I Do! I Do!
Shonnie Lavender & Bruce Mulkey
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Buy *I Do! I Do!: The Marriage Vow Workbook* by Shonnie Lavender & Bruce Mulkey online

I Do! I Do!: The Marriage Vow Workbook
Shonnie Lavender & Bruce Mulkey
112 pages
August 2006
rated 4 of 5 possible stars
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“You have embarked upon a magical journey, the path of which lies before you. By choosing to consciously compose your own unique marriage vows, we believe that you have established a solid foundation for your life together. These loving commitments will serve you well, in good times and in those that are challenging.”
This is the nub of this charming, practical manual. Authors Shonnie Lavender and Bruce Mulkey have been there. They met in a running group, and after much consideration of the risk factors – age difference, previous marriage – and the similarities – love of cats and running being among them – they decided to marry. Like many modern couples, they composed their marriage vows. But with a difference – they did it with care and consciousness, and they wrote a book about it.

I Do! I Do! is meant as a guide for the perplexed intended. It not only affirms the value of composing your own vows, it gives positive, simple, practical suggestions for how to accomplish this. Our vows express our truth, our commitment, for the long-term, when we wed; so why do “some couples regard their vows as just another component of the wedding celebration…to be memorized and spoken once on the special day, then likely forgotten”?

The book provides the couple with lined pages in which to write their thoughts on such crucial matters as “What makes your partner the right one for you?” and “Quality time with my partner includes such activities as…..” and “Ways I like to be physically touched are…” These issues are vital to a strong marriage and considering them before (and even after) making our vows can be both helpful and healing. The authors even list 33 (with room for more) “issues and causes” that are important to individuals, including “healthy food,” “homelessness,” “racial equality,” etc. These allow the prospective wife and husband to understand how their deeply felt passions can be shared to reach out to the world beyond the partnership. For Mulkey and Lavender, this outreach should be integral to the vows and to the marriage. Space is also provided to envision the future – five, ten years hence. Once these initial exercises are complete, the partners are ready to compose the vows that will express their preferences, their idealism, and their shared vision of the future.

Yes, the authors have added their own vows for you to read, from their 1999 wedding. Their language is positive, full of “I will” instead of the more passive “I do.” Later, after you have used the pages towards the end of the book to make a stab at writing your own set of vows, you will see how other couples, too, verbalized their commitment, with such remarkable promises as “to come to my senses, all five of them,” and “be strong and weak too.”

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. © Barbara Bamberger Scott, 2006

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