50 Husbands Talk About The Day Their Wife Proposed (And Whether It Made Them Feel Emasculated)

50 Husbands Talk About The Day Their Wife Proposed (And Whether It Made Them Feel Emasculated)

Men don’t have to be the ones to get down on one knee. These Ask Reddit stories about women proposing to men will inspire you to swap gender roles.

1. It was humbling. She had a learning disability and wrote, and then read out loud her proposal. She was terrified of blowing it, and it was the most important moment in her life. We were both in our forties, and I was blown away because after being with her for seven years, I didn’t know how important it was to her. We’re in our sixties now. Still humbled.

2. Just awesome. The most curious thing was that when I told other people we were engaged about 80% of the people would ask “how did you propose” and then I had to explain I didn’t.

3. My wife proposed to me 4+ years ago because she knew I wouldn’t do it.

Secretly, I had always told my friends that the only way I was going to get married was if a girl proposed to me… As far as I know, she didn’t know this.

Worked out!

4. I melted. Happiest moment of my life.

Didn’t once occur to me what the conventional norm was supposed to be. Didn’t feel emasculated or anything. Just felt so loved. Actually, I did at one point think, ‘fuck, getting proposed to is the best feelings in the world, fuck me, I can’t do this for her now. Fuuuuuck, how do I make her feel as loved as she is making me feel in this moment. FUCK. This love shit is so hard.’

Unfortunately, she passed away 5-months after that, and I never did get to wait for her at the end of the aisle.

5. Fine with it. Married 22 years and have great kids. Couldn’t be better. Don’t see what the issue is. She just beat me to it.

6. I loved it, but I also kinda asked for it. We’d been together for almost seven years (and had talked about marriage a lot) when we brought up the idea of actually tying the knot. We both thought that it would feel weird to do a standard surprise proposal because we’d already felt like we’d been married for years. Somehow I got the idea in my head that if one of us were to propose, it should be her… perhaps because she’d taken the lead early in our relationship, too. She seemed to love the idea and told me to forget we ever had the conversation, which I promptly did.

A few months later, she proposed while were out at the beach with her family and it was pretty damn great.

Interestingly enough, despite it all being my idea, I guess I came across as awkward and uncomfortable in the video—or at least enough so to draw the attention of a conservative women’s blog that posted it and ragged on my wife pretty hard, basically saying it was the weirdest thing they’d ever seen. A bunch of judgmental followers of the blog chimed in too, bemoaning my wife’s humiliating, “emasculating” actions, much to our bemusement (and amusement).

I know it’s uncommon, but I think it’s honestly weird that a woman proposing to a man is still seen as some kind of statement. I’d love to see it completely normalized and viewed as nothing more than a romantic expression. As someone who isn’t great with words on the spot, not only was I thrilled to receive such a wonderful surprise but it was also an absolute blessing to have the responsibility of proposing taken off my shoulders, and instead given to someone who was a little better suited to doing it.

7. Chris Martin called three couples on stage, I had no idea what was happening, my girlfriend was holding a sign during the show, but she never let me see it.


I’m the guy in black, she is the redhead girl. Notice who goes on their knee It was simply incredible

8. I loved it.

My wife proposed to me on her birthday. She had been acting coy all week when I asked her what she wanted for her birthday.

Then that morning I asked “so really, what do you want?” And she says ” I just want you” and shows me a ring and proposes. I think I started crying, I was so happy.

9. It was a confusing set of emotions. We had been together for awhile and I knew I was ready. When she decided she was ready, she thought it was silly to hint around tha it was time for me to get a ring and propose to her; instead, she thought one of us ought to be surprised. She proposed to me in one of my favourite places and then gave me a ring to put on her finger.

In the days after, I did a lot of thinking wondering if it was a little emasculating. She already makes a lot more money than I do, and sometimes it feels like we have reversed traditional gender roles. Ultimately, I came to the satisfactory personal conclusion that there was no need for a conventional proposal, and all that mattered is that we are happy. As an added bonus, where I had been ready for so long before she did, having her propose removed any doubt in my mind that she wanted it. If I had proposed, I may have always wondered if she agreed even if it wasn’t quite the right time just to spare my feelings. Now, there is no uncertainty.

