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In this episode Joel and Antonia talk about creating dynamic wedding vows that help keep your relationship alive and vibrant.

In this podcast you’ll find:

Last week Raj and Gaby Sundra talked about their 12 wedding vows and how they incorporate them throughout the year.

Antonia published her vows in an article on the website.

If you are in a committed relationship, then having vows you have personally written solidifies what you are promising.

Spend some time talking over the vows and then write out what you desire.

The vows may be slightly different if you choose to write them separately.

Joel and Antonia filed for a marriage license in Pennsylvania. Only state that allows a Quaker Wedding. In other words, no officiant is required. They went to a quiet spot out in nature and married ourselves. It was no one else’s business.

Joel and Antonia got married in a cemetery. They chose it to remind themselves how short life is. Commitment is based upon the desire to spend their lives together.

Most of the vows were around protecting our good relationship and the happiness this relationship can bring us.

The cemetery was a reminder that soon we were going to be under one of those granite headstones. So, how do we want to live our life so that at the end we are content with our choices?

Get a good perspective on just what you are promising each other.

Until that stone is over our heads, we have options. Infinite possibilities. Death will come faster than we expect, so we need to use our time wisely and not waste it.

Get serious about responsibilities and stop sweating the small stuff.

When you are sharing your vows do so in a place that will help you gain greater perspective. Ours was a cemetery. It may be a church for you. Or a park. Or a mountain.

Some of Joel and Antonia’s Vows (bulleted):

  • Both promised not to weaponize the things we know about each other by pointing out where another is failing in personal growth.
  • Commitment to health and nutrition. A way to symbolize the gift we are giving of our bodies. To maintain attraction, adventure, and sexuality. Our bodies are gifts we give to our partners. If we aren’t committed to our health, nutrition, and wellness we shorten our lifespan which robs our partners of valuable time with us. If we know something is toxic we don’t’ have the selfish right to do what we want. We need to take each other into account.
  • A lot of language around the importance of personal growth. Sometimes the growth of one can make the other uncomfortable, but we wanted to be committed to a growth relationship – no matter what.  
  • If you start to stagnate, I’m going to push you. And I request the same from you. Always trying to hit the next level. Accountable to each other’s growth and our own growth.
  • I’m not going to assume that you should behave a certain way just because you always have. I’m going to recognize that you are changing and not get resentful. I’m not looking for consistency. I am looking for development.
  • Presentness: we don’t live in the future or past. I live today and I want to affirm my love and intention to be with you daily. It isn’t’ because of a commitment I made 10 years ago in front of a bunch of people, it’s because I choose to be with you every day.

When writing vows keep in mind it is always a commitment. A daily commitment.

Don’t overcomplicate the vows. Make changes when necessary. If growth requires adjustment, be open to it.

A major theme in successful relationships is the ability to adjust to the flux of life. Keep your fingers on the pulse of how the relationship is doing.

  • Resolve conflict early. If I’m harboring resentment and decide to pout and be mad for a couple days I am dishonoring my wedding vow.
  • I will never hang up the phone or slam the door. I will always keep lines of communication open.

If you are in a committed loving relationship conflict is inevitable. Closeness triggers our ego. Decide how to deal with conflict early, before it arises.

Principal based vows are helpful because they give a lot of flexibility for interpretation.

  • We both promised transparency while honoring the other’s privacy. We give the other something that we do not require back. Interdependent human beings. You have a right to privacy, but I am going to gift you my transparency. This allowed us to have trust and respect at the same time.

Not writing vows in hopes that it would be reciprocated. Writing what we are specifically willing to do to make our relationship survive and thrive.

Our vows are the constitution of our marriage. A living document. Intentional,  real, and dynamic.  

Be thoughtful about how you craft your relationship and not just allow it to have a default setting.  

Every Time you do something thoughtful it is going to shine a light in dark places and head off at the pass something that may have been a major problem later.

 

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Showing 3 comments
  • Fatima
    Reply

    INFP here:
    Is it purely an intuitive thing to see a graveyard as somewhere to get perspective?

  • Josiah
    Reply

    Hi, INTP here, I’m 15, not in a relationship, but I’m trying to help save my parent’s marriage, as far as I’ve seen they have never been happy together because they do not have much room to communicate because they are at work all the time, and they still do not understand each other even after 16 years of marriage. It is extremely rare that I see my dad planning anything special or meaningful for just my mom, usually me but it really doesn’t seem fair for me to get all the attention when they hardly pay attention to each other. They used to fight a lot when I was much younger, even then I would diffuse the fight, sometimes at least, but then I found a way to tell them that yelling at each other constantly isn’t the way to get the other to understand. Do you have any suggestions as to what else I should drill into their head. Also keep in mind that both have divorced at least once, they are both of different religions (mom is a radical Christian) (dad is a Mormon), they have little or possibly no similar interests whatsoever, my mother has endured a very harsh divorce losing 2 kids and never got to see them grow up so she is using house chores to distract herself from the fact that her life has been a mess from the start (which was a drunken physically abusive father)(my grandfather that I want to kill), then a drug addict of a first husband creating a drug addict of a son who served in the army on the front lines as a paramedic getting shot, blown up, stabbed, 4 suicide attempts, etc. Bottom line is that she has been through enough grief in her life and I don’t want another broken marriage to add on to her fucked up life.

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