To the Friend Who Rolled Her Eyes When I Asked My Husband’s Permission.

Ashley Willis was talking with a friend when she was invited to hang with the girls for a night. After expressing her interest and clarifying she’d need to ask her husband, Ashley was shocked by her friend’s response.

A friend once asked me if we could get together for a girls’ night out, and I naturally replied as I always do to these invitations, “I’d love to! Let me ask Dave first, and I will let you know…” My friend rolled her eyes and laughed under her breath as she replied, “Really? You need your husband’s permission? Gah. My husband and I never ask for permission. I just do my thing. And, he does his thing.”

The interchange bothered Ashley so much that she decided to list a few reasons why she chooses to include her husband in seemingly minor decisions.

Her perspective is really great.


  1. Asking permission is a sign of RESPECT.

    Whenever Dave asks me if he can go somewhere and do something, I feel loved and respected. We are married after all. Why wouldn’t we consult each other first before placing something on the calendar, applying for a new job or moving? These things affect BOTH of us, so we need to discuss it first out of respect for one another.

  2. Asking permission ensures LESS CONFLICT.

    The phrase “just do it and ask for forgiveness later” doesn’t work in marriage. We need to ask each other first, so it will be less likely for us to fight about a decision later. When we make a decision TOGETHER beforehand…no matter what the outcome may be…we can stay unified and resist pointing fingers at one another later.

  3. Husband and Wife feel EMPOWERED.

    Some may argue that asking for permission creates a marriage that is more like a parent-child relationship, but that isn’t true when BOTH ask for it. Please let me be clear here…it is NOT healthy or acceptable for one partner to constantly have to ask the other for permission when the partner being asked goes off and does whatever he/she pleases. This is manipulative and unloving and can lead to abusive behavior.

  4. It enables better decision making as a couple.

    When we ask for our partner’s permission before deciding to do things like have a girls’ night out, go to the game with the guys, take on another job, change jobs, choosing when to go to the gym, switch day cares, go back to school, serve on the PTA, etc., we get more perspective and insight from each other and make a more informed decision. We help each other weigh the pros and cons to decide if something is a good fit or at the right time. Sure, some of the scenarios I listed are bigger decisions than others, but all are important enough to discuss as a couple.

  5. It keeps you engaged in each other's lives.

    Sadly, I hear from too many married couples who are stuck in a lonely, unengaged existence. Some are nothing more than roommates living separate lives like passing ships in the night. They wake up, say “hello,” go to work without a call or text to one another all day, come home, run the kids to where they need to go, eat dinner without a word or in separate places, maybe meet up with a friend or focus all their attention on the kids at night, say “goodnight,” and go to bed…in two different worlds…a million miles apart. What happened? They stopped engaging in the “everyday moments.” They stopped talking. They stopped trying. They assumed they could do it all on their own, and they did. Why be married if you want to go it alone?


    Share Ashley’s perspective today.