Ninety-one years ago today, in 1922, the House of Bishops of the United States Protestant Episcopal Church voted 36-27 to delete the word ‘obey’ from the marriage service. It was a major change to the marriage vows.
Interestingly, the Anglican church gave, and still gives, couples a choice over their wording and the woman’s choice is over this phrase — she can choose to not have the “obey” phrase in her vows. This caused a ruckus in the 1980s when Princess Diana chose not to obey her husband, and last year, when Kate Middleton followed her lead. Other English royals have included the phrasing.
The Roman Catholic church vows don’t include the “obey” phrase at all. I suspect this was not always so, but can’t find any documentation pointing to the Romance Catholic church removing the phrase…or when.