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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

sooperdooper Thu 02-May-13 13:48:15

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.

Yes, but surely the issue is that 'obey' was only said by the woman - who gives a crap about someone's 'worship' if you have to obey their every word!

namechangeguy Thu 02-May-13 13:49:02

Yes. Carol Hanlisch's essay "The Personal Is Political" said that coming to a personal realization of how "grim" the situation was for women was as important as doing political "action" such as protests. Hanisch noted that "political" refers to any power relationships, not just those of government or elected officials.

But how does that apply here? We are talking about some people who want to include certain words in their own personal ceremony. They are not tying them selves to an unalterable contract, or committing themselves to something that can harm them in future. The words uttered wont stand up in a court of law in the UK. The participants lose nothing. They are discussing it on a forum and therefore giving it some thought, rather than being coerced.

Lottapianos Thu 02-May-13 14:06:00

'Wouldn't the whole institution of marriage be in this archaic, parallel universe?'

Yes indeed. IMHO smile

Absolute vomit at anyone asking a grown woman's father's permission to do anything that involves her. But I had a grown female muppet colleague gushing just a couple of months ago about how 'sweet' it was that her fiance had asked her dad's permission before they got engaged. I couldn't help but look like this shock

grimbletart Thu 02-May-13 14:41:20

They are not tying them selves to an unalterable contract, or committing themselves to something that can harm them in future

I thought they were making wedding vows i.e. promises they intend to keep and not made lightly. The vow to obey could, in theory, definitely and possibly in practice harm a woman in future.

I don't think the fact that it would not stand up in court has anything to do it with it. It is a vow namechangeguy aka a promise.

edam Thu 02-May-13 14:50:50

Blimey, how bizarre. I bet if their husbands did order them around, they wouldn't be very happy...

Dh asked my Mother for my hand in marriage. In a jokey, knowing way - then-dp and I had been living together for four years and everyone knew full well, had my Mother objected, I'd have gone ahead anyway. But my dratted Mother said 'take her please!' So I made him ask my Aunt, Uncle and Father as well. grin

namechangeguy Thu 02-May-13 15:02:37

Grimble, I get your point, but if the couple are saying 'till death do us part', this doesn't stop one or both pursuing a divorce at some point in the future. Same goes for the forsaking all others - plenty of married people have affairs. So, if you want to take out the obey reference, why not these other bits too? All or nothing.

Again, on a personal level, I wouldn't expect my wife to commit to something that I would refuse to say, but if she had wanted it in there, then that is her choice. I still don't see what business it is of anyone else's.

StickEmUpPunk Thu 02-May-13 16:24:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lottapianos Thu 02-May-13 16:27:42

'Do both parties say obey or is it just the women'

Just the woman. It's the 'natural order of things' for the man to be in charge doncha know hmm

StickEmUpPunk Thu 02-May-13 16:35:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

namechangeguy Thu 02-May-13 16:39:10

Actually, Punk, I don't think anyone in this discussion has said it, despite many of us being married. In fact, of those who have been mentioned it, they all seemed to be told/advised by the vicar that the phrase would not be included in the ceremony. It seems to be a bit of a non-event.

edam Thu 02-May-13 16:44:43

Except that according to the OP there are still people saying it...

Fillyjonk75 Thu 02-May-13 16:47:40

When we got married the female vicar practically steered us away from the old fashioned form of words "But you don't want to do that, do you?"

StickEmUpPunk Thu 02-May-13 16:54:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TunipTheVegedude Thu 02-May-13 16:55:08

I've been to a wedding where the bride promised to obey, in around 1998.
I just remember the gossip among the wedding guests being far more concerned with the fact that the couple in question hadn't had sex with each other.
They were serious evangelical Christian types and had thought it through and come up with a number of unconvincing justifications as to why it was fine and not sexist at all .

namechangeguy Thu 02-May-13 16:56:10

From the op;

women are openly discussing the fact they want to say the '& obey' bit of the old (and pretty much obsolete) marriage ceremony

So, are their views and wishes, which apply only to them, to be dismissed? What would the people who disagree with the inclusion of the words have them do?

grimbletart Thu 02-May-13 17:35:58

What would the people who disagree with the inclusion of the words have them do?

