Dad’s Role in a Daughter’s Marriage

By Julie Baumgardner
October 19, 2017

What is a dad’s role in his daughter’s marriage? Sometimes the closeness of a father/daughter relationship can interfere with the couple relationship.

For example, one couple was arguing over purchasing a $600 set of dishes. According to the husband, they could not afford them. As a result, the wife was furious.

When she told her father that her husband would not purchase the dishes, her dad purchased them for her. Some might say, “Why is this a problem? He was just trying help.”

But most relationship experts would say the dad crossed a line when he got in the middle of something the couple needed to figure out for themselves.

If she thinks she can run to her father and get what she wants every time there is a disagreement about spending money, two things will eventually happen:

  • The husband will grow to completely resent his father-in-law, or
  • The daughter will stop discussing these things with her husband and go straight to her father to get what she wants.

Neither of these outcomes is good for the marriage.

Couples need to openly discuss these potential pitfalls of dad’s role in his daughter’s marriage and agree ahead of time about boundaries and expectations within their marriage.

For Fathers:

While it may be difficult, it is important for you to step back emotionally once your daughter is married. Even though you enjoy doing things for her, it is better to ask yourself one question: Is if what I am about to do going to be helpful to their marriage?

If the answer is no, don’t do it. OR, ask them how they would feel about you helping. If both aren’t in agreement that it would be helpful, then don’t do it. Let them figure it out.

It’s hard to believe that any guy will ever measure up and be good enough for your daughter. If you want their marriage to be successful, however, guard against criticizing your son-in-law.

Recognize it is not your job to control things. And while she will always be your daughter, her husband comes first.

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