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'Today I asked her father for his blessing to propose and he said no.' UPDATED 4X

'Today I asked her father for his blessing to propose and he said no.' UPDATED 4X


"I[27/m] have been together for five years. Today I asked her father [59] for his blessing to propose to her on coming weekend and he said no."


Some background: we have been in relationship for five years and living together for four and this is the best, most satisfying relationship I have had in all my life. She works in the healthcare industry and her kindness towards those in need and less privileged than her is what drew me to ask her out in the first place. In the last four years between us, there have been some little fights and only one big fight.

The fight happened in October 2014. She planned for a lunch with her father 'Carl,' which I had to miss because of work related emergency. He called me later that night, saying that I don't show him the respect he deserves and am always trying to get out of family events because I don't want to be around him.

Which is not true because half of the planning and organizing on his birthday was on me and it was a big event. In the morning I told gf about his call, and she brushed it off as him being intoxicated.

The next weekend when we went to her parents' place for family dinner, Carl was extremely hostile towards me but I kept silent about it. Until he said that I should not have missed the lunch. (Every other Sunday is family dinner at her folks' place and I rarely miss it, so I didn't think it was a big deal).

I apologized to him and said that I would make up for it in some way. At the next dinner, I bought a bunch of smart wearable accessories for him because gf suggested he was interested in them.

He refused to accept the gift and when I insisted, he walked out saying he needs some air. I had no clue what was going on and gf's mom was mortified, apologizing to me over and over again for Carl's behavior.

When we got home, I asked gf if there was something going on which she was not telling me. At first she tried to brush it off, but then she said that it was my fault for not seeing that her father was not interested in being buddies and wanted my respect, not friendship.

This was a complete surprise to me because I never really thought of him as anything more than her father. We would just watch the game together sometimes and chat about it later, but that was the extent of our social interaction.

Gf said I needed to earn his respect and I told her I had done nothing wrong. That's when the fight started. But a few days later, Carl called me and said he liked the watch and other accessories. That's his way of declaring truce I guess.

After that, I was always extra careful never to miss any event with him. Last June gf's mother died and it was an incredibly difficult time for everyone. I tried to be as supportive towards the whole family as I could. I cut down my work hours to spend more time with them.

Gf and I started cooking the family dinner (at his place, because she thought it would be better for him to see the house alive with people again) and we made it an every week event for a while just to spend more time with him.

Multiple times we made extra effort to host family events, and once we even flew his elder sister over for his birthday. I had thought he would warm up to me a little. But I guess I was wrong. Which brings us to today.

Gf is away for the week on work related stuff, so I planned the whole proposal. I was gonna decorate our apartment like a planetarium with stars and planets and write "Will you marry me" in the stars (it's from Friends, which she is obsessed with). I wanted to start the preparations with his blessing, because that way he would feel good about me asking him first and he'd feel included also.

I planned a lunch with him for today to ask for his blessing. I told him how much respect I had for him and that I wish one day I could be as good a father as he was. Then when I asked for his blessing for the marriage, he blew up.

He was absolutely livid, saying that his daughter deserves a better man and that he never really liked me much and had always hoped the relationship would end. He said all the "a$$ kissing" I was doing last year had showed that I just wanted to appear like a good man to gf and didn't mean any of that. I was so shocked because this is not how I expected it to go at all.

I left him still spewing hate, and went to one of my friends' place. I told him and his wife everything but they are just as shocked as I am. I spent the day at their place and got home about two hours ago. Not sure how to proceed now or even what to do.

Should I tell gf that her father said no? Should I proceed as if nothing has happened? For now I'm drinking and playing video games. What should I do, reddit?

(Note: I have kept a lot of details intentionally vague because gf and her siblings are active on reddit.)

Here were the top rated comments from readers after the OP's initial post:


You asked for his blessing, not his permission. You don't need his permission to marry his daughter.

I'm totally singing "why you gotta be so rude".


There are some people that don't trust kindness. You can't win them over- everything is always suspect or sign of deviousness. I would tell your gf about this before you propose. She needs to know what she is going to walk into with her family before she says yes to you. Hopefully, she still wants to marry and is prepared to deal with her family appropriately.

