Advanced search want to say 'honour and obey' in my vows?

(522 Posts)
SteelyMindedLiberal Thu 08-May-14 13:46:00

Background: we're both feminists. He's a strong personality, very intelligent, very loving, considerate, supports my career, does (more than) half the housework, cooking etc. We're not Christian or conservative.


I am completely submissive to him and he sets the tone in every aspect of our relationship. Obviously there is a strong (and very hot!) BDSM undercurrent to all this. But it goes way beyond the bedroom: he leads, I follow, it's obvious and noticeable, and we both love it.

He's 'in charge'; never controlling. I am always listened to, and feel completely equal. I just do as he says and trust him to do the right thing. We're not ashamed of how we are, it's fundamental to us and because of that we want it to be included in our vows. He says it's up to me but he would like it very much, and I really, really want to say it.

BUT: it would mean outing our 'activities' to all our family and friends. I don't want our wedding to become all about that one line. Maybe no one would really care or give it any thought? We're happy to simply say: 'that's our dynamic and it works for us', to most people, but he has a 20-year-old daughter and it's her we're most worried about. She's sassy and worldly and she'd get it at once and probably be fine with it in private, but might find it really embarrassing and awkward... argh!

Help! It's the whole please ourselves or please others thing, I suppose...

claraschu Thu 08-May-14 13:59:53

I sure as hell would notice if one of my friends said that. I think everyone I know would notice too.

I have trouble believing all of you people wouldn't think twice about it.

DebbieOfMaddox Thu 08-May-14 14:00:00

They may not let you put that phrase in a civil wedding ceremony anyway; most registrars are very wary of bits that have been taken from traditional church wording, because of the "no religious content" rule (even if the lines aren't themselves religious).

Blu Thu 08-May-14 14:02:29

I would absolutley do a double take if I heard someone (well, a woman - it isn't in the man's version, is it?) promise to 'obey' in this day and age.

I would definitely notice, because I would be listening, and I would assume they were very conservative, religious in some way or so carried away by tradition and wedding fever they had lost their marbles.

In fact the OP's real reason would be the only one that would make sense to me - and then I would think it tacky - to bring it into the wedding.

iK8 Thu 08-May-14 14:03:11

I don't think it's part of the civil ceremony any way is it? confused

I would totally notice. Even my granny thought it was old fashioned and didn't have it in her vows in 1950s.

Famzilla Thu 08-May-14 14:03:28

I doubt anyone would notice or care. On the tiny chance that they do, I still doubt they'd be so crude as to ask outright why you said it. The way your OP is worded is kind of like you want people to ask about it.

PuppyMonkey Thu 08-May-14 14:03:28

I wouldn't think you were into BDSM if I heard those vows. I'd think you were simply a boring, old-fashioned couple and be quite sad for you.

TheGirlFromIpanema Thu 08-May-14 14:04:26

I'd be really hmm if a friend of mine used those words in their wedding vows.

Its old fashioned and a bit odd in my opinion.

I would not connect it with any particular sexual practice though confused I'd just probably spend the rest of your marriage the day feeling sorry for you.

turgiday Thu 08-May-14 14:05:32

I don't think either of you understand feminism.

MorrisZapp Thu 08-May-14 14:05:37

Me too blu. If any of my friends said it I'd spit my Prosecco out and start choking, but I think it's assumedthat many brides basically go bonkers in the name of tradition around their weddings.

TereseaGreen Thu 08-May-14 14:06:29

I suspect you would quite like everyone to know.

TheGirlFromIpanema Thu 08-May-14 14:06:37

Is it crude then? To ask a friend why they have promised (in public) to honour & obey someone?


I think it demonstrates openly that one person is the 'boss' in a marriage and is an awful way to begin a lifetime partnership with someone.

nethunsreject Thu 08-May-14 14:07:15

Yes, I think you both misunderstand feminism!

MorrisZapp Thu 08-May-14 14:08:44

Of course it isn't crude. If somebody invites you to sit and listen to them make a public declaration, you can say what you like about it.

I guess maybe not on the day though.

ShoeWhore Thu 08-May-14 14:10:00

I'd be surprised if I heard a bride say obey these days.

But I wouldn't make the leap to BDSM. hmm I'd think you were a bit downtrodden though and I'd feel sad for you.

fingersonbuzzers Thu 08-May-14 14:11:55

Well, for me, the real issue isn't what you say at your wedding or anything to do with your sex life.

It's the fact that you let somebody else make all of your decisions for you, which I find creepy and strange.

But you didn't post about that, soooo....I don't think it matters what anyone thinks of you, does it? Since you're so happy to be bossed around in the course of living your life why don't you just nail your colours to the mast and own it?

ICanSeeTheSun Thu 08-May-14 14:12:11

Are you ashamed about it, because why would you care if people did notice.

CecilyP Thu 08-May-14 14:13:30

In a traditional church service, I might notice and, like iK's granny, think it a little old-fashioned, but no more than that. In a civil ceremony, I would definitely do a double take and think it more than a little weird, and wonder why you asked for it to be added. Here, it would have absolutely nothing to do with tradition - it has never been part of the wording. Honestly, your wedding guests really don't want to be thinking about your sex life.

sparechange Thu 08-May-14 14:13:37

I don't think it would 'out' you as anything other than a traditionalist.

But do you really want to be technically breaking your vows if he asks you do empty the dishwasher and you don't?

SteelyMindedLiberal Thu 08-May-14 14:13:40

Hmm. Think we'll just do it. Sound like no one will notice or really give a shit.

Not doing it for attention. Don't want the attention. That's the whole point of potentially not saying what we want to say. And it's a dynamic that goes deep and means a lot to us, more than a sexuality: agree bringing sex games into a wedding would be tacky.

Martorna: I'm a strident, active feminist. This is not about what gender I am, or what gender he is. Feminism is about equality and choice.

BreconBeBuggered: brilliant question! I'd like to think we would, yes, though we'd have to have this same discussion x 10 as it would be waaay obvious to all concerned then...

LoopyKitten: maybe PM me? Not sure gory details would be all that welcome here!

fingersonbuzzers Thu 08-May-14 14:15:06

"But do you really want to be technically breaking your vows if he asks you do empty the dishwasher and you don't?"


Bathtimesoaker Thu 08-May-14 14:15:06

I would in no way associate this line with bdsm and I think a wedding is flexible enough that you can put in a more appropriate and discreet line somewhere else. Also I think you are relating this to one area of your life and it's a very easy vow to break in most other parts of your life. Yes you may obey him in the bedroom but would you obey him if he told you to take the wrong turn when driving for example. I took my vows seriously and don't want to break them, that's why I could never promise to obey.

sparechange Thu 08-May-14 14:15:22


You couldn't use that wording in a civil service
It is taken from the CofE book of common prayer and as such would be classed as religious and therefore not allowed in a civil ceremony...

squoosh Thu 08-May-14 14:15:50

I would definitely notice if a woman said 'honour and obey' as part of her vows. BDSM wouldn't be my immediate thought, 'fool' would be.

SteelyMindedLiberal Thu 08-May-14 14:15:50

PS that I'm such a mouthy feminist is what will make it obvious (in my over-thinking mind at least!). People will know I wouldn't choose the traditional vows to be traditional. If they give it any thought that is, which hopefully they won't.

Martorana Thu 08-May-14 14:17:28

"Martorna: I'm a strident, active feminist. This is not about what gender I am, or what gender he is. Feminism is about equality and choice. "

Feminism is about not putting women in crap positions. And being subservient to a man is a crap position.

Please do not bring children into this seriously fucked up relationship.

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