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Last Updated: Friday, 21 July 2006, 15:47 GMT 16:47 UK
Is it worth getting married?
Bridal bouquet
What are the pros and cons of holy matrimony?

Around the world and across Africa the cost of getting married is skyrocketing. Meanwhile the divorce rate in most places is also on an upward slope and going your separate ways, no longer comes cheaply.

A businessman in Kenya is waiting to hear whether a court will order him to part with US$1.3m in a divorce settlement with his estranged wife.

Consequently, more and more couples are putting marriage on hold and choosing to cohabit.

Are you married or divorced? And are you happy or sad about it? Do you think holy matrimony is still worth it? Or are you co-habiting with no intention of ever having a 'big day'? Is there anything wrong with 'living in sin'?

This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.

Your comments:

I notice most of the comments from Africa are from males, very pro-marriage and emphasising loyalty in marriage. Yes of course, how silly of me; that's why so many African wives catch HIV from their husbands.
Paul Braham, UK

I don't see the point of "holy matrimony." Marriage is a contract between two consenting adults - it is about money, security, and partnership. The churches of this world have taken it up as another way to garner money from the gullible public. Being tied permanently to a person who cannot fulfil their vows is the same as partnering with a business that ignores your own business's needs and causes your downfall. I think holy matrimony is absolutely ridiculous and an unwise investment - unless you manage to find someone who is dedicated to supporting you and your goals for life.
Cherry, New York, USA

I think that too many concentrate too much effort on the wedding ceremony and not the marriage. Marriage is more than a piece of paper and needs to be treated as such. Marriage gives you rights that just co-habiting does not. For example you and your kids have automatic right of survivorship if the spouse does not have a will. If you are not married and the spouse should die without a will, you have no rights other than the benefits your kids are awarded by the government until they reach 18. As the wife or husband, you have the right to decide what happens to your spouse should they become unable to speak for themselves. If you are not married and something happens and the other person is in the hospital, you might not have the right to see the person who was hurt or make decisions regarding their welfare because you are not next of kin. Should he/she die and you are not married to them, unless the family likes you, you can be barred from making decisions about what to do with the body. Also, when you buy property, in the most of the states, a spouse is not allow to purchase property without the signature of the other spouse, even if one spouse will not be on the mortgage itself, they will be on the the title making it harder for one spouse to sell the home out from under the other. This was made mostly to protect women whose husbands would try to hide property from the wife, serve them divorce papers and tell them they have to leave the home because it's been sold. Also, this allows her rights to equity in the home if they divorce. And, if you have been married, you have rights to his/her retirement income should you divorce late in life. If he dies you get widows benefits in the U.S. (of course that depends on your age, how long they have been in the workforce and how long you have been married before your spouse dies). People put more effort into business relationships than they do into marriages. Maybe if people treated marriage as they would a business arrangement things would be better. Marriage benefits not only the adults but the kids as well. It gives kids the security they need and It gives women the security they need. Co-habiting is more stressful for women than marriage. Co-habitation means the man has no legal obligation to you and if he decides he wants to leave he can. Having kids with him does not mean he owes any obligation to you. But being married makes it easier. And, if you are a stay at home mom or dad and you are not married he/she can leave and with no obligation to you, only the kids. And the amount some courts award for child support is a crying shame. At least if you are married and he decides to leave you can get alimony for awhile. However, if you want to be a stay at home spouse you should still be learning a skill or getting your education so that if divorce happens you have something to fall back on!
Y.R.E., Florida, USA

Marriage is for better or for worse, that is why in terms of marriage make sure you are totally matured and ready to face a real life as a married person. However, to make a marriage work the couple have to have respect, understanding and a true love of each other and they must always put God first before anything in their life. I came from Philippines and married a Nigerian who came from a cultured family, but we are happy together. We have four children we have been married for 12 years now and have a very strong faith that God is always with us and our children are growing with faith in God. I believe that every family who prays together stays together.
Mrs. Marilyn Osuala, Lagos, Nigeria

I think because of the attitude and behaviours of women in Nigeria, I am of the opinion that Nigerian men should turn their backs to our women and not marry any of them for 1 or 2 years to see whether they will change. They are quite arrogant. Thanks. Boniface Anthony
Boniface Anthony, Jos - Nigeria

I have recently got married after 7 years of being with my now husband. Marriage is sacred and creates a beautiful bond between 2 people that is incomparable, no matter how long you have been together. It does not cost much to do a simple wedding, in a church or otherwise. This has been forgotten and marriage is all too often becoming like many things in this world now - over-commercialised.
Yvonne Ewang-Sanvincenti, Geneva, Switzerland & Limbe, Cameroon

