Love, Honor and Cherish

via Creative Commons, by Leo Gruebler

via Creative Commons, by Leo Gruebler

Traditional marriage vows include the promise to “love, honor and cherish.”  With all my thinking about divorce this week, I’m seeing these three words in a new light.  

LOVE is an intense feeling of deep affection.  

HONOR means to treat someone with great respect.  

To CHERISH your partner means to protect and care for them in a loving fashion.  

Love is the only one of these three vows that is a reaction.  Love happens to you, whereas honoring and cherishing are acts that you decide to do.  

So many relationships linger on through mistreatment because the parties still love each other.  I know Fartbuster loved me, and it took me a year after our separation to understand that love wasn’t enough to make a marriage.  His actions didn’t honor me or cherish me.  A marriage requires equal parts of all three.  Having a surplus in one area doesn’t make up for a lack in another.  

Books, movies, music, plays give us a wealth of experience and examples of love…but where do we learn to honor and cherish?

In your experience, which vow is the hardest to keep?

13 thoughts on “Love, Honor and Cherish

  1. Michelle

    I think honoring is the hardest to keep. Loving is, in my opinion, the easy part. It’s like breathing; it just happens. Cherishing is somewhat harder- my hubby & I view it as not taking each other for granted. Usually, this comes for me from comparison. I hear about and witness some things that other women’s husbands do, and it really makes me appreciate what I have (is that bad?!)
    I think honoring is the most active of the three, as you point out. It’s easy to see behavior that does not honor a partner (cheating, demeaning, etc). I think it’s harder to see the actions that do honor them, and I think they’re often done outside the presence of the partner– it’s how we speak about them and comport ourselves while they’re not around that speaks volumes, and that’s difficult to see from inside the relationship.
    Maybe we should all make a special effort to honor our SOs in their presence this week. 🙂

  2. Tabatha

    I think mine would be honor….especially in the beginning (which for me was 12 years ago). It is hard to show someone respect on a daily basis b/c for me, my pride gets in the way. I didn’t even realize that I was being disrespectful to him until one day he asked me (in a nice way) to show respect to him when it came to an issue with his family instead of jumping the gun and making matters worse. He doesn’t have a knee jerk reaction like myself….which is a great quality in him but for me, it makes me think he is just letting things happen without standing up for him or us, when really he is just assessing things and letting the little crap go (a quality I don’t have but want:). He says that the best way I can show him respect is to stop reacting and give him a chance to handle things his way. I struggle with this every single day:)

  3. Katherine

    I first thought I’d post that cherishing was hardest because it’s easy to get bogged down in routines and schedules and sometimes we’re just doing all we can do to get to the end of the day. But then I felt that even through the busy stuff, I do cherish my spouse and it’s the honor that isn’t necessarily visible. I often feel it but less often show it. Thanks for helping me see that today.

    1. Baddest Mother Ever

      I think it’s the voicing of honor that causes a problem. It’s easy to say “I love you” but it’s harder for me to remember to say, “OK, we’ll do it your way” or “I appreciate what you do for me” or “You are a good dad.”

  4. inhopeorfoolishness

    Sadly your right love alone just isn’t enough, with regards to the other two from my point of view they were both as natural as the love itself , I guess that’s why I didn’t notice anything for so long love must be blind after all . Stay well regards “I”

  5. Heather Bradley

    For me, it would be cherish. I know that I care for my husband and treat him honorably and with respect. However, I find it difficult to hold dear those simple gestures that make a marriage work. I remember the grand gestures much more frequently than I do all the times he got me gas in my car without being asked, the times he simply put money in my account when I was overdrawn and did not make a big deal of it, all the times I forget to pack my lunch only to wake up and find he has already done it, or when he manages the household because I am just too bone weary to do anything but plop on the sofa. Of course, my wedding vows were a little non-traditional. They read more like: I will love to do housework for my wife, honor every request to use my credit card, and respect and her love of shiny, sparkly things. On that account, we all do just fine.

  6. Heart To Harp

    I love this post! I don’t remember where I read words from a wiser person that said “love is a decision.” But you are exactly right. Love is a reaction, fueled by a cascade of neurochemicals out of our control. It is the honoring and the cherishing that require a conscious decision and commitment to do it.

  7. Pingback: Cherish..what’s that? | achievinghappinessdotnet

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