Yesterday I posed the question “Should a person about to ask someone to marry them ask permission of the parents beforehand.” Needless to say, this is not a yes or no question. The comments provided us with a lively debate on the topic, all sides having interesting and valid points.

Today I am going to start with the supposition that one should ask the parents of the intended for blessing/permission.

So Person A approaches Parents Z and says “I love your daughter, and I would like to ask her to marry me. Do I have your blessing?” Parent Z says “No”.

What happens next?

What if the parent really doesn’t like the guy that there child is dating?

Should the parent deny their blessing/permission?

I understand that there are many valid reasons for not wanting your child to marry someone. If the person doesn’t treat your child well, no marriage certificate is going to change that. Abusive relationships don’t get better.

But what about the areas that fall into the grey area of relationships? The guy has been married before- is that a valid reason to say no? Doesn’t make enough money? Doesn’t practice the same religion? Doesn’t want kids? Works too much? Works too little?

What are reasons that you would not want your child to marry someone that would make you not bless/permit a union?

Then let’s go to the next step:

Does the person holding the ring box still ask the person to marry them?

Does the person receiving the ring say NO to the proposal to make their parents happy?

Does the person receiving the ring say YES, and proceed to get married without their parents being present, or accepting the marriage?

And you all thought this would be an easy post…

It all boils down to one essential question: How much do the parents feeling matter when their children decide to get married?

My friend met the parents of the girl her son is dating this past weekend. She was very “eh” about them, and the girl. As the kids are college seniors and about to go to graduate school,  I said “Don’t worry about it. She is respectful of your son. It’s not like they’re getting married.” But after I said that to her, I thought- hmmmm- but what if they do decide to get married? Will my friend spend her life not really liking her kids in laws, as well as his wife?

What do you think?



37 thoughts on “No

  1. I think that once a child is an adult then whatever the child does is up to them alone. A parent’s opinion is just that, an opinion not a rule. Isn’t this conversation really about what does a helicopter parent do once the child is no longer around to be helicoptered? How do they cope with not being in charge of everything the child does? 🤷‍♀️

    Liked by 3 people

  2. After reading yesterday’s post, I spoke with my husband. He said that, legally, a father used to have the right to deny a potential fiance.

    My husband also pointed out that he had not asked my father’s permission because he expected a, “No.” He and I had an on-again, off-again relationship throughout high school and would sneak around in order to make out. My parents were understandably not happy about the marriage, treated the whole event poorly, etc.

    We’re still going strong and are very successful, but I also see why -at face value- my parents would be opposed.

    As to the other comment: yes, adult children are adults and can do what they want. HOWEVER; parents of adult children still have to pay a ton for weddings (and divorces), post bail in domestic abuse situations, and raise their grandchildren when things fall apart.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. All very valid points. But the last paragraph….we need to figure out how to avoid that! Interesting to know you needed to before. I was going to research the origin at some point today….very interesting. And see….your parents would have been not so right (I hate saying people are flat out wrong)

      Liked by 2 people

  3. When two people are married, their families become blended as well. Friction with in-laws is one of the leading reasons couples divorce. It is especially rewarding and beautiful when both sets of parents get along.
    I would never have considered marrying anyone that my parents did not love and approve of as well. And, my mother-in-law and I became the very best of friends. 🤗

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You are very lucky to have had a wonderful relationship with your mother in law. I know very few success stories in that area, for both men and women. I don’t know if they don’t like their specific son/daughter in law, or just wouldn’t approve of anyone

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi LA ! Yes, I know about the stereotype of “the mother-in-law” ……😁 . And yes, I was blessed; she was also my mother-in-love. I also try to be the best mother-in-love that I can be. I often told my mother in law, whose name was Ruth, that I felt about her in the same way the Biblical Ruth cared for her mother-in-law Naomi. Let’s pray for young people as they form relationships and consider marriage. And, let’s pray for all mothers-in-law. 🤗

        Liked by 2 people

  4. My mother in law didn’t like me for twenty years..and it took me almost that long to realize that it wasn’t me personally–she wouldn’t have liked any woman who “took” her son. Was it a problem? Not really..we lived on the other side of the country..phew.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s one way to solve it….😉but that’s part of the problem…you have people who are not going to like anyone their child brings home…they’d always find something to object to?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I have four kids..and I’ve told them all that it’s not about me loving their loves.. if they love their loves, that’s good enough. Now, if you bring home a meth head or some freak you’ll hear from me.. but so far so good..thank God!

        Liked by 2 people

  5. I cannot make my answer succinct LA. There’s too many variables and too much to say on all the what-if’s this scenario poses!
    Your bottom line question on feelings… everyone from parents to siblings to friends to coworkers are going to have them when marriage comes into the picture and everyone is going to think their feelings, and advice, are right based upon their own issues and perspectives. If you are a functional adult then theoretically you take responsibility for your own decision and live with the consequences. Add in human nature and cultural beliefs and we’re smack up against all the what-if’s I mentioned earlier… 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I know! That’s what makes this topic so yummy! There are so many ways to look at it and dissect it. Would there be less divorce if parents had more say? Would there be more family estrangement? Would less people consider marriage? The possibilities are endless because there are variables along the whole line

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Too many parents think that they still have a say in their adult children’s lives. Also, too many adult children just expect them to have that say because that is the way it always has been. It isn’t up to the parents. Period. The parent child relationship should be about open communication and if they see an actual, legitimate issue such as abuse, then they should be having that discussion with their child long before the topic of marriage ever comes up. Otherwise, they need to let go of petty judgements and learn to be happy for their kids if their kids are also happy (along with safe and healthy). Unfortunately, that is the ideal and it so very rarely ever happens. There are so many things that people cling to and deem important (race, religion, gender, politics, etc.) and they use those things to pass negative judgements instead of being happy their kids have found someone to love.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Couldn’t agree more with everything you said. On an aside, my husband had a conversation with his mother. She’s mad at him because he never complains to her about his life, and never asks her for help of any sort. He said to her, “aren’t you glad that I lead a relatively happy life and can pay my bills and take care of things when they arise?”

      Liked by 3 people

      1. The whole “parents need to just be glad their kids are happy” is a huge part of why I don’t communicate with my family anymore. I got sick and tired of not being “enough”, of my kids and hubby also not being “enough”, of whatever flavor “enough” it was at the moment. There are degrees to this, but it can reach extremely toxic levels.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. TJ Fox, I don’t presume to have decision making authority, my son in law asked us out of respect, that’s all. He planned to propose and I expect he was confident that she would say.
      I am happy for her, I would have accepted her choice and I agree she is the best decision person for her life, not me.
      As a father I realize she is a practical ethical and knowledgeable adult, but inside myself as her Dad, she is my daughter and I want to be involved and help.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. There is a difference there. You want to be a part of it, but not control it (which is where parents should be). Based on what I read here, you didn’t expect to be asked, but were because (again, assumption here) it was important to your daughter and SIL. That is the point that matters in your situation.

        Liked by 2 people

  7. I would not deny my blessing to my daughter even if I didn’t approve of the guy, or the timing. She is an adult, can decide for herself, and I will always support her choices and do my best to help, protect and be there. If I was against the marriage I would pray I was wrong, and struggle with I should talk to her about it. In likelihood I would keep my reservations to myself, and be observant.

    Liked by 1 person

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