Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Mn please help me figure this out - DP asking dad before proposing

(184 Posts)
sadandanxious Sat 05-Nov-16 16:34:13

So DP and I have recently been discussing the possibility of getting married at some point in the future. I've always said I want him to ask my dad before proposing to me. He can't understand why and thinks it should be between us two, not him and my dad first. He has said he will ask my dad but that it feels wrong and feels like it puts pressure on him to do the proposing instead of us having an equal discussion.
I can't explain it to him though, not really. I do actually agree with him that it should be between DP and I but I know my dad would be gutted if he wasn't asked. And I've got it in my head that I'm already ready for marriage whereas he's not quite yet and so I want him to do the proposing so I know he definitely wants it. Does that even make sense though? Also it doesn't sit right with me that my dad needs to give his permission (even though he'd never say no), because it's my relationship and my life. I end up going around in circles in my own head trying to figure it out.

For those who's DP's did ask your father, is that what you wanted and why? Would you have been bothered if he hadn't?

TheNaze73 Sat 05-Nov-16 16:35:51

It's very antiquated & makes you sound like a bit of cattle.

If however, you want all that, then it's entirely up to you

BoredOfWaiting Sat 05-Nov-16 16:36:54

It meant a lot to my dad and in my opinion it's a mark of respect. Surely your partner should respect your wishes and just ask your dad if that's what you want? It's no skin off his nose to ask him is it? I don't think this needs agonising over or over analysing what it means- if it will make you and your dad happy just do it. It isn't costing your partner anything.

BantyCustards Sat 05-Nov-16 16:39:11

Respect for what, exactly, Bored?

YonicProbe Sat 05-Nov-16 16:39:57

I disagree with that, Bored. If the DP isn't happy to ask her dad about something so personal, why should he?

MsStricty Sat 05-Nov-16 16:43:46

I cannot get behind this tradition at all.

Imagine the bride-to-be asking her fiancé's mother if she can marry him. It sounds ridiculous and reveals how outdated and patriarchal asking the father-of-the-bride is. It reveals that a woman is still considered a man's property, but of course let's ignore that; it's just simply "what everyone does."

isthistoonosy Sat 05-Nov-16 16:44:22

I'd view it as he asking your dad (parents) if they accept him as a son in law rather than he is asking them for the right to have you.
And in that way it is nice they get to say 'yes we want you as a son, we like you/ accept you'

flowery Sat 05-Nov-16 16:44:46

"He can't understand why and thinks it should be between us two, not him and my dad first."

He's absolutely right. He wants to show you respect by treating you like an equal partner in your relationship, and feels uncomfortable doing something that indicates otherwise. He sounds like a keeper!

MrsH14 Sat 05-Nov-16 16:46:33

My dh spoke to my mum and step dad before he proposed which I thought was lovely but it wouldn't have bothered me if he hadn't spoke to them about it.

I guess it also depends on the type of relationship your partner has with your dad.

MsMims Sat 05-Nov-16 16:50:34

It's a horrible 'tradition' and I wouldn't want to be with anyone who thought it was the right thing to do. It isn't respectful to your father, it's highly disrespectful to you.

Your DP is on the money by saying it's between you and him alone.

DropZoneOne Sat 05-Nov-16 16:52:37

DH asked me first, and then rang my Dad who replied with "It's not up to me, what did Drop say?" grin

ImperialBlether Sat 05-Nov-16 16:53:17

It makes me think of Mr Collins going in to speak to Mr Bennett.

FishyWishies Sat 05-Nov-16 16:54:03

My DD's ex fiance arrived unexpectedly to ask our permission to propose to her. I acted delighted but I thought it was ridiculous. He turned out to be an arse anyway, all show.

whattheseithakasmean Sat 05-Nov-16 16:54:40

If my DH asked my dad first, I would never have married him. But then, my dad would have said 'why are you asking me son? She's does exactly what she wants when it comes to men' grin If I was your bloke, I would be questioning whether I wanted to marry a woman that saw herself as property.

