A marriage advisor and counselor, Dr. (Mrs.) Betty Ishoka has decried the excessive emphasis placed on materialism at the point young couples are about to tie the nuptial knot. Mrs. Ishoka who spoke to the Catholic Herald newspaper recently in Lagos lamented that parents of the bride to be are not helping matters either as they insist that the bride groom and son in law must comply fully with the traditional rites and demands before their daughter would be given out in marriage. She said young men and women, the men in particular, are scared to enter the marriage institution on record time owing to what she described as the high cost of contracting or legalising such marriage.
The marriage advisor who is also the proprietor of a leading beauty centre in Lagos, cited the story of a young man about to marry (names withheld) who came to her office with a long shopping list of things to buy and present to his in-laws for them to accept and welcome him into their family. The list containing items she willingly handed over to our correspondent among others, included “One big cow,” goats, assorted drinks of all kinds, wrappers, wears, yams, fish and other perishable items, jewelleries amounting to over one million naira with the sum of two thousand one hundred naira as the bride price. She asked, where is the young man going to get the money to respond to this tall demand? She did not hide her disgust at the role some parents play to discourage their daughters from getting married to their husband of choice.
Even the economy of the country, she said, has impacted negatively on the marriage institution with couples sweating it out in an attempt to live a decent life while others who could not bear the hardship are going their separate ways. Her advice for intending couples is to shun the overbearing attitude of their parents and go ahead to contract court marriage which she believes the women stands to benefit more than the traditional marriage, when parents fail to allow reason to prevail. She noted that marriage should not be a do or die affair, but that couples who are truly in love will always negotiate their way through in good or bad times as we have it today in the COVID-19 pandemic era.