[Split] Modern Marriage / Proposal Practices

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Lau, Jul 31, 2008.

  1. Lau Guest

    ModNote: This split came from here.

    Ooh, I would totally disagree, I think it's a hugely outdated tradition, although I think (as you say) if you were going to ask them, make sure you ask all parents and guardians involved, not just the dad. But I still wouldn't agree with it.

    My dad's a splendid fellow, but someone asking him for permission about that harks back to the days of your dad "owning" you until your husband then "owned" you, like transferring property from one bloke to another.

    There's an interesting article here about it, and I particularly liked this quote:

  2. iBlue macrumors Core


    Mar 17, 2005
    London, England
    I agree with teh Lau about that. ;)

    How you ask someone to marry you depends on the sort of people you are so it's difficult to say what would be best for either you.
  3. Gray-Wolf macrumors 68030


    Apr 19, 2008
    Pandora, Home Tree
    Asking the father is the right thing to do. The father doesn't own the daughter, he is her protector. If I had a daughter and the boy failed to ask my permission, he might find himself left sitting on his butt after I knocked him there. If your honorable, ask his permission. That tells him, you will take care of her and lover her.
  4. Lau thread starter Guest

    I suppose things are done differently in different families, and I wouldn't want to say something that would get someone in trouble with their wife-to-be or her dad.

    I'd find it insulting if my dad or a husband-to-be regarded my dad as my protector, though. I've lived on my own for ten years, and some people have lived away from home a lot longer than that. I've been protecting myself for that time! I'm pretty sure my dad would laugh his arse off at the thought of him owning me or being my protector.

    I'm not saying someone's dad shouldn't feel protective towards his daughter, of course he does, but those kind of sentiments imply a woman can't look after herself and can't make decisions herself. Unless you'd treat your son exactly the same way, it's implying a woman is less capable of making those kind of decisions herself. I'll decide if someone's capable of loving me and taking care of me, not my dad.
  5. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

    Feb 9, 2005
    The good side of the grass.
    Everyone enters (or should enter) marriage in love. That may change over the years and as you grow older, values change and you can grow apart. With getting older, assets which were little at time of marriage may grow and hard work by a husband who is successful may be unfairly divided by the courts which are heavily weighted in favor of wife on a separation.
    Maybe some people are caught in unfulfilling marriages after many years and are stuck living miserable marital non-bliss out of convenience because primary bread winner doesn't want to separate and get taken to the cleaners. You can't see these things at a young age when you have nothing but love and hap-hap-happy feelings.

    Much rather have feelings hurt a little but facts are 50% of marriages end in divorce. That fact, even though not desirable, should precipitate having provisions made for the future nonetheless.
  6. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Ooops, sorry, I think when I split this thread it automatically inherited the closed status of the upstream thread. I just opened it. :eek:
  7. iJohnHenry macrumors P6


    Mar 22, 2008
    On tenterhooks
    I wondered.

    Usually a Mod gives a warning of the impending doom.

  8. miloblithe macrumors 68020


    Nov 14, 2003
    Washington, DC
    Well, as a father, I certainly hope that my daughter's future spouse and her ask for my permission before they get married, but only in mocking reference to Fiddler on the Roof, so I can go through some kind of "one the one hand... on the other hand..." kind of song and dance!

    "He loves her. Love, it's a new style... On the other hand, our old ways were once new, weren't they?... On the other hand, they decided without parents, without a matchmaker!... On the other hand, did Adam and Eve have a matchmaker?... Well, yes, they did. And it seems these two have the same Matchmaker! "
  9. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    It wouldn't even occur to me to ask the father of my lucky lady ;). I'm not marrying him, I'm marrying her. While his approval might be nice, it's not his answer that matters, it's hers.
  10. iJohnHenry macrumors P6


    Mar 22, 2008
    On tenterhooks
    You've probably been feeding him for some time now, and if you haven't stabbed him in the heart with a dinner knife yet, then him asking for her hand is a bit much.

    I get the feeling of a male-dominated society, and that has no place in the 21st Century. IMHO.
  11. Peace macrumors Core


    Apr 1, 2005
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
    What happens if the father says no ? Do you walk away all depressed? no.

