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Can Parents Decide Your Choice Of A Spouse?

Can parents decide your choice of a spouse?

Is It Beyond Pardon? Jun 19, 2009

By Bridget Amaraegbu

In the past, the choice of whom one married was tempered by tradition. Although parents have a large role to play in the marital life of their children, most young people would prefer taking the plunge on their own. Can your parents decide your choice of a spouse?

Bridget Amaraegbu has all the answers as usual. Enjoy.

They can but… — Amaka Echendu, Model

Our parents do not have any right to choose whom we marry but the truth remains that they have a responsibility to make sure we don’t make wrong a choice. They have a right to advise us on certain qualities to look out for in the choice of a life partner because they’ve been in that institution before us. They may have made certain mistakes which they wouldn’t want their children to make. And if you’re patient enough to listen to them, there’s no way you won’t find something good in what they’ll say.

beyondamakaIt may not be necessary that you take everything they say because it’s your own future we’re talking about and not theirs but I strongly believe that no responsible parents will want something bad for the child. Unless, we are talking about those irresponsible parents who may just be interested in pushing their child to a particular family simply because they’re rich or they have one big name which is immaterial. What counts here, is your happiness and not the wealth you’ll bring to your family by marrying that lawyer, engineer or that doctor they want you to marry.

Personally, I think that our parents have a big role to play in the choice of partners we make because there are certain things they’ll see that we may not be able to see from the onset because we’re carried away by that word love.

In the past and up till dates, many people have been blind folded because they thought they were in love. That is why it’s possible for some marriages to have problems barely six months after that glamorous wedding. It’s certain, the couple’d thought they were in love, but realised in a short time, they are compatible.

Have you ever taken time to x-ray some of those divorce stories published on papers and even television? . If you take time to do that, you’ll realise that the cases are there because the estranged couple, didn’t do their homework well before taking that decision to marry.

If the necessary steps had been taken, then why would a man come out and say that his wife of only two months, is a bad cook; or the women say her husband is a drunkard? The shortcomings ought to have been taken care of before marital vows.

Unfortunately, some people in their desperation to tie the marital knots, are blinded to little details that may pose as threat to the success of the marriage.

I don’t think I’d want to marry a man my parents don’t approve of. I can only disobey them if their judgement is wrong especially when they insist that I marry the man for his social status and wealth. In that case, there’s fire on the mountain and I’ll run.

Now, we also have to consider the fact that some parents kick against one’s choice of a future spouse on tribal ground.

As far as I’m concerned such tribal sentiments can’t stop me from marrying the man of my choice. The era when the tribe was considered as a criterion for a good life partner or successful marriage is in the past.

The key to a successful marriage today is prayer and not those material things that will not last.

Once I’m in love with a man and the qualities are right, his tribe or whatever, is not a problem.

I’ll like to say here that young people should be very careful in the choice of life partners they make because the choice you make today may make or mar your future happiness.

My tribe comes first— Uche Uzokwu

The problem of choosing a life partner has been my worst fears in life because in my place, we’re always scared of marrying from any other tribe.

And the issue of my parents making a decision as to whom I marry is irrelevant because it’s my choice that counts. I don’t agree with the fact that parents should make choices for their children, no. They can only give advice and directions where it is necessary.

But then, I wouldn’t like to disobey them by marrying into another tribe other than my own, because I already know the rules. My parents will not accept any woman outside my Igbo tribe. Although the situation is not a do or die affair, but speaking seriously, I’d love to take a partner from my part of the country, especially from my own locality.

Outside the issue of the tribe, I’m also bothered with the problem of religion. What you may not know is that some people will not marry certain because they don’t belong to the same denomination.

It’s my decision— Kelechi Udegbe, Actor

In the past, parents were used to choosing partners for their children based on either the family background of the spouse or their social status. But today, things have changed. Though it may have worked out for them back then, such things are no longer in vogue.

I know that we still have parents who still insist on taking marital decisions especially when it involves marriage, I think it’s because such children never had defined relationships.

It’s still okay today for some young people to ask their parents to assist in the search for a wife or husband, they do so because they are afraid of making mistakes.

But I’ll prefer to make that mistake myself and live with it rather than live with mistake caused by my parents or anyone else. I’d rather blame myself than blame some other persons for my mistakes.

Although it might be difficult to take a stand against my parents should, they refuse to accept my choice of a woman and knowing that in Igboland, a woman is not married by her husband alone but everybody in his family, I may have to take that decision and live with whatever consequence that follows it.

Their role’s only advisory— Genevieve Nnaji, Actress

Sincerely, I don’t think it’s wrong for our parents to have a say in the choice of life partners we make because they know what is best for us.

But I don’t think it’s their business to know whether the person has got class and so on. That aspect is left for us to decide because it’s our own future we are talking about here and not theirs.

Often, parents have rejected the choice of partners their children make because they are sentimental about tribe and social status. I think this is wrong because those criteria don’t really make a happy home. Although our parents may be allowed to give advice and direction to us, such advice should be positive. They have no right to interfere in our affairs.