WomanWithAltitude Sat 05-Nov-16 16:56:03

My dad would have to me to ditch any man who did this. He wanted me to have an equal relationship, not one in which my husband to he viewed me as a possession to be passed from one man to another.

It's a horrible tradition, and it is rooted in the fact that women used to be viewed as chattel. Literally, they were possessions rather than people with rights of their own.

WomanWithAltitude Sat 05-Nov-16 16:56:49

^ husband to be

crayfish Sat 05-Nov-16 16:58:13

I think it's a terrible tradition and wouldn't have married a man who asked my dad first. It's ridiculous, you are an adult - do you ask permission to take out a mortgage? Have a baby? Get a new job? No of course you don't. The two of you (you and DP) should be making the decision together, he is absolutely right.

BerylStreep Sat 05-Nov-16 16:58:39

Well it depends if you want one of the most life changing events in your life to be dictated by your future husband and your Dad, without any meaningful input from you, other than saying yes or no.

Personally it makes me think of chattels and the like.

What's wrong with a mature and equal conversation about the fact that you want to spend the rest of your lives with each other?

JennyHolzersGhost Sat 05-Nov-16 16:59:07

You're not an object, a possession. It's not for one man to cede ownership of you to another man.

If your dad would like it then that's a separate problem which is about his belief in an outdated sexist tradition.
Only you know how much of a big deal it would be to your dad if you/your DP didn't participate in that tradition. If it would cause epic ructions then that's a different situation to 'he'll be a bit disappointed'.

ByeByeLilSebastian Sat 05-Nov-16 16:59:55

My dh asked my dad first. It was something he wanted rather than me or my dad wanting it.

I felt fine tbh. It is outdated but it didn't affect us either way.

WomanWithAltitude Sat 05-Nov-16 17:00:35

Do you think black people hark back to traditions from when black slaves were literally the possessions of white slave owners and view those traditions as romantic or respectful? Of course not! It's no different.

mummyto2monkeys Sat 05-Nov-16 17:00:48

My dh did ask my Dad, it was important to me and to my Dad, to us it was symbolic, a milestone in my growing up. It was a chance for my dh to show respect to my Dad, to share that he would love and take care of me and a chance for my Dad to welcome my dh into our family. My dh and my Dad are very close and I think that my dh asking my Dad before proposing played a big role in that. It wasn't about ownership, or about me being 'bought' or any feminist interpretation. It was about the two men who love me most in the world getting together and sharing their love and my husband promising my Dad that he would never hurt me and would always take care of me. I had poor health before I met my dh and it concerned my Dad that my dh wouldn't want me if my health ever deteriorated. My dh alleviated his worries and has taken amazing care of me since my health declined four/ five years ago.

TripTrappedNow Sat 05-Nov-16 17:01:14

I wanted this too.

Wish I hadn't.

My D used the opportunity to set out to DH2be his financial expectations of him for our marriage and that he expected DH2be to keep me in the manner to which I had become accustomed!
He continued to interfere in our relationship until we went NC earlier this year/10 years later.
My D was completely unable to understand that he had 'given me away' at the wedding too. Wish I'd not had that part either.

Sorry to be a party pooper.

ElspethFlashman Sat 05-Nov-16 17:01:48

Mine was like your DP & had no intention of asking my Dad.

So when we announced our engagement my Dad was really pissed off. He didn't speak to us for 3 weeks. Very upsetting, but I was more angry than sad. How self absorbed.

Ironically, DH ended up being the son in law he liked the most!

I wouldn't have done it differently, Dad was a total arse about it and why pander to such sexist bullshit?

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Sat 05-Nov-16 17:03:50

Jeez even my grandparents born in the 1920 thought this was ridiculous and old fashioned.

Presumably you want him to marry you, not your dad, so my advice would be to keep your dad out.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now