Marriage: Asking Her Dad's Permission


#1

I had a very good friend ask his girlfriend’s dad is he would let him marry her daughter. My friend is strong in his faith as is his girlfriend, but her parents don’t practice any faith. So, dad said no, and apparently explained that my friend would only encourage the Catholicism in his daughter and he didn’t want that.

So, when my friend told me this I asked, “what are you going to do?”

He tells me, “Oh, I asked her to marry me, she said yes!”
(by the way this was a while ago, they are already married)

My question is this: **Is it okay to ask someone for permission to do something if you don’t plan on listening if they say no? ** It seems that you’re kinda trying to stroke their ego and praying it doesn’t blow up in your face.

I pondered this and decided, this father shows just why it can’t be the fathers decision. It’s gotta be up to the individuals involved.

So, my conclusion was this: don’t ask for permission, instead ask for their blessing.
Would this seem correct? Other opinions?

(a similar question: when proposing, should we ask a girl to marry us or to be engaged to us? I don’t think this one matters as much, but the question seems to get a bit ahead of itself - isn’t the engagement to determine the answer to that question.)


#2

I’ve heard stories of people asking permission for different things, specifically for their parents’ (i.e. their fathers’) permission to enter the priesthood (e.g. St. Francis de Sales). I guess the point is that you are being obedient, and that if they should say no one shouldn’tt just do it anyway, but instead try to persuade them, and show them why it is so important to him.

Catholig


#3

I asked my FIL for permission to marry my wife, but I knew that he would not say no. Long story. Anyhow, if he had said no, I do not think that it would have changed anything. There for a while my MIL was against the wedding. She was very Catholic as were we and we had (still do have) the hardest time understanding why. We have a few conclusions (again long story) as to why this was, but never any “good” reason for us to not get married. I must also mention that her parents were divorced almost in the process of getting an annulment. Anyhow, I am rambling.

Basically, it seems like a formality, more of a gesture of respect than anything. You know?


#4

My wife is of an Arabic background, so you better believe I had to ask permission. Of course my wife has 5 sisters so when I asked I’m fairly certain my FIL was thinking one down five to go. J/K, well sort of anyway.
I’d have to say it’s really case by base, but if you aren’t going to submit to the decision then you shouldn’t ask. After all, why bother if you’ve already chosen a course of action and won’t be swayed from it? It is a courtesy for certain, but in many cases like this with the religious disconnect I would say it’s more polite just to avoid the situation.


#5

Agreed, but I don’t think one should be discouraged - simply try to work it out and see how that he can make himself acceptable. You know ask questions, & try to show that you only want the best for his daughter.

Catholig


#6

My wonderful husband asked me first but then asked my parents if they’d like another SIL. He honestly didn’t know what the answer would be even though I told him he was crazy. They couldn’t get the champagne out fast enough.

I suppose one shouldn’t ask if they know the answer would be negative. That said, it is a nice sign of respect. Whatever the future in-laws might say, you really have to do what you feel God wants you to do, not necessarily what they want you to do.


#7

I asked my FIL for his SON’S hand in marriage. :stuck_out_tongue:

Danica


#8

Oh boy.

Even though my future wife advised against it, I still went to her dad to ask permission to date her. Yes, this was before I had even considered marrying her. He insisted that all of his children bring potential boyfriends/girlfriends to him first. If he deemed them Christian, he would give permission to date. I stupidly thought my good faith gesture would be enough to assuage his fundamentalist prejudices.

Wrong.

I had no intention of letting this fundamentalist loon judge whether I was a true Christian. Had I been a little wiser, I wouldn’t have bothered to ask. Now, that girl is my wife, she converted to Catholicism, and she hasn’t spoken to her family since five months before the wedding. There are many reasons for it, but my (I admit) dishonesty is the issue her dad uses to ignore any possible virtue of mine.

The lesson: Whatever you do, be honest. If you know you’re going to get a “no,” don’t bother asking. Or if it’s unavoidable, be up-front about your intentions. It’s better than laying the foundation for a lifetime of pointless strife.


#9

I thought it wasn’t asking permission but for the fathers blessing?

I wish my DH had done it. How romantic! :blushing: but he didn’t.

My best friend’s boyfriend did and they were both scared to death. They kept going to visit and my best friend would leave the room so the boyfriend could do it and he kept chickening out. He finally did though. Everybody in the family knew he was trying to ask but he was scared. I think maybe her mom hinted to the dad. When my best friends boyfriend finally DID ask for a blessing, her dad laughed and said “FINALLY! I’ve been trying to get her off my hands for years!!!” :stuck_out_tongue: They’re so funny.


#10

I thought it wasn’t asking permission but for the fathers blessing?

I wish my DH had done it. How romantic! :blushing: but he didn’t.

My best friend’s boyfriend did and they were both scared to death. They kept going to visit and my best friend would leave the room so the boyfriend could do it and he kept chickening out. He finally did though. Everybody in the family knew he was trying to ask but he was scared. I think maybe her mom hinted to the dad. When my best friends boyfriend finally DID ask for a blessing, her dad laughed and said “FINALLY! I’ve been trying to get her off my hands for years!!!” :stuck_out_tongue: They’re so funny.


#11

I love my wife’s family and I think they love me :wink:

But I didn’t, and wouldn’t ask. If he said no, it wouldn’t have stopped us, so why ask.

God Bless


#12

Here’s my take on this particular answer: her dad’s “no” wasn’t to the marriage, but to his daughter continuing to live as a faithful Christian, which was an issue he’d given up his authority on by that very stance.

If he’d raised an issue about their financial inability to launch an independent household, or their lack maturity, or some other reasonable criticism that was looking towards the welfare of his daughter and/or them as a couple, then your friend would have had something bordering on a obligatoin to reconsider marrriage until that deficit had been addressed.

But a “no” based on her dad not wanting his daughter to continue on a path to salvation? That is not only not binding, but an deliberate and unwarranted personal insult to both his daughter and your friend.


#13

I did ask my FIL permission (in 1981). He had 4 daughters and it was expected more out of respect for his role as the head of his household. We got along great too so I was sure he would say yes. I never really even thought about what I would do if he said no. I guess we would have waited until he said yes - as love makes you wait for those you love.

I worked on what I wanted to say for weeks. How I was the right man for his daughter, how I would provide, for her, make her happy, and always take care of her.

He was so serious. “Yes you can marry her. Make her happy. If you ever hurt her - I’ll kill you and no one will ever find you.” I’m glad he liked me.

Married 25 years this year. I’m still here. So is he.


#14

I agree with you. I think the OP friend was doing the right thing by asking the father even it the answer was no. He was showing respect for the father as his future wife. If nothing else his wife got vaildation that her choice was correct because here was a man that would do the proper thing even if it meant he got rejected. From a women that means a whole ton. It means she has someone she can depend on through the thick and thin of life!

Personally i know my father would be hurt if my future husband didn’t ask.


#15

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