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10 real marriage vows you should have made at the altar
Marriage is not for the faint-hearted. We agree with that. Marriage is for the adventurous. Marriage is for the risk-takers. But the irony is that the odds get better as we take that risk. - photo by Mindy Raye Friedman
Your wedding day wasnt it wonderful?

You started down a new road with a person you were absolutely in love with. You smiled, looking radiant as you promised to have and to hold, to love and to honor, to cherish your love in both good times and bad ... a lot of beautiful promises that brought happy tears.

But then, after the dancing was over and the cake was eaten, you started your real life together and now youve realized that those promises (though beautiful) dont exactly cover the reality of marriage.

Maybe its time to update those marriage vows. Here are 10 things you can promise now that will be a lot more helpful on a day-to-day basis.

1. I will support you in your interests

Your spouse is going to like different things than you do. Try to be supportive. Allow him to pursue other interests.

2. I will hold my tongue when Im angry

Before you say something youll regret, really think about why youre angry (could hunger or exhaustion be fueling the fire?). Remember, if you dont have anything nice to say, dont say anything at all.

3. I will say Im sorry, and I will forgive you

Even if you keep your mouth shut when youre angry, you'll still make other mistakes. Ask for and extend forgiveness every time it is needed.

4. I will love you for who you are

Dont make the mistake of thinking you can change your spouse. Love her for the person she is and not for who you hope she will be.

5. I will love myself for who I am

Its also important that you love and take care of yourself. You and your spouse will both be better off if you do.

6. I will keep our marriage private

Dont complain about your spouse to others or in front of other people. Your marital issues should stay within your marriage (unless youre in counseling).

7. I will really listen when youre talking

Youre spouse shouldnt have to repeat something to you multiple times before you get the message. Really listen. Dont just think about what youre going to say next.

8. I will not keep score

Marriage is not a competition or a sporting event. You dont win if you do more dishes or change more dirty diapers. You win when you help each other.

9. I will put you before our children

Children are needy, and its important to meet their needs, but its even more important to nurture your marriage. Its good for your children when you put your spouse first.

10. I will give you space when you need it

Just because you are supposed to "have and hold" your spouse doesnt mean you have to hold him all the time. Everyone needs some space sometimes. Be aware of and sensitive to how much time you spouse needs to himself.

Sure, these vows may not be as romantic and touching as the ones you made at the altar, but for better or worse, these promises (and others you'll come up with) will help your marriage make it all the way until death do you part.
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