole breadwinner and in charge of the finances left me stressed out and overwhelmed. Even after completing his computer science degree, it took a long time for Husbandido to find a job (he was unemployed for ~ 2 1/2 years total); there were a lot of screaming fights about whether he was looking hard enough and whether it was time to think about relocating to find a job, as well as whether he could/should pick up something just to help our finances. Eventually he found a great job that he loves, and where he has been well rewarded. We started TTC a few months before Husbandido found his job; by the time we had been trying 6 months, I was starting to suspect that there was something wrong, thus beginning the rounds of doctors, tests, and treatments.
When we first said our vows, we had no clue how soon those bad times would begin or how long and hard the challenges would last. The thing is - no one really knows what their married life will hold. We all have these ideas about how it will be, and rarely does it turn out that way. Today, or your wedding anniversary, take some time to think about how different your married life has turned out from what you expected and give thanks for the marriage vows that in so few words encapsulate everything that can happen.