Arranged Marriage

on Posted by Rajesh J Advani
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Warning: This is a serious post.

I was sent this link today - Arranged Marriage, with the words -
You believe arranged marriage is not bad. Here is an article. See how you can justify now.

Well, first of all, let me make my opinion a little clearer. What I say is that, in today's scenario in India, while I do agree that young men or women have the right to choose their own life partner, we should not get too carried away.
I believe, that today, in India, an arranged marriage probably has a greater chance of being successful, than a love marriage.

I don't have any statistics to prove this, other than the fact that in the US, where love marriage is the norm, has a much higher divorce rate compared to India, where arranged marriages are the norm. And now that love marriages are becoming more common in India, the divorce rate is also going up. Flaky statistics, I know.

The first flaw in the above argument, of course, is that divorces don't necessarily happen because of love marriages. The reason for a higher divorce rate is also because of better education, and because women are no longer afraid to take charge of their own life, and because the taboo of a divorce is slowly lifting from Indian society.

But before I start tearing up my own argument with counter-arguments, I should probably state what I feel clearly.

A typical Love Marriage in India today, is very different from a Love Marriage, say, in the US. Before a marriage in the US both the man and the woman experience a lot more than their counterparts in India. There are relationships as teenagers, they spend months or years together (on average), they even live together, and only then, do they tie the knot.
A typical Indian Love Marriage is more like - Falling in Love -> Courtship -> Proposing -> Getting Married.

Yes, I know, things are changing. But I did say "on average".

When two people are in love, the equation is very different before the matter of commitment comes in. There are expectations built up, when you are in love, that aren't very east to live up to, after marriage.

Simple examples are, like promising to give up non-vegetarian food, or drinking, or smoking after marriage. It's quite simple to make these claims, but I haven't seen many people who live up to them. There are other expectations which are not vocalised, but are there nonetheless. The disappointment from these expectations not being fulfilled, leads to discontent with the marriage, specially since things seemed so perfect before the knot was tied. "You've changed" is a common refrain.

In an Arranged marriage, both the man and the woman are predisposed to the idea that they will have to adjust. Both sides know that the person they are marrying might not be the one of their dreams, since they don't even know that person very well.
And arranged marriage today is not like the arranged marriage of 1950, where you met each other the first time at the time of "girl-seeing" and the second time at the wedding. Maybe not even at the time of "girl-seeing". Today, you meet each other, spend some time together alone, maybe even go out on a couple of 'dates', and then decide.
And all the stuff about who will cook, whether the woman works, where they will live, are cleared in a much more informal setting, which means that disagreements on these are not even likely.
By the time you tie the knot, you are comfortable with each other, so the old fears of arranged marriage being between two people who don't even know each other are no longer completely valid. Plus, since the expectations are low, and the willingness to adjust to the new person in your life is already there, the chances of success will be higher too.

So, that's my opinion.

Coming to the article that my friend sent me, it has these words highlighted, that I take complete exception to.
Arranged marriage starts from a fundamentally evil premise - that any parent or relative has the moral and legal right to force someone to marry against his or will, or to prevent him or her from marrying for love.

I mean, hello? Which century are we living in? My idea of arranged marriage today, is when the son/daughter tells his/her parents that he/she is ready to get married, and that is willing for arranged marriage. Anyone getting married to someone against their own will, is making a mistake I won't even discuss here.

So, have I given up on Love Marriage completely? Ha! Not on your life!

Another interesting write-up on the topic, is here - Say I Do?

47 comments:

Anonymous said...

i would like to say that thank you to the person who wrote this article coz it really helped me with my assignment that i was writing for a sociology lecture

THANK YOU

Anonymous said...

thanks alot! i needed this informaiton for a test!

KoPoS said...

Had read your post quite sometime ago. Interesting arguments. And do make quite an amount of sense.

I think arranged marriages are successful coz there are no expectations and none of the partners expects the other to be perfect. And the whole aim of the relationship is for harmony and that is where it scores...

Hina Khan said...

