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Father-In-Law Cancelled The Engagement Because I Didn't Ask For HisPermission First.

I've always wondered how these things happen, especially considering that most brides seem extremely surprised when the man pops the question. So I reckon most men propose first. However traditionally we see men visit the father in company of an older relative to first let him in on his intentions. I also wondered about that, is this the standard? I really don't know, but this lady's father seems mighty mad that his daughter's boyfriend asked her to marry him without first telling him, and now he has resolutely called things off. Is he justified? What are your thoughts? 

I got engaged to my girlfriend of two years during our holiday in Europe. It wasn’t planned, I just woke up beside her one day and decided it was time. My fiancée immediately called her mum to tell her what had happened and then she spoke to her dad as well, we both did. They seemed genuinely happy for us and also prayed for us. We continued our two weeks holiday but things went sour two days before it was over
My fiancée’s brother called her to let her know her dad said I had disrespected him. I had gone ahead to ask for his daughter’s hand in marriage without talking to him first. I was shocked! It never occurred to me to make a phone call to him first before proposing. Also, everyone knew the only destination for us was marriage so hearing that my father-in-law to be was angry confused me
Obviously my fiance was distraught, she could not enjoy the holiday anymore and her father refused to speak with her on the phone, she just wanted to go home. Gradually I began to get really angry, this lady didn’t deserve what she was gong through, if her father had a problem with me, he should have discussed with me or my parents, now the holiday was ruined for her
When we got back to Abuja, I took her straight home, even though I was angry, I tucked it away for my baby’s sake and went on to apologise to her father. He was having none of it, so I left their house and made up my mind there was more to what was happening and if this is how he can get over such happy news, I’m not sure I want him as a father in law 
Things got messier when he asked my fiancée to stop wearing the engagement ring. So she would only wear it when she’s out of the house and take it off when she’s almost home. My dad has also tried to speak with him but he’s insisting he was disrespected and we all need to be patient until he gets over it. 
DANG! How ridiculous is this? I am mad at him for not thinking about how unhappy this is making his daughter. She has agreed to go ahead and marry me even without his consent but I would never do that to her. She loves her family, our marriage would never be whole if she was estranged from her father.
It’s been two months now, we are still waiting, we can’t even make any plans because this man has practically put our lives on hold. Sometimes I try not to berate myself for not asking him first. It never occurred to me at all to do so as we were away.
Did I make a mistake? Is there something I should have done differently?



  1. As I read this, I made a note to ask my dad if he expects our future husbands to ask for his permission before proposing. I remember my ex asked me if he had to talk to my Father first before asking me to marry him, I can't remember my answer..

    I think the old man is taking things too far. Yes he has a right to feel disrespected but why the delayed anger? It seems like he didn't have a problem with it at first but after talking to his friends, those ones told him he should have vexed because he was disrespected and that's why he's angry or how do you explain praying for them when you heard the news and then vexing days later?

    Plus, 2 months is a long time to be upset and put your child's life on hold for something that has already happened and you cannot take back. Can you just move on and make a note to tell your other daughters that their intending husbands must talk to you before proposing..

    It's not fair that he's holding his daughter's happiness to ransom because he's upset. He should get over it.. And if he's saying he won't let her marry the guy because if this, he should say so.

    1. This is my father right here. Him and respect are like 5 & 6. Is this not utterly ridiculous?! He apologized and 2 months later you're still upset.
      Is there more to it?!

    2. Nne,you wld be surprised the trivial things people bear grudges for and ensure they carry it for as long as possible. Fear humans..

  2. Me am interested in d comments of people who have been engaged and married. Because i always wonder if d dad shud be told first or how does it go. Oya waiting...

  3. Well, when I visit my girlfriend's parent, I would have told him of my intentions so when the engagement comes out of nowhere, he won't be caught unawares.
    If the father approved of their relationship, what did he expect was going to happen, he is just trying to be a macho man

  4. The father-in-law is just being unnecessarily overbearing and arrogant. Kudos to the gentleman here, for trying to talk things over with the father-in-law, and also not going ahead with the marriage without madam's family approval. Hopefully with time, sense would fall on the father-in-law.

    Interestingly, gf and I had this discussion a month ago. She was of the opinion that I had to first seek permission from her father before I propose to her. I held an opposite point of view - I still do, but I guess I'm willing to bulge if I don't have an option.

    My stance is informed from my opinion that the institution of marriage should be ventured into by two adults (who can make critical decisions by themselves) and so, the need to have a third party do a vetting needlessly complicates the decision making process. For example, in the instance that the 'intending' Father-in-law approves of the guy, and lady for one reason or the other doesn't approve, how would such situation be solved?

    I reckon that the culture of having the proposed father-in-law have a say is the African culture of imposing parents and elders on issues they should have little business in. I strongly feel that the growing years of anyone's child(ren) is a period of time when a parent should instill morals, outlook, and values of life such that any critical life decision one's offspring makes would be one that the said parent would equally make in the given scenario. The thing with complicated decision-making process such as this scenario is that we try to control the outputs (who the daughter marries) rather than the inputs (the daughter's values, her character, etc). It is far easier to control the outputs than the input; however, it is wiser and smarter to control the inputs. Also, in a marriage scenario where the daughter (wife) becomes discontent with the husband, the daughter is most likely going to be unable to take full responsibility for her wrong choice of partner. There would always be that well-founded reason that her father's approval was an inducing factor in accepting her husband's proposal.

