The newly married Emily Baumgartner takes on the next vow with her reflections on what it means to hold to marriage in good times and bad, for better or for worse.
Do you promise to be true to your spouse in good times and in bad? For better and for worse?
If you don’t remember (or haven’t been married yet!), you are asked those questions when you are standing up at the altar during your vows. But what does those words mean?
I was married just a little over a year ago. While I didn’t have a traditional Catholic ceremony (I had a Lutheran wedding), I was still asked the same questions. I have to admit that I didn’t really think about what these words meant at the time.
Marriage is not easy. The times will not always be good. You will get in fights. You will be upset about something silly that your spouse did. But unlike dating relationships, you cannot simply break up or walk away from the issues. You have to work through them, communicate, and come to a resolution. You are together in a sacramental bond.
There will also be times where things aren’t so great outside of your marriage. Maybe a close family member passed away, or you lost a friend. Being true to your spouse in good times and bad means being there for your spouse, especially when they are struggling, even if it’s just a shoulder to cry on. Sometimes, you cannot find the words to comfort your spouse, but being there is often enough.
There will be good times, too! You have someone to rejoice in the successes and happy times with you. There are times where I am so proud of my husband and I love being able to share in his happiness.
Marriage has really changed the way that I look at my husband. I feel like when times are good, we are both happy for each other. When good things happen to my husband, I feel like they’re happening to me too. When times are bad, I feel the same sadness as he does. We’re a team. We rejoice together, and we cry together.
I know that we will have good times and bad times in the future, but we are a team, and we go through life together.