That extra-long title is courtesy of my nine-year-old and was something she uttered during "Say Yes to the Dress" on Friday evening. I watch very little reality TV, but I make an exception for this show because I like to look at the dresses. And sometimes, the stories are heart-warming.
Typically at the end of the show, a snippet of a wedding is aired. In this particular show, a woman who was confined to a wheelchair was exchanging vows with her fiance. After the two of them finished, J made her comment. I asked her what she meant as I must have been on the computer while the TV was on, and she explained that because so many people just get divorced, why do they even say "as long as we both shall live"?
That is tough one, kid.
I tried with what I thought was a sound explanation: Most of the people who get married truly believe they will be together the rest of their lives, but sometimes it just doesn't work out. But if you don't think that you will be together for your earthly days going in (or if it is not at least your aspiration), then isn't it kind of silly/stupid/risky to take the plunge? Marriage should not be treated like a date, though I am fairly certain that a small percentage of people are focused only on the actual wedding, so to them, it may just be a glorified (and often ridiculously expensive) prom.
I am curious to know how many of those who ever married—both currently married and divorced—truly believed that it was going to be forever. My guess is that the majority of those who are still married and a minority of those who are no longer together meant those words on their wedding day. As for the others, perhaps some were hoping it would work out but were not sure it would. Others yet probably knew they were making a mistake, but figured it was too late to back out (I know of some people in this boat) And maybe some really did not put much thought into those words. (Of course, I have no statistics to support any of this.)
I don't remember much of the vows during my wedding almost 13.5 years ago. The only part that I can still hear myself saying, in pretty much the exact, somewhat emphatic yet pleasant voice/tone I said it in, was "I will love you." I don't recall what came before or after that, but I meant those words. And I still do, even though sometimes the hubby and I drive each other crazy and wonder what in the world we were thinking! :-)
Bri and I may not be soul mates (I don't "believe" in that), but as I tell J, we are determined to try to make it work because marriage is not something we took or take lightly.
How about you? Did you think about the "as long as we both shall live/all the days of our lives/til death do us part" phrase and mean it? Were they just words? Were you hopeful, certain, or kind of worried?
Maybe there needs to be a show called "Say Yes to the Marriage" because isn't that what is most important?