I'm a subscriber. I'm a believer. And I practice what I preach. Yet, there are many long lasting marriages in which partners have strayed, as a victim of circumstance or by design. For that to be a basis for criticism is an invasion of privacy. To each his own. I hold no patents. None of my business.
I have had the honor of officiating at four (and counting) wedding ceremonies. I don't use scripted vows. I compose my own, with the goal being to keep it simple, in a language which everyone understands, and infuse the atmosphere with maximum happiness. At the same time, I deem it appropriate to denote the responsibilities to be assumed and fulfilled by both parties. I still come in on the light side, for this is not a lecture. It is a celebration of love, now and in the future.
I often fantasize as to what I would say in a private, off-the-record conversation with the celebrants. This is not something I've studied at school, nor would I ever qualify as an expert, if there is such a thing on something which is learned through experience. Not always the retroactive kind. The words would express my reflection on what the world is, and what it should be, NEVER undermining free choice of others.
"Do you love each other?" should be supplanted by "Are you in love with each other." Being "friends", all by itself, is not a foundation for maximum longevity. Love is romance and sex, together, at the same time. To be sure, each can exist independently, but it's not the same. This commitment must be nurtured and attention must be paid. Never go to bed mad. This task is mutual. Permeating everything is the mandatory ingredient of trust.
In going through life, each partner will invariably come into contact with attractive people. Fantasies of infatuation may arise. The insurance policy lies in not being receptive. It's a tangible insulation that works. And it is based upon a sworn allegiance to fidelity, which, itself and in turn, is based upon the survival of romance and sex, which is always being worked at. Each element supports the other.
This is not a theory of strict liability. "Slips" may occur, requiring both parties to come together, talk it out in full honesty, while the strength of their love is put to the test. It's far from a perfect world. Everyone is different. Yet, a common denominator shall always exist: Fidelity is the bedrock of a marriage.
So, go for it. And one day, you'll see an elderly couple, holding hands as they walk, in complete sync with each other. They have weathered the storms of life and their ark has been a never-ending commitment to faithful love. Bumps and all. This payoff is quite worth the effort.