Dude, you’re not marrying my dad.

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Today’s installment of Dear Abby brings up an interesting question: should men have to ask their prospective bride’s fathers for permission to marry the daughter? The slew of letters today were in response to an earlier letter from a father complaining about not being asked for his blessing. Abby prints two letters for asking and two against.

No surprise here-I’m generally against asking. Or generally against my hypothetical fiance asking such a question in the future. It feels unnecessary. I do not come with a dowry, fellas. And my dad will not be funding any sort of lavish affair, because there will not be a lavish affair. I think the dad who wrote in originally needs to get over it. It might have been flattering for the guy to ask, but for him to tell his daughter he wants a courtesy call seems a bit patronizing and controlling. And his snarking about “so much for who will wear the pants in their family” makes me wonder what he expects marriage to be like. Did he want the fiance to put his daughter in her place or something?

Trying to win the respect of your future spouse’s parents is an admirable goal, but can likely be accomplished without asking for their permission or the lesser “blessing.” If they’ve been dating any length of time, the parent or parents have probably met the significant other and either love them, hate them or grudgingly accept them. If a dad really wants to have a frank convo about a man’s “intentions,” he doesn’t need for them to be engaged. Abby’s original advice kind of misses the mark, but she does that a lot, honestly. I think most people read the advice columns more for “Can you believe how screwy these people are?” than the answer.

But married ladies, feel free to weigh in on how this went down with you. Should I ever marry, I might get pissy if the guy went to my dad before he went to me. Maybe I have parental issues, or maybe I’m just a feminazi bonerkiller. But I also don’t know if I want my dad to walk me down the aisle — my inclination is both my mom and dad or no one at all. And seeing as my parents are divorced, it may be no one at all. But that’s fine. I’d be marrying of my own free will and such.

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4 Comments

Filed under General Crap, Neurosis

4 responses to “Dude, you’re not marrying my dad.

  1. Ugh, I read that Dear Abby, and I was very, very annoyed.

    My younger brother went to his wife’s dad to ask permission to marry her. I thought it was fucking gross, but my brother is a sexist dick, so it was expected from him.

    Honestly, it comes down to the bride’s decision. I would be extremely offended if a guy went to my dad (JUST MY DAD) to ask for permission to marry me. Furthermore, my dad, being awesome, would probably say, “You need to ask her that. Not me.” Some women are really traditional and like that kind of thing. I’m not one of them. But it is NEVER (NEVER) up to the parent to be like, “You need to ask my permission.” It’s up to the bride.

  2. lalaland13

    @Mayor: Your dad sounds awesome, and your brother sounds like he could have learned a thing or two from him.

    Yeah, it does come down to the individual lady. For me, it feels like they’re saying I can’t make a decision without some man’s input/permission, and that’s a no-no.

  3. cate3710

    If a guy asked my dad for permission, it would be a clear sign that the guy does not know me at all, since I dislike the idea as a feminist and as someone who is not overly fond of her father. If he’s going to ask anyone (besides me, obviously), it would be my mom.

    And if anyone is going to walk me down the aisle, it would be my mother. Though I don’t even know if there is an aisle to walk down with a non-religious, justice of the peace sort of wedding.

  4. I think that after the couple has decided to marry it is a nice gesture for the “asking partner” to go with the other person to her important family and say “hey, I really love your daughter/son and just want you to know she/he will make me so happy and we plan to marry” or whatever because it is nice for family that gets along to be involved.

    The guy I married, after we had decided, called my parents because I’m super close to them and said something like “I really love her and I hope you approve of me as being good enough for her” or something of that ilk which I thought was sweet as he wasn’t asking my parents like I had no say in the matter, just confirming that they were as happy as I was about it.

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