50 Married Men On How They Asked Their Fathers-In-Law For Their Daughter's Hand

50 Married Men On How They Asked Their Fathers-In-Law For Their Daughter’s Hand

These engagement stories from Ask Reddit will warm your heart.

1. My SO’s father just looked at me like an idiot and imparted the most helpful advice I’ve ever received to this day:

“What the fuck are you proposing to me for??? You should propose to my daughter you moron.”

That was when I knew I loved this man.

2. When we were dating he sent me an email called “application to date my daughter.” It had a bunch of joke questions on it. A few years later when I was ready to ask his permission I changed the title to “Application to Marry My Daughter.” I filled it out and answered every question as seriously as possible. He gave permission immediately. No heart to heart talk. No questions. To this day he has it framed in his office.

I also asked him on my birthday. I figured he’d think it was rude to turn down my only birthday request. Gosh, that was 9 years ago.

3. We were heading out to the garage and I stopped him and said, “I’d like to ask your permission…” and he cut me off and put his hand out and said yeah.

4. I actually asked both of her parents. I took them out to dinner, had a great conversation with them about things. They were ecstatic about it. Her dad was thrilled that I made an occasion out of it, their other 2 daughter’s husbands just snuck up to him at his work and asked him, and her mom was really happy that I involved her as well since the other husbands hadn’t done so either. I definitely got brownie points all around.

5. Actually not bad, got a more or less answer of “what took you so long” and “we already think of you as family.”

6. I texted them asking if we could have dinner. Just the three of us. They called and asked if this was what they thought, I said yes. We agreed to meet at a great deli halfway between us. (They live two hours away).

We sat down, ordered, and chatted a bit and then her father looked at me and goes, “So?”

“I’d like to marry your daughter. “


“Ok so then I’m not paying for dinner.”

“Alright fine you can marry her” :Chuckle:

We ate and chatted more. When it came time to leave I told them to take all the leftovers because my girlfriend would recognize the signature deli platters and wonder why I was near her parents.

That weekend they were going out of town and asked their daughter to house/cat-sit. She texted me on Friday going, “Oh man, my parents went to [amazing deli] and have a ton of leftovers. I get to eat this all weekend. “

Such good food and I didn’t get to have any leftovers. Still bitter about that.

7. I took my now-FIL out for churrascaria, telling him I wanted to celebrate. Kept waiting for him to ask me why we were celebrating. He never did, and, as lunch went on, I felt more and more awkward about the whole thing.

We actually left the restaurant and were standing in the parking lot when, during a moment of silence, I blurted out, “I want to ask [his daughter] to marry me.” Totally caught him off-guard, he pulled a real-life : -o face. I told him I was going to do it the following evening, and whipped out the ring I bought. He looked back and forth at the ring, then me, then the ring, then shook himself and gave me the biggest bear hug.

Top bloke, 10/10 FIL, would wed his offspring again.

8. I was so nervous I broke down and ugly cried in front of her dad… He gave me a big hug and ugly cried too. Worked out well.

9. I am a woman but my husband and I both asked each other’s families for their blessing before we got engaged. We knew they would both be supportive but marriage is about families joining together. We each wrote a letter and received one in return. We put all 4 letters on display at our wedding reception.

10. My wife’s dad is a great guy, but a true master in the art of “IDGAF”

I called him, had the whole small talk, then:

ME: Doug, I was calling to ask for your daughters hand in marriage

Doug: Hey, she’s a smart girl, that’s up to her.

ME: Ya, I know, I ….

I am not one who is usually without words, but didn’t really know where to go from here.

11. I started dating my wife in high school, 3 years out of high school I decided to ask her. We had been together 5 years at that point.

I asked her father… his response was “I’ll think about it”

Two weeks later I get a call from my future mother in law telling me I could marry her daughter, and she was so sorry that he didn’t tell me yes sooner. She said she was calling me for him to tell me yes. In the background I heard him yelling “fine! whatever!…” Pretty sure he finally let it slip to her that I had asked him.

I know this makes him sound bad, but he really was just struggling giving up his youngest daughter. He’s actually the best man/father/person I’ve ever known.

12. My wife made it very clear that her dad always wanted her future husband to ask him for permission. I don’t really believe in the whole asking a father for permission thing but I figured I’d give it a shot. Happy wife, happy life and all.

After a painfully awkward conversation with her parents’ thick English accents, turns out that he’d just been messing with her the whole time. Didn’t want me to ask for permission, awkward for both of us.

13. His reception was room temperature. Didn’t say no but wanted be to have a better job, better house and more money saved up.

14. My father in-law is very traditional, and also values “manliness”… neither of which terribly describes me.

I felt it would have been terribly rude to my SO if I were to ask her father’s permission to marry her, but I also felt he would have considered it rude if I didn’t talk to him about it first, so what I did was this:

I took him off to the side, and said, “Mike, I’m going to be proposing to your daughter. What do you think of that?”

