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  Texas : Features : Columns : "It's All Trew"

Two addendums
to vows help marriage to last

by Delbert Trew
Delbert Trew
Unlike the Ten Commandments, which were chiseled in stone to prevent erasure or change, marriage vows are merely spoken. This allows these sacred promises to be forgotten, ignored, misunderstood, changed or deleted by the modern-day theory of "doing whatever feels good at the moment."

Ruth and I entered into our second marriage with considerable experience. The loss of her husband, one of the missing in Vietnam, left her with 13 years of experience. The loss of my wife of 18 years provided me with experience dating back seemingly forever.

These losses forced us from comfortable surroundings into the long-forgotten circulation orbit playing the "head them up and sort them out" game. After eventually finding each other and agreeing to marry, the frustrations of the hunting ordeal left us determined to make this marriage last forever or longer if possible.

We added two more promises to the regular list and wrote them across our marriage license with ball point pen. We offer these codicils to all considering marriage.


The No. 1 promise is whoever leaves first has to take the children. This dire threat will overshadow all problems arising during most marriages, assuring continuation until after the little darlings leave home.

The No. 2 promise is whoever leaves first has to take the indebtedness. This threat will assure wedded bliss until after college graduation or the house is paid off. At this point, enough years have passed that the average couple will find it hard to function without the help of the other.

For example, I would not be able to drive without Ruth's constant exclamations. She could not go shopping, for only I know where her favorite stores are located. Her lengthy "honey-do" lists would never be completed without my expertise.

She attends all bookkeeping and financial chores, and I help her spend. I act as her faithful guide as the only direction of which she is positive is up and down. She keeps up with all doctor's appointments, and I get us there an hour early where we sit and gripe about having to wait. She does everything inside the house, and I do everything outside.

Our system must work as we enter 31 years of marriage and still counting. I am sure the regular vows plus the two added have contributed to this success, but I believe the dread of having to find and break in another spouse has provided the most incentive.
Delbert Trew
"It's All Trew" May 26 , 2004 column
 
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