Father knows best, or does he???

I am writing this week’s BLOG in response to an article I read in the Metro Column. The article was titled “If he asks your dad before he ask you, you shouldn’t be marrying him.”  
I was entertained as the author told a story of how her boyfriend spontaneously proposed at 2:00 a.m.  Her new fiancé tells her that he has not asked her father for permission.  She instantly knows he is the one to marry.

If he would have asked her dad she just might have thrown up in her mouth!   SPOILER ALERT!!  

Hmm. A squirrel faced proposal? Really?!?

And all because the author believed there are historical problems behind asking permission. Asking a father’s permission developed at a time when women were forced into marriage or were deemed property.  

“Is it such a ridiculous thing for the man you love to ask your mother, father or friend if he could have their blessing to spend the rest of his life with you?”

I have to agree that this tradition was originally started when women had little position in life and it was a way to grow their family’s wealth. But through the ages it continued as respect for the family, including mothers, fathers, and extended family. Asking for a brides hand also shows respect for marriage itself and the value we place on “love”.

The article claims that by asking for a daughter’s hand, you are placing more respect for a father than the bride.  It is not about respect.

My husband asked for my mother and my father’s blessing before he proposed. He also had a sit down with my grandma. (She was not exactly his number one fan at first.) When I found this out, I was a little shocked. “You did what?” “Why?” “But, you went behind my back.”  

It was very important to my husband that he had the respect of both of my parents as well as my family and my friends. He told me, “My family and your family will be connected forever. If they do not accept us, then a WE will be very difficult.” (Now we all know that with approval or not, blessing or permission, most likely today a bride and groom will still get married.) It is the risk you take for a lifetime reward.

I was surprised, but not offended by this gesture. I wanted my father to walk me down the aisle and give me away as well. It is not fair to pick and choose when we play the feminist card.  If you choose to have your dad give you away, then it should he should be respected enough to receive a phone call.  After all, this man did change my diapers and teach me to ride a bike.  

I agree that parents do not need to be involved in all of their older children’s decision making. Today’s brides and grooms are more mature, on average waiting longer to get married. They are merging families together, and they have greater respect for marriage. But a family’s role in marriage is vital to success.

On the day I was married there were two question that were asked:

1. “Who gives this woman away?” “Her family and I.”

2. “With all of you witnessing these wedding vows with your power do you plan to uphold these two individuals in the union of marriage?” “We do.”

The man who say to you, “It’s just me and you babe.” “I am not marrying your dad or your family, I am marrying you.” Run away and run fast.  

Yes, there are moments, days and night of just you and him. You may be inseparable today, just like peas and carrots.(lol)  But one day real marriage sets in… This is where the hard work begins.

  • The first time you disagree about what color the sky is. Arguments can be small or large.
  • The day you find out your father is in the second stage of Alzheimer’s and every moment is precious. 

Can you agree to disagree?  Will your husband understand if you quit your job to bring him to live with you? 

Family and friends are the “glue” that help you weather the tough moments. The moments when you need to see the good, the moments when you need to be refreshed, and the times when you need to bond with someone other than your spouse.

The decision that you make to ask your girlfriend’s father or mother depends solely on the kind of relationship you want to have with her family. They are your soon-to-be in-laws for the rest of your life. 

In my personal opinion,  being from parent’s that are divorced, good relations make for a happier future starting a life together. Knowing the woman you are with and knowing whether her family values are important  or non- existent is all part of being her best friend.  It’s true that any family would be happy to have an in-law that treats their daughter with kindness and respect. However, there’s a respect shown to the family by this simple gesture. When I see a loving and successful relationship, it was one built with strong roots and mutual respect.  

My prayer is that we treat all children with love and respect.  As they find love they continue to treat their partner with dignity, respect and kindness.

“A good relationship is when someone accepts your past, supports your present and encourages your future.”

“A mom or dad is someone who will hold you when you cry, scold you when you break the rules, shine with pride when you succeed, and has faith even when you fail.”