He took it very well, and I didn’t compromise my values by “asking permission”.

We’ve been married for over two years now.

15. I took my SO’s dad out to dinner, and I just asked him and he started to cry and said yes. Then he told me he’s been calling me his son in law for a while anyway.

But honestly I wasn’t surprised. He and I became good friends after my SO and I started dating.

16. I asked about 6 months prior to the engagement. He was excited and said he was going to start writing his father of the bride speech. He did a great job at the wedding because he had 18 months to prepare.

17. He laughed at me and said,“Are you sure?” And then they gave me a 72 hour return policy after the actual engagement. Now whenever she does something silly or strange, he says, “You had your chance to give her back. She’s your problem now.”

18. My father in law is a man of few words so when I told him I wanted to marry his daughter (I didn’t ask because my girlfriend and I were both in our thirties at the time, but I did want to tell him I was proposing) all I got was “Good.”

19. I asked a while before I was planning on proposing as we didn’t see them often.

I can’t remember the details but he said yes.

What I later found out was that asking meant a huge deal to him and he really appreciated it even though he knew I didn’t have to ask and it wasn’t expected

His other son in law and daughter just went round and said they were getting married. They didn’t get on.

20. Teared up, said that I was who they had been praying for.

21. When I had this talk with my father in-law, he pretty much just side-stepped the conversation and grilled me about my credit score and about how important it was to be financially responsible. (For the record it’s not like I’m obviously irresponsible or have a history of debt, my credit score is above 700) Hes a pretty gruff guy, so I was not expecting a overly emotional conversation, but that just blew me away. My wife’s older brother gave me his blessing the next time I saw him since he heard his Father hadn’t given me a definitive answer one way or the other. His reaction was basically, “Well you’re gonna do what you’re gonna do, but how’s your credit?”

22. I didn’t ask, I just basically said, “Want to see something cool?” And I showed them the ring and they were super stoked so I guess it went pretty well.

23. He said, “Oh yeah cool thanks for asking, you seem to be able to put up with her pretty well.”

Entire call took less than 2 minutes, which was very exciting.

24. When I spoke to my father in law about wanting his blessing in proposing to his daughter, he said of course but where is my goat? I didn’t have a clue what he was talking about so laughed it off. He asked again – apparently it was an old time tradition to gift livestock to show you were financially capable of taking care of his daughter. Of course it was a joke on his part but little did he know that a friend of mine had a hobby farm at the time. Fast forward two weeks later we all get together at his house for a party and my friend shows up with a goat for him from me. He learned that day to be careful what he asks for around me.. love that man.

25. My father in law pretty much tried to talk me out of it because he did he didn’t get married till he was 37. Didn’t really care though and been married 10 years. In his face!

26. My wife told me I had to ask her Dad before I proposed to her. He shook my hand and asked if I had any doubts or questions, then he had a couple for me – mainly about my Mum, who died over a decade before and no-one in his family really knew anything about. So basically I went in expecting a quick chat and ended up telling him my life story.

27. My SO’s father just said, “Ok, but you have to have a baby right away.” So he was telling me to bang his daughter asap.

28. He asked that we wait 3 years before trying to have kids. Smart guy; we divorced after 2.5 years.

29. Called the spouses father.

He just paused, went “uhhh…ask[spouses mother]!” and hung up.

Called her and she started sobbing and welcomed me to the family.

So, pretty good I guess.

30. Shortly before he said “yes” he made me promise to “never hit her or cheat on her.”

31. We were out at dinner and my then Girlfriend went to the restroom. I asked him for her hand. His reaction was literally “whaaaaaaat?” He said yes and asked when I was gonna propose. I said right now. He’s a big time planner and plans every single detail for everything he does. He always gets mad that I never plan anything and everything always works out for me. Like asking him to marry his daughter a minute before I proposed.

32. I bought the ring, and suddenly couldn’t wait to propose. Instead of taking a month to plan something spectacular, I just wanted to cook her dinner the next day and give her the ring then. So I called her mom, and asked her, then asked for her dad’s phone number at work. I couldn’t even take the time to ask in person. I called the building, and they had to call for him over the PA system to come answer the phone…

When I asked him, he got all choked up, I think there might have even been some tears. It’s really the only time I’ve heard him cry, other than at his dad’s funeral. He’s a big tough construction worker, so he normal doesn’t show emotion like that.

He said of course I could propose to her, btw.

33. I asked permission from my future father-in-law to both date and marry his daughter. Both times, he just gave me a big grin before consenting.

I see some comments here that people don’t think you need permission. You’re right. You don’t. But view it as a respectful, old school move. Just remember, you’re not just marrying your spouse, you’re also marrying their family.