We took our unconventionality to the next level this summer when we very secretly eloped. Imagine our families’ surprise to learn that a) we were married, and b) we had secretly flown from Canada to New Zealand and gotten married atop a mountain. It’s our relationship, and we want to do what makes us happy.

10. So I was the girlfriend… he glowed for days afterward. Looked up the statistics and glowed some more. He didn’t care that it’s typically the guy’s job to do the asking, he was too busy being overwhelmed by the fact that I love him enough to ask.

11. I was ecstatic to be engaged to her. I was planning on aking her in 6 months time too. So it worked out. She did it on my golden birthday at a music festival, so needless to say i was quite inebriated. Right before she did it, we sat on a bench and she asked me “So, how are you feeling?”

I replied “Fuuuuucked up!”

Then she got on one knee, and I started crying… it’s two years later and we’re still doing the same shenanigans without the proposing and crying. I feel a complete indifference that she was the one to do it. People are almost always shocked when they hear it. Except my dad’s family, they’re so open and awesome. But honestly with my semi apparent commitment issues I may never have done it in the long run who knows, so better that she did!

12. Not me, but my mom proposed to my dad because she got tired of waiting for him after they’d been going out for almost 10 years. He was casual about it and was like, “Sure I’ll marry you. “ My dad was always shy and my mother more direct. They’d known each other since they were 15 so they’d been together for so long they kinda forgot about marriage. They’ve been married for 30 years now and still going strong.

13. My girlfriend walked up behind me while I was cooking, hugged me, and said, “What would you say if I asked you to marry me?” I said, “I’d probably say yes.” We’ve been married 22 years and Im still waiting for her to actually propose…

14. It was great. We had lived together for about a year, and one Sunday afternoon we were sitting on the couch talking shit, and she started talking about how women could use boobs to get men to do literally anything. I argued that she was wrong and we weren’t that simple. She sat on my lap facing me, lifted up her shirt and said, “Will you marry me?”

15. I was absolutely fine with it, except that because she was a bit drunk at the time she kept getting back down on one knee just to make sure the answer was the same. I think it’s best to not take it too seriously, it’s a funny archaic ritual anyway, have a laugh with it. I was never that worried about marriage, but I had every intention of sticking with my (now) wife for good anyway. She did want to get married, and since it made her happy I was happy to do it. In the end I’m still sticking with her so all is good.

16. I was really surprised she just casually asked me one day when we were out fishing. I did feel like i shoulda been the one to ask her, and it kinda fucked with my head. But That was a little over 7 years ago and we are still going strong.

17. I was made the happiest man that day. Twice!

Long story if you are interested: It was the day of my final exam of my 3 year apprenticeship. She took the day off and was more nervous than me when we had coffee together. I was sure she was nervous for the same reason as I was and didn’t pay much attention as my mind was occupied by the exam. 2 hours later: I passed the exam and we were standing outside with a colleague having a smoke and talking. And talking. And another cigarette. I was just so relieved and felt light as air and happy to not have a single thing on my mind than ‘I did it’. My girlfriend though was shuffling her feet not really taking part in the conversation. After what must have been hours for her she asked what I wanted to do. Going downtown, shopping or grab something to eat, I didn’t care at all! She drove to the record store first. We walked to the window to have a look at the record players as we were thinking about getting a new one. ‘How do you like that one?’ she asked pointing at one in the back. There was sign next to it with my name on it. And bright as I am I said ‘It has my name on it‘ ‘What else?’ It had ‘Let’s face the music an dance’ written on it. I just stared blank at it and then at her having not the foggiest. She said ‘Now that you are a Technician I wanted to ask you if you also want to be my man?’ I said I would love to! Hugs and kisses. When I looked at the player again I noticed three of the staff standing behind it smiling and cheering with a bottle of Champaign and glasses. It was a 11/10 day!