I believe the world is changing at all fronts and the idea of holy matrimony is no exception and whether the west influence is to blame or not is of lesser issue. However, anybody who entertain the notion that not getting married would magically curtail some of the problems that occurs in marriage is surely kidding themselves because whether you choose to marry or co-habit, chances are you will come across hurdles you never expected and that is call life. I'm planning to get married soon and I know that I'm about to venture into the unknown but sooner or later we will all eventually venture in to the unknown the question is how you choose to handle the situation whatever it might be.
Garang Chut Deng, Australia

I think people should decide for themselves rather than the society doing it for them.
Abel, Nigeria

I think marriage is like putting up a big building. You should do your survey very well,have a good plan and design and, after a strong foundation has been put up, your building will last forever. You should know what you want, who you want and the person you are with. With love, your marriage will sustain for years
Evans Arthur , Accra, Ghana

I would like to hear more of the opinion of people who are married rather than overly optimistic/pessimistic views of the unmarried. I was engaged for a few months until my fiancée had an affair with her colleague. Do i think marriage is worth it.. NO!!!! Again my views are tinted by the trauma of my fiancée's infidelity.
Anon, Gva

Marriage is a "fortress for human well being". Human beings were created to live as couples, we are designed for it. When you find the right partner, when you share everything that the life brings - joy, troubles, making decisions together, you are like one soul in two bodies. It's not always easy as people are not the same but it is definitely worth it. I am married and very happy - marriage was one of the best things that ever happened to me.
Kate Naitoro, Uk

Marriage is good because, as you'll have noticed; people who have got divorced get married again and again¿¿¿.
Mr P Sahai, Manchester, UK

I have been married for fifteen years with two children. It is difficult to say if I am happy or not. There are moments when you are happy and there are moments when you are sad about being marriage. My marriage was traditional and I hardly knew my wife, she was infact my first woman. I think, it is important to get married if you want children and want to care about their proper development, both parents should live together.
A Bhat, UP, India

It is mankind's self-centeredness and selfishness which has created problems in holy matrimony.
Yishak Degefu, Addis Ababa,Ethiopia

It is very difficult to manage a marriage and family these days. Money is ruling relationships, the more money you have, the more stable the marriage.
Hankie Uluko, Lilongwe, Malawi

I got married just under 2 years ago at the age of 29 and am waiting for the birth of our first child. Marriage is hard work. I think one has two options with this "work," either it is meant to be this way to teach us something greater about life, or life is to be lived for the moment, for fun, and I should do whatever I want to pursue pleasure. I believe marriage is good and designed by the creator of the world.
Rob Walker, Cape Town South Africa

It is worth getting married if you're ready and prepared. Marriage is like building a house, one needs enough materials and experienced builders for the house to stand. Those who get divorced are those that try to build a marriage without the required materials.
Johannes Magombo, Maputo, Mozambique

Yes, holy matrimony is still worth it, people should get married, stop living in sin by cohabiting and stop burning silently with passion
Sylvia Omoluwa, Gulu, Uganda

I have never been married, but I am anxiously looking forward to it, especially now that I am about to finish my first degree . My studies have always been the reason I have not gotten married. The trouble is how to meet the right person.
Kemo Cham, Serekunda, Gambia

My view is that some seek holy matrimony for the sake of pride not for its actual value. Every normal thinking person should want to be married. I am a successful man thanks to my wife. I have noticed that many people get married today just for fun. I remember a friend of mine who came back for the USA and spent lots of dollars on his marriage, it did not last a year, he and his wife divorced.
Eric Mbumbouh, Bamenda, Cameroon

I think western influences have not helped Africans on the issue of marriage. In the good old days of Africa, when a man or woman commits an offence in marriage, he or she is punished according to the laid down laws of the village. Saparation was an abomination and was treated in that light. Today seperation is a way of making money and wealth. With the right intentions, marriage is still worth it. Most marriages crash because of interference from a third party.
Nduoma, Port-Harcourt, Nigeria

Getting married in Africa is adding more injuries to a wound. You will see your husband or wife having a love affair with some other person.It is more than a genocide for marriage is sacrelligious. Where there is suspicion of infidelity, seperation is the answer.
Paul Ayamba, Yaounde-Cameroon

