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Relationships

Why Seeking Your Father’s Approval Of Your Future Spouse Isn’t A Bad Thing

By Meghan Dillon·· 5 min read
seeking your fathers approval of spouse

Summer is coming, meaning that the majority of us will likely attend at least one wedding in the next few months. When we talk about weddings, the topic of the groom asking the wife’s dad for his blessing often comes up.

It can be argued that it’s outdated and sexist, but it can also be argued that it’s a beautiful tradition. I’m on the side of the latter, believing it’s a wonderful tradition because our fathers are often good judges of character, it’s the respectful thing to do, and it helps create a strong family dynamic.

Father Knows Best

I could never have a serious relationship with, let alone marry, a guy who didn’t get along well with my dad. Call me old-fashioned, but I’m very close to my dad, and his approval is important to me. However, it’s important to note that this isn’t the situation for every woman. There are absent fathers and women who have strained relationships with their fathers. This line of thinking doesn’t apply to them, but it does apply to women who were raised by strong, kind, and supportive fathers.

This isn’t a sexist or outdated phenomenon because research shows that most successful women have a close relationship with their dad. I think I speak for the majority of these women that when it comes to the men we date, our dad’s are often the best judge of character.

If you have a strong dad who is a good judge of character, why would you want to date, let alone marry, someone he doesn’t approve of?

Think about it. Our dads were once young men. They know what a good man looks like and what a bad man looks like. We’re all easily blinded with rose-colored glasses in relationships, but our dads see straight through to the negatives. If you have a strong dad who is a good judge of character, why would you want to date, let alone marry, someone he doesn’t approve of?

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

There have been feminist alternatives suggesting that a man should ask the permission of both parents, and I can get on board with that. There are also arguments that the process of asking for permission from the bride’s parents is deeply sexist, and I have to disagree with that sentiment. If my future husband didn’t ask for the blessing of my dad or both of my parents, I would feel very disrespected because it would go against my wishes. If a man wants to marry a woman, respecting her wishes should be the absolute bare minimum. 

It’s not just women who want to uphold this tradition out of respect. Brett and Kate McKay of The Art of Manliness explain why this tradition is important for a man to do: “I think it’s just respectful to ask your future bride’s father for his blessing as you start down the path towards matrimony. It lets your girlfriend’s father know that you’re sincere in your intentions and a true gentleman. It’s an important tradition, a rite of passage, and a bonding experience between you and your future father-in-law.” 

If a man wants to marry a woman, respecting her wishes should be the absolute bare minimum. 

Contrary to popular belief, marriage isn’t just about the bride and the groom. It’s about two families coming together to celebrate becoming one. Not seeking the blessing of the bride’s dad or both of her parents is just disrespectful because it excludes other family members from taking part in this joyous occasion. If a man doesn’t seek a blessing from his bride’s father or parents, it also shows a lack of respect towards them by not acknowledging that these are the people who raised her and want the best for her.  Getting married is a big deal, and it’s not something that should be taken lightly. As the proposal is one of the first steps of a marriage, receiving a blessing out of respect is a great way to start off a marriage on the right foot. 

Maintaining a Strong Family

Research shows that someone with a strong family is more likely to lead a happy life. This act of respect correlates to having a stronger relationship between the husband’s family and the wife’s family, creating a better family dynamic for the couple and their children.

Some of our best childhood memories are often linked to spending time with our cousins because they are often the first friends we have. Other great memories involve grandparents because the connection between a grandparent and grandchild is one of the most sacred bonds we can have.

This act of respect correlates to having a stronger relationship between the husband’s family and the wife’s family, creating a better family dynamic.

Author Leo Tolstoy once said, “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” This rings true and can be traced to having a strong family dynamic, which starts with a strong and respectful marriage.

Closing Thoughts

The tradition of a man asking his future father-in-law for his blessing can be seen as sexist by modern-day standards, but it’s really a beautiful act of respect towards the woman he loves and her family. We all want to have happy and respectful marriages, so why not stick to this tradition?

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