“So long as we’re still married, I’m going to do everything in my power to uphold these vows …. And I’m going to honor you for the rest of my days, if you’ll have me,” Joel told Julia in the most recent episode of Parenthood, in an emotional plea to have his wife back in his life.
I, like many around the country, am a Parenthood fan. The TV show drama on NBC about long married couples and their married children with kids has been around for six seasons, and I am sad to see it go after this, its final season.
Joel and Julia’s storylines, and especially Joel’s moving bid to get his wife back in this recent episode, has especially made me think over the kind of commitment I have in my own marriage.
Joel and Julia are married with two kids. They have been separated for the last season, due to bad communication between the two of them, an emotional affair on Julia’s part with another man, and many other small tiffs and arguments along the way that were never settled.
But in this most recent episode, Joel spoke of making vows to Julia on their wedding day. He admitted that, despite being confused and hurt during their fighting and separation, he was the one that failed Julia. He felt shame and said that, because of the act of walking out on their family, he was the one who didn’t deserve to be in her life anymore, despite her faults. However, the vows of their marriage and the love that he never stopped having for her, are what is keeping him in the marriage. He told her, “so long as we’re still married, I’m going to do everything in my power to uphold these vows …. And I’m going to honor you for the rest of my days, if you’ll have me.”
The night before I watched this episode, my husband and I had gotten into a tiff. It wasn’t about anything major, but was caused by differences in expectations, two overtired parents, pregnancy hormones, and a house that really needed to be cleaned. We had talked through it, forgave one another, and were fine, I know it is largely due to the fact that we are also commited to not going anywhere.
This episode reminded me that my husband’s vows to me meant that he is here to stay and, no matter what, so am I. The little arguments might explode into something larger, but we will work through whatever will be put in front of us. I made a vow to him, and to God, on our wedding day that I will never retract. I know that we haven’t felt the pain of what some couples deal with. But, I do know and trust that the vows my husband and I took on our wedding day will be the guide in working through disagreements, large and small. Like Joel promised Julia once again over lunch, Joseph and I will honor one another for the rest of our days.
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