It is traditional in the marriage ceremony to make vows to love and honor your husband or wife for all the days of your life. When my husband and I were married, we elected to change the vows ever so slightly – instead of the word obey – we used the phrase: to love, honor and respect each other.
Love is a term that means something a little different to every person who uses it and hears it. For me, love means to care about every aspect of them. I love the person he is, flaws and all and I accept him for who he is. I admit to being less than perfect; it is not always easy to remember that at the end of the day – right, wrong or indifferent – I love my husband even when I am angry with him.
To honor my husband is to acknowledge what he brings to my life. In my case, my husband often gives me the gift of laughter. He gives me the gift of a unique perspective. He brings balance to my cynicism and patience to my temper. He’s given me a better outlook on people and he’s taught me that sometimes, no matter how well we speak, sometimes we don’t always communicate as well as we might like. As part of honoring each other, we strive to make that better between us always.
The respect is a combination of both love and honor; but also a bit more. The respect we share is the support we offer as each of us strives for our goals both personally and as a couple. My husband has always wanted to go back to school and I’ve often encouraged him to do so. He did the same for me when I went back to school. I respect his strengths and his skills. He does the same for me.
The Triad of Marriage
When it comes to marriage, these three ingredients are the primary building blocks of a strong relationship. The fatal flaw that diminishes this threesome is letting any one of them to be diminished over issues of trust, finances, disagreement or other. One of the things I’ve noticed during the tough times we have experienced is that as long as we have these three things between us – our friendship and our relationship can endure the passions of anger and the stress of problems. Our commitment to these three things has been unwavering in the ten years that we have been together and I believe that because of this – we will many more years together.