If so, you get married without his blessing. And stop trying with this guy. Just ignore him from now on, and avoid her family events whenever possible. He has to have a change of heart in order to treat you decently. So let him experience absence and grow a desire to change and not drive people away.


Propose to your girlfriend anyway. Asking the father's permission is archaic and ridiculous, if you and your girlfriend love each other it doesn't matter if daddy approves or not. Edit: obviously if it's something she thinks is important then you have an issue. If not, ignore her jerk-off dad and marry her.


I didn't ask my gfs dad because I don't respect his opinions. He surely would have said yes, but I didn't care. I would hold off. You don't want to immediately ask her because that is directly violating what he said and would be even more disrespectful. Can you wait? I know that might be hard, but I think it might help. Maybe that asshole will come around. Don't tell your gf yet.

Over 3 years later, the OP returned with an update.

"I am trapped in a marriage I think is one sided and I need advice."


I'm not sure what I will get out of this. I feel like writing it all down and having a stranger over it might give me some mental clarity, but I think at this point there's no way to salvage our marriage. Also, English is not my native language so apologies for any errors which cause misunderstandings.

I've been in a relationship with my wife for almost nine years now, married for two. Our relationship has been, for the most part, a fulfilling and satisfying one for the both of us.

It seems like I'm making a self congratulating post but we've become better people by virtue of being together. I'm an old fashioned person so it was difficult to meet a woman who liked the things I liked and had the opinions I had.

The only unsavory part of our relationship over the years has been my relationship with my father in law. My wife and I rarely have disagreements so most of the major fights we've had were because of her father.

I want to be clear here I don't hate him. I respect the guy, he's sacrificed a lot in his personal life in order to provide for his family and to make sure my wife was raised with love and care. I used to look up to him in the earlier years of the relationships.

He and my mother in law would host the family twice every week and when I first started dating their daughter, it took me by surprise how close they were as a family. I really liked the family events with these picturesque dinners of mild conflicts and contentment, with how close my wife was with all her siblings and her parents too.

Early on in the relationship I think I freaked out my wife by how much I enjoyed being at her parents' house. Her mother was a saint of a woman who gave me so much love from the get go. She would always make sure I was included in family activities and often reserved a seat for me at the family dinner right next to her, talking to me like I was one of her own.

I remember one time I was over at their place and had to get back to the city for work. It was getting pretty late when I got up to leave and it had been snowing. She came down from her room when I was leaving, with an overcoat of her husband's saying I should take the coat with me, "just in case."

But I know it was because she knew my car got cold those days. (it was a pos car getting to the end of its life) She didn't want me to feel like she thought less of me just because I made less money than my wife. These little mom things she would do made me love her so much.

Anyway, the reason I bring up my mother in law is because I think she was the reason her husband was accepting of me at the time. She died four years ago and it somehow changed him. I think his love meter broke or something.

He started acting like I'd somehow slighted him. All the time. Like one time wife and I were bringing over some groceries and restocking everything and I thought it would be nice to stay for the dinner and cook for him.

While he was out for his evening walk, wife and I prepared a nice dinner. At dinner, he thanked my wife for it. She mentioned that I did most of the work for it and he kind of looked at me and just stopped talking.

Another time in September of 2016, we were staying at his place for the weekend because we were cooking the family dinner. Early morning wife and I were sitting on the breakfast counter just starting our day and we thought he was out because he was usually the first one up.

I 'hit' my wife on her leg over a stupid pun or something and I guess he saw because he came over and started yelling at me about not being raised right and being a woman beater. He said a lot of extremely toxic things about me before my younger sister in law came into the kitchen and practically dragged him out.

My wife repeatedly said that it was a joke but he wouldn't accept the explanation, saying she sticks up for me. Similarly I remember one time (this was when his wife was alive) I bought him a gift and he straight up refused to accept it in front of the whole family.

My wife's mother, brother and his family (including sister in law), both sisters, their husbands and the elder sister's kid were there. It was such a humiliating experience for me. I just wanted the man to not hate me all the time. I think my mother in law forced him to accept the gift after a few days and made him 'apologize' to me.

