A married woman, identified as Trudy, has shared her story online of how her wedding was almost called off by her father.
The conflict arose on her wedding day after a controversial act pulled by the groom and his family.
“My wedding was chaotic. My mom was angry. My dad called my husband a thief. My senior brother told the pastor to call off the wedding.
Those at the church auditorium suspected something was going on but they couldn’t lay their hands on what specifically was going on. The choir sang for a whole hour, trying to keep the congregation calm so we could resolve the issues behind the curtain.”
“At the very tail end of the issue, the pastor asked my father, ‘What do you want us to do?” My father said, ‘I can’t hold the hand of my daughter and give her to a man I can never trust. If this wedding goes on, I will not be a part of it.’ The pastor turned to me and asked, ‘Trudy, what do you have to say?'”
“I couldn’t speak. I had been crying throughout. My makeup was messed up and my eyelashes were falling off my cheek. My mom screamed, ‘Stop crying and say something. Is this the kind of man you would want to live with the rest of your life with? A deceitful man like this?’
I looked at my husband. His face was buried in his palm. He looked half angry and half confused. My in-laws were equally lost for words. They talked about avoiding embarrassment. My father-in-law actually knelt on the floor pleading with my father to let things go.”
“He said, ‘The church is already full. If we stop this wedding, it would cause huge embarrassment to us, to you and everyone who attended this wedding. It will put clout of shame on the lives of our children here for the rest of their lives. Let’s allow this to continue. After everything, we will take the right steps to resolve the problem and apologize the right way. Even if we ought to slaughter a sheep to pacify you, we’ll do it.'”
“For some seconds everyone was quiet. The church elders and the officiating ministers left the room to reason together and come up with a verdict. We were all quiet on the outside but on my inside, everything was loud chaotic. My heart was beating loudly. It wanted to escape from my chest. I could hear the loud rumbling sound of my stomach. I kept shaking until I put my head on the table to relax my nerves.
It all started on the day of my traditional wedding.”
“I dated Martin for five years before he decided to finally take me to the altar. Saying I loved him would be an understatement. Before he came into my life, it was very rough. I met guys who promised heavens and later gave me hell. Some of them burned the little world under my feet just to keep themselves warm. I gave up on love. Instead, I gave all my attention to the work of the church. It was through that I met Martin, a member of the church but from another branch. Just after a year of dating, he lost his job. It took over a year and a half for him to land another job.”
“That job was paying him on a commission basis. The work was very tough but little wages came his way. It took him another year for him to get another job he could actually rely on. Throughout those phases, I was there with him, encouraging him to work harder. I paid his bills when his back was against the wall. I even paid the bills of his parents’ medical bills. What won’t we do for love?”
“There was no point in our lives that I mentioned marriage. I trusted him and knew that when the times were right in his life, he would make things right. Just when I was waiting on him, there was pressure coming from my parents’ side to marry. That pressure had a genuine basis. One, I was hitting the dreadful thirty yet I was nowhere closer to marriage. There were men who came directly to my parents that they wanted to marry me. I had to say no to all of them—three of them. All because I had Martin in my life. The last one came from the UK. He was the son of one of our church elders.”
“That guy looked genuinely in love with me but I told him, ‘I can’t help it. You came at the wrong time. There’s someone I have dated for almost four years. How do I leave him because I’ve met someone else? Don’t you think it would be very cruel on my part to do that?'”
My parents were very angry with me. I remember my mom didn’t talk to me for days. She didn’t even pick my calls. My dad called me a good-for-nothing-woman. He said, ‘By the time you realize your life is wasted, I would be so far gone that you can’t even call me and cry on my lap. You’re a child. Listen when your parents speak.’ “
“All these and more were the reason why I was so happy when Martin told me we should get married. I asked him, ‘Are you ready?’ He said, ‘We can never be ready but we have to do it regardless. We can’t wait to build mansions and own our favorite cars before we tell ourselves that we are ready.
