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Marriage Begins and Ends with a Promise

by Dr. Novian

A vow, according to, is “an earnest promise to perform a specified act or behave in a certain manner, especially a solemn promise to live and act in accordance with the rules of a religious order.” So marriage begins with an earnest promise to love and honor in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, for better or for worse, till death do we part. Most of us learned to recite these promises as children, so why do so many couples seem to forget them once they get married? There are many reasons that couples loose track of their vows, but I think one is of the biggest is that couples forget (or do not realize) that vows are not a one time promise made on your wedding day. Vows are promises that need to be made DAILY, sometimes several times a day, throughout your marriage. Couples who come to me for therapy often refuse or choose not to accept the promise any longer for all kinds of reasons (feeling abandoned, neglected, rejected, angry, untrusting etc). These feelings need to be communicated in a safe environment, such as my therapist office. However, in order for the feelings to be healed and for the marriage to survive, both partners need to remember and recommit to the “earnest promise” they made to each other on their wedding day. Without the ability to reconnect to that promise, the marriage is likely to end. So– if you want a happy and healthy marriage– don’t forget to remind yourself DAILY of your vows to each other. Better yet, do something to demonstrate your promise to your spouse. These actions will help to keep the love between the two of you growing until death do you part.

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