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Dowry

platypus

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A buddy of mine recently got engaged. We’re in the military, so seeing a friend get married is a sad event; divorce is almost inevitable, adultery is rampant, and awful custody battles are pretty common. Naturally, I took it upon myself to give him some unqualified advice.

“Demand a dowry,” I told him. “Her parents will feel invested in your marriage, so she’ll have some level of social pressure to remain faithful to you.”

I was entirely serious, but also joking; what father in 2019 is going to pay someone to take his daughter away? This is the age of jealous dads who see no man as worthy of their female offspring. 

But instead of laughing, my buddy nodded sagely. “Don’t worry, I did.”

I stared at him. “You’re getting a dowry?”

“Yeah, they’re giving me 40 acres of land down in Alabama,” he explained.

I was dumbfounded. Perhaps I should join him in becoming a fundamentalist Protestant, seemingly the only community left in the US that behaves like this.

Have any of you guys heard of people doing dowries in recent years? I thought the custom had gone the way of the dodo, but apparently it's not yet extinct.
 

Arachne

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In Greece, it is customary for the bride to bring some assets into the marriage, to help jumpstart the new household, but any property she owns remains her own (unless she decides to add her husband to the deeds). Dowry, as an obligation with a detailed contract, was legally abolished in 1983.

These days, most newlyweds have cohabited for years before tying the knot, so they have built their own household and the transfer of goods at the wedding is less likely.
 

NicholasMyra

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platypus said:
A buddy of mine recently got engaged. We’re in the military, so seeing a friend get married is a sad event; divorce is almost inevitable, adultery is rampant, and awful custody battles are pretty common. Naturally, I took it upon myself to give him some unqualified advice.

“Demand a dowry,” I told him. “Her parents will feel invested in your marriage, so she’ll have some level of social pressure to remain faithful to you.”

I was entirely serious, but also joking; what father in 2019 is going to pay someone to take his daughter away? This is the age of jealous dads who see no man as worthy of their female offspring. 

But instead of laughing, my buddy nodded sagely. “Don’t worry, I did.”

I stared at him. “You’re getting a dowry?”

“Yeah, they’re giving me 40 acres of land down in Alabama,” he explained.

I was dumbfounded. Perhaps I should join him in becoming a fundamentalist Protestant, seemingly the only community left in the US that behaves like this.

Have any of you guys heard of people doing dowries in recent years? I thought the custom had gone the way of the dodo, but apparently it's not yet extinct.
I don't think you know how a dowry works.
 

platypus

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Arachne said:
These days, most newlyweds have cohabited for years before tying the knot, so they have built their own household and the transfer of goods at the wedding is less likely.
That might be why I've never heard of it here in the US; I've only met a handful of people who married before cohabitation.
 
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