Let’s meet your parents. Let’s start making plans towards marriage.’ We did the knocking ceremony and got the list. The day the list was given to him he called me on the phone and said, ‘I need your help. If we should rely on me to buy all the things on the list, the marriage will delay so kindly help.’ “
“I didn’t have problems. I knew his earnings and I knew the truth in what he was saying so I helped him buy some of the things—Those things on the list that a woman can buy without any problem.
A week before the traditional wedding, he called and asked me, ‘The monies we have to give to your parents and siblings, isn’t there a way that they can reduce it?’ I told him, ‘You should have talked about this long ago, not at this point that we are so close to the marriage. Now I can’t talk to my parents about it. It will raise a noisy alarm I wouldn’t like to hear.’ “
“He said, ‘Then I need your help with that.’ I was very frank with him. I said, ‘No I can’t help with that. It’s significant and symbolic that the man pays that money. When I pay it would be like I’m giving myself to myself in marriage and that’s not right. Do something about it.’ He didn’t say anything about it again so I thought we were settled on that.”
“On the day of the traditional wedding, he came with his family and we had a beautiful ceremony. He presented all the things on the list to my family. I remember my dad’s smiling face. I remember my mom’s happy demeanor and the joy of everyone present that day. It was a Saturday. The following day was the white wedding so we didn’t waste a lot of time with the traditional one.”
“On Sunday morning when my car got to the entrance of the church, the pastor walked to me and said, “You need to come to my office. There’s an issue going on there.” My heart skipped a beat. No one wants to hear, “There’s an issue” on her big day. He held my hand and we used the backdoor to his office. Of course, some people in the church saw us walking briskly to his office using the backdoor. When I got in, I saw my dad and mom and my senior brother already seated. Martin and his family were also seated at the other side of the room. Everyone was quiet.”
“My dad said, ‘Your husband and his family are deceitful. Traditionally, they didn’t marry you yesterday. The envelopes they presented to us were empty. All of the envelopes. They simply put one envelope in another envelope and presented them to us as dowry. I saw it only this morning when I was distributing the envelopes to their respective owners.
Apart from the deceit, it also means that marriage didn’t happen. You can’t marry in church whiles traditionally you are not married. That’s why we are here.’ I looked at my husband’s face and he turned away. I looked at the faces of his parents and they looked back at me pleadingly.”
“The church elders and the officiating ministers came to call my father and my husband’s father. Minutes later, they came back and said, ‘We’ve reached an agreement now. The total amount to be given to your parents is around GHC2,700. They will settle it now before we go to the church auditorium to continue with the wedding service.
Right things first before what is necessary.’ His father made some calls. Martin made some calls too. Minutes later, three different people came around with the money. They put it in an envelope and presented it to my parents. My father was still not happy but it was the best thing for all of us so he agreed for the wedding to continue.”
“All these hustles cast a huge shadow on our wedding. My smiles were inches deep. My body danced but my heart couldn’t enter the fray. You could see suspicion on the faces of the congregation. They had questions. They had theories as to why things had been delayed. They looked around for answers instead of joining in on the celebration. The whole wedding was moody. I couldn’t even wait to get out of the gown. People came to our wedding and left us with hearsays instead of good wishes.”
“Our marriage is four months old and we are still battling with the events of that day. My husband thinks my father was inconsiderate. ‘He could have waited until the wedding was over.’ I told him, ‘What prevented you from telling us before coming with empty envelopes? If you didn’t have money, there’s always a way to dialogue around issues. The old generations are like that. They always want to have a conversation. Why didn’t you communicate?’ He said, ‘If you helped me when I told you to, all these things wouldn’t have happened.’ “
“He blames me. He blames my family. He blames everyone but himself. We didn’t have the right foundation for our marriage but there’s always time to build and this is the time. I won’t let this steal my joy. I know with time we’ll grow over it and move on. We will even talk about it and laugh.
As hard as it may seem today, if we try our best, we still can deserve a good marriage. So we are working together. We are trying our best to be the best couple that we can be. We are not proud of our beginning but we can be proud of our future. We will build a bridge for both families to come together again. We’ll win I know because we are all good people,” she wrote.