Should I marry up or down?

2 min readDec 12, 2019


October to December is one of the wedding seasons in Nigeria. The pictures of the newly weds,the hashtags,the dance videos, I enjoy it all. A Marriage is a union of two people with different strengths and weaknesses,different financial backgrounds and habits as well.

In society, one often hears the term marrying up or marrying down. Marrying up means marrying someone in a higher socioeconomic class and Marrying down means marrying someone in a lower socioeconomic class to you.

In matters of love and life, class should in no way come in-between. In terms of money though, behaviour and attitudes are to a large extent shaped by a person’s background. We would look at both sides of the coin.

Marrying up

Marrying up means marrying someone who most likely is used to a higher spending pattern, as well as a higher standard of living. They also may be used to taking more financial risks, as they have a bigger safety net.

Why drive when i can get a driver?

Why should one use the toothpaste till the last squirt or go to the extreme measure of tearing it open?

Restricting them financially in anyway may lead to opposition and in some cases conflict.

Marrying down

Marrying down means marrying someone who is used to a much less income than yours.

They may find certain routine expenses by their spouses outrageous.

Can’t we go for the basic pay TV package? After all, we are barely at home. Why are they getting a new phone when the old one is working fine.

Pushing them to spend more would in some cases lead to conflict and they may view their spouse’s actions as wasteful.

What’s the solution?

Have conversations around money before deciding to get married. People tend to focus on the emotional and physical compatibility with their partners and overlook finances and financial habits. A large proportion of breakups however are due to money related issues.

If you can’t seem to find a middle ground in terms of managing money, you are better off finding another partner.




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