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Great Lady: What’s So Bad with a Man Living in a House Provided by His In-Laws?



dreamstime_m_29927090Few days ago, while faithfully working at my desk, a friend of mine walked in. We started talking about different church requirements for marriage. I asked him if he saw MFM’s requirement for marriage in their church? He said no. I then said I found their requirements quite ridiculous; save for one; inspecting the brother’s (groom) house before the wedding.

He responded that it was rubbish. How can the church inspect the groom’s house before they can approve of the wedding? I replied that I agreed with it.

Imagine the guy is living with his parents, and hopes to bring his wife into that same house; or he’s even sharing a room with someone else. The church should inspect the house to be sure it is convenient and conducive for an extra human being (moreso a child… when they have babies). Anyway, that’s not the reason for this article.

During the course of our argument, I told him: the way you are defensive about this issue is making me suspect you. By the way, where’s your house and what’s the condition of the place? He then told me he’s not concerned about the state or condition of the house, because his fiancé’s family would furnish it.

I was shocked. I told him to clarify. He said it’s a tradition in their place that the wife’s family furnishes the husband’s house. He said the wife’s family would bring plates, kitchen utensils, furniture, anything for the house, that they wished to bring. So the man packs whatever he has in the house aside, and lets the wife’s people furnish the house.

He said in some cases, the wife’s family can even rent a house for the couple, depending on their capability; after all it’s their daughter’s happiness they are after. He then told me he wasn’t going to buy any furniture or kitchen utensils in the house, so he doesn’t waste money.

I asked him about his pride as a man – knowing that the house you live in and the furnishing did not come from you? He said I had a point.

Though our discussion ended abruptly, I couldn’t help but be sad at some realities. This dude is happy to leave the burden of furnishing his apartment to his fiancé’s family. If your wife’s family pays for your accommodation and other things, how are you going to open your mouth before them?

A colleague of mine (a married man) who was present during this discussion told me that men of nowadays do not want to take/assume responsibilities anymore. You see some men say, they must marry a rich man’s daughter or the lady must be working (that’s not bad in itself; except that their reasons leave a lot to be imagined).

As I was writing this article, I discussed the issue with a friend and he told me this story, I had a friend who allowed his wife buy all the things in the house before they got married. She actually told the guy to contribute but he refused. The sad thing is, when they got married he moved into the furnished apartment without shame. Unfortunately when they had issues, one day the wife brought a truck and moved all the things she bought out of the house and left home. When the guy came home, he met an empty house”.

What’s your take on this issue? Is it wrong for a man to depend on his in-laws for his accommodation. As a woman would you mind it if your better half leaves the responsibility of his accommodation to your family?

Lastly, is it wrong as lady to contribute to the furnishing or rent of your le boo’s house? Kindly share your thoughts.

Photo Credit: Rmarmion |

Adejoke was born in Zaria, Kaduna State (which she absolutely has no recollection of) and graduated from the University of Abuja with a BSc in Accounting at Gwagwalada (which she can’t believe she still lives in). She started writing because her life was boring and had no one to talk to, so she thought, why don’t I talk with the whole world? Her blog was born after she discovered a passion for writing, and that writing is therapeutic as she now lives a joyful purposeful life. If you visit the blog, its description says, a lifestyle blog created with a purpose to impact and inspire people to live their best life (helping people to have sense) which sums up what she loves to do. When she is not writing, she is baking (she makes the best chocolate cake) or disturbing her sister who she loves to pieces.


  1. EE

    November 10, 2016 at 3:44 am

    I can understand furnishing your house with wedding gifts, but allowing your in-laws to rent your home for you??? I dunno, seems a recipe for disaster to me. I mean what moral high-ground will you have to kick say, her freeloading brother to the curb, it is afterall his parent’s house.

    “Lastly, is it wrong as lady to contribute to the furnishing or rent of your le boo’s house?”

    Ehm, no. When they get married its no longer his house but “their” home. But her parents, that’s a line to far, in my opinion.

  2. Nunulicious

    November 10, 2016 at 5:21 am

    I don’t understand.
    The man said it’s their culture and a tradition for the in-laws to furnish the house or even rent the apartment. So what’s the big deal? Why do we have to judge it? THEIR CULTURE. By asking where his pride is as a man you imply that because your culture is different, it is better. Why can’t we just note other people’s culture and accept it without judging?