I'm married and I'm very happy about it. Marriage is a lifetime commitment, for better and for worse. I think holy matrimony is worth it. If you are in a long term relationship with someone and love that person, why don't you do the right thing by marrying him or her rather than living in sin. It's written in the Bible that it's better to be married than to be single.
Afua, USA

I'm of the view that holy matrimony is still worth it. Co-habiting is not a way of life, it is 'living in sin'. Besides, I'm against divorce or dissolution of marriage. No matter what the problems are in marriage, divorce is not the answer. I still encourage marriage not matter how expensive it is. One can organise a low-key marriage without necessarily spending 'big' money in order to impress people or say 'it is a big day'.
Simplykingso Lykemoor, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria

No its not worth getting married. I've never been a believer of marriage. Saying things like 'I will love you forever' is very stupid! How long is forever?. Gosh, then you find people walking down the aisle for the 3rd time, having divorced the previous 2, and still say 'till death do us part'!
Ngonii, Windhoek, Namibia

It is worth getting married,especially when you are able and stable.
James Opere, Nairobi Kenya.

I have never been married before but I have witnessed marriages that started in paradise and ended in hell. You know, as the saying goes marriage is for better or for worse. but today the situation is different. Once you propose marriage to a woman she starts portraying all her good characters and after marriage she starts behaving like a wolf. Here in South Africa the rate of divorce is alarming. People prefer to stay single and have babies out of wedlock.
Aaron Anye, South Africa

Marriage is an individual effort. One marriage can't be compared to another, it is just how hard you work at it. With so many individuals aware of their rights and social standing, marriage no longer defines who you are that is why there is a high divorce rate. Why should you stay married if you are unhappy. Only you can create your own happiness. I am single by the way.
Kaura Uazamo, Windhoek, Namibia

It's worth getting married if one has the right motives and attitudes towards marriage. Though marriage is a gift from God, today I see it as more of an investment than a commitment. That's why many people are not ashamed of taking their husbands or wives into the courts of law, after all rights are being invented day in day out and elders no longer help in resolving conflicts among married couples. A man or woman wants to get married to someone who is financially independent or has a good family background. Also relatives are always on one's back about when one is getting a husband or wife. In most African communities that I know, being single is a taboo, hence many people who cannot put up with this are forced to take a partner to impress the community. At the end of the day one is either cohabiting or rushing to get married to any stranger that comes along. After some few years down the road, the once a sweetheart becomes a bitter-heart. Co-habiting is not the best option but sometimes it's the only alternative.
Prossy Nannyombi, Entebbe, Uganda

It's unfortunate that people no longer believe marriage is a sacred institution ordained by God. Instead, they see it as a contract, it is so sad to hear people spending thousands of dollars on weddings, inviting friends and relatives, accepting all the terms that apply to marriage, but only to break up few months later. I have never co-habited, but am thinking of it because I have a number of girls that I am kind of seeing at the moment and I do not know which one I will tie the knot. I pray God will guide me to make a good choice.
Ramsey Abaessien, Washington dc/Nigeria

Despite the high cost of marriage here in Nigeria, young men still consider it something necessary because they feel it will complete them as men. Marriage is a cultural issue and you are regarded and treated as a child until you get married. So, to escape criticism we young men go as far as selling our belongings in order to have somebody to call a wife. For your traditional marriage alone, you are asked to bring cow, goat, fowl, wrappers for different members of the family including huge amount of money. Because, of this young man run into debt. How to pay the debt, feed your now-established home, then becomes a crisis. But, I think the most important thing here in Nigeria is the behaviour of the wife to be. Good behaviour and the managerial ability of the wife count for alot.
Prince Okoroafor, Abakaliki, Nigeria.

Co-habiting as a substitute for marriage will lead to even more serious problems.If we discourage marriage because we are afraid of the the discipline or the responsibility that comes with it, any alternative will eventually make us look just like the beasts in the jungle. Marriage marks the beginning of the family and is the best thing we can look forward to in life. I can't imagine a happy family outside the framework of a happy marriage. If just living together for convenience was the way to go, gays and lesbians would not be clamouring for marriage licences.
L. Osagie, Greenbelt, Maryland

I have been married for the past 8 years and I think it's worth it. The problem with the present generation is that they marry for the wrong reasons.
Tutu Olutayo, Borås Sweden

I am not happy in my marriage.
Mohamed Nahir, Manchester, UK

In the so-called 'new life', everything has gone in the wrong direction. It's not worth getting married as marriage has lost it's meaning because people do not understand what marriage is supposed to be about.
Mukupa, Delaware, USA

