Daughter Left Confused After Her Dad Finally Proposes To Her Mom After 30 Years — And She Says No

He's ready to be official, but she sees no reason to fix what isn't broken.

Shocked woman watching a proposal EKramar / Shutterstock, kieferpix / Getty Images via Canva

Marriage certainly isn’t for everyone. And nowadays, most of us know long-term partners who don't want to marry—especially since there there are myriad ways to structure partnerships outside the established norms, like open relationships and "ethical non-monogamy" and even polyamory.

But when a couple has been together for decades and has kids, marriage sort of seems like a logical eventual step, right? For one 30-year-old British woman whose parents have been together her whole life, however, that’s not at all how things turned out.


RELATED: Bride Cancels Wedding After Catching Groom Getting Breastfed By His Mom In The Restroom

A woman’s mom turned down her dad’s marriage proposal even though they’ve been together for 30 years.

As you might imagine, the young woman was shocked by the outcome and wondered what it meant for their relationship.

The woman’s father prepared an elaborate, romantic marriage proposal for his partner. 

The woman writes that she was elated when she heard about her father’s plans. “At Christmas, my dad confided in me that he was going to ask mum to marry him after more than three decades together,” she wrote to The Mirror’s advice columnist Coleen Nolan


“I always hated the fact that I was the only kid among my friends whose parents weren’t married,” she went on to say. So he was thrilled when her dad told her he was going to pop the question on her mom’s 60th birthday, a grand gesture that included “a romantic meal…a gorgeous piece of jewelry and…a lovely holiday for later in the year.”

That’s a proposal many people would dream of. But for her parents, there was just one hitch in the plan. "So here’s the problem," she wrote, "my mum said no!”

RELATED: Woman Drops To One Knee & Proposes To Her Boyfriend — He Accuses Her Of Taking Away His Manhood

The woman’s mom sees no reason to get married after 30 years of a successful relationship.

The woman writes that her mother just sees no reason to get married. “They’ve come this far without being married and maybe that’s the secret to their success,” her mother said. 


And at least the proposal didn't end dramatically. “It wasn’t an angry no," she writes. "She loves my dad and absolutely doesn’t want their relationship to end." That is, of course, a lot better than a lot of people do when it comes time to turn down a marriage proposal, as the video below reveals.

It certainly could have been a lot worse! But the woman's father is not quite so circumspect.

“My dad was shattered,” she writes, “and feels very flat and rejected. I don’t know what to do to make him feel better.” She wonders if she should try to talk her mom into saying yes to her dad’s proposal, and she’s deeply frustrated with her mom’s “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” approach to her relationship.  


“I feel awful for him and a bit annoyed with my mum because why wouldn’t she want to marry this great man who she clearly loves and wants to be with?” she writes, adding, “I feel like banging their heads together.”=

RELATED: Woman Asks If She Should Reject Proposal After Partner Of 8 Years Gave Her A Tiny Ring

Long-term couples refraining from getting married is becoming increasingly common. 

A 2021 study by Pew Research revealed that this woman’s parents are part of a growing trend. Pew found that between 1990 and 2019, the share of adults between the ages of 25 and 54 who were married fell from 67% to 53%. 

Couples cohabiting without getting married, however, more than doubled in that same time period—just 4% in 1990 vs 9% in 2019. And the share of adults who have never been married in their lives nearly doubled as well, from 17% to 33%.


That shift doesn’t come without its consequences, however—Pew also found that health and economic outcomes worsened in tandem with this rise in avoidance of marriage.

Still, there’s something to be said for simply letting a relationship be. Commitment is more than a piece of paper like a marriage certificate, as people often say, and there are plenty of reasons why people don't want to get married, from wanting your own space to not wanting to become financially entangled with a partner, like the woman in the TikTok below.

RELATED: Woman's Husband Refused To Tell Her Who He Cheated On Her With 'For Her Own Good' So She Set Up A Trap To Find Out



And until relatively recently in the history of marriage, the institution had little to do with love and commitment anyway—or monogamy, for that matter. Rather, it was a means of forging economic and power alliances and creating heirs until roughly the 1800s.


As for the woman who wrote in about her parents, The Mirror’s advice columnist suggested she simply “be there” for her father in his moment of rejection, but not worry too much about her parents’ choice to remain unmarried. “I think it’s more shocking these days if you have parents who are still together – and yours are!” she wrote. With so many marriages ending in divorce, that truly is a major accomplishment!

RELATED: Groom Makes His Bride Cry During Wedding Speech By Explaining What 'I Love You More' Actually Means

John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.