The other day, I talked to my best friend about her struggle to write her wedding vows.
"I don't want to say something stupid," she confessed. "I want to say something other than just 'I love you.'"
Wedding vows can be terrifying.
You can go through draft after draft of words, inside jokes and favorite different phrases.
But you want to stand in front of your partner and explain to him or her why you love him or her.
It's not as easy as it sounds, but here are a few things to get you started:
1. I promise to not always steal your side of the comforter.
I'll try to remember my time of sleeping in bed alone is over with.
I'll try to remember to not lay starfish-style in the middle of the bed, with the comforter tangled between my legs.
2. I promise to not brag when I'm right.
I promise on the occasions I'm justifiably right, I won't make the argument about who is winning.
I promise that when we fight (as all couples do), I'll do what I can to learn from your words.
I promise to hear you when you talk.
I promise to not just listen, but to understand your point of view.
I promise to always grow with you.
3. I promise I won't be a perfect mom.
Because perfect is unattainable.
I promise the first night we bring her home, I won't have a single clue of what to do next.
I promise I'll be honest with you about my fears of giving birth and raising children.
I promise I'll be honest with you about my doubts and frustrations.
I promise I'll be honest with you when I'm feeling tired, overwhelmed or stressed beyond belief.
I promise that through every stage, I'll try my best to learn with you about how to be the best mom I can be, even if I sometimes make mistakes.
4. I promise I'll let you pick the movies for date night, too.
I promise to not make you sit through "When Harry Met Sally" for the 20th time in a row.
I promise to remember we're in this life together, and our every waking second is about compromise between the two of us.
I promise to always share an interest in your hobbies, too.
I promise to always ask questions about something you love, just so I can learn more about it.
I promise to always laugh right beside you.
5. I promise I'll always remember you had a family before me.
I promise to never make you choose between your family and mine.
I promise to tell you when I want to spend Thanksgiving dinner with my parents, and I promise to accompany you when you tell me you want to spend it with yours.
I promise to rotate holidays with you.
I promise to indulge in your family traditions, as well as the ones we make together.
I promise to think of your family and love them like they're my own.
6. I promise to learn how to use the weed-whacker if you learn how to fold the bathroom towels correctly.
I promise to take care of things around the house if there should ever be a time you need my help.
I promise to not assign certain roles to the two of us because this is our home, and we share it together.
I promise to be your biggest supporter and your biggest help, if you promise me to be mine as well.
I promise to pick up the slack when you need me to.
7. I promise to love you for the rest of my life.
Through the hardships of being laid off from a job, through our teenage son undermining our wishes, through the first time we lose a parent, through having to move to a different house, through surgeries, through finding our first gray hair and through the first time we don't recognize who is staring back at us in the mirror, I promise to love you.
I promise to make you the best part of my life.
I promise to show you every single day that you always were and always will be the best part of my existence.