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Revealed: The hardest marriage vow to keep

Couples share the toughest part of saying "I do."

By Kristin Wong Jan 2, 2013 4:51PM

Who doesn't get goose bumps when couples exchange wedding vows? It's impossible not to be moved when two people promise their lives together, in sickness and in health, for better or for worse.

Photo: Lane Oatey/Getty ImagesBut it's all too easy to forget the significance of those vows in the middle of an ugly marital spat. And according to a recent survey, some vows are harder to keep than others.

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CBS News polled a random sample of 1,100 adults across the country and asked their thoughts on marriage, love, sex and relationships. One of those questions was: "Which one of these marriage vows is the hardest to keep?" The top answer varied between men and women.

Thirty-two percent of women found "for better or for worse" to be the toughest vow, while the highest percentage of men (27 percent), found it most difficult "to be faithful."

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Conversely, 25 percent of women also found "to be faithful" a tough vow to keep, while 23 percent of men had trouble with "for better or for worse."

Sixteen percent of women said "in sickness and in health" was the hardest vow, compared with a close 17 percent for men. Eighteen percent of men and 12 percent of women said "for richer, for poorer" was the biggest struggle.

But the survey didn't stop at marriage vows. They also asked couples which aspect of living with their partner they found most annoying. Thirty-six percent of respondents said "TV choices" drove them crazy, while 16 percent said household chores caused many annoyances.

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Sharing a bathroom came in third, followed by sharing a bed.

And the old stereotype about annoying in-laws may be officially outdated. Seventy-one percent of those polled said they get along well with their significant other's family.

Love at first sight? Fifty-eight percent of married people believe in it, as do 66 percent of unmarried couples in a relationship. Singles are split on the phenomenon—only 48 percent buy it.

What do you think—do these findings ring true? What do you think is the hardest marriage vow to keep?

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Photo: Lane Oatey/Getty Images

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94Comments
Jan 3, 2013 4:29AM
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Marriage isn't easy, it's alot of work. We have been married almost 39 years and we still don't have it all figured out. We work at it. I can't imagine my life without my 'other half', even on the days I'd like to kill him! That cuts both ways though and as long as you realize and accept that you can work it out.
Jan 3, 2013 4:28AM
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i think for better or for worse brings the most stress...i have no issue with faithful, tough to be poor but thats not eithers fault in this house...tv? i read, he watches tho we do play jeopardy together...i think it is the heart of the commitment, not all the daily situations and when you wanna do something against your vows, you will...
Jan 3, 2013 4:24AM
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May the truth be told was it love at first sight or was it lust at first sight
Jan 3, 2013 4:24AM
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When I was young I married the girl in my dreams.  She wasn't just the girl of my dreams, I knew her and she knew me, even before we met.  We are one.  As a soldier in the US Army I once drove a group of "Promise Keepers" to a convention in Washington DC.  These are married Christian men who value the keeping of these vows, and I am one of them.  It is difficult however when those vows cause only suffering.  To love and to cherish, to have and to hold, for better or for worse, in sickness or in health, as long as you both shall live, till death do us part.  I don't get to have and to hold my beloved wife but for a short time when I am not out defending our country.   In fact, in the sixteen years since we married I have only known two when we were together and those two years spread out over the sixteen.  Staying faithful is increasingly difficult when there is so much distance between us.  When you spend more time apart than together it becomes difficult to even remember who you married, so that one too presents a problem.  When being married is the cause of you  becoming homeless, just because of who you married, it is hard not to become bitter.  When what you are told you must do just to see her again is what causes your sickness the pain of your heart breaking kills you even quicker.  No, for me the hardest vow to keep is till death do us part, because I died but didn't stay dead.  I promised to love her forever, to never forget her, to live for her and to die for her, now I don't even know where she is.  Yet I still keep those vows, for her.  Death cannot keep us apart, we are one.
Jan 3, 2013 3:49AM
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My wife and I have been married for 23 years, and for the last 17 I have been in declining health, including PTSD. And while many people I know do not understand why she has remained as my wife, I believe they do not understand what a "marriage" really is. It seems to bother me more that she is my care-giver than it bothers her, and I also know that I would not be alive now if it were not for the love we have for each other.

Before we were married, we had dated for 9 months (NOT living together), and spent a lot of time discussing what we believed about all aspects of marriage, and how we wanted to do most things, including raising children.

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Before I replied, I asked her if she found any one of the promises in the traditional vows harder to keep than the other. And her response was the same as mine, that there were none that were really difficult.

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We were both married to alcoholics who were also abusive, and were abused by our mothers. My father suffered from sone form of dementia, and her father died when she was only 2. All these things "should" make us unlikely to stay in a marriage, but it appears that it only makes us both determined to stay together.

 

Jan 3, 2013 3:46AM
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Dont get married unless your going to stay married. Dont have children unless your going to stay married. Kids are not pets. 
Jan 3, 2013 3:43AM
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Nothing better than a good marriage but nothing worse than a bad marriage.

 

Myself, I've only experienced one of the two.

Jan 3, 2013 3:43AM
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Toughest Thing? 
Putting up with an idiot.

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