How important is the blessing of your mother and father when it comes to tying the knot? Could you go into a marriage knowing your parents didn’t approve of your spouse or your decision? And if they don’t, how much attention do you pay to their reservations?
I’m asking because a young woman (let’s call her Efie) I know is struggling with this. She’s in love with her boyfriend, and he feels the same. They’ve been together for about a year now and have been talking about marriage here and there. But being a Ghanaian woman, it is important that her family have a say and approve of her taking that next step.
The problem is, they don’t.
According to Efie, her mother is not a fan of her boyfriend. Not because he isn’t a good man, but because he comes with three children from previous relationships. He’s in his mid-30s if you were wondering.
Efie is rightfully upset about this and feels like she can’t freely move forward in her relationship with her boyfriend. Her father actually gave his blessing, but her mother wants her to date someone else, someone with less (or preferably no) kids, someone with a bit more “potential.” So when her boyfriend came to her family’s home bearing gifts of goodwill and looking for a “Yes, you can marry our daughter,” they were both shocked when her mother said “No.” It’s created quite a bit of drama, not only between Efie and her mom but between Efie and her boyfriend.
He wants her to think for herself since she’s an adult. And while he would have loved to receive the blessings of her parents, he asked more so out of respect, and for Efie, than for himself.
So she’s caught between a rock and a hard place, feeling like her mother is holding her back from being with the man she truly loves, and, at the same time, being hesitant about going against the people whose opinions and approval matter so much to her. Complicated or nah?
So what is a girl to do? The support of my parents is extremely important to me, as it is to many young women out there. And while I would keep in mind their reservations to ensure that my fiancé was, in fact, the right guy for me (and maybe give myself time to see where things go between us), if my heart were telling me he was the man for me, I’d politely have to tell my parents to either support me or mind their business. (I’m Nigerian though, so it would be much less curt and probably a lot more Nollywood-esque.)
There are some times where parents do know best, and base their decisions on how they’ve seen you treated. And then there are times when they simply, stubbornly believe they know best because they have certain expectations, hopes, and goals for you. But at the end of the day, it’s not their life. And if you’re making a mistake, well, such is life. It’s a mistake you will have to live with and learn from. But again, it’s your, or Efie’s, mistake to make.
How would you handle it if your parents didn’t approve of the man you wanted to marry?