Thank you soo much, I needed that for my speech :)

Anonymous said...

im not tryin to come off on the rong foot, so to say, but i dont completely aggree with you. in india one of the reasons the divorce rate is so low is because the are taught to respect their elders. that means that they cant say no to arranged marriages nor can they divorce without permission from their parents. if their parents say no, they cant. if they do they would probably be 'shuned,' for the lack of a better work, by their family and other families alike. again, im not tryin to say f-u thats not right at all, im just sayin that some of your facts are rong and next time u do one of these things that you should check your facts.

Alexis said...

I found your blog entry through a search I was doing on arragnged marriages. Thanks a lot because it has helped me with my presentation for my Cross-Culture class, and also has enlightened me with the subject.

Anonymous said...

Nice blog and an interesting point of view. I think it's more dependent upon the individuals involved - if they are mature enough, adjustments happen relatively with more ease, be it arranged or love marriage. Maturity comes when one knows thy self, understands that happiness comes from giving, sharing and forgiving , and can differentiate the good from the bad. Thanks for your blog!

Nitin G Gokarn said...

I came across your blog by chance. It makes sense and is very purposefully written. The intentions seem honest and the views straightforward and uncomplicated. Good job.

Anonymous said...

Interesting comment.. We think that you have some great points, and we would like to use that informations in our assignment :)



Havs & HERO

Anonymous said...

Thanks this info will help me for my essay

Anonymous said...

Thankyou so much, this has some great information for a debate in my class.

Vic said...

Thanks for the info.

Anonymous said...

Ok your article is great, but if we are to compare ourself regarding divorce rate with the west, lets also compare ourself with brides burning, dhowry death, then we can come our with a better studies

Thanx

Anonymous said...

I have to write a speech on generations and culture. i chose the indian culture and i am doing arranged marriages through different generations. for example, in this day in age, arranged marriages are not so common in the indian culture as they are starting to believe in love marriages. however some arranged marriages are adapted to the following: the son/daughter asks the parents to set them up.. and they get to decide whether or not they aprove of the person. however, in the time of my great grandmother, it was essential to have an arranged marriage and at a very young age aswell. I was wondering if i could have some help as this speech has to be 5 minutes long.

Anonymous said...

thanks, your article helped me with my debate topic in english, and it's interesting to hear a different perspective

Anonymous said...

If we like to comapre ourself with advance countries regarding divorce, i think we should also consider brides burning..etc. In advance countries if people don't feel like staying together they divorce, but in india, we kill our brides..!!! so we cannot really tell which is better arrange marriage, compulsary satying together and then killed or love marriage, live happily, bore & then divorce

Anonymous said...

HaE thanks alot..i really needed this info 4 my debate...Rozz

Anonymous said...

Good and realistic points. thank u so much for the wonderful explanation.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU!

its diego duh! said...

its diego duh! says: thanks this helped me out to write my paper for dual credit enlgishh

Anonymous said...

New Orleans to New York,
Are you Married? Arranged?
You ideas sound very logical. Yes, if you get the hard stuff out of the way first (who works, who cooks, children, where to live, etc) then it does seem to have potential. Conversations are not so much based on emotion, but are, instead, what seems logical to the couple/family unit. But does it work? At what point does it become emotional? Does it ever? Is a "Friends/Partner" relationship more likly to last than "Love"? It's a compelling argument. I think common interest plays a big part. But I agree that in an "arranged" marriage, both parties are willing to compromise, so why is that sooo hard in a love marriage? It would seem that in a love marriage, one would be More willing to compromise, but the statistics shows otherwise. Interesting thoughts. I will explore them further.
Thanks New York,
New Orleans
Ps. I love techy stuff too.

girlaroundtheworld said...

I think what I'd like to know is which system has a higher rate of infidelity. It's relatively common in love marriages in the US, but still, logic seems to indicate if you are love-matched and married to someone with whom you share genuine passion, you'd be less likely to look for that passion elsewhere than someone in an arranged marriage.

