My aim in this study was to understand and explain the academic performance of married women students in higher education. The study was conducted on married women students who are studying at higher institutions in Nigeria. A mixed research method was used. The study population was drawn from two higher education institutions – a university and a college of education. Focus group conversations and interview protocol were used to gather qualitative data, while a questionnaire and the academic results of participants were used to gather quantitative data. Data were analysed using constant comparative approach – the reported stories that emanated from the conversations with the research participants; the deduced meanings from the interview protocol; and the statistical testing of the generated hypothesis via t-test statistics and Pearson product moment correlation. The findings include the readiness of women students to narrate their experiences, and the hindrances cultural practices impose on their academic performance, amongst other things. This study uniquely reveals that the academic performance of women students in higher education in Nigeria differs between married women students and single women students. However, some women students in this study were satisfied with their academic performance while others were not. They blamed their academic performance on several factors including cultural practices, marital status, financial constraint and so forth. Apart from women students in higher education who were not satisfied with their academic performance, all women students who formed the sample, including those who considered their academic performance to be satisfactory, complained about cultural practices and their effect on academic performance. Despite their complaints, however, the majority of the women student participants in this study, both married and single, continue to support cultural practices. They said that cultural practices, including the ones that are considered harmful to higher education for women and their academic performance, should not be eradicated or changed, as they maintain that these practices make women truly responsible.