    Finally, I'd add (concede) that it is always a good thing that the parents of both parties (intending couple) be aware and in good communication with the love interest of their children. That way, these parents could point out any concerns to their children and let the children make their decision whenever a proposal comes along the way. Being parents and possibly veterans in the institution of marriage, they should have some useful and vital insights. Chrisyinks.

    PS: Apologies for the epistle.

    1. By the 2nd paragraph I just knew it was you. Do you write love letters to her tho? Lol

    2. @ Sasha bone

      lol @ knowing it was me. I tend to be analytic/logically oriented (as you may have noticed) so I don't do love letters. However, she likes words so I would definitely have to learn. Chrisyinks

  5. I have also wondered about this trend of engagement and surprise.
    It's only right to ask the father for his daughter's hand in marriage except in cases the father/mother is absent or where the lady has grown to an extent where she is not necessarily accountable to elders for every decision she makes.
    Be it as it may 2 months is too long for anger na. Maybe the father sees a trait he dies not like in the guy and does not want to open up about.
    They can pray about it too, after all God hardened and softened the heart of Pharoah.

  6. I don't really understand the man. Still angry after two months? He's petty.

    He knew his daughter was actively dating a man whom she even travelled with, and he didn't think he might want to get married to her? What did he expect? One would have thought with his prior knowledge of the relationship, he'd have in mind that "I hope he intends to marry my daughter with this," and then be happy continuously, but no, he ups and causes distraught for his child for two months!

    Also, in this age, I'd expect that you know my daughter would want to marry you, before you come to tell me.
    Even if he wants the traditional way, then he could have been upset then tell his soon to be son-in-law about his disappointment, not this hurtful experience.

  7. I don't really understand the man. Still angry after two months? He's petty.

    He knew his daughter was actively dating a man whom she even travelled with, and he didn't think he might want to get married to her? What did he expect? One would have thought with his prior knowledge of the relationship, he'd have in mind that "I hope he intends to marry my daughter with this," and then be happy continuously, but no, he ups and causes distraught for his child for two months!

    Also, in this age, I'd expect that you know my daughter would want to marry you, before you come to tell me.
    Even if he wants the traditional way, then he could have been upset then tell his soon to be son-in-law about his disappointment, not this hurtful experience.

  8. Awwwwwn!Poster sounds genuinely in love with his fiancee and I really don't understand why Baba is behaving like a sore throat.
    If baba wants to be the mountain on their way to a blissful matrimony,It's not hard now, they should come together and declare a seven days prayer & fasting session for God's intervention.Waiting for Baba to come to term or reality is a long thing because what Baba is getting angry for, sitting on a stool,the daughter will never understand or fathom it; standing on a tree.Only those born in the 80s will understand this parable.Only prayers can unravel this mystery.

    1. Funny but you're right, there's so much the baba is not saying and it's unfair to the children, I didn't even know guys needed their father-in-law's consent to propose, what's the introduction and engagement party for then?? I don learn new thing today o.

  9. More often than not, the intending groom should ordinarily inform the father of the bride to be .
    Just standard protocol . People have different ways of carrying this out.

    The girls dad has however taken his annoyance too far. what does he stand to gain.

    I told my Father first that my husband wants to marry me and he would like to see him.

    My Father said, I didnt have to be the one to tell him, that my husband should see him .
    Well Me i said whats the difference cos the bobo asked me how its done, and i said id talk to my "parence".

    He was interviewed abi interrogated and we were asked how soon we wanted both families to meet.

    The proposal between the man n woman is personal. Other things become public only after he has proposed and she has said yes.
    After which they can now personally inform their families.

    Some Others involve families from the get go.

    It is my opinion that the man and woman first need to accept themsleves before going to thier folks.

    Please the poster should just execise a little patience for the girls sake.
    I hope his parents dont start to also get angry and disrespected as well.

    Afterall The guys father has called to also apologise.
    This is how parents just turn to stumbling blocks with regards to their children's happiness.

    Time has changed, they should understand, forgive and move on.
    The whole thing is now becoming too stressful for the couple and they may just lose the spark.
    Kilode se.

  10. Tradition both African and Western demands that a man asks his girlfriend's father for her hand before marriage.
    My husband went to my dad without my knowledge to ask for my hand before he proposed. My dad kept it a secret. It was fairly easy cos we dated for 2 years and all the while, my boyfriend was a regular visitor to my parents' house and they built a rapport over time.
    The proposal just made things official...cos i knew he wanted to marry me. . we had had talks about getting married...he tried his best to make it a romantic surprise though.

  11. The dad's ego is either at play here or maybe the dad is unknowingly allowing the devil use him. How can you be still be angry after 2months? Sleep and wake continuously plus other daily activities for 2months and ur still angry? Naa,It's not normal. There's a spiritual undertone to it. They need to involve intense prayers. This is the one they call household wickedness.

    It is well..

  12. The man never talk wetin dey do am... Maybelline

  13. I believe the man should always ask the girls father first before proposing even if the father is far away, these days with facetime, whatsapp call etc, you can do it over the phone.
    I always told my husband (then fiance) dont wake up and propose suddenly to me, make sure you seek permission from my father first (phone, face). So my father (parents) were aware of his intentions but didnt know when he was going to propose as he kept that as a surprise.
    But this dad, even with the excitement of your babygirl is getting married, he is still angry so there is more to it..they all need to sit down together and talk it out. Dont marry her without parental consent. God grant you both strength and wisdom.

    Which brings me to the question, why is there so much drama after proposal and during wedding planning?


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