I promise to love you even when I do not like you…


February 11, 2012

Remember “To Love, Honor, and Obey”? Or Maybe even cherish? The title of this blog was our wedding vows. My husband and I were married in an open air chapel that hung over a cliff (symbolism?) in the freezing cold on this very day last year. Today is our first Wedding Anniversary. Today last year we stood in front of God and our friends and family and promised to love each other even when we may not necessarily like each other. And that is just what we have done every day since.

Chris and I were not your average “meet cute”. More of a romantic comedy. Who doesn’t love a good Rom-Com? Six years ago, when I first moved to Austin I dated a guy -briefly- and as these things tend to do, it didn’t work out. We ended up becoming great friends, however, and he introduced me to all of his friends. Intro the leading male: Christopher. Christopher was hot. I mean, really hot. He was Hispanic with perfect black hair, he had tattoos and well kept facial hair. He was the walking embodiment of my ‘type’.


And he was out of this world obnoxious.

He thought he was right ALL OF THE TIME. He and I would just debate and bicker about every topic known to man. I, myself, am a strong personality type so our interactions were adjacent to a chemical reaction involving bleach and ammonia. Catastrophic. Intolerable. Finally we had to sit down one evening, at the behest of all of our friends, and come to an agreement not to constantly fight anymore. It drove everyone around us crazy and they were threatening mutiny. That evening, we finally figured out that our birthdays are only a few days apart so we must simply be too much alike, thus the cause of our endless need to “top” the other. We agreed to disagree and from that moment on we were best friends. We hung out almost every day and when we weren’t together, we were on the phone.

Oh, I thought he was insufferable and charming at the same time. Infuriating and gorgeous. So, of course, I started developing a crush on him. Little did I know that he had a crush on me, too.

This went on for months. Months of watching each other date and still being “just friends”, pretending I was excited for him when he got a girl’s number, him being excited for me when I met a nice guy in a pool hall. Just the best of buddies, I tell you. In hindsight it was quite the exercise in insanity since both of us were too scared to tell the other for fear of rejection but also fear of ruining a great friendship. I could call Chris whenever anything went wrong. He would call me when he’d had a bad day and no matter what I had I plans to do I would drop them to meet him for happy hour. He would pick me up from work and we would hang out until it was time for bed and then we would text until we went to sleep. I didn’t want to lose that by complicating it with sex. In my previous experiences, relationships never worked out and I didn’t want to lose my best friend as a casualty to yet another disastrous love affair.

But I suppose that when it is two sided, love always finds a way. All it took was one little kiss. I don’t even remember who instigated it anymore. All I do know was that it was like a flood gate opening after a storm. The next day we were a “couple” *insert utterly shocked friends here* and a month later we moved in together *insert wary and freaked out friends here*.

The rest is history.

Five years later we have a beautiful home, a crazy and amazing toddler, and three dogs. We are the couple that everyone thought was “rushing” and maybe just plain out of our minds. We are the couple that contended that we knew what we wanted. That is not to say that every day is a fairy tale. Marriage rarely is.

But the most important fact is that I married my best friend and that means that no matter what the argument…we go to each other for comfort. We love each other even on the bad days and that is why our relationship, our marriage, and our family is strong. Our home is the calm center in the middle of this uncertain world. We have become more as a couple and a family than we ever were apart. That is why I am in love with our marriage. We took two halves and made a whole.


I am going to include our Wedding Ceremony to commemorate this extraordinarily special day to us. I wrote it (obviously, I stole a few quotes also) and thought it was unique and showed who we were as people. That we love but not without humor. Is there marriage without humor? I hope it will convey the type of family we are and subsequently, what my personal ideal of love is. Marrying someone that you can call at any time, someone that takes care of you, that loves you, that is you best friend first and soul mate later. Someone that knows that you are better with them and they are better with you. Creating a home that is safe and without judgement…errr…mostly without judgement ;).

Welcome! To all present I say: We are gathered here, not to witness the beginning of what will be, but rather what already is! We do not create this marriage, because we cannot. We can and do, however, celebrate with Christopher and Amber, the wondrous and joyful occurrences that have already taken place in their lives—their finding each other, their learning to love each other, their wonderful son Jameson, and all the adventures as a family. Marriage will be work from time to time but, like a puzzle, you can do all the work in the world on it but if you don’t have the right pieces, all of that effort is in vain. Christopher and Amber have found the right pieces in each other, and, so we celebrate their meeting and the commitment they make today.