After my mother in law died, he changed. It was like his filter was gone. He would stay in his room a lot, only come out for his errands and walks. He wouldn't watch the games with me saying I talk too much. He wouldn't let me fix anything at the house despite me practically living there and having done a lot of work in the house in the past.

A popular theory among my friends was that he hated me because I was too close to his wife which sounds so absurd. She was a maternal figure in my life and I can't for the life of me understand why that would piss him off. She was nice to everyone.

My wife is nice to everyone too, to the point of it being a fault. My mother in law used to say that she had four sons; her son, two husbands of my wife's sisters, and me. So it's not like I was inappropriately close with the woman. I've discussed this with my wife a lot too but she is always insistent that my relationship with her mother has nothing to do with it.

My wife is the youngest daughter so she treats her father with a lot of love and respect. Early on in our relationship, his behavior wasn't as issue and by the time it became an issue we were already too serious for me to break it off over this.

Everyone else in her family likes me as far as I know. I've been invited over by both of her sisters at multiple times for lunches/ dinners/ favors etc. Everyone treats me like I'm family.

I've talked to the eldest sister about why their father hates me but she's always maintained that he doesn't hate me. She says he loves his youngest daughter a lot and has always been a difficult person to please. And honestly I can see that it's true.

On an average day, he is most tolerant of me out of all his sons in law. But they all live in different cities or states and Wife and I live in the same neighborhood. Se he gets to see me more. I'm sure a part of his resentment is because of that too.

After my mother in law died, we were all heart broken. A few days after her funeral when everyone was starting to leave, my wife and I were going through some of the stuff that her mother left her. She started getting choked up about the fact that the house felt like it had died with her.

We decided that we were going to take on the mantle of cooking for family dinners like her mom used to do. It's a pretty big responsibility considering the family is almost never all together except maybe one holiday a year.

Sometimes it would just be my father in law, brother in law and his family and us. It was actually really nice for a while. Everyone kept visiting once in a while and the routine was nice. I was glad to have more time for family and not being harassed by father in law. It felt like he was warming up to me.

At that time, wife and I started talking about marriage and it just felt right. I don't think I was ever more sure about anything than about marrying my wife at that time. There was a brief moment before the engagement where she and I got into a fight but things worked out nicely. We got engaged in May and it just set things in motion.

My wife is the youngest child in her family so she got a lot of positive attention from her siblings. They had kept her mother's wedding accessories for her which honestly was such a nice thing to do.

Slowly, over the months, it became this big and happy event in our family. Winter of 2016 when we got married, my wife sat me down and asked me if it would be okay to move in back with her father to take care of him.

I think that was the moment where I made the stupidest decision of my life when I said yes. I was blinded by love, not just for my wife but for her family, for her mother who I missed so much, for her father who liked me but never really accepted me and for her siblings who liked me like I was their own.

I just thought about what would be best for everyone else. A month after we moved in, my father in law asked his son if he could come stay with them for a while. At the time it felt like a good thing that he was moving past the grief of his wife's death. But I don't think that was why he visited his son. He just wanted to get out of the house because of me.

A few weeks later when he got back, his passive aggressive bullshit started again. But this time it was just constant nagging over small, petty things. I moved the chair (no, I didn't.) I broke the thermostat (no, and I changed it for good measure) I forgot to put the tools back. I messed up the library.

Things like that, almost if I'm a child who's unwanted in this house. May 2017, we had a huge fight and I gave my wife a choice to either live with me or live with her father.

That made her have a fight with her father and she decided she was gonna move out because, in her own words, "He is never going to accept you as his son. He's delusional in grief." So we moved out but still lived close by because both our jobs were quite close.

Our moving out however messed up the whole family dinner tradition as her father refused to come to our place for dinners. And we couldn't afford to host the whole family in our small apartment, it became a logistic nightmare. So her brother stepped up and said he was going to do it.

I think their father was really mad at me for ruining the tradition because at every single dinner I had with him he wanted nothing to do with me. I actually liked it this way because it was nice to not be attacked or defended all the time. But my wife started resenting me for it and I think her younger sister and brother do too.