In this era, holy matrimony is just a mere waste of time and money. You should consider this option only if you are keen on raising good children. Otherwise, co habitation is a good option. I am one who is totally appalled and disappointed by the institution of marriage.
Ruby Siva, Hamilton, Canada

As a recently-married woman, I feel happy because I married a wonderful, handsome Egyptian man! My husband makes me feel very safe, secure and loved. I enjoy taking small trips with him or lying around doing nothing, which we can do a lot because we don't have any children. We have only been married a few months, but smooth sailing so far. Mostly because my husband loves to resolve conflict and does all he can to make me feel happy!. Because of our religious beliefs, we both feel more comfortable being married. I have had a live-in relationship in the past, I would never do it again. We have a saying, "why buy the cow when the milk is free?", the "milk" being not just sex, but cooking, washing, backrubs etc. These are services a guy should only get to enjoy if he has decided to make a commitment to a girl. My husband and I also help eachother with housework, talk over business ideas and teach one-another Arabic and English. I find that lots of fun and I feel very happy to have a new best friend. We are both talented and creative people and have respect for our particular talents. We also save lots more money since we got together and have seriously curtailed our shopping. I think money causes a big problem in marriages. In addition, many people find it hard to quell the desire to compete with the spouse or "win" arguments. I think spouses should "give in" as much as possible and support one-another. The only bad thing about being married for me is jealousy. If a beautiful, scantily clad girl walks by, I start to grind my teeth. But, alas, I can't be the only beautiful woman in the world. The other negative is the marital weight gain. I think my husband and I have both gained at least 5 pounds a piece!.
Joanne, Baltimore, USA

I am divorced but I am certainly not happy about it, although I still think that it was the best thing for both parties involved. I do still think that holy matrimony is worth it.But it must be done with both parties agreeing to yield to God on everything, particularly issues that relate to money. I also think that respect and communication are vitally important as well in an effort to have a strong marriage.
Fred Frazier, Atlanta USA

I am married and happy. I have four daughters three of whom are of at an age where they can marry. I will insist that they all get married.
Ebusaupanyin, Ghana

There is everything wrong with 'living in sin'. Holy matrimony is worth it despite the difficulties involved. When we get to understand the many reasons for divorce, we can arm ourselves against it.
Grace Okeng, Brussels, Belgium

I am happily married and think marriage is worth it for those who really know its true value. Hedonism has taken over true love.
Clive Obianyor, London, United Kingdom

The economic situation in Ghana is becoming very difficult although the government and the International Communities is praising Ghana but we can not feel it in our pockets. Young girls are co-habiting with the men not for marriage but just to get daily food to eat, parents are becoming very irresponsible, they do not care if their daughters sleep with men to survive. Marriage is just not on the agenda, ladies are getting pregnant day in day out and nobody cares to ask for their hand in marriage. Nobody is concerned about marriage not because of the cost of marriage but the cost of looking after their own children. If you do not look after your daughter would you have the courage to demand her marriage prizes?
John Jerry, Aflao, Accra, Ghana

People who get married and get divorced after a few years have not found their soul mate, in my opinion. I have found mine and will marry her next year on the day we first met. The world has lost the meaning of the word " love " and it's getting worse, sex is selling big time and divorce is on the rise ( is that so strange ). If you marry someone who is not your soul mate, the inevitable is going to happen. This is some thing they don't teach you in school. Pete
Pete, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Marriage is still sacred. In my part of Africa, if a man has not married a woman, any baby that comes out of the "union" belongs to the girl's family. There is no place for co-habiting or anything like that. If you like a woman, then go and settle with her people. You must not spend too much money, but the rites must be observed.
Kingsley Ezenekwe, Lagos Nigeria

Many couples are putting marriage on hold because it is expensive, since every woman thinks she is in a race with his fellow women. Marriage makes me sick when I hear people talk about it. I would prefer to be gay than marry a woman, whose wishes are material and who will divorce me to get money.
noah nash , Brong Ahafo - ghana

Certainly there are pros and cons of marriage as there are pros and cons about any decision you have to make. I have been married for 23 years. I believe that it was true 'holy' matrimony. Most people do not view marriage as holy any more that is why there is divorce. Whether it is right or wrong to cohabit depends on your biblical view. If you believe in the Bible and the one true God, then yes there is something wrong with living in sin. I chose to live in holy matrimony, one husband, one wife for a life time. It brings peace and freedom to live with a pure conscience before man and God.
Renee, Idaho Falls, USA