And for a happy home, what matters most is love, understanding and God’s presence. And once that is in place then, carry go.

She’d be miserable if they don’t approve of her— Michael Ubong

My parents definitely have a say in my choice of a spouse and so do many other parents. Whether we like it or not, our parents know what is best for us and it may not be out of place, if they scrutinise whom we want to get married to.

In my own case, my parents will want to be sure that the lady in question is right for me, before giving their blessing.

Although I’m not getting married now, I know that whenever I’m ready to do so, they’ll surely be involved squarely. And believe me, I’m not prepared to marry any woman they don’t approve of because the woman will not be married to me alone but to the entire family. If she’s not the right choice for me, she won’t be happy if they don’t welcome her. So it’s very important that you reach an agreement with your parents before making this vital decision.

2 Responses for “Can parents decide your choice of a spouse?”

1.

Bolou Oduruku says:

June 20, 2009 at 12:41 pm

MARRIAGE IS A SACRED CONCENT,SO IT DEMANDS PARENTAL COUNSELLING AND THE INDEPENDENT WILL OF THE BLIND AGREEMENT ,CALLED BETTER FOR WORST FOR THE PARTIES INVOLVED.

2.

Anonymous says:

June 20, 2009 at 1:03 am

Parental advice is needed but not to an extend of making a choices of spouse becos na 4 better & worst

http://www.vanguardngr.com/2009/06/19/can-parents-decide-your-choice-of-a-spouse/

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38 answers

and i dont see how them choosing for you makes the marriage happily ever after?

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what is wrong in your ma or pa choosing for you? too many marriages falling off the wagon

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Thanks a bunch man. I don't like to go tribal but the fact is some people need to be taught a few things they don't know. That being said, I love the second instance more. I particularly throw my support behind your friend, the guy, for his commendable attitude towards his mom. I'd do the same. I have always told my parents years back that they had better not expect me to marry an igbo woman, I never had them as girlfriends anyway. Every girl I have dated are yoruba girls and I must say they have been good so far, I don't care what their family is centered on long as she's good that's all I care about. It ain't like I'm going to be living with their family or something, it's me and her forever and whoever doesn't settle down with that had better get used to it and will be hurt each time they see us. I don't have a thing against marrying from my tribe but I wield my support for inter-tribal marriage. I love it.

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I wonder why nairalanders cannot stick to the topic instead of derailing and fighting with one another. besides why are people pointing accusing fingers at one another saying one tribe is into 419 and into fraudulent deals and shaddy deals ? There is no point pointing accusing fingers at one another as all tribes are into fraud, 419 so its not just singling one tribe out. I am a financial advisor and an account manager in the uk here and i deals with such issues and casses of frauds on a daily basis. so pls dont point accusing fingers at any tribe here.

In relation to the topic. it is the beliefs that parents have to decide or accept the man/woman theire children are going to get married to and in some circumstances, parents are biased on the issue of tribe because there see it as a barrier. eg, yoruba parents will say their children shouldnt marry igbo because they dont understand culture, and language, and that they dont have respect. same goes for the igbo people they will say their children shouldnt marry from yoruba, as the family are always troublesome. e.t.c. these are mostly factors and excuses parents give.

personally i will say parents are there to give advise and give their own opinions and views but are not there to make decisions as far as the issue of marriage is concerned because they wont live with you in your matrimonial home.

i currently have 2 friends. 1: he is muslim, the girl is catholic, and he is yoruba and the girl is igbo. they have been dating for more than 5years now but the guys parents are not too ok with the idea but the girls parents are yet to know about the guy so we are awaiting what willl happen.

2: the guy is yoruba, the girls is igbo from anambra from a place called nise to be precise, the guy has told his family about the girl already but they are cool with the idea. reason is most of the family have travelled to abroad and they have embraced other cultures. the father on the other hand is cool with the idea and basically supports the relationship but the mother of the guy is just refusing and saying that she doesnt support the union and even said she cannot travel to anambra for the traditional wedding when the time comes. but the guy basically blasted the mother for refusing becuase she claimed to have studied in the usa and westernized and ashamed at her for claiming cultural differences as a barrier and told her point blank that she better agree to the union after he has tried to convince her that the girl is from a good home. but if she still refuses when the marriage comes she is welcomed and if she doesnt show up, somebody else will take her place.

but on the girls part the girl is afraid to tell her parents about the guy to the extent that she and the guy are fasting for a whole 1month just for her to be able to tell her parents and they are engaged already for 2months.

what i am trying to say by quoting these above examples (2) is that both couples love each other very much and are willing to do everything to stay together to the extent that the guy is fighting with his mother because in this current time cultural differences shouldnt be a barrier to happiness.

sorry for the essay guys just had to contribute my own quota.

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Maybe the live video blogging on this site here will interest you

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/06/13/iran-demonstrations-viole_n_215189.html

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Hey C2H50H! Av been busy man. Nope! Ain't on Y!M.

