"I take you to be my lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part..."
Well, yes, that too of course...
But since making those vows - or more to the point since having a child - our marriage has changed somewhat. It's not that I don't love my husband for better or worse, it's more I just need him to be better when I am feeling worse. And vice versa.
Whilst I don't know the secret to a happy marriage, I do think our vows, if we were to renew them, which we won't be - (I can't even organise a Tesco shop any more let alone an event; plus, it might require the wearing of something other than leggings... horror) - our promises might well be a little different from those we made previously. Nothing drastic - just a bit more relevant to our current day-to-day lives. After all, having and holding is all very well, but who's brewing the coffee while that's going on? Hmm?
So here below, witnessed by our family and friends (okay, anyone awake enough to read this), are the real promises we try to live by, in the interests of a harmonious married life...
I. I promise to stay awake while you feed the baby when you literally cannot keep your eyes open
II. I vow to sit in companionable silence in the evening when conversation is too much effort
III. I promise to ignore your stroppy tired-related moods (except if I'm in one myself, then - well it's every man for himself - agreed?)
IV. I vow to keep you supplied with tea, coffee and - when required - red bull, every single day of our tired existence
V. I promise to find your inability to remember anything at all after a bad night endearing rather than irksome... mostly.
VI. I vow to regularly whisk you to bed for early nights - of the sleep variety - naturally
VII. I promise to not kick you too hard when you are happily snoring away and I have been woken again by a tiny, terrorising small
VIII. I vow not to judge you for nodding off 20 minutes into every single film we try to watch together
IX. I promise to hide my glee when our toddler chooses your head to lie on and kick during a night of reluctant co-sleeping
And the killer (NOT literally of course)
X. I vow that when you are really, really at the end of your rope, to give you "my" lie-in at the weekend - that is our richer or poorer, baby.
It may not be the stuff of romance novels, but it is the stuff of living together without wanting to kill each other, and that is surely what relationships are all about, right?
Do you know any other vows essential to a happy marriage? Especially if they require minimal effort on either part - come share the gold people!