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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

SconeRhymesWithGone Fri 03-May-13 13:58:04

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

When I got married in the 1980s, I definitely did not say obey (kept my name, too), but I did want to use as much of the old Prayer Book as possible because of the beauty of the language, and because I do love a bit of body-worshipping.

Beamur Fri 03-May-13 14:07:30

I'm not married and if we do marry, it's unlikely to be in a church as DP is an athiest but I couldn't say it and keep a straight face (or mean it).
As I understand it though, the 'deal' was to 'honour and obey' but equally a man was not supposed to ask his wife to do anything that he wouldn't do himself, or that wasn't permitted by Church (and by dint of other scripture) that would also mean State. So, a vaguely hollow promise really.
All that said, it seems ridiculously old fashioned and inappropriate to include it now, even in irony.

SplitHeadGirl Fri 03-May-13 20:44:57

I often wonder why some women seem so eager to put themselves beneath men, in small ways and big ways. I can only think it has to do with trying to please them...women have been so conditioned to think we should seek male approval and think of men's needs first that it can be hard to shake off. I think a lot of these women probably think it will please their future husbands (and men listening in the congregation) if they infantalise themselves by prominsing to obey.

I am amazed these husbands stand for the word 'obey' being included, as well. My husband would never have married me if I had wanted that word included. He loves me for being my own woman.

Jan49 Sat 04-May-13 02:05:14

I got married in a registry office so never had this issue.

But I can see why someone might include it as part of a traditional service. If they go along with their father "giving them away" and all the other traditional stuff then they might include the word "obey" because they see it as part of the service. In reality they have no intention of obeying and their father doesn't actually give them away except ceremonially. So it's all kind of ceremonial. Not saying it justifies it but I can see why people might say it. Also many people who get married in a church are non-religious so surely lots of things they say aren't really true. It's just that this particular "lie" is said only by the woman whereas all the other "lies" are said by them both.

Surely most people at the church aren't going to hear the exact words that are said anyway? I don't think I'd notice if the couple promised to obey Jedi and launder their curtains every Thursday. grin

Startail Sat 04-May-13 02:15:33

Almost 24 years ago DH's local vicar grinned at me and said I assume you don't want the old version with obey in it.

A wise man DH's vicar.

I have subsequently been gob snaked to discover than a very bright DF did say obey. She says that if they argued badly someone needed the right to have the final say. Logical I suppose, but as she has the better degree...

grimbletart Sat 04-May-13 12:05:48

* She says that if they argued badly someone needed the right to have the final say*

Presumably her 'logic' didn't stretch as far as explaining 'logically' why it should always be the man (even if he was as thick as two short planks).

Saidar Sat 04-May-13 14:25:45

Our minister won't be using it. We didn't want it and he doesn't like it either, so no issue. (Church of Scotland ceremony)

Did your DH hyphenate his name too Manchesterhistorygirl? We just let the DC decide, we knew we all wanted to have the same and this way worked for us, DC picked what they wanted to be known as, out of our hands. grin

HullMum Sat 04-May-13 20:40:22

many many people go temporarily insane immediately following a proposal of marriage and right up to the bloody honeymoon. Its ridiculous for an adult to be given away and then promise to obey her new "owner". It sounds like a kidnapping sad

TeiTetua Sat 04-May-13 21:38:53

Apparently in America the Episcopal Church (that's their version of the C of E) dropped the word "obey" from their wedding service back in 1928. It's that can-do attitude.

LastMangoInParis Sat 04-May-13 21:44:21

Haven't read whole thread... but am already thinking it's feckin' 50 Shades reflux infecting the intellectually/ideologically challenged or chronically silly.
Am also thinking, though, that if the thinking behind this approach is that marriage vows aren't to be taken too seriously in any event, then so what? IYSWIM.
(Disclaimer: this doesn't mean that a part of me wants to despair about this.)

samandi Tue 07-May-13 12:35:50

Yes, I agree with above poster. Assume that most of those women are just trying to be trendy because of the popularity of 50 Shades of Grey etc.

If "obeying" is not to be taken literally, then what about other parts of the marriage vows? What on earth is the point of saying all that stuff you don't mean?

And I presume that if they're saying it in a church "in front of God" and all that, then they're just pretending to be Christians too, because otherwise wouldn't they be afraid of telling blatant lies in that way?

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