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.