VSM said...

AS GIRLAROUNDTHEWORLD SAYS THAT THEY LOVE BECAUSE THEY SEE THE PASSION IN THE BOY.BUT I THINK THAT PASSIOM COULD NOT BE PROBABLE BASE TO DETERMINE OR TO LOVE ANYBODY

Anonymous said...

This is some good stuff it helped with my paper on arranged marriages but I would have to agree with the person who wrote that the divorce rate is lower b/c that is what they are taught they might be 'shuned'or 'disowned' by family who wants that

Anonymous said...

Intresting to read the article,thanks :)

Anonymous said...

why would anyone want to marry if they dont fall in love with a person or no one loves them??
i think arranged marriage is based on luck...like making money in gambling.
without true love or passion, love marriage fails.but that doesnt mean successful arranged marriage is better!
in india divorce is not a choice just like whom you marry.
even if its bad marriage they have to live with it in india as they get kids right away and they live for them..there is no love...just agreements...to live for society and parents :(

Anonymous said...

I am 32, unmarried, I don't know what meaning of love, I have never felt true love.

I am sure that most of the people who are reading this article are well educated but when it comes to making decisions about the heart they would also be stumped as to what does love really mean.

We keep looking towards US and the diverse rates, love marriages, and castrate arranged marriages at time. (I am neither for nor against either of them).

Marriage is probable the most important decision one would have to take.

In case of love (this is only my opinion) people/ boys do not understand what love is.

The 1st girl I ever went out with, I thought I was in love, but realised 5 years later that it was only the sex that was attracting me towards her. (I did not even have sex with her)

The 2nd one was the same all sex and no connection. (same side to a coin)

I mean after 2 bad relationships (not blaming either of those 2 girls) and 8 years later I am now realising that I was not in love with either of them.

The hormones made me feel what I thought I was feeling but it was not love.

Today I feel that neither love marriage not arranged marriage is true. We are living in such an open world that we are unable to absorb the same and are taking decisions based on the present and not the future.

We keep talking about the future. We keep asking ourselves that is he or she the right person?

What we should be asking is: are we right? Are we thinking right? Is this what I want? Is this what I am ready to accept no matter what?

A successful marriage is not the one where both are happy, but a one where there are equal number of compromises from both sides.

In the 1950 parents did not decide the girl/ boy for the child, they decided on the family and the values. So it would be wrong on our part to judge our elders how ever wrong or right they may be. We do not have a right to do so.

Open your eyes and try living in their shoes and stop passing judgement.

Today we have written something here, say a 100 years from now the world has changed and marriage is no longer practiced. People reading this would be calling us fools, they could be passing judgements on us.

We are living in our times, not the times of our elders, not the time of our children, we are in our time, so let us try to keep the focus right here rather than on the past.

Coming back to the present. Marriage is and always remain nothing but a legalised (as per today’s terms) connection between individuals. Love is something which happens over time.

Love marriage or arranged, always remember you have to lose to gain.

Anonymous said...

love is choice of ability
a person should be able to do so many things in life for another human being like sacrifice, forgiving,sharing,being kind,humble,..
if u r able,then u make a choice with whom u can work it out...try till u get the right person...there is someone for everyone...no matter what age...
men r created to be attracted towards women n vice versa...it is natural..n nothing wrong....
it is how it should work...
use the hormones given by nature to find the right person with heart..abilities...
love a person with heart then with body..it is love.

Mansi said...

Hi!

My name is Mansi and I am an intern for Dr.Robert Epstein. He is currently researching involving arranged marriages. Hence I was wondering if you knew of any couples who have had an arranged marriage and would like to answer few questions. Please note, that I am only looking for couples that have had successful arranged marriages. If so, then please contact me at mansithakar@gmail.com.
Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing from you.
Sincerely,
Mansi
.

Emmy said...

Please check out this awesome student documentary about arranged marriages.

http://www.vancouveriam.com/videos/caa28d371db1

Support young journalists.

Anonymous said...

