I have a guilty pleasure: gossip magazines. It’s not often that I sit down with a People magazine — every six weeks, actually. Just about the only time I catch up on celebrity gossip is while I’m at the hair salon.

I have a guilty pleasure: gossip magazines.

It’s not often that I sit down with a People magazine — every six weeks, actually. Just about the only time I catch up on celebrity gossip is while I’m at the hair salon.

Should I happen to find myself alone in a doctor’s waiting room for a long time, Murphy’s Law takes effect: The only magazine to read is predictably the one I just finished the week before under the dryer.

When I’m feeling particularly overwhelmed with life, I’ll sometimes pick up a package of chocolate and a People magazine as a special treat. Given that it’s far less pricey than the pedicure I actually would like to pamper myself with, my husband might roll his eyes at my choice of trashy reading, but he doesn’t put up a fight.

Given how infrequently I manage to catch up on the latest gossip, it’s no real surprise that I entered this weekend sorely lacking in all things Kate and William. That’s OK, of course, because the E! Network had constant coverage so I could catch up on however many details I wanted to about the royal wedding.

The sole detail that caught my eye early into wedding week was Kate’s decision to follow in Princess Diana’s footsteps and omit the pledge to obey her husband. Rather, Britain’s Daily Mail reported that her pledge would be to love, comfort, honor and keep.

It’s a common complaint among women these days, this idea that they be required to obey their husbands. I’ve heard the arguments: Women aren’t servants. They have equal footing in the marriage. They are intelligent, self-sufficient humans who are fully capable of making every decision a man does.

Indeed, every word of that is true. And not a single one conflicts with the idea of obedience.

It might be ironic, but women who believe in the obedience pledge say they’re pretty happy with it.

They recognize that it’s not something that changes their romantic relationship into one of a master and slave. They know that they shouldn’t — and wouldn’t — blindly obey their husbands down a destructive or abusive path.

Rather, they see obedience as an important part of that “love, honor and obey” trio. Obedience is the part that demonstrates love and honor. It’s what happens when you fully trust your partner.

Because that’s really the flip side of the obedience coin: There’s a hefty responsibility on the husband who is being obeyed. To hold up his end of the bargain, he needs to constantly make sure that he’s putting his wife’s needs and desires before his own.

That is, ultimately, what makes the obedience pledge work. A master doesn’t have the slave’s best interest at heart. He wouldn’t sacrifice his own desires for the sake of his slave.

But in an obedient relationship, that’s precisely what a husband does for his wife. He considers her first. He makes decisions with his family in mind. That doesn’t mean her opinion doesn’t count or that he doesn’t discuss options with her first. In fact, he probably tries to compromise on most decisions.

It’s at those times when someone has to budge, however, that an obedient wife will choose to be the one to do it. Because she said she would. Because he pledged to cherish her, and she has to trust that he’s keeping his promise.

In the end, the pledge of obedience blesses both the husband and the wife. It builds trust, maintains peace and develops intimacy.

It’s unfortunate the newest royal marriage will miss that.

Elizabeth Davies can be reached at edavies@rrstar.com.