It's been almost two years since we moved out. I don't attend family dinners with much regularity, maybe once a month if I'm being generous. I also got busier at work so I've been spending less time with wife during the weekdays. Which I prefer because her resentment towards me is making it a very difficult situation.

She goes over to her brother's house every other weekend and the other weekend is spent at her father's place where her brother's family and she get together for dinner. The only person on my side is my older sister in law because she thinks her father has treated me badly.

She has visited us twice over the last year and it's the only time I've gotten any affection from my in laws. It feels like up until two years ago I had a huge family who all loved me and now I'm getting more and more lonely by the month.

I can't help but feel that the marriage has changed our lives for the worse. It's been more than two months since my wife and I have been intimate in our bedroom. It's been a lot longer since we've had a date for ourselves. I am at a complete loss as to what I can do to improve things.

This post kind of grew when I was writing it. I had to edit some small details because I don't want my in laws to find this post on reddit and be hurt by what I've written.

Here was the top rated comment of all after the OP's update:


I went through a much milder form of your dilemma a few years ago. Here's what worked for me:

First, dig real, real deep and find the will to give zero fucks about what any of your in-laws think about you. Mine very obviously, but passive aggressively, disapproved of pretty much my whole deal from the start. It really bothered me at first, but once I accepted that I'd never be good enough for them it freed me from caring.

Second, decide if you are in it to win it for your marriage or not. If not, then cut the cord and move on. But if you're in it, then own it. Believe that you are a fixture in your wife's life. I've always felt that way about my relationship with my wife, and it's given me incredible confidence in dealing with this kind of nonsense.

Third, focus on what will make things better/easier/happier for your wife. She wants to do endless family dinners? Fine, show up to every single one you can. And show up as yourself. Your wife likes (or, at least, liked) yourself, so be yourself.

Don't try to be someone else to make grumpy people happy. I stopped trying to censor myself and turned awkward family events into a game where I just did my thing and watched my in-laws squirm a bit. Passive aggressively "forget" to offer me wine? No problem, I can pour it myself and damn this red is delicious, thank you for sharing!

Grind your polite, cheerful, helpful presence in his snarky old face. Meet every frown with a smile. Cultivate your relationships with the rest of the family right in front of him. Most of my in-laws' friends love me and I can tell that it grinds their gears. Their saltiness is the sweetest seasoning.

Fourth, get your marriage going again. If she's spending multiple nights a week with people who aren't into you and you're offering no alternatives you aren't going to win the game. Ask her on a date (not conflicting with family dinners, don't start that fight yet) and make it a regular thing.

Get your house clean/organized (hire help if you need to) so your time at home together is relaxing. Put the effort into wooing her again. Be, if not the better option, at least an equally good option. Remember that no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Revoke that consent and start making better things happen for yourself.

Four months later, the OP returned with another update.

"Update: I [31M] have decided to go ahead and initiate divorce because I do not want to be in this relationship anymore."


Some folks have messaged me asking for an update so I thought I could post it here instead of personal messages. I have been reading a lot of relationship help books and tried to talk to my wife many times.

However, the fact is she and I just don't work as a couple any more. I am no longer a priority in her life and I am not okay with it. So last month I decided to talk to my lawyer and initiate divorce. It's been a really stressful time, especially from almost all of her family.

But at this point I just want to look after myself and recover myself from this relationship. the folks at /r/DeadBedrooms have been helpful as well. I read through so many posts there which kind of opened my eyes to the nature of my marriage. Once again, thank you for people who helped me in my previous posts.

It seemed this would be the end of the story, but four entire years later, the OP again returned.

"My ex wife [F33] and I [M35] recently reconnected after she went through a bad break up. Is it bad that I want to get back together with my ex wife because of how lonely I am?"


There's some context to why we got divorced but it will take too long to explain here. The summary is that I could not get along with her family and mostly her father. And that made my marriage an unhappy place for me.

Her father always hated me, and at one point told me that my ex wife deserved better than me. If you want to read about my relationship with him it is in the previous posts. I am not sure if I am allowed to provide links.