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ha patwhizkid where have you been are you on yim?

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Iiiite! Hit the bed. Imma just settle for some Iranian news mehn, lotsa stuff going on n'ere. poo!

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Where is that s'pozed to be? UT, WA, CA? I'm in LAX

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Yes sa.  Sorry sa. A fine decision at that.  Ad-hominems really serve no useful purpose.

Thanks and enjoy your weekend as well.

FTR it is only 2am here, but I am sleepy nevertheless.

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It's your decision man. I hope you have a good night after a long week.

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We are making a comment here. If you have a different opinion, air it so we can hear. I still don't believe that there are socially derailed and psychologically challenged people like you in existence. You are truly a hapless pig with no iota of intelligence cleanliness in your brain-lonely head.

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It does my head in when i hear pple accussing Igbos of bringing shame to Nigeria. No matter how small the crime is, no tribe should be leftt out.

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No offense to Yoruba tribe but I believe we all share the menace. In Asian I can't deny that Igbo are pulling their fraudulent deals, in London, it's a Yoruba Fraudulent Haven. So no one should accuse any tribe of being fraudulent. What about their leaders? They should name of their people who have ruled us and are still ruling and aren't fraudulent, OBJ? Bankole? Go figure the rest. I just hate it when people show me all these sanctimonious attitudes.

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It is not right to specify spouse for your children, but if child upbringing is right, the child should be able to chose husband or wife that the family would be comfortable with. While family acceptance is not utmost requirement but in case of unforeseen circumstances it is important to consider it.

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u know i had the same problem, she told me that the problem is that her parents will kill her if she marrys Igbo guy, she went on how most Igbo guys are into 419 and bla bla bla.

I showed her the EXIST door immediately cos i couldn't put up with pple like her and her blinded parents

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Absolutely right you are. You know what I think all the time? I think why do people who have been patiently married for as long 20 years go through a divorce. The pain will be excruciating I suppose. Sometimes I hate to think that one day I will have to ply into the rigors of marriage, a solemn union it is but comes with its complexities.

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yea, i think every couple goes into marriage thinking of happily ever after, unfortunately not everything is always predictable.

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I wasn't talking about dating either. But first of all, you have to be in love with the person first and the next phase comes in. Seeking parents' opinion is good but then you can take some of their advice and merge it into some of your jurisdiction to ensure they all align with your facts. The ones that are out of place, find their true meanings and get draw conclusions from personal observations. It is complicated really, so I understand where you're coming from and hey, I never said or meant you are naive.

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i don't see it like that. this is not about who you going to "date" but "marry". big difference. and seeking opinions/advise about marriage or relationship for that matter, is what i don't see as b "tutored". anyways to each his own. like i said, i will seek my parents opinions/advice if the need arises and i dont see that being naive or anything else. i see it as b what i prefer.

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I suppose anyone who expects to be tutored about love hasn't really experienced what it is all about. I do understand it takes more than love to make a marriage work and that is where I stand. Some other qualities have to be factored in and how these qualities relate with the relationship and how they will with the marriage have to be thought through. In as much as I believe my parents will know a lot more about relationships and marriages more than I do, I believe I have to make mistakes just to learn who I am and I have to take responsibility for all my actions. My parents could be wrong too. Sometimes they make wrong assessments too and are prone to erroneous views and beliefs.

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sometimes we always tend to believe we know better while in actuality we know little esp when it comes to "love". some ppl when their are/claim to be "in love" they are too blinded to see the real person they are dating and only an outsider can see certain things in that relationship the individuals are too blinded to see. i value my parents opinions and i will seek it when the need arise.

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Not possibly because when the decision is made there is no going back unless we want to bring divorce into the picture which is not a sign of a healthy decision. I want to believe your decisions will be right on point so I will expect nothing short of a long term marriage. I wish most of our women can think like you have portrayed, unfortunately they don't.

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In my opinion, if you can't take their advice then there opinionated ideas isn't called for and can your decision be predicated on their advice? I believe you know your intending spouse better than they do.

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by them advising me doesn't mean that i have to take it. i want their opinions, eventually, i have to decide what i want.

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And if they advise you against the guy?

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they can only advise me

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Exactly what I'm saying

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I dont call that LOVE.

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But then you don't care. It's best if they shelve their negative opinion about him because girls that I know are always wild when they are in love, some can be foolish though and consent to their parents' opinions and mess up. I knew a girl who once told me she loved me so much but if her mom tells her not to marry me because of my tribe(Igbo, she's a Yoruba), she had no choice but to stop the relationship. I must say, right then at that spot she said it, I put an end to the relationship because it wasn't worth the stress with that statement.

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They can always tell me what they think of him but I am pretty sure it wont change my mind!!

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Since they can't have you marry who they want I see no point in them being opinionated.

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NOOO. They can have opinions but they can not tell me who to marry.

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When you're old enough to choose who to fall in love with, I don't think it's any of their gaddamn business to nose into your affairs.

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They can try, doesn't mean it will happen though.

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