    A person is marrying the soon-to-be spouse not the parent.

    If two people love each other and want to get married the father should know the daughter enough to trust her judgment.
  12. tkidBOSTON macrumors 6502a


    Aug 14, 2005
    The Hub of the Universe
    Call me old-fashioned, but I plan on asking my future wife father for "permission". Not that I'm actually asking for permission, per se, but rather as a sign of respect to the bride's family.
  13. Mindflux macrumors 68000


    Oct 20, 2007
    I asked my gf to marry me and she said yes, and then told me I needed to ask her father. So I did, via phone. Which is fine for both of us since we are more than 3 hours apart from her parents.

  14. miloblithe macrumors 68020


    Nov 14, 2003
    Washington, DC
    Realistically, some "traditional" folk enjoy this ritual. I think in almost all cases the father is a rubber stamp. He has no actual choice in what's already been decided, but it's considered nice to ask. Not a tradition I'd be up for--and certainly not one my wife (who proposed to me) was interested in. But for those who like the idea, let them have it. Traditions are fun, even if they are stripped of their functional purpose, they still give us a certain sense of things and have a certain appeal.
  15. .Andy macrumors 68030


    Jul 18, 2004
    The Mergui Archipelago
    My wife and I just decided to get engaged together over lunch in a nice cafe one day. No asking permission, no big deal. Just the two of us being happy and in love. We told our parents and friends we were engaged a few months later when we got rings (we were engaged for about 18 months) but they didn't know about our marriage until after the event. We went overseas and got married and sent photos by email to our friends and family. Neither of us are the type to enjoy being the centre of attention so it was the perfect ceremony for us and we literally had the time of our lives.

    As for a prenup we both agreed very early on in our relationship to keep our finances completely separate. I have no idea how much my wife earns (or has saved) and she has no idea about my finances either. If we lend the other money they pay us back in good time. Our rent, food and utilities are split 50:50. It has worked well for us so far and it makes us financially independent of each other.
  16. pinktank macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2005
    I would rather befriend my beloved's parents than the anger them but I would never consider their permission a block as long as she/he is fine with it
  17. XnavxeMiyyep macrumors 65816


    Mar 27, 2003
    Wow it seems like you have a very good relationship.
  18. thebassoonist macrumors 6502a


    Sep 25, 2007
    Davis, CA
    This is my ideal partnership. Although, I'd like to have a little party on the day we go to court and get those papers signed. Mostly just to eat good food and hang out with friends.
  19. echeck macrumors 68000


    Apr 20, 2004
    Boise, Idaho
    Obviously every situation is unique so there's no blanket "do this/do that" answer, but I think you're reading too much in to this Lau.

    I asked my father-in-law for my wife's hand in marriage not because he "owned" her, nor did I view him as her protector. I asked him for permission more-so as a request to become a part of his family (and I don't mean his family as though he owns it, I mean his family as the family that he is in and provides for and has watched over ;) ).

    It was a matter of respect for my wife's family. I view it as much more than just an outdated tradition, it's respectful. But again, every situation is unique and this isn't always prudent.

    I absolutely agree, her decision is what counts most.

    I agree that the father should know the daughter well enough to trust her judgement, but saying that you're marrying the girl and not the parent I don't believe to be entirely true.

    First and foremost you are marrying the girl, but you are simultaneously becoming a part of her family, and I think you should be concerned about what your future in-laws think about you. I don't mean to say that you should go out of your way, or change who you are just to make them like you, but you need to know where you stand as a new part of their family.

    Some traditions can definitely be fun, but in my unique situation it definitely was not stripped of its functional purpose. I gained the respect of my father-in-law, which in turn helped me gain my acceptance in to her family.

    I know of a few families that did things this way, but by the time children came in to play they finally combined finances. Out of curiosity, do you have children or have you thought about how it will work when/if you decide to have any?

    Please don't take this as me attacking your way of life, because I'm really not trying to. If it works for you then that's excellent. :)

    But it has always seemed weird to me to have separate finances like that. Are there ever any trust issues? Do you think having separate finances solves some of the financial arguments couples tend to have?