But know this: “True marriage begins well before the wedding day, and the efforts of marriage continue well beyond the ceremony’s end. A brief moment in time and the stroke of the pen are all that is required to create the legal bond of marriage, but it takes a lifetime of love, commitment, and compromise to make marriage durable and everlasting. Today you declare your commitment to each other before family and friends, your yesterdays were the path to this moment, and your journey to a future of togetherness becomes a little clearer with each new day.”

Before we begin Christopher and Amber would like to recognize those who are no longer with us, but gather here in spirit. They have shaped your lives and helped define you, and we share this joyous day with them. May you know that absence is full of tender presence and nothing is ever lost or forgotten. Keep them in your hearts forever.

A soulmate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we’re pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we’re safe in our own paradise.

We recognize a soul mate by the supreme level of comfort and security we feel with that person. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t issues that remain to be ironed out. Rather, it means we know intuitively that we can resolve issues with our soul mate without losing his or her love and respect.

Christopher and Amber know that they are, truly, soul mates. Not soul mates in some romantic novel kind of way. But true and actual soul mates. Two souls who, until they found each other, were wandering about, a bit lost, not sure of where life’s path would lead them or, for that matter, not even sure where the path began. Then they met and, over time, saw in each other more common ground than differences. Debates gave way to understanding. Disagreements yielded to love.

“We are soul mates,” Amber says, explaining, “not just because we are similar, which we are, but that we were essentially lost souls out until we found each other and in becoming partners and parents to Jameson, we have created our life together and becoming a family has given us purpose. We are both passionate and have endured a lot as a couple and have come through the other side stronger.”


Officiant: Christopher, do you take Amber to be your wife?


Officiant: Amber, do you take Christopher to be your husband?


Officiant: Christopher, please repeat after me:

Amber, I promise to love you even when I do not like you,

and to compromise even when I know in my heart that I am right

I love you, til death do us part.

Officiant: Amber, please repeat after me:

Christopher, I promise to love you even when I do not like you,

and to compromise even when I know in my heart that I am right

I love you, til death do us part.


Leonard Cohen wrote:

“Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in”
-Leonard Cohen

A ring is a solid object, an unbroken circle. And yet, when we hold it up and look through it, a ring lets the light in. Amber and Christopher would now like to exchange the rings which symbolize the light they bring to one anther’s lives and will serve as a symbol of they love they carry in their hearts for each other.

Officiant: Christopher, please repeat after me and place the ring on Amber’s finger:

Let this ring remain a symbol of our love,

as it is the glue that holds our family together

and the reason that we stand here today”

Officiant: Amber, please repeat after me and place the ring on Amber’s finger:

Let this ring remain a symbol of our love,

as it is the glue that holds our family together

and the reason that we stand here today”

Closing: Officiant: I would now like to write a Poem Chris wrote for Amber four years ago, timing that Amber now sees made the poem very prophetic.

You stare right into the one thing that no one has ever seen. Me, the real me, not some fabricated idea of me that has gotten distorted over the impressionable grains of sand passing through the narrow pathway of the glass. I see me when I see you, sometimes a blinding glare distorts the mirror image but after I realize Its me Im staring at the blurry haze turns into a halo outlining the very existence of our souls intertwined as one. We have different pasts and have led different lives. We have had life changing moments that we let barricade our true selves and define who we are. But we know, we really know who we are and the true potential that we have to offer the world…………what we have to offer each other. The one pure thing that has ever crossed my path is you, for once in my life I don’t have to try to love someone. We may have to work on our relationship seeing as how we are the same person, and it will be a very bumpy road at times but all it takes is one of us to succumb to the idea that someone doesn’t always have to win. The aggressive and passionate conversations, the worried, blank stare of why are we doing this and acting like idiots………………what are we really fighting about. Is it that we are jumping into one of the greatest things either one of us has ever felt and we are scared because it might fail……….that is a natural feeling. But as long as our hands are clenched tight and our hearts simultaneously beat than we will always have true love. The only thing that could defeat us is us. See through it because I promise when we are old and sitting on that porch swing in the middle of autumn and the leaves are turning a golden amber we will look at each other and every last tear, every argument, every bitter thought will fade away. Our strength and perseverance will have conquered the world and you and I will be standing together gazing into each others eyes and at that moment we will realize we were always meant to find the two missing pieces of the puzzle………….us!


Amber and Christopher, in so much as the two of you have promised your love and devotion for each other here today, It is with great joy and the authority vested in me in the state of Texas, that I now pronounce you Husband and Wife. Congratulations, Christopher, you may now kiss your bride.


Happy Anniversary to the one man that not only “put’s up with me” but that loves me for who I am and who I can be. I love you, Christopher, every day, for the rest of our lives.


Musings Parenting


Amber Perea View All →

I'm just living minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day.

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