Long ago, getting married was perhaps everyman’s dream. A dream that even the “yet to be rich” could afford to bring to life. Why? In-laws understood that most men aspiring to get married didn’t come from wealthy backgrounds. They thus demanded for bride wealth that was rational to the financial earnings of the groom. Alas! marriages have taken a whole new twist of late. A twist in which in-laws from the bride’s side expect the groom to put up of an extravagant show of wealth. They expect to be gifted with only classy or flashy items no matter their cost. Faced with such exaggerated demands of robbers in law who’ve guised as in laws, how can he pull it off successfully? Writes yours truly, Solomon Oleny. Illustrations by Danny Barongo
Use the bride as a medium for persuasion
Basing on personal experience, Ernest Lukwita 66, a retired Pediatrician advises, it is smatter to let the bride do the negotiating because she is closer to the in laws than the groom. As such, she commands a stronger influence on them.
Better still if she cannot pull it off fruitfully, she knows the right person to interest into turning things to her prince charming’s favour. In the event that this shortcut doesn’t work out, Lukwita recommends that the groom pulls out the plug. This will create an impression that he is neither desperate nor ready to be cheated beyond his means, as such, the marriage can pass. Knowing lightning might doesn’t strike the same place twice, the dreamers(in-laws) will be forced to stop reasoning like people whose senses have gone on leave.
“Granted the in laws might not be impressed by this move at all. They might even think of the groom as an easy quitter…” “Bearing in mind that by the time she agrees to a marriage proposal, it is most likely that she has been desperately awaiting it for a long time, the parents will start leaving in fear that their daughter might eventually run out of patience and elope with the groom.
What is important here is that they will pressured to start thinking like real in laws as opposed to robbers in law.” Says Lukwita
“As such, they’ll be compelled to stoop for what’s more realistic taking to consideration that half a loaf is better than none.” he says
Use areligious leader who is closer to the in-laws
According to Father Mario Martini, 42, Catholic Priest with the Comboni Missionaries Uganda, it is better for grooms to use religious leaders as chief mediators because parents/in laws always treat them with a great deal of respect because they think of them as Gods chosen intercessors.
“As such, they often heed to their advices convinced that it is Gods will hence an explanation as to why religious leaders are said to be the best negotiators for a down-size in the bride wealth demands.” He explains
If possible, Martini advises the usage of the particular religious leader whom they’d wish to preside over the marriage.
“The advantage with this approach is that priests are professionally trained negotiators who know how to weaken humans into submission without trying so hard.” he says
Plan a head
Arguably, luck comes to those who best prepare for her. Against this background,….a marriage Counsellor recommends it is important for the groom to establish a concrete rapport with the in laws months or years ahead of his planned official marriage proposal time.
“To be exact, he should be as close to them as possible. For example, whenever the family is suffering a bloody nose with downsides of life such as sickness and death, he should be there to offer a supportive leaning shoulder for that’s when they need it the most.”
Naturally, this will give an impression that there is more to the groom to be than can be seen and felt. It will make them reflect on how incomplete life would be without him and leave them astonished by how their daughter is lucky to have him. As such, it will be naturally weaken their persistence on exaggerated demands when the time strikes--making it virtually impossible for them to never say never.
On the other hand, keeping a distance and instead showing up at the last minute will be met with tough resistance because they’ll be chilled with the fear for the worst. Filled with uncertainty, they’ll put across roof top demands, sometimes with the prime objective of dissuading the groom into throwing the towel-as he is undeserving of their daughter.
Bargain it out like you are purchasing a property
Taking to consideration that the world has drastically moved from the times where marriage was about a deep entrenchment into culture to now business, Okwalinga Emmanuel, an Events Manager based in Soroti recommends making the most of one’s bargaining power.
This in other words means that just like a buyer and seller would haggle over a multi-million business deal on a round table, the ‘groom to be and his team’ should sit down the in laws for a serious bargain and put his art of persuasion to use.
“However before this, he should make his team is made of very efficient negotiators who have mastered the art of bargaining otherwise risk losing it all.” Okwalinga warns
In the event that the negotiations end in vain Sekyewa Edward (whats his profession) recommends that the groom gives the impression that he’ll bow to every demand put on table on condition that he’ll be allowed to do anything with the bride as soon as the deal is sealed.
“If I buy something, I am allowed to do with it whatever pleases me and treat it in any way that pleases me. In short, she will be my "property." he asserts.
“Faced with such a situation, parents are bound to slash down their demands because naturally they’ll be terrified with fear for the worst. Better still, a real parent doesn’t pleasure in building their happiness upon the unhappiness of their children.” Sekyewa says