    I'm very much an "us" kind of guy in regards to marriage. I don't want there to be a "his and her" anything, and my wife feels the same way (thankfully!), so having anything independent of the other would just feel awkward to me. But that's just me. :)
  20. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816


    Dec 16, 2004
    Birmingham, AL
    Given that about 50% of all marriages will fail and women initiate about 70% of those divorces, maybe those daughters should listen to their dads a bit more at the outset.

    Just saying.
  21. Lau thread starter Guest

    .Andy, that sounds awesome. :)

    I do understand that there is an element of tradition to it, and it's more rooted in symbolism and respect than actual ownership. I also understand that some men might feel they have to ask the father to avoid offending the family if it's a traditional family.

    I also understand why you felt you should do it, evilgEEk, but I think the tradition is massively outdated and has massive overtones of the blokes all discussing what's going to happen to the women, and that's why it feels wrong, outdated and disrespectful to the various women involved in it (the wife and the mothers).

    - For starters, why did you ask the father and not the mother as well? If it's a sign of respect to her family, surely the mother has just as big a role?

    - Did your fiancee go and ask your parents if they gave her permission to become part of their family and marry their son? If not, why not? She's joining their family as well. (I understand she couldn't do this beforehand if it was a surprise :p but she could have symbolically done it afterwards).

    - Did you ask your father-in-law for permission before you'd asked your wife to marry you – did he know about it before she did?


    - For those of you that are fathers and that would be offended if your son-in-law didn't ask you to marry your daughter, would you feel the same way about your daughter-in-law not asking to marry your son? If not, why not?

    Because all those things base the decision making completely on the men, whether it be the prospective husband or the bride-to-be's father.

    I do understand the respect thing, but I just think a much more equal and less old-fashioned way to do the same thing would be for you to ask your wife-to-be, she presumably says yes ;) and then you both go to both families and ask/tell them together, not the idea. To me that respects your wife-to-be's decision by making her the first person you ask about it, and implies you trust her judgement above all others, and then you respect the families by telling them. It seems a much more respectful way of doing it for everyone involved.

    I can't put into words how much I would be creeped out by the idea that something like that had been discussed with my father or my parents before I'd even had a chance to know about it. (Ignoring the fact my dad would probably say something like "Well I don't know, have you asked her yet?" :D) I do think it would be a sweet gesture to go and tell the families afterwards though, and I think that would show just as much respect as asking the father first. But it shows you've initially made that decision as an equal couple, and then respected the parents enough to go and speak to them afterwards, not discussed it before.
  22. miloblithe macrumors 68020


    Nov 14, 2003
    Washington, DC
    a) where's a source for this statistic (70% of divorces initiated by women)? Not that I necessarily doubt it's true, but that leads to:

    b) what conclusion would you draw from this number as to who is at fault for divorces, which seems to be your implication? Is a woman who is beaten by her husband and files for divorce at fault? Is a woman whose husband refuses to stop playing video games 24-7 at fault if they divorce?

  23. Kardashian macrumors 68020


    Sep 4, 2005

    I haven't seen a post from you in ages, I didn't know you were still around :)


    I totally agree. As far as I'm concerned, a marriage or commitment to someone is like agreeing to your life together, or starting your own family - whatever that may mean to you.

    The In-Laws should have nothing to do with it. You're starting a union between each other - not with their mother, father, brother, sister.

    Sure, it makes things easier to be one happy family, but as someone who's from such a not-happy family, I have the mindset where you have to take care of yourself and the ones you love and love you back.

    You can't please everybody.
  24. Motley macrumors 6502

    Dec 11, 2005
    Try dating an Indian (as from India) girl. It's just not done (dating = affair). I've been dating my GF for a year and the only thing that saves me from having her mom call me every day wanting to know why I haven't married her daughter yet is the fact she doesn't speak english.

    Over there like 70-80% of marriages are still arranged by the parents. There's no such thing as dating. Thankfully her parents have been really good with accepting that she's seeing someone. They're less worried about meeting me than I hurry up and marry their daughter so it's less, lurid.
  25. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Don't overgeneralize now... this varies substantially regionally, among social circles, etc. Dating is nowhere near unheard of anymore, particularly in the same social circles where not speaking any English is also unheard of. :p

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