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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

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?

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.)

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.

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

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

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).

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...

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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".

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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?

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?

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 .

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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?"

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