18. Ages ago I had made a joke that if she proposed to me I would say no unless there was a engagement cake. Then we went on a awesome road trip holiday on the west coast of America. Towards the end we went to lake Tahoe during a very dry period and it started snowing the next day and looked super scenic. We stopped to look around at a vista and she kept approaching me and saying how happy she was, and I was like, “Ok, why are you being weird?” And she said, “Because I’m trying to marry you.” I said yes and started crying, then I jokingly asked if there was a cake. And it turned out she had contacted a local bakery to make a cake and sneak it into the Airbnb we were staying at. But OMG that was the best cake I’ve ever eaten.

19. I met my wife while traveling around Turkey, she is from the USA and I’m from Australia. She had been married before and told me she never wanted to get married again. 10 weeks later we were in New Orleans at a bar. She went off to get us another drink (at some ungodly hour) came back and got down on one knee and asked me to marry her. She had asked the barman for something ring shaped (a keyring fashioned into a ring was the result) and gave it to me. I made a ring for her out of grass on the way home. Next morning we went shopping and brought her a ring. Been married about 10 years now. Unknown to her I kept the original keyring and grass rings, had them mounted and framed and gave them to her on our wedding day.

20. I wanted to be the one to propose to my husband. We both knew it was coming, we were taking a trip to France and both of us had the same idea to propose on the trip. I accidentally found the ring he was planning to use, at the start of the trip (a stupid candy ring, ugh I love that stupid man) and we both pretended I hadn’t. I had my spot picked out, high in the alps, beautiful view, all I needed was to keep him from popping the question before we got there (alps drive was scheduled for the later half of our trip). No quiet moments on romantic strolls. No romantic discussions at sunset. I was constantly acting out to ruin any romantic moments before he could turn it into a proposal. Then he got me while we were day-drinking straight from the bottle in a public park. I still pretend to be angry about the timing. I had just spilled wine all over his face in some dumb prank, and I guess that’s what he considered to be the perfect moment. He had wine in his beard and got me all wine-wet in the face when we kissed. I still went through with my proposal a few days later in the alps. We both said yes. A little over one year, going strong.

21. I’ve been her husband for almost 11 years and have loved every minute of it. It honestly didn’t bother me a bit, and made me feel wanted. It took the pressure off of proposing too.

22. We scheduled a “nothing” day where we spent all day in the bedroom watching tv, ordering takeout and doing other fun things. And at the end of it all we were lying together on the bed and she timidly pulled out this little book she had made of all our best memories and adventures, pictures of us where we travelled and hobbies we shared. I read it and it was such a her thing to do and I loved it, then she pulled out a little white wrapped thing and again timidly asked, “would you do me the honor of being my husband?” She was so nervous it was adorable.

I opened it and she had engraved the blade of a very nice pocket knife with our initials and such. It was a pretty perfect moment so I uttered the only thing I could muster in my swirling emotions, “well.. no shit.” We hugged and stayed that way laying down in the bed for a while.

Nothing exciting, but also not emasculating at all. It felt right. And now we’re getting married tomorrow!

23. Pretty good about it I guess because I said yes.

Even better now because 20 years or so later I get to say “hey this was YOUR idea”

24. A surprise to be sure, but a welcome one.

25. It was an incredible surprise and one of the happiest moments of my life, I have no regrets about it because it’s a really fun story to tell. I was just getting ready for work one day and she comes over for breakfast which I thought was slightly unusual but I wasn’t complaining, she asked if we could go outside for minute so we went out and talked and watched the sunrise for a bit and she just got down on one knee and asked me to marry, I couldn’t help but say yes. Probably not super thrilling but I think it’s really cute.