    If you view it not from an ego/pride lens but from practical purpose, you’ll realise that supporting a newly married couple accommodation or furnishing mitigates significant financial burden.
    Also, wealthy people give their children houses and cars as wedding gifts. Its not that big a deal. Wisdom na the principal thing.

    It is when people from different cultures marry and there are contrary ways of behaving on the said matter that it may become an issue. And even at that, it depends on how the families affected handle it.

    • Shut-down

      November 10, 2016 at 6:57 am

      Hausa Culture allows the “Bride’s” family to furnish the house

    • .....just saying

      November 10, 2016 at 7:44 am

      My thoughts exactly. It’s their culture. Nigerians are so close minded, I can’t deal. That was the part where you should have asked him about said culture to get a deeper understanding,, but no, you had to judge him Naija style because you feel your culture is superior

  3. Marlvina

    November 10, 2016 at 5:33 am

    Firstly, the brother that said it’s a tradition in their place, abeg what tradition is that? Where’s he from so I can strictly warn other ladies to keep off marrying from such useless place. Secondly, personally o! I find nothing wrong if the parents of the couple suprisingly gift their children with a house. I’ve attended several weddings that during the reception the family proudly steps out to present keys of a new flat, car and office/store too. It was a beautiful moment for the couple and for guests too applauding. I don’t think their intention is to cause problem or ridicule the man, rather it’s their own way of blessing the union. But the idea of going further to insist the bride’s family must/should furnish your home, as if it’s their right and responsibility; that gets me confused. So as the man, after paying bride price, the brides family should indirectly refund the money by furnishing your home? Na wa o! On the other hand, if the bride willingly decides to furnish the home to her taste, or changes one or two things she spots and adds some interior designs, that’s great. She’s the woman anyways and will want her home to look beautiful and classy.

    • nunulicious

      November 10, 2016 at 9:04 am

      People like you should be given a wide berth. I couldn’t even get past your “useless place” comment. You have probably have a very small view of the world. You need to use your data to educate yourself since you haven’t ever travelled or left your social circle. Ignorance only looks good on fools.

    • Marlvina

      November 10, 2016 at 10:29 am

      All you should have said is its a practice in Northern Nigeria as I’ve learned today. I didn’t grow up in Nigeria to have a wide knowledge of such practices cus I’ve never heard of such. I found it awkward anyways.

    • Yinka

      November 11, 2016 at 8:11 pm

      Then you should have asked instead of showing your vitriol coated ignorance

  4. californiabawlar

    November 10, 2016 at 5:41 am

    Hypothetically…would it be more painful when he brings another woman into the house…and she posts pics on The Instagrams? Oh…can I also add that he would drive this side dish around in the car that your in-laws bought for him as well? I know the scenario seems very specific but it’s hypothetical o and I’m only asking for a friend…**sipstea**

    Key lesson: Yoruba demons have no aponle…don’t do it.

  5. Rose

    November 10, 2016 at 6:33 am

    This has Yoruba demon written all over it! They are so shameless …. Please avoid at all costs…

    • Belema

      November 11, 2016 at 2:18 am

      “This has Yoruba demon written all over it! They are so shameless”. You’re a sad case of a human being. YOU are shameless for saying such gibberish publicly. Why do some of you generalize so irrationally and why are some of you senselessly hateful? Disgusted by your unnecessary comment. Your comment is so stupid on all levels; you should be ashamed of your sorry self.

  6. Kiki

    November 10, 2016 at 7:01 am

    Actually, Thia is common practice in Northern Nigeria…very widespread ask any northerner. The groom provides the house(building ). The woman makes it a home (furnishing etc). Unfortunately it means that if a divorce or separation happens, the woman goes with what she came with or he can move out for her. Thats why people need to be cognisant that marriage is designed to be long term, yoi cant be opting in and out without significant disruption of your lives.

  7. john

    November 10, 2016 at 7:55 am

    I don’t understand some people. ..some people are just mental bullies. .this long story or article should have ended when the guy said it was thier culture.

