Marriage: traditional vows or contemporary partnership?

With the traditional roles of husband and wife changed, and changing still, to facilitate survival in contemporary society, which is no longer the agrarian monarchical society of the past; a review of the traditional vows made in the marriage ceremony may better serve us.

Nowadays marriage is more a partnership and collaboration in doing what it takes to sustain a family. And after all does dharma not mean to 'sustain'. More than often the husband and wife are both professionals working downtown. And in some cases the whole show depends on the wife.

Googling some of the principles of partnership, I ever so slightly amended them and now list them as consideration for amended marriage vows. Such vows if taken may better relate to our married live and may be referred not just the vows we have taken but the agreements that govern our relationship:

1. Reciprocity, commensurate give and take.

2. Fair exchange of value: each partner has neither less nor more human worth than the other.

3. Peer to peer relationship, not master and slave.

4. Commitment to continuity: common goals and interests renegotiated as you go...but not whimsically.

5. Enduring Trust: arisen from kept promises and mutual rewards.

6. Intelligent use of resource: do what you are good at as individuals, in a way that contributes to shared success.


And perhaps the most controversial:

7. Performance evaluation: the longevity and health of the relationship is not determined by the vow to remain together for life made during the wedding ceremony. as in any job or partnership, appraisal and improvement is a must...so why not in marriage.

Perhaps as with the current traditional ideals and low success rate in marriage, contemporary vows mights better prepare us for the reality of marriage and govern us with greater prospects of survival. 


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