26. My wife proposed to me. She got tired of waiting for me to ask (I was working up to it, I swear) so she asked me.

We were living together and we had a fish tank with a few fish in it. It also had a few plastic dinosaurs in it for decoration. One night as I went to feed the fish, my wife got up and hurried into the bedroom. I noticed the T-Rex was holding a little sign that said, “Will you marry me?” So I went I to the bedroom and asked her who he was proposing to. She was hiding under the covers. (It was so goddamn adorable) I told her of course I’d marry her and we’re still together more than 7 years later.

I’m completely fine with her proposing to me. People have asked how I proposed and I always make sure to point out that she asked me.

27. I have both proposed and been proposed to (two different people), and I can say with definitive confidence, the latter is a lot more fun. It’s a great feeling when someone lets you know they are so crazy about you they actually want to marry you – knowing full well all that’s involved. Getting a yes is also great but it’s just not the same.

28. It was on the last leap day. I was at work and she texted me saying something along the lines of “apparently today is the day women ask men to marry them. So do you wanna?”

And about 3 hours later when I finished work and checked my messages I replied, said yes then asked if it was a real question. Turns out it was. Went home and told my mum the good news. Wouldn’t change anything about how that went down.

29. My ex girlfriend and I had been split up for roughly 6 months before she proposed to me at a bar around the corner from where I lived. It was a Tuesday morning, and I didn’t have class that day for some odd reason. I was also using some of my built up vacation from work. She had spent the night and had decided we’d do some day drinking and probably meet up with my friends later on.

After a couple of pitchers sitting outside on the patio, she said, “Why didn’t we ever get married when we were together.” I replied, “Probably because I can’t give you the life you expect, you deserve. Look at me. I’m a broke college student that keeps going to school collecting degrees because I don’t have a plan.” Suddenly pensive, “You know I don’t care about all of that. I’ve never been with you for your money. I want to marry you.” It suddenly hit me that I was at a critical junction in my life. I began probing, “What are saying?” Shrugging, she took the challenge and said, “Let’s get married.” Obviously a bit taken aback by my Tuesday plans taking a sudden turn, I had to ask, “Today?” “Yes, today.”

I called around and found out that an adjoining state allowed marriages without a waiting period and we could get a license that day. After sobering up, we drove to the nearest town across the border, got our marriage license, and the clerks in the office even arranged for a local minister to come by city hall to do a quick officiation. I called my boss that evening to get my vacation extended and he was really cool about it. My new wife and I found a cheap condo in Florida on the coast and drove down there for a few days for our “honeymoon.”

15 years later, we’re still together raising a couple of amazing kids. Things weren’t always easy, but we’ve worked together to make sure that our children never see us struggle too much. My wife is as beautiful and caring as ever. That moment, that challenge, has forever changed our lives, and I feel that it has been overwhelmingly for the better. It stands out as one moment in my life that I don’t regret taking action.

30. We’re happy, growing a family, and living the dream. She didn’t want to wait for me to ask, so she did it.

31. I felt great. I don’t feel emasculated at all. Interestingly when we say to people we’re engaged people always ask how I did it. When my girlfriend tells them she was the one, people often react weirdly and say stuff like, “Aww, you can’t wait for the boys forever.”

It’s just funny how people still have this idea that women’s ambitions are always to get married but god forbid they ask their partner if he wants to.

32. I moved across the world to be with my future wife, at the age of 19. After a couple years, once the issue of marriage came up, we both decided that since I was the one to have taken that first big step toward her, she should be the one to propose to me. We had discussed a timeline at different points, so the night where she did it, I had a pretty good feeling it was coming. She did it beautifully, on the terrace at our apartment, and I loved it. She was so nervous though!

We split up the gender roles in our own way, and it just fit. In a lot of ways we’re pretty traditional, but I do the cooking and the laundry for example. As much as I love concocting romantic gestures, it was great to be on the receiving end for once. Would opt for the same setup in a heartbeat.

33. We had been together just under 4 years and living together for around 3 when she popped the question. A year or so earlier we had had some pretty big issues where she kept “joking” I was never going to propose, and I kept telling her that two broke college students had no business getting engaged, that I couldn’t afford a ring yet, and if she was in that big a rush that she could feel free to ask me herself.

