My parents are demanding dowry from my poor fiancée

Monday, February 3rd, 2020 00:00 |
Love couples. Photo/Courtesy

Hi Achokis,

I met this handsome young man a few years ago. We hit it off from the word go and share many things in common.

We want to have a wedding before starting to stay together as husband and wife. When we approached my folks with our plans, they insisted that my hubby pays dowry first before we can proceed with the wedding.

The problem is that my husband is an orphan and comes from a very poor extended family. Everybody looks up to him and so this will be very heavy for him.

This dowry issue is really stressing him and in turn this is putting a strain in our relationship. What should I do? Please help!

Our Take

Thank yoy for your question. Love knows no boundaries whether tribe, status, or race.

When two people fall in love and want to get married like you do, then you realise that it’s not just about the two of you, but your two families as well.

Whereas the initial purpose for paying dowry was to appreciate the girls parents, which was noble, in modern times it has been turned into a commercial thing where parents want to recoup their investment on their daughter. 

You know your guy’s financial ability, and you also know that if, for example, he takes a loan to pay dowry, you will start your marriage in debt.

Explain to your parents the situation without exposing your guy too much. Hopefully they will be able to understand the situation and thus not make unrealistic demands on him.

On the other hand, together with your guy see what you both can practically raise as a token of appreciation to your parents. You must help him out here as his pride is also at stake. 

A few “don’ts” to note here. Don’t let your parents know that you are assisting him.

Don’t allow this thing to draw a wedge between you two. Don’t allow yourselves to be sucked into “our family against your family” kind of situation. Instead be willing to go all the way for each other.

Be empathetic of each other, do your best to understand the pressure your guy is facing and hopefully he will understand and feel your predicament in this situation.

You are torn between two loyalties here, your guy on one hand and your family on the other.

Now more than ever, you need to demonstrate your loyalty to him even as you endeavor to honour your parents. 

If you can weather this storm, then you will be able to weather other storms in future.  So look at it as a test that you have to pass and that is there to strengthen your relationship.

However long it takes don’t compromise on your desire to have a wedding before starting to stay together.

However if your people remain adamant in their demands then you will be left with no choice, but to move on with your plans minus them. 

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