A big day for a wedding is not that important to me. On the other hand, as far as Africa traditions are concerned, cohabiting would be my last resort. In people's beliefs, one is viewed as cheap and easy. Again, as far as the law is concerned when two cohabit, and eventually separate it becomes difficult for the woman to get a share of the property. If you are married, it becomes easier to settle this at the courts of law. So, I would rather get married. It does not have to be a big expensive occasion. A civil marriage is actually cost effective. The bible does not mention weddings, it only says that a man shall live his home and be joined to a woman and together they shall become one.
Elizabeth Gitau, Nairobi, Kenya

I read with interest your short article on marriage and divorce rates across the globe. I think volumes could probably be written about both topics, as well as why people still get married with a good knowledge of marriage failure statistics. Times have definitely changed from the 19th century where divorce was rarely heard of. These days it is actually strongly encouraged within certain groups. Hollywood has a proven hand in failed marriages as fantasy, over the top, and highly unrealistic romances are often portrayed in movies and soaps. Regrettably, people often buy into these ideas and wonder why these fairy tale romances are missing in their own lives. The harsh but simple reality is, marriages need work, and most people cannot justify putting in the time and effort required to sustain a marriage. Unfortunately, there's no relationship on the planet that will survive without effort on the part of both partners. I've been with my wife for 15 years and I am very happy and feel fortunate to have my partner. There have been challenges, but the whole idea behind a relationship is working through challenges, hard times, and problems which will inevitably crop up. A large number of couples however will cite incompatibility at the first sign of an impending problem.
Jeffrey, Canada

I am not yet married. I don't think it's worthwhile for those whose marriages have broken down to go about descouraging people from going about it. I think marriage was designed by God.
Israel Ambe Ayongwa, Bamenda, Cameroon

In Kenya, for instance, marriage has been viewed as a way to support women and as a source of wealth to the lady's family since girls are exchanged with cows. But since women are becoming independent with education and technology, men don't want the competition. They don't want to accept the fact that the women can equally provide. I'd rather a women who cannot get a good and understanding man to stay single.
Lynet Otieno, Nairobi, Kenya

Marriage is the lovely thing, the only problem is that the world is changing where the wife wants to have a say in the decision in the house hold. This is fine but it can cause arguments.
Ola Taiwo, Dublin

What ever you want to call it, marriage or cohabitation or living in sin, require a lot of work to last 'until death do us part.
Paul Kudina, Zimbabwe

The institution of marriage is divinely ordained to enable man fulfil the biblical injunction that, we should go into the world and multiply. However, man has attempted to bastardise this noble institution by trying to play 'God' when he wants to get married. If man can obey the voice of God in the matter of marriage, he will enjoy a blissful experience because, he who finds a wife has found a good thing.
Ashipa James Olashupo, Abuja, Nigeria

I have always looked at marriage from the biblical standpoint. The Bible said God created man in his own image, at this point man is complete. Then from the side of the man he removes a rib and creates a woman, thereby rendering man incomplete. Therefore in my thinking, a man becomes complete when until he gets back the missing rib. If he is not married to a woman means he did not find the right rib, the rib doesn't fits and therefore he still remans incomplete.
Morfaw Rene, Cameroonian in Belgium

In African cultures it is very important that a couple fulfil the traditional marriage rites. lf traditional marriage is done, then l do not think that the couple would be living in sin without the sacrament of holy matrimony. And as regards the problem of divorce, it is accidental, hence the necessity of courtship before marriage.
Terungwa Anjah, Gboko, Nigeria

I can see why many couples will hesitate to place their relationship on a legal basis when so many things can go wrong. But, if you really love one another sooner or later it will make sense to make this sort of commitment. Once you become a couple you are not just two individuals, you are combining your lives to make one life for the two of you. This is not just a religious commitment or for the purpose of raising children, it is a reflection of your love for one another. Perhaps it makes sense to keep something back in case things go wrong, but eventually you will want to put everything you have into your relationship and have faith that with a little work and compromises here and there you will remain together if not for life than at least for the foreseeable future which is the most we can hope for in this world. Don't bet against your love for one another! You can only be the losers, both of you.
Christopher Hobe Morrison, Middletown, NY, USA

A happy marriage is more dependent on character of the persons involved than the costs and materials involved. A successful marriage is a product of certain rules being adhered to. Unfortunately, most of us are oblivious of these rules, and more concerned about the good things of life than with the fact that relationships also have bad moments. I find my life more stable as a married man than as a single man. I strongly belieive it is worth it, and will recommend it any day.
Oyinkro Olobio, Port Harcourt

