Arranged Marriages

Posted: February 10, 2012 in Love & Relationships
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Here in American culture we have the freedom to choose our husbands and wives. When talk of arranged marriages reaches the tongues of Americans it’s usually with a bitter taste. We cannot fathom the thought of having our parents or a matchmaker choosing our spouse to be. Why is that?

I’ll tell you why. We are a shallow country who places looks toward the top of our lists when seeking out a mate. Not only that, we loooooove to marry for love. I’m not saying you shouldn’t love the person you are marrying, but why is it that our marriages don’t seem to last as long as those of arranged marriages?

Although not as common these days, there are still some Indian, Asian, and African cultures that partake in arranged marriages. I have to admit, a lot more thought and preparation goes into those marriages than ours. They are not matched based upon looks and love. The parents do their research! What kind of reputation do the families have? Can the groom support a family? Does he seem like he’ll make a good father and husband? Do the two families live near each other? How many times do we see marriages fail because the couples go into it based on love and faith that these types of things will just work out? Instead of waiting for these issues to interfere and possibly fail the marriage later, these arranged marriage families do their due diligence up front. It makes sense to me!

Whether it is your parents or a matchmaker that would arrange the marriage; they have more life experience and wisdom than you. They have been through their own marriages, and most likely know more about love and marriage than you, the unmarried novice. If your parents have raised you your entire life, chances are they know you! They know your likes and dislikes, and they have nothing but your best interest at heart. Why wouldn’t you trust them to pick out a worthy spouse for you?

I once worked with an Indian woman who had an arranged marriage. She was very happy with her life and family. After she showed us (me and some other co-workers) a picture of her handsome husband and children, we asked her how was it having an arranged marriage. She went on to explain to us how fortunate her experience was. She said something to the effect: “You both come into the marriage as an adventure because you didn’t pick each other. The best part about it is that you get to grow and learn alongside of that person. You are both at the same place so you learn each other as you go along this journey together and the love just develops on its own naturally”. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a beautiful experience to me.

I also worked with a Pakistani woman once. She was in the process of finding her husband through a matchmaker. Although matchmaking is a little different because the woman does get to kind of “pre-screen” her husband to be and can also call off the engagement if she wants. She still made a very good point. She said “You guys (meaning us Americans) just date and date a guy for all these years trying to get to know them before you get married just to find out after three years he’s not the one for you. Or you date for three years, spend a year engaged, stay married for two and then get divorced! What is the point of that!”? It made me laugh but it made me think too. You have to admit, she does have a point.

I guess all I’m saying is we tend to look at arranged marriages as “Aw those poor women. They have to get stuck with some man they didn’t even choose”. From those I’ve spoken to, I’ve only heard good things about their marriages. They seem to have their priorities and values straight when it comes to it. Maybe we could stand to take a page from their books on marriage; just a thought.

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Comments
  1. Anonymous says:

    I don’t exactly know when (maybe sometime during adolescence), but it does seem like at some point in our lives some of us foolishly stop trusting our parents (judgement). All of a sudden we have all of the answers (so we think). Just to find out much much later (and sometimes too late) we bring on ourselves to find out things the hard way.

    Looking at the track record, I believe there is alot (of good) to be said for arranged marriages….

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