I recently had the privilege of being asked to officiate the wedding of my ‘poster couple’ Brittany Daniel and Adam Touni. Brittany had been referred to me for coaching in March 2016, as she was reinventing herself and committed to doing the work she needed to clear the decks in order to meet her true soul mate. Four months later, enter Adam, the truest suitor a girl could ever manifest!
In working with them closely as a couple over the next few months, I was able to instill in them the groundwork for what I believe to be the essential foundation for lasting love. Cut to July 29th 2017, and the three of us standing before all of their closest family and friends declaring their love to each other and tying the knot!
Brittany had asked me if I would include my philosophy of what I believe a true marriage vow to be — One that doesn’t ever have to be broken and is, in fact, the glue for lasting marriages. I shared it during their beautiful wedding ceremony just before they declared their vows to each other and I’m going to share it with you now.
I call it a “Corrective Marriage Vow” or what a marriage vow should be, because clearly, what it tends to be has not been working for half of the couples out there — Not when the divorce rate is well over 50%. So what I mean by corrective is this: Rather than marriage vows tending to go along the lines of “I promise to love you forever” and “I hope to adore you till death us do part” and “I’ll always be kind to you” or “I will never judge you or hurt you”…
What a marriage vow should really be is more a true commitment to the work the couple are prepared to do throughout their relationship. It’s more like this:
I know I bring a lot of baggage that pre-existed long before I even met you and I know I’m bringing it with me into our 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 taking it from me! I know that's not true, but I’m going to need you to remind me when that happens, because we are both likely to fall into that illusion when we fight or get triggered.
There are going to be times when I wish you could take it away from me and times when I’m going to deny it even exists and I’m going to accuse you of being the cause it. So what I am committing to is unconditionally 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 work through mine. So, together as partners, we commit to reminding each other to stay present and support each other to win, rather than find ways to make each other wrong.
With these vows in place there is every chance that a marriage can last. So, whether you’ve given traditional vows at your own ceremony or recently renewed your vows, you might want to consider creating a sacred renewal ritual with your partner and see if you can declare for yourselves a corrective marriage vow. Like Brittany and Adam, ensure that your commitment to each overrides the inevitable challenges and triggers that accompany marriage, so that you too can experience lasting love.
Jamie Greene for The Sweet Life By Brittany + Cynthia Daniel
You can learn more about Jamie Greene and his life coaching program here.