Friday, June 14, 2013

Permission to Marry Me?

 Inspired by Father's Day coming up this weekend, as well as the controversy surrounding the article 8 Rules for Marrying My Daughter, I decided to write something of my own. You know some of you are curious since my father passed away 4 years ago (next month). Disclaimer before you continue reading: these are my beliefs and what I would want for myself.

First, I have to say that the article has good points. Pat Archbold listed things that I'd like to see in my own future husband. A Catholic man who prays, willingly attends Mass, respects his mother, knows his limits, has an honest job (and his honest himself), and is open to children? Add "accepts nerdy tendencies" to the list and you'll hear me ask "Where can I find one?!" lol. As someone who has dated enough (not a lot, but enough) to know what she looks for in a fella, I agree with a majority of the 8 listed things.

Every person whose vocation is marriage has their own "list" of things they'd like in their future spouse. A devout Catholic man is what I hope to get in my future husband. As someone who loves her faith and is continually seeking to grow closer to God, having a spouse who is striving for the same things is important to me. I'd love to have a husband who, when I am having my anxiety days, will say "it's okay, you can do it/you'll be fine" instead of "well, then we shouldn't go. Let's stay home" when it comes to attending Mass. I'd love to have a husband who would love for us to have time, every day, to pray together... even if it's only for a couple of minutes. I know myself well enough to know that I need someone who encourages me to grow and I know that I will do the same for him. Besides that, I'd like a fella who is honest, hardworking, respectful (old fashioned manners are a bonus), and open to life. I don't think that's too much to ask for... and if it is, oops. This is just my preference. This is what I would like in my future husband. Now that that's out of the way, let me get onto what I really wanted to address.

A lot of people are having issue with the having to ask a father's permission to marry his daughter. I have issue with the word "permission" because it sounds like the young lady has no say in the matter. Bride and groom need to fully consent to the marriage, on their own free will, for it to be considered valid. If either the bride or groom doesn't want to marry the other person, you can't force them -- even if one of the parents wants it for their child.

Personally, I would like it if my future husband would, out of respect for my mother, asked for her blessing. Since my father is gone (and it would apply even if he were still alive), my mother's blessing would be amazing. I know my mother would happily give it if there wasn't any legitimate reason (i.e. something sketchy that she knows that I don't) to not give it. Oh, she'd let me know of any objections to his character before it got that far because she's much more perceptive than I am when it comes to people. And actually, funny story, this has come up twice... only for dating and not necessarily marriage.

I've had two would-be suitors ask my mother if permission would be needed to date or marry me. What did my mother say? "Pfft. 'Permission'? If you want permission, ask Emmy. She's the only who you want a relationship with. Furthermore, she's an adult; she makes her own decisions." There is more but it wouldn't be... nice... to repeat it. lol. (side note: if you're wondering, neither requests were accepted on my part. I'm not picky; I'm just well aware of red flags when I see them.) If you think my father's response would not be the same, you'd be wrong.

One of the last things I spoke to my father about (right before he passed and right before he lost his ability to speak) was my future boyfriend/husband. My older brother (who has taken on the role of the "man of the house" since my dad passed) was in the room this happened. I made a joke about how my father would need a broom to chase away any guy who would dare ask his permission to marry or date me and I will never forget exactly what he said. My dad simply said, in a very sober tone as I had NEVER talked about relationships with him (it was my only real conversation on the topic with him), "That won't be necessary. I trust you and I trust your decisions." Just like that. My father knew he would never get to see me marry but he also knew that I had never given him a real reason not to trust my judgment. When the topic has come up, my older brother has pretty much echoed what my father said (well, besides giving me pointers).

So, to wrap it all up: no, my future husband will not be asking my father (or anyone) for his permission because a) dad's not alive and b) it all boils down to whether or not I will accept him myself. I'm 28 years-old (though I look 18 as some of you like to remind me, lol) and I'd like to think that I know what I want in a spouse to make my own solid choice. Would I love to have him ask for my mother's blessing? Of course! Old fashioned, hopeless romantic, party of one, right here. But if I see that I don't love the poor fella or that I can't see a future with him, I'm going to have to turn him down. It's going to be no one's decision but my own. Repeat after me: "'permission', no. 'Blessing', yes."

Anyway, I just wanted to write this out. I know some people were curious as to what I thought since I had posted the link to the article on Twitter and was asked.

And now back to work. Yes, I try to get some freelance work (no matter how tedious it may be) done in the afternoons/evenings.

As always, thanks for reading and God bless!


Joe Potillor said...

Well, mama should probably give a thumbs up :)...and he should be able to survive 21 questions with me as the host too :p

Catherine said...

I think the idea of the father asking permission is kind of romantic. I mean I know I'm really close to my dad, so having another important man in my life would be a really big deal and I'd want my dad to be okay with it. Great thoughts, Twinnie!

~Katherine~ said...

My relationship with my parents is pretty gosh-awful, so when my then-boyfriend asked, hypothetically, of course, ;), if I would want someone who was thinking of proposing to ask my father, I said something like, "No. Because I think I've become the person that I am *in spite of*, and not *because* of, my parents."

In an ideal situation, I like the idea of asking the dad's blessing, but not permission. As you say, the permission thing implies that the woman doesn't have a say in it. However, I do think it's a sweet tradition to ask for a blessing, though certainly opinion will vary! :)