Traditional marriage in today's world can get to be a bit of a sticky subject. Most people don't formally ask for the hand in marriage, but when it's a music wouldn't you just roll with the punches for your love?

u/throwawayandpanic asks My BF (M25) won't ask for my hand, and my dad (M48) is staging a family boycott my wedding. Is my boyfriend being selfish? The details are as follows:

I've been with my boyfriend (M25) for three years. We both just finished school, and are finally ready for marriage. He proposed last week and I happily said yes. I could not be happier. I love him and he is going to be an awesome dad someday. But my bf is very new school and my dad is kind of old school.

My dad was beyond mad that my boyfriend did not ask my dad for my hand before proposing. My dad said he was willing to hear my boyfriend's apology if my boyfriend formally asks for my hand at a dinner that my dad said he will pay for at the restaurant of my boyfriend's choosing. My dad feels like he is being very accommodating. He will bring my boyfriend's favorite wine to celebrate. I spoke to my boyfriend last night and he won't budge. He doesn't believe in that tradition.

My boyfriend showed me an article online where a Pakistani woman was stoned to death outside a courthouse because she married a man against her family's wishes. This just happened. My boyfriend who witnessed his father be abusive/possessive with his mom as a child has always felt strongly that women are not property. He thinks the tradition of asking for her had is repulsive. His point is that he's met my whole family, and gotten to know them. He says they have always known his intentions and he never made it secret that he was in love with me and wanted to marry me and have children. He feels he was done enough to announce his intentions and all of them seemed to "approve" of him. He says that at this point he only needs my approval to marry him and nobody else's.

So yesterday my mom told me that my dad who is not even speaking to me because I won't set my foot down with my boyfriend is calling the whole family and telling them to not attend my wedding. My mom says that my boyfriend is the one treating me like property by not letting me have a say in his decision to not observe a tradition that my two older sisters' husbands observed.

I told my mother that I understand where my boyfriend is coming from and that I have decided to do away with the tradition of him asking for my hand. So my mother is obviously mad and said that I should be ready for serious consequences. I asked her what and she would not say. But from talking to my sister she said that they would black ball us from all family gatherings. My two sister's and my mom have told me my boyfriend is being selfish. The wedding is set for August 9th. I'm worried that nobody in my family will attend my wedding.

It's a two way street


"My dad feels like he is being very accommodating."

No, both he and your mother are being controlling. And they are attempting to make you choose between your fiance and them. Choose your fiance, otherwise you're setting precedent for this type of behavior/interference for the rest of your marriage.


It's all or nothing


Fine, go ahead and agree to your parents' stone age demand--but make sure they pay your fiance your full worth in cattle and/or loot.

No dowry, no request for hand in marriage--if they want the old traditions, they can have all of them.


Sounds like a power struggle


It's one thing for a father to be a bit disappointed he wasn't asked for his daughter's hand. It's a grossly out-dated tradition, but some people lkle the old ways, like giving the bride away.

But your parents threatening to boycott your wedding amd "other consequences" is incredibly extreme and unreasonable. If my parents threatened to boycott the happiest day of my life on the basis of something so petty, I'd say, "See ya."

Your parents aren't upset that you and your partner aren't honouring old traditions. They're upset that you're not kissing ass. Your father obviously still intends to be the most important person in your life, and he is angry his control is threatened.


Women are not property anymore


If you and your boyfriend share the same belief that women are not property, then you need to put your foot down with your whole family.

Tell them all this is what YOU are doing. YOU are marrying this guy. And YOU are hoping they all come to the wedding, but YOU will understand if they don't.

If you are arguing in favor of empowering women and no longer being viewed as a property, then stand up for YOURSELF and tell everyone how it's going to be.

And then do not engage in anymore discussion about it.

This is your family, and you need to be the one to drawn the clear, bright line. You aren't just "supporting" your fiance in this argument, you are the one creating the boundary.

Good luck!


A simple solution


If your parents threaten to boycott the marriage, tell them you're prepared to elope.


A spiraling situation


Your family is being kind of...rude. Threatening your boyfriend and your wedding because he doesn't want to do a tradition that he has seen as harmful is rather selfish of THEM! Your boyfriend is doing the right thing by not asking your father.

More to the point, this could have some slippery slope stuff either way. If he caved into your father's demand, it could spiral into more demands and threats, because your father would have power over your boyfriend, whether you want that to be the case or not.


Straight up rude


Your family isnt being kind of rude. They are being rude. This is much more about you than it is about them. If you are fine with it then that should be the end of the story.


You always have his family


Try to talk to members of your family individually, a written message will probably help. Let them each know that you'd really appreciate them turning up, that it would be hurtful to boycott your wedding over something that you believe that you and your boyfriend are perfectly within your rights to do. Hopefully some members of your family will sympathise and understand. If not, you have my sympathies, but at least you're about to enter into a whole new family.


Time to talk to dad


This is just my opinion. I think your father sounds like an insane rage monster, and he thinks he owns your vagina. I find this to be beyond creepy. Your boyfriend sounds cool.

Also, even if your boyfriend had wanted to go along with this charade, your dad has now made this utterly impossible by forming your extended family into a marriage-boycott brigade. This is about your dad's sense of ownership over you.


This is not your father's wedding


Ok. I can understand tradition and following tradition. BUT you know what's 10000x more important than tradition? YOUR DAUGHTER'S HAPPINESS. Like seriously f****** hell. Why is your father taking a huge decision that will impact his daughter's future and happiness and making it about him? About what HE wants? Like why can't he be happy and supportive for his daughter who's marrying the love of her life? Who is taking this huge step into her future and would need someone by her side, helping her?


Image by Mary Pahlke from Pixabay

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