Sunday, June 6, 2010

Lasting Marriage

Recently I read in Entertainment Weekly that Heidi Klum and Seal are renewing their wedding vows for the sixth time this year, and Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott got married in 2006, and they feel compelled to re-do their vows in 2010. If I've ever heard of anything more ridiculous, I can't think of it at this exact moment. It's as if celebrities, so afraid that their marriage will collapse, are trying to ward off disaster by renewing their commitment annually.

What happened to making a vow and keeping it until death do you part? It's becoming an antiquated notion in our fast-paced culture where we are always moving on to the next new thing. Temporary marriage seems to be the norm now, and it's one of the saddest things I've ever seen. What do our kids learn from this idea that our word means nothing; that promises made at our wedding only hold for so long?

I have been so inspired by our hosts at this B&B we have stayed at this weekend. They have been married for thirty-some years, and are as companionable and happy as two people can be. They each have their lists for meals to prepare and chores to do to keep the bed and breakfast running, and they move in and around each other, talking, laughing, joking and teasing each other. He never missed an opportunity to compliment her on something she did well, and she encouraged him to take care of himself and offered to take on some of his duties for him when he was tired. The genuine regard they held for each other, while still doing some of the usual good-natured sniping that comes up in all marriages, was such a pleasure to watch.

The rapport between them offers me something to strive for in my own marriage. I think we need to have role models to follow, and I found some in these kind and loving people who have hosted us with tender care this weekend. Their attention to detail and loving care for their guests has added so much joy to this weekend retreat, and offered me many warm memories to take home.

I'm sad to be leaving this peaceful place today, but looking forward to returning to my husband, kids and friends with a renewed perspective on how wonderful my life really is. How many blessings are all around me each day. I want to cut through the frustrations to reach the joys more regularly. This weekend away has been exactly what I needed. I have written twenty pages in my memoir, gassed away into the small hours with girlfriends, and consumed about 75 pounds worth of high quality nourishment. I feel relaxed, happy and hopeful for what the future will bring.


  1. I personally am encouraged to hear of anyone renewing their vows.........what is wrong with it? Do not most married people celebrate their wedding anniversaries? If so, can the celebration not be taken as a "milder" form of vow renewal? It is not just celebrities that renew vows....non celebrities such as my husband and I do the same thing annually. On our wedding anniversary, we exchange another white rose and say "I do" all over again...although, we do add....."thank heavens we did" at the end. The informal little ceremony serves as a reminder of the overwhelming love and romance we felt the day we were married almost 6 years ago. We don't perform our little ritual out of fear, rather as a reminder of why we married in the first helps us to understand that the angst we feel with each other on occasion is fleeting, but the love and committment we share is forever.

  2. You make a good point about reminding each other annually why you fell in love and why you would choose each other all over again, but the celebrities seem to do their vow renewals as another wedding, with no expense spared and a big splashy re-do of their initial celebration, which is what I find hard to understand.

    I feel the commitment I made on my wedding day is one meant to last, and I don't see the need to reassure my husband or my friends annually by saying the same thing again publicly. It sounds like what you and your husband do each year is private, for each other, and not meant to re-do your vows but rather to remind yourselves of them. I suppose we do the same thing when we go out for a nice dinner to celebrate each year of marriage as it passes and reflect on how far we've come and where we are going together in the future.

    Thanks for another perspective - much appreciated!