  8. tolu

    November 10, 2016 at 8:09 am

    U too are wrong. Why should a church visit the groom’s house before wedding? Thats not their responsibilities, church is to join them together if they like they should be sleeping on third mainland bridge. Also wife can add money to furniture in the house to assist her husband. Its hard out there and wife needs to support her husband if u want him to grow. At least if u av project u can assist with 30percent let him do 70percent. And thats not even everytime. Churches in nigeria sha haba. Issssssh

    • Eliza's English.

      November 10, 2016 at 9:21 am

      It is fashionable, trendy and the in-thing, and easy (because they will not come to bomb you, plunge a dagger in you, machete your head off your body, burn down your home, business, possessions, etc) to attack, mock, disrespect, denigrate pastors and churches and Christianity even by (and their Divine Judgment and punishment will be worse) those who claim they are ‘Christians’.

      You were very bold and superior to mention the name of the church, (something which was completely unnecessary and which your post could very easily have done without) but not bold enough to mention which culture, which tribe, which part of the country your colleague comes from that practices the tradition you are looking down on. Yet, some readers in their comments have identified it as the northern part of the country.

      The Word of God, the God of the Christians, says: “”And fear not those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, fear Him Who can destroy both the soul and body in hell.””

      When mocking others or setting others up to be mocked, it is always wise to ensure that you are not inadvertently, doing to yourself as you do to others:

      “”Few days ago, while FAITHFULLY working at my desk..”” What is the essence of “”faithfully”” in that phrase? There is no preceding or following set of circumstances or events to justify why that particular adjective is necessary and fitting at that juncture.

      “”I asked him if he saw MFM’s requirement for marriage in their church?”” The use of the question mark is wrong. This is reported and NOT direct speech.

      “”because HE’S fiancé’s family would furnish it.”” Not HE’S but HIS.

      “”(that’s not bad in itself; except that their reasons leave a lot to be IMAGINED).”” The expression is “”leave(s) a lot to be DESIRED.”” not “”imagined””.

      “”I had a friend who allowed his wife buy.”” NO. “”I had a friend who allowed his wife TO buy.””

      These are not all that could be corrected in your work. A little respect, some humility and less of thinking you can use others, especially God and those genuinely seeking to do His work, as easy targets, and a large, healthy dose of a spirit of excellence and diligence to improve your craft, your knowledge and use of the English or any language you choose to write in, and the five minutes of non-laziness and lack of a superior attitude spent in checking your own output (not that of the church or of others’ cultures) for typos, will go a long way.

  9. emeka ugo

    November 10, 2016 at 8:14 am

    Actually, This is a very common practice in Northern Nigeria. The groom or his family provides the house(building ) and The woman’s family or woman makes it a home (furnishing etc). But note that the brides family does not furnish the entire house oo. normally the furnish just the kitchen( where the new wife would be cooking) and her living room . well depending on how rich the brides family though or both families are. I have northern friends who are married and have seen this repeated severally among all of them even both northern Christians and northern muslims.

  10. IjebuKhaleesi

    November 10, 2016 at 8:38 am

    I am a little disturbed by this article and some of these comments.

    It is indeed a cultural requirement from some parts of this country Nigeria for the woman to furnish the marriage home. Not approving someone else’s culture shouldn’t call for passing such derogatory statements. I may not buy into it but I won’t pass vile comments to express my displeasure. It’s insulting.

  11. Ivie

    November 10, 2016 at 9:58 am

    Exactly @Khaleesi, we should tolerate other people’s culture especially the ones that don’t pose a threat to you and the society.

  12. Anonymous

    November 10, 2016 at 11:27 am

    I got married,had accommodation issues and my Dad offered us one of his many properties. We not only lived there we rebuilt the house,We enjoy the environment and God has been good to us.

    Needless to say should I have continued to obey a culture when even the good books says you will leave an inheritance for your Children’s children… don’t even want to imagine how much I have saved in rent,me and Husby are investing rent money to build our own house……..some things are just backwards…..its not written on my Husby forehead that he lives with his in-laws and when it comes to respect…..

    Hey I protect my man fiercely my parents not siblings don’t even bother…..and more importantly we have spent so much Personal money renovating and taking care of the place that my parents keep Blessing us…..

    Enough said….lets better stop suffering ourselves in the name of a backward culture.

