As defined by Wikipedia, arranged marriage is a type of marital union where the bride and groom are proposed by a mother and father or someone of the couple’s family rather than the couples themselves. In a much simpler explanation, arranged marriage is a type of marriage where a woman is chosen for a man by the parents or one of the family members or friends.
Marriages are often arranged due to so many reasons like poverty where only rich suitors that can improve the condition of the family are picked. They also arrange wives or husbands due to late marriage; when parents feel their kids are taking too long bringing a man or woman home, they go hunting for suitable spouses for their children. Custom, wealth and insurance issues, limited choices, politics, social and ethnic conflicts (especially for those who live abroad), religion are some of the other reasons why marriages are arranged. In the case of child marriage where the girl is too young to choose a groom, the parents are obliged to pick a partner for their girls. Some parents pick possible partners for their children just for security reasons; they want their children to marry the best and from the best family so he or she won’t have issues in the future.
Unlike forced marriage where the couples have no choice but to marry each other, these people have the right to say no to the person chosen for them. In an arranged marriage, union will only take place when the two people picked for each other give their consent. Parents, guardians or close relations introduce a potential life partner to their wards and leave them to make the final decision and develop the relationship if they want. Arranged marriages may sometimes involve a matchmaker such as a pastor or a religious leader, mutual friends or a trusted third party. It can also be arranged in form of a blind date where two strangers are set up to meet in hope they would go from strangers to lovers.
Arranged meetings with a potential spouse have proven to be one of the safest way to meet the person you will spend the rest of your life with. Although most people believe marriages are arranged mainly for financial reasons and late marriage issues and they agree to it because their choices are minimal, research has shown that matchmaked couples tend to have a happier home than those in autonomous marriage. Relationship experts claim this is so because couples who are fixed up to marry each other tend to grow in love as the years go by where people who marry for passion fall out of love more easily. Couples arranged for each other are carefully selected for each other considering if their families, interests and goals are compatible which makes it easy to commit to each other even during difficult times.
According to the result of Dr. Robert Epstein’s study on his research on arranged marriages for 8 years looking at the approaches taken in cultural groups including Indian, Pakistani and Orthodox Jewish where he interviewed over 100 couples, and love marriage researched for more than 30 years, arranged marriages are stronger and better than marriage for love. His study shows that a lot of things are put into consideration while matching people together. Their choice is based on thorough investigation. Parents would do their homework before going on with the matchmaking unlike people who marry for love that leave their love lives to chance or fate. He said divorce rate are high with autonomous marriages because most choose their partners based on strong emotional and physical attraction with the other person not putting anything else into consideration before saying yes. Although he believes in freedom to choose who we want to marry, arranged matches are often selected with common sense in place. Love marriages are based on romance which may not be so sensible.
But a marital union without chemistry is also in danger of dying which is common with arranged marriages. In some cultures, homes, the kids are not allowed to search for their own partners; the parents make the decision. Partners are often chosen without putting the child’s standards into consideration; they don’t care if it is a skinny, tall, light skinned man she likes or if he prefers a woman with large bosom. As long as he/she suits the father and mother’s standards, they expect them to like the person. Feelings are often the least thing considered when picking. When these couples get married, family interference may not allow them enjoy their matrimony. Arranged couples may end up living very fake lives just to satisfy their family members. There is also a very big need to live up to the standards set for them by their families; they live as their parents want them to live which put unnecessary pressure on them. An enjoyable union would then feel like a business entity.
Arranged marriages has its pros and cons. Whether you buy the idea or not depends on your views about it. Some would kick against it while some would embrace it and some are indifferent to it. Either you like it or not, think deeply before making any decision pertaining marriage. Thinking deep has proven to prevent future broken homes.
So, what would you say to an arranged marriage?