It’s been 16 years since we were married. In that time, I’ve lost my own dad. Fortunately, I have a father-in-law that I love like a father and who loves me like his own son. Respect and open communication from the beginning has paid off in spades.

34. I took him to a cocktail bar, he knew what was coming. I gave my little speech and asked his permission and he responded? “How could I say no?”

Which was nice but completely knocked me off guard — as if he was challenging me to come up with reasons why he shouldn’t.

When I proposed my now-wife said, “Of course!” So I always joke that her family has a problem with the word “yes.”

35. My wife’s parents are Korean and don’t really speak English too well however they can understand quite a bit. While visiting them one day after dinner I began to ask her parent’s permission to marry while using English. Her father, who is a real old school guy and man of little words, suddenly stops me and says in English “permission….” then something I didn’t understand in Korean.

Well… my wife suddenly starts crying and her father remains stone cold so I’m thinking… “damn… did this dude just shoot me down?” It wasn’t until many minutes later when the atmosphere got more happy and I asked my wife what did he say in Korean that I learned it was “permission granted”… but hah, what a shock at first.

36. My father in law was confused. I had just had my house burglarized and he had been helping me sort things out. When I started talking to him about proposing his head was thinking about the robbery. I don’t remember how I started the conversation. I think it was initially about “I bought a ring” and he was thinking it had been stolen and we had to add it to the insurance list, but after about a minute he goes “oh, you’re talking about proposing, yeah that’s a great idea”.

I never thought if it as “asking permission” I was asking for his blessing. Basically giving me an idea of how easy it was going to be to assimilate with the family. If he said no, I would have “cool, I’m still gonna do it, I hope you change your mind one day”

37. It was incredibly awkward. I basically showed up out of nowhere in the middle of day while they were eating lunch. He invited me to eat but I said I just needed to talk to him for a couple of minutes after they finished eating.

As soon as I said that, he just looked at me concerned. His face looked like he was expecting bad news. Up to this point I was pretty relaxed and just ready to have an easy conversation. Me and my wife had been dating like 7 years at that point and I knew the family well.

As soon as I saw that expression though, everything changed. I started blabbing back and forth about how it wasn’t bad news, but good news but that it could wait until after they finished eating.

His expression didn’t improve. I could already see his mind racing on wtf to do. He then said we might as well just talk right now. Uh okay..

I told him I wanted to marry his daughter and that I just wanted their blessings before I proposed..

He was shocked and clearly not ready to hear the news. I mean, I could literally see his lip twitch. He didn’t say anything. At this point I’m fucking nervous as hell too. Did I fuck up?…..

I quickly changed to topic back to lunch….we went and sat there awkwardly eating. I tried to keep bringing up how long we’ve been together and how much I loved their daughter. It didn’t really go anywhere.

Afterwards he just said, “if that’s what you kids want to do and you’re ready for it then you guys have our blessing..” I think I was just too weirded out at that point. I was just happy to leave and glad I got that hurdle over with.

38. He told me that there are other fish in the sea… ended up taking his advice

39. I messed up my dates and my future FIL was on vacation out of state the week before I was planning on proposing to my girlfriend. It wasn’t so much for permission as much as I knew they would be really excited and they would be coming home to an engaged daughter. When I asked him, he said “The fact that my daughter kept you around for two years is all the proof needed that you belong together. I don’t have any objections”.

And then, because they were traveling with my wife’s brother and his family, my MIL spilled the beans and I received about 50 texts from all 8 of her brothers ranging from congratulations to sarcastic threats. And then I had to go through with it, because if we showed up to family dinner the next week and she didn’t have a ring, my ass would have been grass.

40. Don’t just ask the father, ask both. This is especially true if they are divorced. My fiancee’s parents are divorced but have a working relationship. I was not nervous to ask my fiancee’s mother because I knew she was going to be over the moon excited. I was nervous to ask her father. How did it go? I didn’t have to ask. I called him one day and he goes, “I know why you are calling and before you say anything, I want you to know I am okay with it but we need to get her mother involved as well.

I setup a dinner meeting to meet both of them and asked the question. He went first and stated he was fine with it. She, on the other hand, went on about how happy she was. Everyone is different, ask both parents.

41. I told my (future) wife I was going out for beers with the guys but actually went to her folks house. I didn’t ask permission but more for their blessing. We talked and laughed and cried, it was great. After I proposed, I told my wife that I had lied about beers to meet with her Mom and Dad, she thought it was so sweet she started crying. We’ve been together for nearly 10 years and married for 2.

42. Me – So, I, uh, wanted to, uh, make sure, uh, you were okay if I were to, uh, ask your daughter to, uh, spend the rest of her life with me.

Father-in-law – what the hell took you so long?

43. I called him up and told him that I would have liked to discuss this face to face with him, (I lived about 400 miles away from him at that point) but his daughter coming up to visit me that weekend and I when I saw her, I didn’t think I’d be able to wait any longer. I got his blessing. Been married 11 years now.