    • Panda

      November 11, 2016 at 4:42 am

      Agree!. our culture says you should bury your head in the ground if you didn’t buy the house, and you have the power to lord it over others if you did. that’s not a good practice at all. Pride and boasting is evil last time i checked

    • Spicy tee

      November 11, 2016 at 11:48 am

      God bless u my sister. I can remember when I got married we stayed at hubby’s rented apartment for a year then moved to my parent’s property because it was unoccupied and no member of my family resides in Nigeria. A lot of people said stuff in fact my sister in law acted up but seriously why rent an apartment when I have an empty one.
      It has helped us to save towards owing our own house. For me, it’s a blessing. It’s now that hubby appreciates the house.

  13. kilipot

    November 10, 2016 at 11:51 am

    It’s a Northern practice. I know cos I schooled in the North, it’s not as “bad” as the writer put it-she’s just being overly sensational and as people have rightly said above it’s their culture. There’s also no compulsion to it as it done according to your pocket. Some just buy a bed and mattress, and some buy a set of pots and China. On the other hand some go the whole nine yards. It can be likened to “Eru Iyawo”

    • kilipot

      November 10, 2016 at 11:54 am

      It’s just how much u can afford

  14. Flexe

    November 10, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    Even in basic school they teach them Culture and Tolerance and how, as a good citizen of Nigeria, you should respect other people’s culture, beliefs, religion e.t.c.
    Your post went off track from the title and it was totally bias, judgemental and coated with superiority. Get off your high horse and educate your mind if you want to impact lives with your writing.

    • Great Lady

      November 10, 2016 at 4:18 pm

      I didn’t choose the title, bella naija did. It was originally titled The Responsibility shift

    • nitomeya

      November 14, 2016 at 3:21 pm

      Aha so bella Naija set you up? I see!!! Bellanaija be guided.

  15. tunmi

    November 10, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    It’s also the same in South Korea.

    Tolerance goes a long way oh

  16. Nury

    November 10, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    The rate at which we have lazy men fooling around in Nigeria today leaves one wondering as to whether or not mothers are doing their jobs in training their sons or they are just staring and being generally busy. Many men these days don’t even see anything wrong with leaving all their burdens and responsibilities to their wives. They shamelessly ask for anything they want without regards to self respect wallowing under the guise of being married and being one- burden bearer. This is actually the case in several homes today and I feel women have given up on complaining, they would rather just have that cool source of income and ready to spend on their ‘lazy husband’ just for peace to reign.

  17. Idomagirl

    November 10, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    The article makes it seem as if the guy in question is going to live in an empty house with not even a matress on the floor until he gets married. ?
    I’m sure it’s not that bad in reality.

  18. Smily

    November 10, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    My first comment would be on the question itself “Is it wrong for a man to depend on his in-laws for his accommodation. As a woman would you mind it if your better half leaves the responsibility of his accommodation to your family?”
    For objectivity, I would rather think we should use the words ‘allow’ instead of ‘depend’ and also ‘allow’ instead of ‘leaves’. Now to my comment: It would not be correct for a man to DEPEND on anyone to take care of his responsibility. Becoming a husband is a call to responsibility. When a man expresses a desire to marry, he’s simply saying I can take care of myself, a woman and maybe children (when they start coming). This responsibility is total. This is actually one of the marks of a Mature and responsible man. Once he starts to relegate such responsibilities to someone else (his fiancee, his in-laws or his own family), his actions show that he’s not ready for that level of responsibility and the girl should read the red flag already. There’s no way he will want to take responsibility in the coming days.
    Once you transfer your responsibilities, you have also given up your privileges & rights as a man/husband. Ladies, please be weary of such sissies (you’ll end up being 2 women in the house).
    Should a man ALLOW? Hmmmmm. I’ll say it will varies from situation to situation. I think the girl can CONTRIBUTE to her man’s standing but not to be his financiers. She can ASSIST him, but he must bear the bulk. The girls family can buy gifts, but there’s no excuse for him to keep an empty house waiting for his inlaws to fill it, even if tradition demands the girl’s family to bring that amount of dowry. Any father who decides to fully furnish an empty house for his daughter’s husband is giving her to an irresponsible man and is therefore contributing to the failure of such a relationship.
    A lazy man should not eat. When the girl take all those respobilities, who then becomes the husband? A man that cannot provide for his own is not fit to be called one.