But after our divorce, I lost a lot of family and friends. I was very involved with family on her side, and losing them all at the same time because we got divorced made things difficult for me. I am an immigrant here, so I did not have many friends outside of my ex wife's family.

During the divorce process, the covid lockdowns started and that killed all my relationships with her side of the family. And I was really lonely here for a long time. I tried to go on dates but the dating culture is so different now than fifteen years ago.

I could not find a person I wanted to spend more time with, but I think it was in part my fault too. And the one person who showed interest in long term dating, she was much younger than me. I did not like her friends and her friends were not thrilled with me either.

So that relationship kind of died in 2021. Since then I have stopped going on dates even. And I have lost touch with some friends and acquaintances because of covid. Or maybe because of age and not having a wife? Like they are all family men now so making time is a difficult thing.

But anyway, I saw my ex wife a few times in the last two years and we exchanged some quick words about well being. But nothing substantial. I knew she lost her father due to covid, and I told her I was sorry for her loss because he loved her very much.

She also told me she was dating a younger man and it was going well. However we never sat down for tea or anything, it just never happened. But two months ago I got a message from her saying she wanted to meet for lunch.

During this lunch she told me her relationship of one year and some months was not going well and she was thinking of breaking up with her boyfriend. She and him did not agree on kids or not having kids. And she did not see a future with him.

We kept in touch through the last two months and 12 days ago she broke up with him. She told me a part of the reason was that after talking to me, she remembered how it was with me when we first started dating and how it was not the same with her boyfriend. She and I have been talking a lot in the last few weeks.

Since the break up, the first thing she does after waking up every morning is message me. And then two days ago she called at 7 in the morning saying she was at my door with some food. I had been feeling ill but I don't remember when I told her. However, she came with a lot of home cooked food and soups which she knows I like. It felt like we were back in time 10 years ago.

It's been a very confusing time since then. I am not sure what I feel. I think I am starting to love her again? She pays me so much attention which is nice. She also keeps sending food or bringing it herself. And then last night she spent the night because I was too ill to get up and clean after myself.

Nothing happened between us but at the same time I think she wants to talk about us dating again maybe. And I will admit, all the attention and food and other gestures of love and care are starting to feel incredible. I am not sure who to talk to about this.

I think I need to keep her away for a few days to be able to think clearly. But it has been so long since I have felt this good about myself. And a lot of our relationship problems were from how her father acted with me, so I keep thinking maybe we can try again and this time it will be better. Any advice or anyone wants to talk to help me think here, I would really appreciate it.

Three days later, the OP provided even more.

"Update: My ex wife [F33] and I [M35] recently reconnected after she went through a bad break up. Is it bad that I want to get back together with my ex wife because of how lonely I am?"


As for the update, it is a mixed bag. On Saturday she came over to talk about our relationship and what we both wanted, what went wrong etc. She asked to speak first and I really should have talked first instead.

But I let her say her part, and it was focused on her relationship with her whole family. How important her father was to her, how much involved everyone else was in her relationship with me. She said sorry for letting her family, and her father in particular meddle in our marriage.

One of the things which hurt me a lot was when she mentioned that her ex boyfriend never wanted to be around her family and hated going to any family events or even to a simple dinner etc. She said that's when she realized how much easier I had made things for her in our marriage.

It was incredibly hurtful because I remember telling her in so many different ways and at many times, even before the death of her mother, that I was okay with her family's involvement but she needed to keep some distance between our relationship and her father in particular.

She said that one time her father said something nasty directed at her ex boyfriend and after that time he refused to be in the same room as him. And I told her that he was right in doing that.

I reminded her of the time when her father told me, after five years of our relationship, that he did not want to give me his blessing for asking you to marry. I don't know why but hearing her say that she saw her family's behavior towards her boyfriend and that was what helped her see how toxic they can be was really hurtful.

Like my feelings and my protest did not matter to her as much? I told her that and she had tears in her eyes, she said sorry a lot of times about it. She said she was young and inexperienced at first and then after her mother died, she was scared of losing her father and anything I said about him was difficult for her to hear because of that.

