Dear Dr. Meg,
I have a 3-year-old daughter that has been asking me to marry her every day for the past few weeks. I keep telling her thank you, I love you too, and that I am already married to her mother without telling her ok and or pretending to marry her. My wife and I even pretended to have a wedding in our living room and allowed her to be the flower girl in hopes that she would be satisfied with that and stop asking to marry me. She keeps asking her mother if she could marry my wife and me was trying to be tactful and honest and told her that she could not marry me and said that she would find a guy to marry after college. It seemed to break her heart and crushed her dreams and she cried and cried and cried. When I got home from work, she asked me again to marry her. We keep rolling with the same pattern of responses, I am already married to mommy, lets talk about that when she gets older, and try changing the subject.
Are we doing the right thing? Please help.
Already Married To Mommy
How lucky you are to have a little girl who wants to marry you. You must be a great father. Here’s the reason that your daughter tells you that she wants to marry you. In her very young mind, she never wants life to change. She wants her mother close and she wants you to stay in her life, just the way you are. At such a young age, the word marry means something very different to her than it does to you. It means that you will always stay in her life as her very special Dad.
Your daughter’s question is perfectly normal for her age. Many young girls feel this way about their fathers. Here’s what I encourage you to do. When she asks you to marry her tell her thank you. Then tell her that her mommy will always be your only wife but that she can be your special girl. All she really wants to know is that she can have a spot in your heart reserved for her alone and that nothing will ever change that.
Over the months, your daughter’s mind will change and she will stop asking about marrying you. So don’t worry, even if she seems not to hear your answers now, eventually she stop and then, you’ll wish that she still asked!