  19. niyoola

    November 10, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    I have a friend from Kebbi state. That is their culture. Respect it or keep it moving.
    It’s just like when a Yoruba person sys Ibo/Igbo people dont show respect, because they don’t prostrate?? It’s their culture. Keep it moving please, judgina.

    Same Lady said when a woman her first child, she goes to her parents house for a couple of months. Her mother shows her and teaches her all about childcare, and also ensure she recuperates without any stress. For subsequent kids, she remains in the husband’s home. MAdam judgina, I’m sure you’ll come and accuse the man for ‘allowing’ his wife go back to her parents.

    Do you please.The fact that you don’t understand a culture doesn’t mean you should slam it please.

    It’s not your fault. Ode!!! Ptscheeeew

  20. nene

    November 10, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    if a man cant afford to live in his own house (rented or bought), why is he getting married?

  21. Obi

    November 10, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    Culture yeah?? lol

  22. Onye

    November 10, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    Honestly, This article is poorly written.
    It is important to note that though we as women want equal rights and treatment, many still frown at equal contributions.
    Also, I dont see anything wrong with this culture, rather I find it appalling that people are against contributing to the home you want to live in.

  23. Josephine

    November 10, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    I’m not from the North but I think that the husband should provide accommodation. If he does that its nice as a woman to meet him in the middle and furnish it. The husband should pay school fees but the wife can pay for extra classes and activities and domestic staff. I believe in partnership.

  24. ???

    November 10, 2016 at 11:56 pm

    What’s your take on this issue? Is it wrong for a man to depend on his in-laws for his accommodation?

    Left for me I feel it is not a sign of responsibility for a grown married man to depend on his in-laws for his family accomodation. Let us stop using culture to cover up some irresponsible act. If the wife’s parent decide to gift the couple with a house then that is a different case entirely.

    As a woman would you mind it if your better half leaves the responsibility of his accommodation to your family?

    Please I mind it a lot. It’s like we are paying back the bride price by building a house for us all in the name of my happiness.

    Lastly, is it wrong as lady to contribute to the furnishing or rent of your le boo’s house?

    It is not wrong to contribute oh for me afterall am his helper but don’t come and make it compulsory.

  25. Panda

    November 11, 2016 at 4:34 am

    i don’t like the advice, you just put in his head that he should have low self esteem if he did not buy the things in his house, that he should associate his manly pride with furnishing his home. in a twisted way you’re saying it’s okay for the person who paid for the furniture to brag about it. I dunno i hate ego, it just reminds me of the men who’d say they won’t move into a house owned by their wife because of male pride. even if you do, does that mean a bragging wife is justified? and that low key means you want to be the owner of the house so that YOU can brag?

    it’s also THEIR culture so i don’t see the problem, that would mean they won’t go on about it, since it’s seen as their duty or something. i don’t know i just find it annoying that the man is being given advice that could warp his ego, next thing you know what would have been a non-issue in their home now because a issue just because the wife’s parents buy a fridge and the guy has been convinced that it’s the issue of emasculation to buy a dang fridge.

    and frankly it can also go the other way around, the husband could buy all the furniture and own the house and when the marriage has problems, he can just kick the woman out because she bought nothing! why do we see the very real issues of one person owning the basic necessities of life only when it’s the woman’s side that bought it? Is it okay for a woman to suffer that risk but not a guy?

    this simply makes me feel like if i were to marry a nigerian person like myself, i should fund 50% of everything we have since it seems “ownership” equals who gets to control apparently, so if my husband bought 80% i can’t talk anymore? or if i bought 80% he should feel ashamed and not have a say in the house? so weird.

    NEVER receive help from people who will never let you hear the end of it, but if they’re not those kinds of people, stop being cynical and let people be genuinely kind.

    • Panda

      November 11, 2016 at 4:35 am

      becomes a issue** (not because a issue)

  26. Game

    November 11, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    I’m about to get married and this resonates with me. I’m from Kwara State, marrying someone from the east, i have a well furnished house but about to move to my own house. Now i’m torn between family expectations for the wedding and investing in the house (i have few millions to pay more) it just fees like a quagmire.

  27. Manny

    November 11, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    The writer strikes me as a close-minded person who needs to LEARN. Even if you were not aware that it is a cultural thing in some regions, at the point where the guy mentioned it, you should have kept quiet, ingested the information and moved on.

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