Dunno really: suggest they get married in Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia and get to live their dream?

BlingLoving Thu 02-May-13 17:43:47

I've only been to one wedding where "obey" was used. I sat there, looking around waiting for someone to catch my eye so that we could share a "WTF chuckle". and there was NOTHING. And then, the priest went on about the obey thing in some length - clearly a misguided attempt to explain it away as not being a ridiculous statement for a woman to make.

I sat there wondering if the woman up front who was getting married was really the same woman I'd been friends with since I was 16, who'd travelled the world as an investment banker and who was feisty, smart and independent. But apparently, it was.

EuroShaggleton Thu 02-May-13 17:50:40

I can't believe there are women who want to include that wording in 2013. Astonishing.

I always said that I would refuse to marry anyone who asked my father's permission as it would be clear that they didn't know me at all.

And I was walked down the aisle by both my parents. I liked the symbolism of moving from my parents' family to becoming a new family with my husband. There was no way I was being handed by one man to another! I am not a chattel.

LRDtheFeministDragon Thu 02-May-13 17:54:11

hmm at tunip.

I know a woman like this, though. A couple, actually. One of them feels that she is more suited to obey her husband and he is more suited to lead, because that's what's natural.

However, I cannot really judge (well, I so can, you know), because my wedding service included a load of mumbo-jumbo about things far worse, and I got lectures from the priest beforehand about the bit of St Paul with 'the wife shall be subject unto her husband'.

In all seriousness, I think there's a really worrying turn towards this kind of stuff amongst women who - sorry - are too naive and privileged to understand what they're getting into. That may not be the only reason women discuss this sort of thing but it sure is one of them.

LRDtheFeministDragon Thu 02-May-13 17:54:58

Btw, my mate who got married last summer had the old wording of the marriage ceremony, which was beautiful and very poetic, but they did cut the 'and obey' bit!

Bunnylion Thu 02-May-13 18:16:44

Religion and tradition can do very funny things to a persons judgement. Discussing keeping the "obey" bit is showing pride in a misguided and romanticised idea of tradition.

I'm married, had a non religious ceremony and my DH and I both see our union as celebrating our love and partnership. We are both feminists. Traditional marital and gender roles have no place in our house.

Marriage can and is evolving.

mysterymeg Thu 02-May-13 22:03:19

My friend said obey in her wedding last June (2012) and she was 23!! Was sat next to my best friend in the church and we both couldnt believe it. She is the one that wears the trousers in their relationship but wanted to use the "proper" vows (evangelical Christians).

I also got married last year (also 23 at the time) my grandma was pressuring me to say obey - I pointed out that if I were to say it I wouldn't mean it which I felt would invalidate the rest of my vows. No fucking way was how I worded it to DH when he jokingly suggested it but thought I'd better be gentle with grandma she is 87.

I just think it shows the start of an unequal relationship if said. If that's what they want then great but I really don't think it's healthy.

OutOfCheeseError Thu 02-May-13 23:05:51

I've been to 3 weddings in the past couple of years where the bride has said 'obey'. All couples in their twenties. I had to suppress a shudder each time; it truly makes me queasy.

TeiTetua Thu 02-May-13 23:42:58

It is certainly time that "obey" was forgotten, but I insist on keeping "With my body I thee worship".

Lottapianos Fri 03-May-13 13:07:25

'In all seriousness, I think there's a really worrying turn towards this kind of stuff amongst women who - sorry - are too naive and privileged to understand what they're getting into'

I agree with you LRD. It is extremely naive to not think hard about the meaning of the words you use, and also not to think about what message it sends when you change your name and become a Mrs. It's stuff like this that makes me snort and laugh bitterly when people try to sell me the idea that marriage has changed and is no longer a patriarchal institution.

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