I remember one time we were hosting the family dinner and her father said hurtful things about my cooking and I brought it up with her and one of her siblings and she refused to hear me, even when her sister told her she should listen because I was right.

Anyway, when we got talking about her father, the conversation kind of got away from me. We ended up talking about him for like two hours. I think she wanted to get a lot of it off her chest too. It was very emotional and exhausting though, as afterwards I did not have the energy to continue talking.

I really wish I had talked first because I wanted to talk to her about our problems in the bedroom as well. But we had to make food first, she was saying how much she missed cooking with me, and being around each other.

I guess that's another thing her ex boyfriend did not appreciate about her? After making lunch together we just sat eating and talking about the few times we had some time for ourselves when we were married.

She mentioned how much she liked going on two road trips we took together after we got married. For context, we used to have a lot more time when we first started dating as we were still studying. But then after getting jobs and having to take care of a house, it slowly diminished.

After we finished lunch, I was too tired to continue our conversation. So we just kind of existed around each other for a little bit. We did talk about what we should not expect if we started dating. I told her I want to talk about our bedroom problems but maybe not right away. She told me she wanted to say sorry for noe listening to me about that too.

She was a very selfish lover and she told me it was a difficult thing for her to realize that she had ignored my needs in the marriage. She said if we date again she wants us to see a relationship counselor together and by herself to make our dating life better.

I think it is a good idea to talk to someone who can help me explain my side of things to her. I am not confident how helpful the conversation can be if it is just the two of us. She has a tendency to talk over me, or to agree with me but not let me say my part. I want to talk to her about it too but I think it's better if I wait until we have found some relationship counselor.

But still, I think the outcome of the conversation yesterday was good. I want to ask her out on a date tonight, for maybe Tuesday or Wednesday. She went back to her house last night and I missed her presence around me a lot.

I don't know if that is a good sign or if it means I am too lonely. When she was here yesterday, she got a call from one of her siblings and she mentioned me by name. I was not listening in, but I just heard her say my name so my ears picked up on that part.

I feel like that should be a good sign too? Or maybe I am just desperate to look for anything positive as take that as a sign. She wanted to come over today but I told her I am feeling much better and she doesn't need to cook for me today.

Also, I spent the morning today looking through our old pictures together. It was nice to remember the person she used to be. I feel like yesterday I saw a little bit of that person in her. Am I wrong to want to start something so soon?

I know I said previously that I would wait but waiting for the sake of it seems pointless. I do want to take things slow because I want us to find a relationship counselor soon. But I am afraid I will lose her if I show no interest.

Here were the top rated comments from readers at the end of this saga:


Dude, I'm sorry you don't feel you can date but going back to your TOXIC ex (yes, she is toxic) and her toxic family because you feel lonely is not the answer. She let her father disrespect you, she was a selfish lover (Never taking your needs into account), and when it got to be too much for you to take, they all abandoned you. Why would you want to expose yourself to that kind of life???

Your ex-wife's ex probably had a lot more self respect to not tolerate familial interference in their relationship, so that's why he bailed. Who's the only person that put up with their shit the longest? You. Hence why she reached out.

You said your self, she has no boundaries when it comes to her family, she's just gonna let them do what they've always done. Stick their noses in your business. You also said she always talks over you and you didn't get to even say your piece this last time you talked.

She doesn't want to get back together out of love, but out of convenience. Her age is making her biological clock go off in her head and you are her last resort. Don't ever be anyone's back-up plan.

You're letting the memory of the girl she was when her mother was alive cloud your judgment about the woman she is now. I'm not saying this last part to be mean but you need to learn some self respect. I do wish you luck sir.


I feel like OP is letting his loneliness and isolation push him back toward a poisoned well. I wish him the best, and I suspect the best for him right now is to not jump back into a relationship that failed for unaddressed reasons. Yes, the father is gone now, but the ex-wife is still the same person who let her father break their marriage.


OP needs to wait until she's actually had the therapy before he sticks his toe back into that pool of crazy.

So, do you think the OP is taking too much of a risk trying to start again? Is he falling back into a bad pattern?

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