As is the case in the developed world, societies in African expect a marriage union to be beneficial to the parties involved. There are many reasons for getting married including but not limited to emotional, procreation, economic, legal, religious and spiritual reasons. Marriages based on emotional reasons are becoming popular in Africa due to the advent of civilization, which allows partners to marry purely because they are in love. In this case, the union offers an emotional field for each of the spouse involved. However, marriage for other reasons is widespread. For instance, children are considered as the father’s wealth and thus the more a man has, the wealthier he is considered to be. This causes men to have many children with their wives, resulting in the marriage of particularly young women to older men since these women have a longer reproductive period. In addition, this is a leading cause of polygyny so as to maximize the number of offspring for each man; the other factor being that women are status symbols for African men.
Others get married to fulfill an obligation to a deity. Catholics believe that marriage is a holy sacrament if it is between two full Christians who have undergone all other sacraments as stipulated by their church doctrines. To ensure that children are protected and provided for, the government may intervene and two individuals forced into a nuclear family setup. Finally, two people may decide to get married for financial convenience, either to preserve their wealth if they are well off.