After we had a serious conversation about not comparing our relationship to other peoples and about how we wanted to be together forever regardless of when we were married, she had a big realization about how it wasn’t good to put that pressure on me or the relationship for no reason.

Cue one year later: I was a month away from graduating and already had plans to get a job and save up for a ring. On a random day she takes me to the park where no one is around (she knows I prefer these types of things to be more intimate and private, even though she wanted a big ordeal for a proposal) and she pops the question.

I was dumbfounded. It never crossed my mind she would actually do it, she used to talk so much about how she wanted to be proposed to back before our discussion.

She had even had a picture book that she had designed and was having printed and sent to her and she was going to wait until after my graduation in a month, but after she got the ring she just couldn’t wait any longer to ask me.

Her proposal made me realize more than ever just how thoughtful, selfless, and willing to grow and change she is. It made me feel like the luckiest man alive, and it still does.

We got married less than a month ago and leave for our honeymoon in two days. I’m so thankful that she asked me to marry her.

34. Two years ago I was dirt poor, depressed and I never smiled. I came home from work and I had honestly just had the worst fucking day imaginable. I opened the front door and she was standing there with a million little candles lit all over the house. She grabbed my hand and brought me to the dinner table where everything was set out for a huge Italian dinner. She dropped down to one knee and said, “I know it’s not the fanciest, but, I know you needed to hear this and I had to tell you how much I love you today…and this is the best way I can think of to do that.”

She pulled out a ring.

She asked me to marry her and I said yes, of course. I cried like a baby, dude. My fiancée and I have been best friends for years and she knew that I’m not a “big deal” kind of guy and that I’d appreciate the low key gesture instead. She wrote me a series of notes (like we did when we were kids) that were especially heartwarming and she placed them around the house as well.

I love that girl very much.

35. Happy, I was divorced and would never have asked anyone to enter my world. She asked, I happily accepted and now almost five years later we’re still rocking it.

I am a happy, lucky guy.

36. My fiancée proposed to me during, uh, private time. Afterwards she confirmed with me that she really meant it and that I did. We had already talked about it and accepted that we were going to end up getting married. It was just a matter of when. The proposal was more of a formality than anything at that point.

Obviously that’s not a story we can tell everyone but you internet strangers get the true story. For everyone else we proposed at a Halloween party a few weeks later. I had a ring for her and suspected she would officially propose at the party. A friend talked me into beating her to it so I did and publicly proposed to her there.

As for how I feel? Well we’re getting married in three weeks so I’m not too bothered. Like another commenter my fiancée makes significantly more than me and provides most household support. That can feel, not emasculating exactly, but I’m used to being the breadwinner so I feel a bit like a mooch sometimes. But it’s also nice to be taken care of and I do try to do my share.

37. She already knew that I was going to propose to her. I planned a trip to Iceland and a drive to the diamond beach there. She had already picked out her ring and such. So I got on one knee and proposed. She said yes! As I got up she knelt down. Apparently she had bought me an engagement ring long ago and carried it with her everywhere just in case! So she proposed and I said yes! We both wear our engagement rings and it feels great!

38. I said no…

It was new years eve in some crappy nightclub, she was drunk and got the DJ to announce it, I turn around and she’s there with all her friends staring at me.

I took her to one side and said no and gave my reasons… She was drunk to start but now she was PISSED! That was some argument we got in to, with me saying you can’t demand or automatically assume it’s going to be a yes… that went down well.

A month later I proposed to her and we married 7 months later, then divorced 11 years later, but we are still great friends after a amicable divorce, although I proposed I have nothing against women proposing.

39. Had a boner. Not trying to be funny. I am happy. But I got an out of place boner. Because she was the one who knelt in front of me.

40. My husband was so upset he took the ring away and proposed himself. He refuses to acknowledge that I proposed to him. I still find it funny 8 years later.

41. My husband says he was just fine with it. Although he ‘didn’t get proposed to by his girlfriend, I got proposed to by my future wife.’