44. My wife and her grandfather were very very close. Her grandparents more or less exclusively raised her. We had been dating for about 4 years and he got incredibly sick. He had about 10 strokes and had cancer eating away at him and to this day I can’t believe he lived as long as he did; he was a tremendous guy. Anyway, I had the ring and planned to propose but was going to wait until the holiday season, but he wasn’t going to make it until then. I went to her grandparents and essentially just showed them the ring without saying much. I was planning to pull it out and ask them for permission to ask her to marry me because I figured they’d appreciate that, but the second I showed up to the house alone and asked them to talk they knew what was up. When I pulled out the ring her grandmother immediately teared up and gave me a big hug. I knew I had her vote but I wasn’t too sure about him; we had some conversations that led me to believe he wanted us to finish college before marrying. Anyway after grandmother sorta settled down I was able to turn to grandfather who struggled to speak because of his strokes. He told me he loved me like his own son and wanted nothing more than to see me become part of the family. I don’t know how I deserved such a response but it meant everything to me to hear him say that. He died before our engagement a couple weeks later. We’ve been married for three years in December!

45. We’ve been together almost 8 years and we were going to Italy for another wedding and then to vacation after.

I had just graduated and was about to be hired, so it was pretty obvious to everyone that an engagement was coming including my GF, so when I went over to her dad’s house he knew what was up.

I made an excuse about going over my CV and stuff so I bought my laptop over and pretended I needed his help, but when I finally asked he was ready with some whisky and we took shots together so it went pretty well.

46. I asked and his reply was, “It’s your funeral.”

47. My dad already knew what my husband was coming to talk to my dad about. He wanted to bring my dad a burrito (because my dad loooooves burritos), but he was dieting at the time, so he brought my dad some Fireball instead. The first part of the conversation went as follows

Husband: sets a bottle of Fireball down on the counter.

Dad: Why’d you bring that? Are you trying to get me drunk?

Husband: If you think it’ll help…

48. My (now) wife’s father was dead so I couldn’t have the talk with him. I did have the talk with her three kids. I had been dating her, long distance, for a couple of years and would try to visit once every month or two. They knew me. They were 12-16 years old too so they weren’t little kids and we’d spent quite a bit of time hanging out, working projects, going on adventure, etc. I took them all aside and told them that I wanted to marry their mother but I wanted their blessing. They were all three very happy, gave their blessing, and have been a blessing every day in my life. I wasn’t surprised, though. I’d been in their world for a few years already and had moved past the “cool visiting guy” phase to the sometimes grumpy “mom’s cool boyfriend” that get territorial over counter space in the bathroom, who used up my cologne, are those my socks, etc.

49. My girlfriend, her parents and I were spending the time between Christmas and New Years at her parent’s cottage. I was finishing up at university and my girlfriend was in graduate school. After lunch one day, my girlfriend went to her room for a nap and I was playing backgammon with her father (he kicks my ass). While building a wood fire in the fireplace during the game, I ask for his permission and he’s stunned – as if I broke the machine, and he totally freezes up. It was awkward at first, but then my girlfriend decides to skip her nap and joins us. She sees her Dad all confused and asks what we were talking about. Super awkward – I lied and told her I was thanking him yet again for buying me winter gear for the trip to the cottage (I only had a leather coat as a poor uni student so the man goes out before Xmas and buys 3 winter jackets, a couple pairs of boots and snow pants that I could pick from so I could join in on the winter fun in the snow – seriously, he’s awesome). Girlfriend was still confused but moved on…

Hours later after we all turn in for the night [I was sleeping in one of the guest bedrooms on the lowest level, everyone else was on the upper level], the silence is broken by her mother talking in a loud voice “What did you say? [pause] “Nothing? Nothing?! You march down there and give him an answer NOW! How could you do that to the poor boy?!” About a minute later, there’s a soft knock on my door and the poor man was shaking slightly in his boxers (could be because he didn’t have time to put on his robe) and apologizes profusely and delivers an awkward, rambling speech welcoming me to the family and giving his blessing. My girlfriend (now wife) sleeps like a log and didn’t her mother’s shout.

The Mother-in-Law deeply apologized to me in the morning for her husband’s actions. It’s been over 15 years now since that retreat and I’ve never seen my father-in-law shell-shocked like that since. What make it even funnier is that he’s a physically-powerful bulldog and a former basketball/football star (I’m intimidated and I’m well-built at 6’2, 210 lbs). His wife is a very tiny lady and usually quiet…

50. I asked him and he just laughed and was like “Sure” then pretty much in the same breath changed the subject and asked me if I needed any eggs. Pretty much one of my favorite memories of all time. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

About the author

January Nelson

January Nelson

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.