Why not live in sin? At least you will be able to know your partner before you dive into marriage.
Dorothy, Raleigh, USA

I'm a 32 year old single woman and there's no way I am going to get married. The typical marriage for an African woman means submission, threat of HIV, putting aside your dreams and ambitions for your husband's and being the minor half of the union. African marriages are by and large patriarchal institutions in which a woman's goals and aspirations are stunted or more often than not, nullified. African women - if they want control of their livelihoods and sanity - should remain single. They can demand that their partners use condoms, can control their own finances, raise their children in relatively peaceful homes and and move from under the patriarchal ball and chain that have had us submerged for so long.
Wangari Muigai, Nairobi, Kenya

One of the reasons why marriage has become a high-priced commodity in modern culture is arguably because of a general insecurity women feel about men (or rather the lack of men). It's getting harder and harder for educated, professional women to find a decent and compatible man to marry, and when they finally do, the occasion has to be marked in the most extravagant manner. Ultimately, all women want is to be wanted, and part of that is through the socially legitimate union of marriage. Those who settle for a co-habitation situation do so only out of desperation and fear that it will be their last chance at happiness.
Annabel Onyango, Ontario, Canada

After a marraige of 26 years I choose to live with my girl friend. We might get married some day but it is not a big deal.
Cecil Deskins, Houma, Louisiana, USA

It is absolutely worth getting married. I can't wait any longer and sooner rather than later I will confer on one lovely lady title of 'Mrs'.There is definitely something wrong in living in sexual sin even those practising it know so. no debate.
Nshom Ernest Bah, Mbingo---Cameroon

Only those who are willing to exercise patience with one another and prepared to maintain a life-long relationship should marry. People should not be forced by any means to get married. If co-habiting is what they desire then that's fine. After all, not all those who are legally or religiously married are faithful to their spouses.
Sigismond Wilson, Sierra Leonean in USA

I can speak about Tanzania. Getting married has gotten very expensive because everyone wants to use the occasion to put on a show. It's better to co-habit and eventually get married in some future. We can not afford to have a huge ceremony and then go back to poverty afterwards.
Saitoti Laicer, Dar - Tanzania

Yes it is worth getting married irrespective of the ups and downs that comes with it. Its really how we deal with the highs and lows of marriage that makes it sucessful.
Fajana Toyin, Lagos, Nigeria

Marriage is a divine arrangement which should be duly respected and has a lot of blessings as well as some challenges. However, cohabitation may sound interesting due to it's lack of commitment but is also very unfulfiling, frustrating and short lived.
Deborah uaye, Mallam, Accra, Ghana

Is it worth getting married ? yes with the right person of course.
Keli Fumey, Ghana/USA

We need all get married, but many circumstances make us stay unmarried for long or for life!. Many young men prefer to stay in sin not because young women are lacking, but because of the price of dowry. Many young people choose a secret marriage for the parents and relatives would not approve of it.!. Arnaud Emmanuel Ntirenganya , Rwandese in Cameroon Life alone is monotomous and boring. We should get married and start a new life instead of being afraid of the cost of getting married and afraid of divorce. Not all marriages end in divorce
Mekonnen Weldu,

Nowdays marriage has been taken as a joke, because women now use it to get rich quick after trapping you to enter a legal marriage. They become stubborn and seek for divorce just because the law allows them to walk away with a good portion of property from their husbands. Most rich men are targeted and the current quest for equality has borne a new generation of conwomen.
Kamuhangire Moses, Kampala, Uganda

Marriage is a worthwhile venture only when bride & groom know their HIV status. It won't be good when marriage that is supposed to bring joy & fulfilment ends up in disaster!!!. In a marriage, chastity and true love constitute the only bride-price each spouse has to pay, nothing else!!! Due to irreconcilable differences, a couple wishing to separate should make reasonable claims!
Ngwasi M. Chibikom, Buea, Cameroon

Yes there is something wrong with living in sin. It will destroy your future. Concerning marriage, marriage is not something created or conceived by man but by God. So as long as we keep God on the sidelines we will experience heartache
Ade, London,England

Some say marriage is only a piece of paper- but its a piece of paper that will determine whether you have access to your deceased partners assets and estate once he or she is gone!. So maybe it is worth it- if you are ready to spend the rest of your lives together.The law does not favour cohabiting couples !!
San, London, UK