He is so cheesy. Love him.

42. I wasn’t really planning on proposing but one day while surfing the web I found this ring that was exactly his style and even had customizable runes (he is a die hard lover of all viking stuff) and I knew I just had to get it. I bought two rings, invited him to our favourite restaurant and after dessert I popped the question. No, I didn’t get down on one knee or announce it for everyone to hear. My husband got so happy and yelled out “oh shit awesome!” when I showed him the rings aaaaaand…. He popped a boner that lasted all the way home and he was such in high spirit that he decided that we should have a bake off. Spent the rest of the evening gaming and stuffing ourself with cake and buns.

I was worried that he would feel emasculated and stuff but he said that he’s really happy to have such a cool engagement ring and he has never been one to think that by being a MAN you had to do MANLY stuff and not be “overshadowed” by women. He still tell me almost daily how much he likes being married and now we have a kid coming our way so I guess everything is really nice!

43. Here’s the story: Went to work on a Friday at around 6:30am. She text me around 8 when she woke up and after making some small talk she text, “We should get married.” I’m thinking yeah, that sounds good, eventually. So I text back, “Sounds good to me.” Okay end of that. Around lunch time she calls me and says, “Okay, next Friday at the courthouse. You’re sure right?” I was caught off guard but I said I was. We contacted our immediate families and got married a week later. Everyone was supportive and it went really well. Next week will be 8 years of marriage. We have a 4 year old son together and couldn’t be happier. I wouldn’t change how it happened for the world.

44. Not a dude, but I proposed to my now-husband and he was fine about it. We had talked about it a lot before so when I asked him to marry me (it was spontaneous, so there wasn’t much fanfare) he was just like “sure!” And I had to explain that I was seriously proposing right now. I don’t think I would have proposed if I thought he was the kind of guy who worried about traditional roles like that.

The only time my proposing has ever been a problem has been for other people. When I told a colleague that I had gotten engaged the night before she was really excited, until I mentioned that I was the one who had done the asking. She said – and this is a direct quote – “oh, well I guess that still counts.”

45. She sent me an email at work, simply “marry me?”. We do stupid jokes all the time so the only reasonable response was “why would I do something silly like that?”.

The silence was….. Scary.

So I called her and pretty much nagged her until she asked me again…. I answered better this time around.

Now at 11 years, 2 months today, still haven’t escaped the crazy house.

46. My mom proposed to my dad, then he revealed he was going to propose that same night, so to be fair they agreed he would propose at a suprise late date. They both proposed at Phish concerts, a band theyve followed for about 20 years.

47. “Hey, it’s December 26th, we only have 5 days left in the year to get married and have it count toward our taxes. We should do that.”


I was fine…at that point we’d had a kid together since the previous September and had been together for almost 10 years. Marriage was a tax convenience for us less than an “everlasting bond between passionate lovers.”

I love her all the same though! We just never put any sentimental importance into marriage.

I suppose her real proposal was the November before our daughter was conceived, where she said “we should make one of those.” after I texted her a picture of my 5 month old niece at the time. And my heart basically jumped out of my chest. So I was very excited and happy.

48. My girlfriend said, “If your friend Matt and his girlfriend get married before us that’s BS.”

I said, “Are you proposing?”

She wasn’t but got down on one knee anyway and did.

I cried.

She’s made me a happy man.

49. My mom proposed to my dad. They are still married after 30 years. My dad had been married twice previously and my mother once before. He said he never wanted to get married again and she said fuck that. So one day, when my dad got back from work on the railroad she was waiting for him with a steak and some scotch and she asked him and he said “okay”. The end.

50. My Mum proposed to my Dad! In a pub, about 2 months after dating. He said no until he found a steady job and could support them… 2 weeks later he found full time work and said they could get married!

They celebrated 30 years together in May. I love them so much! Thought Catalog Logo Mark

January Nelson is a writer, editor, and dreamer. She writes about astrology, games, love, relationships, and entertainment. January graduated with an English and Literature degree from Columbia University.