I was looking for some good love advice articles to read (I’m always looking for new ways to improve my relationship), when I stumbled across a Cosmopolitan article entitled: “Don’t Ask Your Girlfriend’s Dad if You Can Marry Her.” I immediately paused, and decided to read through it.
The argument of the author, Jill Filipovic, is that asking your girlfriend’s father for her hand in marriage is not a sign of respect, but a sexist practice. She proceeds to tear apart the tradition and dismisses it as something we need to get rid of.
According to a 2015 survey from TheKnot.com, more men have been asking for the father’s or parent’s permission before getting down on one knee than in 2011. We went from 71% of men asking for permission up to 77%. This respectful tradition is not dead – it is growing.
When it comes to marrying the right or wrong guy, your parents are your last line of defense. If you’re about to marry someone who isn’t going to cherish you to the best of their abilities, then your parents’ blessings are the only thing standing between you and a life with someone who isn’t right for you. An article from the Wall Street Journal states that “Kellie Gould, editor in chief of The Knot, says she has heard anecdotal reports of fathers rejecting boyfriends’ requests. One father told a 19-year-old teen he and his daughter, also 19, were both too young to marry.”
Jill Filipovic is correct on one thing: asking for her father’s permission is not a sign of respect to the woman.
It is a sign of respect to the family.
Marriage is not just between two people, it is a joining of families. When you ask your girlfriend’s father and/or mother for her hand in marriage, you are asking to be a part of her family. You trying to join yourself with her in every possible way, and that includes being a part of her family.
Asking for permission is also a way of letting the parents know that they don’t have to worry. That when they are gone, he will be there to stand strong for their daughter and help her through tough times, just as they have done throughout her life.
Regardless of whether her parents say yes or no, the ultimate decision is hers, but it is still respectful to her family to ask them for their blessing. Their blessing is something to take into consideration when moving forward with the wedding.
Let me know in the comments below if your husband asked your parents for their blessing.