How to Survive Asking a Father for His Daughter’s Hand in Marriage
How to qualify a prospective son-in-law and see if he has the right stuff for your daughter? Ask him, “Are you a Communist?” and see how he reacts. Tweet
Character is everything. It is predictive.
Having it is predictive of marital and earthly success. Not having character is predictive of marital and earthly failure.
The former is a “Mr. Right”; the latter a “Mr. Wrong.”
My daughter recently announced that her boyfriend is looking to change his status to fiancé. She informed me of his intent to meet me in person to ask for her hand in marriage.
He’s a man with a good character — and character is everything.
A refreshingly, old-school overture that is deeply appreciated. I am a big fan of having my expectations managed—particularly with regards to my daughter and her happiness with the opposite sex.
Mrs. Shepherd asked why the prospective son-in-law—code named “Too Tall”—didn’t just call me or schedule a more personal Zoom? “No, Mom,” my daughter said, “he wants to ask Dad in person.” I nodded, thinking well-played future son-in-law, you will be seeing me soon.
It’s worth noting, that I like this young man. He loves my daughter. More enduring and confidence-inspiring than a “loving feeling” is that he is a man with good character, and for me, character is everything. It’s predictive, specifically of marital and earthly success. Not having character is predictive of marital and earthly failure. The former is a “Mr. Right,” the latter a “Mr. Wrong.” This guy is a Mr. Right and when he asks me for our daughter’s hand, man-to-man, I will give my consent happily.
I’ve yet to meet his parents but I am already well-disposed toward them. The man who is courting my has daughter was obviously well-raised. This guy is a not accident but a product of good parenting. His father is a builder and his mother a teacher. They built a good man who loves my daughter and his country, and taught him well. I look forward to thanking them.
The man who is courting my has daughter was obviously well-raised. This guy is a not accident but a product of good parenting.
When I was first introduced to him via the passing of a phone, I told him that I was aware that the Army gave him a background check. He agreed, saying that as Apache helicopter pilot, he had been thoroughly vetted and holds the highest security clearance. Good to know. I asked him if he knew who John Brennan was? He said, “No, Sir.” So I explained that Brennan rose through the national security regime to head the CIA. I asked if he thought Brennan must have been super-vetted to get there? “Of course” he replied. Did you know that in youthful days he was a registered communist? “No way, Sir.” Sadly, yes, I said. He was. So you see I’m suspicious of the veracity of the process. So I asked him, “Son, are you a communist?” He shot back immediately, “Better dead than red, Sir.” Good answer. “I look forward to properly meeting you,” I said on the phone. Now I’ve met him. I jumped into his head and walked around. He passed.
Over Christmas, we—Mrs. Shepherd is always included—had a good talk about him in his absence. We discussed our daughter and their plans together. It was serious fun and confidence-inspiring.
Mrs. Shepherd signed up a while back to help them in their move. If I would have known that he was ready to pop the question and needed to meet me in person, I would have signed up for the long ride. But in the absence of a ring, I thought it was best that I stay away from my daughter uprooting her career to follow her boyfriend’s move. Guy knows his limitations.
Men are not good at reading minds.
I called Mrs. Shepherd on the road and she was sharing the U-Haul driving duty with Mr. Prospective for a few hours. I asked how it was going, and she said that they were having a “good conversation.” I asked Mrs. Shepherd to do us all a favor and share with Too Tall the mandatory minimum of what a woman needs. Her response: “Let him figure it out for himself.”
“Honey, this not about him. This is about our daughter. You are still a mystery to me. Men are not good at reading minds. Give him the basics, please, for Too Tall’s sake.”
She laughed and said, “OK but you are still on your own.” Yes, dear.
Note: For those thinking about marriage and wondering if she’s the right one — or how to survive and thrive in a marriage — read my Cell Mates Make the Best Soul Mates. Another survival guide is The Four-Step Solution to All that Ails You.
To reach Guy Shepherd contact: [email protected]
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