TALKING POINT: What Does “For Better, For Worse” Mean In Marriage?
Weddings are one of my favorite occasions globally, not because I make good money from providing premium mouth-watering Mgbekenized dishes, but because I get to experience two people exchange this sweet and sacred vow again.
When a man and his bride look into each other’s eyes and take the oath to be with one another “for better, for worse…till death do us part,” it is one of the beautiful things to witness anywhere in the world.
Alas, though, this sacred vow has either lost its meaning to people, or the bulk of many people taking it before God and man these days do not even know its true meaning at all! Suppose all the sad and horrible tales of infidelity, domestic violence, paternity fraud, and several other anomalies are anything to go by. In that case, one can safely deduce that many do not know anything about how sacred these vows are.
That being said, I feel there is a need to break this down by asking a simple question: What Does “For Better, For Worse” really mean in marriage? What are the things it entails, and what rights does it confer on either or both partners? Let us examine a few points together below.
(1) “For better, for worse” is not a license for you to become a tyrant in your home: The fact that someone has taken a vow to be with you for the rest of their lives no matter what happens does not give you the right or authorization to become their worst nightmare!
Marriage is an honorable institution, and it should be enjoyed and not endured. The moment your marriage turns into something you have to manage because your partner is incorrigible or unapproachable, there is a big problem, and it should be addressed swiftly.
(2) It refers to external and not internally generated evil: This sacred vow relates to the factors that may come at both of you, as a couple, from outside and not from any of you. When a person takes a vow to stand by you through good and bad times, please don’t become the bad things they have to endure!
Both of you vow to stand against the situations and phases that life is bound to throw at you, which you both overcome by remaining united in love and prayers for one another. Let your partner always pray with and for you, but do not ever become the prayer point itself because you have become their worst nightmare.
(3) It is not a license to start living waywardly: You should know that you cannot begin living waywardly because someone made a vow to you and does not want to break it by leaving.
Also, for better or worse does not mean that you can start messing around because you caught your partner cheating or having an affair and do not want to leave the marriage. You should also never choose to deprive your partner of sex because they took a vow to stick with you through thick and thin.
(4) For better, for worse does not include death: If your husband or wife is an abusive partner that quickly resorts to physical violence anytime they feel provoked or there is an issue to resolve, please secure your life first and leave before you get killed!
For better, for worse is not a death sentence! Do not let anyone end your life prematurely in the name of a vow you made that they do not even understand! A partner that knows what this vow means would never even treat you with such ungodly disdain and recklessness.
As an adult, you are responsible for your life and safety before anything or anyone else. You have a duty to your partner to honor, love, cherish, adore, respect, and treat them well consistently, BUT the vow that keeps you in this does not include death or physical abuse! May God is with us all; Amen.
By: Dr. Sandra C. Duru