With time, marriage has become meaningless. People spend alot of money on weddings, get married and within no time it is over. It is like some sort of a strategy for some people to get rich. They marry with a divorce and settlement clearly structured in their minds. I would rather cohabit or not get married in the first place, saves a lot of trouble and emotional distress I suppose. I do not see anything wrong with 'come-we-stay' kind of arrangements. When it is over, everyone goes their separate ways, no settlements.
Gladys Fahari, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Yes, it's worth getting married."And among His signsi s this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves; that ye may dwell in tranquillity with them and He has put love and mercy between your hearts. Verily in that are signs for those who reflect".
Jamel, London,UK

Marriage is a good thing to do. It was ordained by God. It is better to be married than fornicating around. With all STDs lurking around, marriage could help cut the risk of contracting any of the STDs. I am married and very happy with my wife. She is my best friend and a great confidant. We work together as a team for our own good and the betterment of our children. My uncle just celebrated his 65th wedding anniversary. Living in sin is not the best way to live. The bible doesn't admonish us to live in sin but a holy and chaste life worthing of emulation by others. Marriage doesn't have to be expensive. The most important thing is to love eachother. Spending millions is not a guarantee that it will last long. It takes common sense and the grace of God for it to see the light of day. Regardless of peoples views and opinions, marriage is a good thing if you find the right partner.
Omorodion Osula, Boston, USA

Yes, it is wrong to cohabit as it erodes the value of family life. Certainly marriage has become more of a challenge than a source of happiness. Selfishness and competition between families is the source of most divorces, as they fail to live within what they can afford as a family.
Chambuleni Simwinga, Lusaka, Zambia.

Living in sin, using each other without commitment, to make dumping each other easy. I would rather get married and divorce if things go wrong. Whatever will be divided among us will have been ours anyway. My wedding was not very expensive, but we were very happy to belong and be committed to each other. We have our own downs, but we deal with them and make our marriage work. I would recommend marriage only to those ready to live with another human being, (not with a perfect angel). Angels are in heaven and we cannot marry them. Lastly, marry the person and not their money, looks, position, etc. When these disappear, marriage does too.
Yvonne, Hannover, Germany

Marriage is the best union that can happen to mankind. But this is if God has given you someone who you understand and understands you. When two people decide to seperate, then it is an indication that the two are not meant to be. Money can be a blessing but contributes to most divorces. Rich men usually fall prey of cunning women who are after their riches. No sooner they get married than they divorce. Couples need to understand that the best way to resolve issues is through negotiation. Me and my husband had to agree on the type of wedding we wanted based on our income. In this way we minimized the unnecessary expenses that accompany weddings. It is usually the pressure from parents and friends that make marriage so expensive. Marriage is a commitment between two people and whenever decision making involves three or more people then definately you will get into trouble. Otherwise, I strongly believe that marriage is best and all problems can be managed.
Sarah M! Wandha, Mukono, Uganda

From whatever angle sin is bad, however marriage is to be enjoyed not endured.If any marriage gets too hot for comfort the couple should seperate instead of living under torture in the name of marriage.
Henry Agoha, Abuja Nigeria

There's nothing wrong 'living in sin', in Abuja for instance, high cost of living has encouraged cohabiting, a trend called "Abuja Marriage", which is more economical because no bride price, no brothers or sisters in-law. Marriage generally is good and how people choose to do it is their business.
King James Yiye, Abuja-Nigeria

I don't think there's anything wrong with "living in sin" in the short to medium term, in fact I would positively encourage it. It's important for a couple to get to know each other before you embark upon anything as serious as marriage. However, I do think that in the long-term, the symbolic commitment that marriage stands for, as well as the legal recognition it brings, makes it worthwhile.
John, Halifax, England

I think marriage should be respected by all involved. Let us learn to resolve problems rather than rushing to divorce. But if the problem concerns adultery then I think one is free to divorce because even the Almight God allows divorce in such situations through his word the Bible.
Gady Mwamba Museka, Lusaka, Zambia

In every marriage more than a week old, there are grounds for divorce. The trick is to find, and continue to find, grounds for marriage also. The sum which two married people owe to one another defies calculation. It is an infinite debt, which can only be discharged through eternity
Lauratu Bah, Guinea Conakry

To marry or not to marry is a matter of personal decision. However it is evident that most people desist from marrying due to the escalating costs of living. In the light of this those who cannot marry due to their financial predicament should stay put. Getting married when one is not financially stable will lead to break-ups because when poverty strikes love disappears through the window. But this should not be substituted by practising sex before marriage. There are dire consequences such as contracting diseases such as AIDS and worst of all it is sinful.The bible says that fornicators will not go to heaven.
Enock Maturwe, Nairobi, Kenya

