To love honor and 'obey'

(61 Posts)
sooperdooper Thu 02-May-13 12:55:41

I just need a place to moan and bang my head on the wall, on another forum, women are openly discussing the fact they want to say the '& obey' bit of the old (and pretty much obsolete) marriage ceremony

Their argument is that it's not to be taken so literally, and that they don't believe their H2B would ask them to to anything that they didn't really agree with or wasn't the right thing for them, because H2B would have their best interests at heart overall

Please reassure me I've somehow fallen into an archaic pallallel universe, it's too depressing

Lottapianos Thu 02-May-13 13:00:47

'Their argument is that it's not to be taken so literally'

Well for the love of sanity why say it then???? <screams>

It's like a friend of mine called XY who changed her name upon marriage to XA but said 'oh I'll always be a Y at heart'. Well why are you changing it then???

I'm actually not even that surprised - depressed yes, but not surprised. It's just shocking how many men and women go along with rotten stuff like this because 'well it's traditional'.

Any room on that wall for me to bang my head beside you? hmm

HazleNutt Thu 02-May-13 13:06:09

Maybe they are all firm followers of the Surrendered Wife movement?

tribpot Thu 02-May-13 13:09:23

Perhaps they are confused between things you sincerely mean at the time ('til death do us part') but that may not turn out to be true in reality and ... er ... flat out lying in your vows.

Tradition is all well and good, you can argue that being 'given away' is a symbolic gesture not meant literally that your ownership is passing from one master to another. But you are actually SAYING the word obey. Therefore you either mean it or you don't say it. If you want to say it (and mean it) that's your call but you can't just say it.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Thu 02-May-13 13:09:59

They might find it difficult to get a minister/priest/vicar to use the word; mine wouldn't back in 1984. We used "cherish". (I'd been prepared to argue my case against "obey", it simply wasn't an issue.)

Smartieaddict Thu 02-May-13 13:11:22

Nope, can't for the life of me imagine why any adult would promise to obey another adult, truly bizarre!

Lottapianos Thu 02-May-13 13:11:35

And re 'giving away', if it's a symbolic gesture, why not get 'given away' by both your parents? Or just your mum - she's the one who carried you and gave birth to you (unless you're adopted of course0 after all!

It's a total crock IMHO smile

Poledra Thu 02-May-13 13:11:37

The minister who married DH and I said he wouldn't use the words 'and obey' in the wedding service because he thought it had no place in marriage which should be a partnership equal in all ways. And if a couple really wanted it in the service, he'd have to ask them to find someone else to perform their ceremony.

tribpot Thu 02-May-13 13:13:05

I agree, Lotta - I would never have agreed to be given away, I think it's bollocks. BUT I think you can more easily reconcile that as a symbolic / traditional gesture that just flat-out saying the word obey.

TunipTheVegedude Thu 02-May-13 13:14:33

It is a parallel universe and they are actually medieval. Sneak in a comment about cooking a nice steak for your hubby on Friday and see if they are all shock at you not eating fish.

grimbletart Thu 02-May-13 13:15:07

Lordy - I didn't say obey in 1966. I was a feminist before the WLM was even thought of grin

SanityClause Thu 02-May-13 13:16:11

The first time I ever became aware of this issue was when I was reading the Little House books. When Laura married Almanzo (she was about 18, he was 10 years older) she refused to say obey.

That was about 150 years ago. FFS!

FreedomOfTheTess Thu 02-May-13 13:16:52

The minister who married us is also one who wouldn't allow the 'obey' vows. I'm pretty sure the Church of England now advise vicars/ministers not to allow it, as it could be used by husbands to justify domestic abuse/violence. I read it in an article years ago, here it is.

tribpot Thu 02-May-13 13:18:11

Grimble, according to Wiki 'The phrase "Women's Liberation" was first used in the United States in 1964, and first appeared in print in 1966.' grin

Lottapianos Thu 02-May-13 13:19:21

I see your point tribpot smile

tribpot Thu 02-May-13 13:19:28

Sanity - had forgotten that about Laura Ingalls Wilder. She didn't believe women should have the vote but did see herself as an independent adult answerable only to herself (and to God).

Weegiemum Thu 02-May-13 13:24:50

18 years ago our minister was unhappy with "obey" and we searched around loads of published marriage services (he also wouldn't let us make up our own vows, but the service he usually used was very mechanical).

We each said "to love and to serve, as Christ commands". As we're both Christian (in a go to church every week way, not just culturally) this was great for us - equal!

Manchesterhistorygirl Thu 02-May-13 13:28:37

Oh for gods sake! Obey is obsolete!

I didn't say it 14 years ago and I kept my name and added my dh name and hyphenated. My sons have that name too. Many people thought I was strange for hyphenating my surname, but I'm still me as well as being in a partnership. Partnership, not a subservient role.

namechangeguy Thu 02-May-13 13:29:42

Wouldn't the whole institution of marriage be in this archaic, parallel universe? You are just picking on one word of a complete ceremony that sounds like it goes against all of your principles.

FWIW, we got married in the early nineties in the West Indies, and the vicar didn't include the word either. I don't think it's encouraged any more. If individuals choose to include it, and they can find someone to say it, then what business is it of anyone else's? Unless your views are more valid than theirs, of course.

My female vicar didn't give me the option, she wouldn't use it in service also the bit about man and wife she said that was outdated too. i.e not chattel of man.

dublinrose37 Thu 02-May-13 13:31:43

Some women lose all sense of sanity where weddings are concerned. These tend to be the same women who think its "cute" when their intendeds ask their fathers permission prior to the engagement too I'll bet.

I don't get it myself. I think its more or less gone from Catholic vows which is what I would be familiar with, you can ask to have it included but I can't remember a single wedding where it was included.

There are two versions of the vows. If the bride promises "to obey", the husband has to promise "to worship". If the "obey" bit is left out of the bride's vows, the "worship" bit is also left out of the groom's.

Namechangeguy have you ever heard the phrase 'personal is political?'

grimbletart Thu 02-May-13 13:41:11

Tribot: I was a feminist from childhood i.e. the 40s and 50s. I was not implying that WLM was not thought of by 1966. Sorry if that was not clear.

sooperdooper Thu 02-May-13 13:46:47

Thank you so much for reassuring me I'm not in the minority on this one smile

I think it's definietly the realms of women gone barking mad over weddings, and the type who want to be princess for the day rather than enter into a mutual partnership, and also lots of them who wanted their H2B to ask for their dad's permission, blah blah blah

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