Before I married the love of my life, I would read stories online where the reader would marry either a character or a real person in the stories. I cannot remember if any of these stories included vows that I may have read and given in my head as I read. I struggled with Maladaptive daydreaming and would daydream or imagine myself giving wedding vows to both characters and real people. Do these count as vows? If so, are they binding? Is my current marriage biblical and approved by God?
"But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your "Yes," be "Yes," and your "No," "No," lest you fall into judgment" (James 5:12).
A vow, promise, or oath is given to someone else to assure them that we mean what we have said. As Christians, we should always tell the truth and mean exactly what we have said. Therefore, vows are unnecessary for Christians since it doesn't change what we have said. If a person falls into the sinful habit of only doing what they promised to do, then they are saying they are likely lying when they have not made a vow and all lies are sinful (Revelation 21:8).
The vows of your imagination involve no one else. There is no witness that the vow was ever made. They cannot be marriage vows since the other person did not express a vow to you at the same time. For all of these reasons, you cannot marry someone in your imagination.
Thank you so much for your response!
However, do those even count as vows in my situation? Couldn't one argue that if they were, that God was a witness to the vow given He knows our every thought?
A marriage vow is a covenant (see Marriage Covenants). Covenants are made before God, but they also require several things, including multiple witnesses (not just God). A covenant requires the consent of both parties, not just one person thinking about it. You did not enter into a marriage with anyone.
Vows are expressions of your intentions. You cannot vow to marry someone by yourself since you cannot fulfill that vow by yourself it requires another person to agree and you can't decide on the behalf of another person.
Whether you marry or not is not something done for God. God has already stated that each person has his own choice. Therefore, this is not a vow to God.
You merely played at getting married in your head. It wasn't real. It wasn't a vow. It has no impact on your actual marriage.