Do Wedding Vows Mean Anything?

by Jamie Driggers

Do wedding vows mean anything to today’s young couples? 

I flopped onto my bed and fumed. How on earth am I going to live with this man for the rest of my life without speaking to him?
I was far too stubborn to consider any other option in my moment of fury. We’d married young, and some people were expecting us to fail. Regardless of how steamed I was at my new husband, I wasn’t about to give those naysayers the satisfaction. . .  even if we had to live in silence for 50 years.
Until that moment, I had prided myself on being able to tell people we hadn’t had our first fight yet. Not one argument in three whole weeks.
We were the experts. We had read all the right books; we knew each other’s love languages; we knew not to use the word divorce; and we knew that all disagreements could and should be defused by saying, “I feel . . .”
So when the opportunity arose to practice our superior relationship skills in an intense situation, we both handled it very maturely. I refused to speak to Brent, and he stormed out of our apartment.
I called my mother, as any new bride might do. I needed reinforcements. “Mom, he’s left me!”
“Well, what did you do?” she asked.
Traitor.
Brent came home later, just as my mother predicted he would. But by the time those 34 minutes had passed, I was more worried than mad. So, of course, I talked to him. I believe my first words were, “I’m sorry.”
Even though spite for our cynics probably wasn’t the best motive to stay together, nor does it rank high under “good marital advice,” the story does provide some comic relief now and then.
Frankly, I am relieved that my first thought was about how to orchestrate an admittedly unrealistic solution rather than allowing myself to toy with the dreaded D word for even a moment. Many people in my generation, who have watched lives shattered by divorce, wonder if the wedding vows they say hold any weight. We ask ourselves, Did I really mean “until death do us part”?
I’m happy to know I did.

Jamie Driggers and her husband, Brent, have been married for 10 years.

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