My parent disowned me for marrying a man who couldn’t pay my bride price

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I was twenty-four years when Charles and his family came home to see my parent and asked for my hand in marriage. I’d dated Charles for over two years and throughout the years that we were together my parents were aware and his parents knew me very well. It was a fun and happy day when both families met to discuss the arrangements for the marriage and also to get the marriage list. My dad presented the marriage list in a sealed envelope to Charles and the family and later dispersed. Honestly, I didn’t know what was on the list. My parent didn’t discuss it with me and I didn’t bother a lot about it because I knew Charles would let me know what it entailed.

The night after the visit, Charles called me and I could sense the anger in his voice. His anger was about the items on the list. I rushed to see him that night and I was awed. I was actually sad to see the things my parent have listed as the bride price. Among other things, they wanted a brand new taxi, a 48-inch flat screen TV, 15 pieces of Kente cloth and a plot of land somewhere in Kumasi. Charles was so angry that he was visibly shaking. I tried calming him down and asked him to leave everything for me to handle.

I rushed home and called my parent for a discussion. Dad got angry when I broached the topic; “Who are you to ask us to reduce what we’ve carefully selected as your bride price? If you want your husband to respect and treasure you in the marriage, then keep quiet and allow him to get those things for us.” He walked over me and entered his room and his wife also followed. I was devastated and started crying. The next day, I called our pastor in to intervene. That didn’t work. My dad got angrier and accused me of taking family issues outside. I became frustrated as the days went by without getting my parent to change their mind. Charles was determined to wait for me as I tried working things out. My parent refused to shift grounds.

Four months later, Charles had to leave me. He told me; “Tricia, it doesn’t make sense. Even if I could afford to get those things on the list, it still doesn’t make any sense for your parent to request things of such nature. Are they trying to sell you to me?” I asked for more time from Charles. I pleaded with him to give me more time to make things right but he thought he had been patient enough. He was right. He had been patient but all I was wishing for was more time. I didn’t even know what I was going to do next to get them to change their mind about the list but somewhere I hoped more time would help to sway their mind. It didn’t work. Charles left me.

The story of my marriage list spread in the church like a wildfire. It became the gossips’ topic. Men avoided me as if I was some plague waiting to infest them. For four years I never had a boyfriend. Within those four years, my three close friends got married and one even had a child. I became very miserable and got scared anytime I thought of my future. I was growing. What if I hit the dreaded thirty without even a boyfriend?

At 29, Randy came along. Randy was swift, clever and knew what he wanted right from the start. He didn’t come with the intention to marry me. When I asked him what he needed from the relationship he said; “ I’m not looking for anything extraordinary. Just a friend I could call a girlfriend.” Honestly, I didn’t understand what he meant but there was something I liked about him. He was defiant and had an anger for things that don’t make sense. I called that a “serene anger.” He doesn’t fight or throw tantrums when he was angry. He’ll just move on and do what makes him happy. His sense of humor is unmatched. When I told him about the marriage list and why Charles didn’t marry me, he said; “Your dad is clever. If he demanded anything less, I wouldn’t have met you.” Crazy head Randy.

A year into our relationship, that was September 2013, Randy suggested we got married in the next coming year. I should have been happier but I was scared. The story of Charles and me started playing out all over again. I went home, told my parent what Randy had told me and asked them to prepare the marriage list for me to vet before Randy comes to see them. My dad again flared up; “You think you are sensible than both of us? We are trying to get the best for you and you are here talking about vetting? How are you sure he could take care of you if he couldn’t afford what is on the list?”

READ: How “No Sex Before Marriage” destroyed my marriage

He didn’t show me the list. As the day approached for Randy and the family to come over, I got scared and agitated. “What if this man does what he did the last time?” “What if Randy leaves me too?” “What if….” The day finally arrived. Randy came with his mum and his uncle. After everything was said and done, my dad gave them the list in a sealed envelope and he said; “I hope you don’t get discouraged. My daughter is a good girl. I raised her very well and she deserves all the honour you could afford through fulfilling what’s on the list given you.”

I left with Randy and the family. I couldn’t wait to see what was on the list. He flipped the envelope open in the car as we were going home and guess what, everything was just as the one he gave to Charles except this time it’s 20 kente cloth instead of 15. Randy laughed and said; “Obviously your dad doesn’t want you to marry but let’s surprise him.”

Randy gave my dad a call the next morning trying to negotiate the list. My dad insisted he couldn’t do anything about it. That was the last time Randy spoke to my dad. I spoke to my mum’s siblings and some siblings of my dad who had opposed my dad’s standpoint all along and they accepted to stand in for me as my parent. I didn’t care again. I didn’t say anything again to my parent. I left the house and stayed with a friend.

