I wonder if back then they treated fasting for ones spouse as some kind of bond forming exercise.

Although I don’t think all of our traditions made good sense even in the time they were created, and am not obsessed with explaining them away based on some old logic — what you say could be true. I mean, there are probably thousands of better, more effective / relevant ways to form bonds, but if this is the best they could come up with, so be it. Besides, I don’t think the kind of bond they wanted then is the relationship we want now. Women were supposed to be subservient to men, and their most important role was to take care of the family, serve the in laws, serve the husband, look after the children. This fast kind of fits in with that thought process. The story is supposed to instil fear into you — if you don’t fast until the moon comes up, your husband will die like that woman’s husband did. It’s nice of you to assume — and it could be true — that they cared about “bonding” but I call bullshit. That way the Sati practice must’ve been about devotion lol.