I am married for 15 years and have two lovely kids. I am happy to have Anita as my wife. She is the most beautiful girl in my life and our marriage was arranged by our parents. Though we have our usual share of verbal duels and stress, it never made me wish "O God , why did I ever marry". On the contrary when I was away from my wife and kids for over an year, I felt most miserable. What keeps our marriage going?, well love and a feeling of possessiveness!. Strange it may sound but yes, I know that my wife likes me to be possessive about her and the same is true for me.
Sudhir Bisht, Lagos, Nigeria

Am not married, neither do I co-habit as I know its wrong,and do not have any intentions to get married, unless a contract is in place, that references the biblical definition of what marriage is. Clearly defining the roles and responsibility of each person. I intend to take my place, providing for the home. I expect her to take her place providing my meals, taking care of the home front, if she decides to work, okay, as long as she does not loss sight of her responsibilities in the marriage. If she feels otherwise she is free to leave, just as she came into the marriage with nothing. Of course this will be clearly stated in the marriage contract since women have mastered the act of defrauding men of their hard earned cash thru marriage-divorce,men have to be very non-sentimental when this issues come up> Take note when a woman wants to leave you or you want out they are usually more vengeful like sharks that have seen blood.
Osborne Marcus, Abuja,Nigeria

I have never been married but now within the age bracket where a man is considered to have been married and start having kids. A common mistake I have seen my friends make is rushing into a union because society demands so. Marriage to me does not make me love anyone less or more. Life isn't centered around marriage as some people seem to live and dream only of the day they will get married!
Ernest Chi, Gothenburg Sweden

I am sceptical about marriage. I think people get married for the wrong reasons or do not try hard enough to stay together. Both my parents were married to other people before they got married and now my dad is remarried again. The children get in the middle if the parents fight after divorce and that is not fair. I am happy with my extended family and I love my step-mother, so there are some positives. As for myself, I am very cautious - I want to be sure I will be willing to be with the man I choose for many years to come.
Amanda, Johannesburg, South Africa

In African tradition and culture it is very important to marry as manhood can only be seen once a man has had children. Furthermore it is stated in the Holy Bible that man shall leave his parents to join a woman and the two shall be one and vice versa.
Francis Chibwinja, Kitwe Zambia

Here in Egypt 80% of young people hope to marry. It's the most important wish in a young person's life.
Ryad Sallam

As a Muslim marriage is very important to me as I don't want to sin and I want do everything legally. When I love a woman I will love her as my future wife not a girlfriend. Here in Egypt 80% of young people hope to marry. It's the most important wish in a young person's life. On my wedding day I will be the happiest man on the earth. I can't wait to get married.
Ryad Sallam, Cairo, Egypt

I have been married since 1995. I have two children but my marriage is a disaster. My husband drinks beer every day, he leaves home at 6am and comes home at midnight drunk. I do everything on my own like helping the kids with their homework and making all the important decisions. He attends the parent teachers meetings drunk, my kids have asked me not to tell him about the meetings at school because they are embarassed by him. There is no sex in my house when I hear other wives talking about sex I wish I were them. I can't divorce him because I have a big loan on the house that still needs paying.

If I marry a lady from my community it would mean I have to buy her a new mobile phone every month and new clothing for her to go out. As for a marriage ceremony, I would have to part with lots of money because in Ghana its important to show off at such ceremonies.
Abubakar Ibrahim, Accra, Ghana

There is more to life than marriage.
Shuttie Libuta

I was married before and have four beautiful sons, but could not go on in a marriage of convenience. I called off the union because there was no strong chemistry to keep us together. Holy matrimony is a divine arrangement, but when a couple add two plus two and don't get four, emotionally, it is better for them to split. It is very painful for the children because they do not understand why two individuals who chose to marry should decide to divorce at a later time. Cohabiting with or without future plans for a big day is just as bad. Women should know and understand that when they co habit, they do not inherit anything from any such arrangements either legally or traditionally. In my own Silozi tradition, if a woman asks to be separated from her lawful husband, she never gets even a needle and that is what happened to me. My sons were the victims of my action because when their father died, they were disinherited by his family. I am happy to be on my own, people should not pretend to live together just to keep up appearances or save face. There is more to life than marriage.
Shuttie F.N.Libuta, Kitwe, Zambia

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