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Parental approval in marriage – Part 3




Set boundaries.

  • Do not allow the disapproval of your parent to draw a wedge between you and your spouse. For instance, you could attend family functions alone or visit your parents alone so that you protect your spouse and at the same time you do not allow your spouse to distance you from your Parents.
  • Do not blackmail your parents to come around. Understand their disapproval is a sign they love you.
  • Do not allow your parent’s disapproval to escalate to the point of destroying your relationship with your spouse or Parents.


Warm your way back to your Parents

Encourage your lover to prove himself or herself by hard work, kindness, affection, honest, commitment, acts of forgiveness and taking your Parents as his or her own. If they see your spouse as good, they will be relieved, restore your relationship and possibly build stronger bonds.



Your Parents are the reason for your life. You carry their genes and by our traditional beliefs you belong to them for life and must be part of your life in everything you do, including your marriage.

This means parenting is for life and your parents become your guidepost in all areas of life. It is therefore important to seek parental approval and blessing before you marry.

Studies also show that in most cases when Parents find partners for their children or show great support for your choice, the children see this as motivation and show greater commitment to make the marriage work.

On the other hand, studies show parent’s disapproval of spouse can create conflicts, criticism etc. Therefore, no matter how love comes, it is good to seek parental approval.


In love marriage, you fall in love and marry.

In arranged marriage you marry and later fall in love.

However, all marriages have their risks. Studies show that arranged marriages do not have greater risks than love marriages. Love or arranged marriages may work or fail. For instance, there could be a ‘high profile’ wedding blessed by a popular bishop for two Catholics in the same parish. The marriage might not last without the appropriate Parental consent.

Compare this to a young man who left my hometown, Obomeng-Kwahu for Accra.  After many years when he would not visit or marry, his father arranged for a wife in our village for him and bundled her into an Accra-bound vehicle. The note she carried from the father to his son was simple “My son Kofi, the bearer of this note is your wife”.

This marriage might work very successfully for years.

Again, consider a study that was done in USA. Fifty men were randomly matched with fifty women in a marriage.

Fifty partners in courtship were also married at the same time. At the end of 10 years, analysis did not show any marked difference in the success or failure rate of the two sets of marriage.

This means failure or success in your marriage depends on what you do in your marriage. Marriage experts assert that the concept of love after marriage is a beautiful feeling. Many of our parents and grandparents hardly knew their potential partners but appeared to have more successful marriages than we do.

In the past, it was parents who selected partners for their children and the children approved. Now it is children who are selecting their own partners and asking their parents for approval.


We ask, which is better, love marriage or arranged marriage?

Well, none is better than the other because each has its negatives and positives. It is what you do in your marriage that determines the health of your marriage. 

If you show unconditional love, commitment, honesty, hard work and a forgiving spirit and pray without ceasing, your marriage will work.

Love or arranged marriage is not the answer.

Only you can make or unmake your marriage!


Source: John Boakye, Marriage Counsellor


Parental Approval in Marriage – Part 2

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