On May 3rd, 2014, we got married. On May 5th, 2014, we went to the Metropolitan Assembly, signed the legal documents and became legally married under the ordinance. The next day, I called my dad to tell him I was married. He didn’t pick my calls. I called my mum who picked. She couldn’t say a word but cried throughout the conversation. My dad told some family members that I’ve dishonoured him and as such, he had disowned me. He told them I shouldn’t attend his funeral when he dies.

I’ve tried several times to reach out to him through different means and through different people but he wouldn’t see me. Mom occasionally talked to me and told me how my dad was faring. Seven months into our marriage, I and my husband left Ghana to settle in Canada and we’ve been here since. Dad doesn’t talk to me still. Mom talks to me but she wouldn’t accept anything from me. She doesn’t want to disrespect his husband, which I understand. I’ve been happily married and I’m glad anytime I get to know my parents are in good health. I only hope someday Dad would understand and forgive me.

By Patricia Ewudzi Ampong (Mrs.)| Patricia is a healthcare professiona who lives in Canada with the husband

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  • kingsley Antwi Boasiako

    well patricia,you know,you still need the father’s blessing.Do everything you can to make peace with your father.

    • John

      Oh plz
      Not this kind of father blessing who cares about what he will get and not the daughter’s happiness
      If she did not take that discesion she will still be with him and all the good men will come pass finally she fall in the hand of a stupid man

      My dear live ur life as long as the man you are living with respect you care for you and did not take you for granted

      But in the other hand there is nothing more than family. Try and make peace with family, not just him

    • Cyrus Ash

      Bra Kingsley that “Father blessing” thing is soooo overrated. The bible even says that parents shouldn’t frustrate their children! With the so called bleesings is she not leaving better than most ppl? She would have been single at 50 with such a list

  • Priscilla Sherrie

    I wonder why no one is commenting.

    This is wrong and must stop. Parents mustn’t sell off their children just because they feel they brought them up well.
    Can I safely say her father was being a bit too ‘greedy’ for lack of a better word?

    • Abigail Owusu

      I support u completely, that’s what happened to me. I mean Priscilla

  • Benjamin Obeng Agyemang

    The Man is heartless and insensitive or better put it mentally unstable. I wonder if her daughter is an angel or superhuman whose skin is probably made of gold. Was he not oblivious to the fact that his daughter was going to get into her menopause by the the time he gets all his request? If he did then I will say he is demon possessed and needs delivarence. I wonder how much he paid as brides money for his wife?
    Woman enjoy your life wherever you are because you don’t own him anything. You have done no wrong for him to refuse your calls, beside you aren’t a commodity for him to trade you off. Your father is simply a wizard who hates to see you prospering but thank God the other family members stood up and ignored him and made your dream come true. For all you know he is scaring men off and denying you happiness in life possibly to appease and satisfy a deity he is enjoying and benefiting from. You don’t need your fathers blessings to be successful because you are blessed already, beside he has nothing good in him for him to bless you.
    I wonder if his demands would have been enough to get you this far even if they were met.
    Any man that makes this senseless demands needs no attention and should be ignored because such is nothing but evil.
    Woman enjoy your life and be fruitful in Jesus name because no weapon formed against you shall prosper.

  • Ps. Emmanuel Quarshie


  • Nana Nyarkomaa

    Hmmm… This seems to be the order of the day. Honestly her dad was so wrong. But going ahead without your father’s blessing? Sweetheart you need to make amends with him ASAP. How would you feel if he passed without settling your score? Could you live with it? I can’t. Don’t know about you. Please find time, come down to Ghana with your husband and do everything within your possible best to make amends. The earlier the better. As your father, you would have been the best person to deal with him. Daughters always have a way with their fathers. You have to find that one thing about you that gets your dad emotional about you. Dwell on that to make amends. You don’t necessarily need a 3rd party.

  • Kwame Adusei

    Good talk from priscilla

  • Akorfa

    Pat you did well dear, someone would have gotten pregnant for the man without marriage. This is really happening. Same thing happened to a friend and its really sad how some of our parents behave when its time for us to get married. I wish there is a regulations in this country stating the maximum requirements for bride prices.

  • Emmanuel Jesse Sarbeng

    Very pathetic n interesting.but parents must come again.marriage is a union not a barter trade.I pray ur parents will accept you n give u the blessings.It is well.

  • appiah Emmanuel

    My dear don’t bother about ur father again ok. Am sure by now you know that the true intentions of ur father was not to get you a good man who can take care of you but all that was listed was for his own interest and glory be to God he sent in a strong man with sense who did what he did to marry you. You did the right thing and never bother urself again with ur father.

  • Nana Kwesi Addo

    interesting enough…but I think such things must be revised…Does it mean a guy can handle a woman anyhow during their marriage life because he had bought her?

  • Maybe the man is nor for her,maybe i am for her