Nice info. It helped me Sort Of clear up my mind abt arranged marriage.
I can find counter arguments about any flaw in arranged marriage, but the problem is with the current generation like me-a 15year old Indian who is unfortunately stuck between individualism and stern moral values.
I mean the west teaches us individualism; right to choose one's own bride and stuff, but this comes with less/loose moral values.
I cant imagine my parents choosing my bride..ahahha thats crazy but i do have weakness for nice girls and i am not sure if love marriage is gonna work for me forever..CONFUSING!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the information and opinions concerning arranged marraige. I am a 30 year old american woman and I am in love with an indian man. I know I am in over my head but I guess being a "westerner" I am unable to suppress my feelings as easy. I am just trying to gather different points of view on this subject, so thanks.

Anonymous said...

thnx!!...datz exactly how arranged marriages work in our family.:)

Anonymous said...

i have a question, i am meeting a guy who's been set up thru my family- he seems fine.but my question is hpw do u actly know in this kind of marraige if the guy would be able to satisfy you, or if the guy is hot enough. i hope you all understand, this is my greatest worry. i want to know from people who have been thru this kind of arrangement.since, this is thru family so we cant just get involved at that level before processing an answer. and i really feel all tis physical compatibly is kind of a must for a married couple.

Anonymous said...

hey.great article. A point i'd like to bring up is that you compare divorce rates in both arranged and love marriages. This isn't really helpful comparison since,in an arranged marriage,divorce is very unlikely an option. I myself am of Indian descent living out of India. I personally will never enter into an arranged marriage. I believe i'd rather be happy an be single than be in a relationship i don't wanna be in. ompare divorce rates in both arranged and love marriages. This isn't really helpful comparison since,in an arranged marriage,divorce is very unlikely an option. I myself am of Indian descent living out of India. I personally will never enter into an arranged marriage. I believe i'd rather be happy an be single than be in a relationship i don't wanna be in.

Ashwini Damani said...

nice article
Ashwini Damani - goldensilt.blogspot.com
A similar post on my blog

http://goldensilt.blogspot.com/2011/10/arranged-marriages.html

Harveer said...

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african girl said...

This is a helpful information I've ever discovered. To the writer of the article thanks for sharing this one. It really enlightens me a bit. For me, arranged marriage is really good if both of you feels the same way.

Anonymous said...

Well you dont know India, do you? You got to be an Indian first not be a tourist or an ocassioanl visitor, coz that type LOVES INDIA. every Non indian loves india and its hypocritical culture!!!

Anonymous said...

Hello,

I recently did a research paper for my college level English class on the topic of Arranged marriage. Through the research process I learned a lot about arranged marriage. Out of everything I learned, I think the definition itself was something unknown by many here in the United States. Some people believe arranged marriage is something that is organized by parents or family without the children’s consent. Arranged marriage can be arranged by not only the parents and family but friends that have close relationship with the individual and is only done with the individuals consent. There are a lot of advantages that are offered with an arranged relationship or a marriage such as compatibility between both individual is usually met because the individuals are thoroughly researched. In addition arranged marriages are not that far off from the modern day practice of using a matchmaker whether it’s through websites or hiring a professional match maker. All in all I believe arranged marriage is a good practice that could lead to a successful marriage.

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Common Sense said...

I have had a bery bad arranged maariage. This was done for a couple of reason. It worked for 47 years because of mutual give and tAKE.

When the take part was rexceeded
it became untorleble. So much so that the marriage is about to
break. The only reason for this
is greed greed and greed.

Now the same family is going thru
the same mess again.

The peope never learn from their experience, do they

Will write more on this subject as I watched like a hawak. What
a laugh Ha ha Ha

R & D

Anonymous said...

nice article...

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thank you for the information regards success only father / mother

Quirky Expatriate said...

Arranged marriage, like love marriage takes a lot of work to make it last. Do check out my blog at: http://www.jodilogik.com/wordpress/index.php/15-quotes-on-arranged-marriage-from-unexpected-sources/

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