Tuesday, June 11, 2019

You marry a dad, a son, a mom, or a daughter

I've heard people say that those who are dating should consider the relationship their prospect has with their parents. There are different versions of this. For instance, I once had a girlfriend who was very interested in my relationship with my mom because she said I would treat her (the girlfriend) the same way I treat my mom. I've heard people say that women with negative relationships with their fathers will project that onto their husbands.

I think this sort of advice is overly simplistic and that these things aren't necessarily predictive.

But here is something that I have seen play out:

If you are a man, any woman you marry will either be a mom or a daughter to you. If you are a woman, any man you marry will either be a dad or a son to you.

For a perspective spouse, ask yourself: what role does this person have with their parents? What role would they have with me?

In an ideal situation, the potential husband is fulfilling the role of father, the potential wife is fulfilling the role of daughter, the former has been trained by a father who was actually a father to him, and the latter was trained by a father who was actually a father to her. This is ideal, among other things, because it aligns more with human nature than any other arrangement.

It might also work if the inherited relationships are different than described above, but consistent from the previous generations to the next. For example, if the father of the potential wife treated her like a mom, and you want her to treat you like a mom, it might work out.

People with sons for fathers tend to end up the same way if they are men or desire sons for husbands if they are women. People with moms who are moms to their husbands (or single moms with no husbands) tend to want to be or obtain moms for wives. Of course, any person can, through their own work, shift the disposition they've inherited from their parents.

In most of the cases I know of, there is a lot of friction when:

  • (very frequent) The potential husband wants to be treated like a son, and the wife wants to be a daughter, not a mom to him.
  • (much less frequent) The potential husband wants to be treated like a father, and the wife wants to be a mom to him.


I'm not sure why I've never heard this spoken about by anyone. It is important.