For Recommitment Month: The Power Of Renewing Vows
It is National Recommitment Month. That can mean different things to different people, based on which phase of life you’re in. For many, since we are hitting that halfway point in the year, it’s a time to look back and ask yourself how those proposed New Year’s Resolutions are coming along. For others, it’s a time to focus on their commitment to their marriage. The couples who make it through the long haul are the ones who know they can never just put their love on autopilot. They are the ones who know that marriage doesn’t mean you’re all done putting in the work. They’re the ones who know that a successful marriage requires an ongoing series of mini adjustments to steer things in the right direction. That’s just one of the reasons couples renew their vows: to point the ship in a new direction. In honor of National Recommitment Month, here are reasons renewing vows is so powerful.
Their love has grown and warrants a new celebration
Many couples feel, on their wedding day, that they couldn’t possibly love each other any more than they do at that moment. And then, they do, more and more, every day. So now their love has grown into something so much bigger and more complex than it was the day they married, and it warrants its own celebration.
There are new, additional vows
Through years and perhaps decades of being with someone, you will discover new vows you’d like to make to each other, that didn’t make it into the first set. You’ll learn what it actually takes to make a marriage work, and you’ll realize you didn’t say any of that in your initial vows.
And old vows have transformed
Old vows may still be valid, but they have transformed. It can be powerful, as well as just quirky and fun, to edit and amend old vows, in front of loved ones. “I will always be affectionate” can turn into, “I will always be affectionate unless I’m on my period or I fought with my mother that day—then I get a pass.”
They can afford a “wedding” they couldn’t before
Many couples perhaps just couldn’t afford the wedding they wanted when they were young. Maybe they were broke, or pregnant and saving every penny for their incoming baby. Perhaps they always felt a bit disappointed in how that day went, and now they have the money to throw a proper wedding. And, perhaps now more than ever, they deserve it because they’ve made it this far.
It’s a milestone celebration
Year 10 or 20 certainly deserves a special celebration. That’s a full or multiple decades together. Many people feel that a person completely changes every decade, so each time a couple makes it through a decade together is a true accomplishment.
They’ve been through challenges
At a certain point, a couple may have faced a tremendous amount of challenges together. There may have been sickness, loss of jobs, loss of loved ones, collapse of businesses, and who knows what other catastrophes life threw at them. When a couple makes their first vows, they’re promising to be there for each other through hypothetical sickness, poverty, and such. So if they are actually there for each other through those things, that deserves a celebration.
You can include more people
There may have been important guests who couldn’t make the first one. Perhaps one person’s family lives in another country and just couldn’t afford the trip, or a best friend was very, very pregnant and couldn’t get on an airplane. Having loved ones around to witness vows is so special, so having them around for renewals can be extra special since now they’ve seen the love grow and flourish.
They’re moving into a new chapter
A new chapter, like having the kids move off to college, or going into retirement, can be an important time to renew vows. These chapters will put a couple through new challenges, and they’ll need to draw upon different strengths to be there for each other, and to make sure they still make their love a priority.
It’s a way of setting goals
Some couples are very goal-oriented and knowing that these vow renewals are coming every X amount of years keeps them on track to be the types of partners they want to be. When that renewal ceremony comes up, they want to be able to say, with confidence, that they have been the kind of partner they’re proud to be and deserve this…trip to Hawaii or cruise to Mexico.
You want your children there
Many couples renew their vows because, since getting married, they’ve made a few more family members whom they’d really like to have witness their vows. Renewing vows, in front of children, is a very satisfying experience. Showing children how much their parents are still united and in love is powerful for everyone.
The vows are much, much better now
Many couples who get married three or four years into dating think they know each other well. And, to some extent they do, but when they’ve been together 10, 20, or 30 years, they’ll laugh at the fact that they thought they knew each other back in the day. They’ll want to write new vows, with all the information they have since gathered about their partner and their dynamic.
The focus is on you
Many couples can tell you that they didn’t really feel their wedding day was even about them. They were so stressed out with all of the details and making everyone else happy, that they barely got to enjoy it. When couples renew their vows, the event really feels like it’s about them.
It’s a time for reflection
Very rarely does life give us the time to pause and reflect. We have to make that time. And if there’s anything that deserves deep reflection, it’s one’s marriage. Going on a trip and taking the time away from real life to renew vows creates the time and space to reflect on everything the couple has done together.
The first time may have been an elopement
Perhaps, not necessarily to everyone’s delight, the first wedding was an elopement. Many couples who elope later feel that they missed out by not having their loved ones there to witness their commitment to each other. The cool thing about renewing vows is that, later in life, you really know which friends stuck around and whom you actually want there.
It’s a promise not to become lazy, but to become better
Too many couples feel that, reaching a certain milestone means, “Okay, I can just coast from here on out.” But couples who renew their vows see things differently. They see a milestone anniversary as a reason to say, “Okay, we’ve climbed this high, now let’s climb higher.” They take the vow renewal as inspiration to just become better and better every year, rather than slowly give up.