We have heard those five words many a time along the way in the ceremony of marriage. The idea behind those words is a marriage bond that is intended to last until death of one or the other spouse.
I have shared many times in this blog how everything in this world is (in a certain respect) "upside down."
We marry another because we believe they complete us - in other words, we believe they represent a love that is and has been missing from our heart of hearts. That love between a husband and wife is a certain level of love, but it isn't a true marriage of love until we understand the purpose of our existence on this planet, until we understand what the true purpose of relationship is in our life.
In Guy Finley's book "Relationship Magic", he shares 3 stages of relationship as being:
1) Woo-hoo! - When you first meet your partner and everything is just heavenly. Our partner can do no wrong!
2) Boo-hoo! - The novelty of the new relationship has worn off a bit and now, what used to be a "cute or adorable" personality quirk or habit, becomes an irritation every time it is exhibited. In other words, I am often disturbed by what my spouse says or does.
3) This stage comes in where the rubber meets the road and where true inner work begins if either partner wants to know anything about true love and a true marriage.
The 3rd stage is an agreement on the part of one or both individuals to suffer themselves in heated moments of anger, blame, resentment and the like. For when there is that conscious choice made, a prayer for something to intervene (so to speak) in the moment and transform the parts in that relationship that always do the same thing (blame, resent, punish), there is not only a true marriage that takes place, but a death as well.
The marriage is between a higher part of ourselves with a lower part of ourselves. Sometimes people call it "a marriage between heaven and earth."
The death that takes place is a reuniting, not a parting. What appeared to be separate to us (at one level) is seen and understood as one thing. What was typically projected outward as "our spouse's fault" (for anger and blame erupting) is seen as something within ourselves that our spouse simply triggered for us to see so that it could be healed and made whole.
So the 3rd stage could really be a "thank you" stage - "Thank you for triggering these parts in me that I could see in no other way." This is probably one of the most difficult things we will ever agree to enter into, but it is our life's purpose. We have simply been unaware of that purpose until now.
In one of the episodes of the TV series, "Silent Witness", one of the forensic pathologists said "Death - What good is any of this if we can't understand that."
We are truly supposed to die to these old parts of ourselves before we actually physically die on this earth, because if we do that, there won't be fear, regret, resentment when we physically pass from this earth. We will then come to know something of our eternal essence.
We are intended to die to the old, relived, reincarnated parts of ourselves that only know to blame, resent, hate, glorify, and the like. But 99% of the people in this world want nothing to do with that, and that is why this world continues to spin downward and out of control as it is now.
"Til Death Do Us Part" is inverted.
Until we agree to die to these old parts of ourselves, we will truly be apart from real life, because dying to those parts of ourselves is actually agreeing to take part in real life. In that agreement, we are shown that there is really no such thing as death as we have come to believe it. We see that our spouse is just a different aspect of the one self, the one consciousness, as are all other human beings. Our spouse is simply someone that holds many revelatory triggers, perhaps more so than a friend or acquaintance.
All of this to say that in a true marriage, the wish must be for a love higher than the two can ever give each other. In order for that true love to enter any relationship, something has to be given for it, voluntarily. It's literally the meaning of laying down your life for another.
Most in this world want just the opposite. They want to be seen as something special. They want to be praised and seen in a certain light. They want to be considered the best. They want to be validated. The list is endless.
Who is willing to let their spouse have the last word? Who is willing to let their spouse be right? Who is willing to let their spouse take praise for something they did themselves? Who is willing to not say the thing that is always said that always starts a fight? The list of things we can do to die to these parts of ourselves is endless as well.
It just takes a warrior with that willingness.
Be that warrior.