The truth about: Arranged Marriages

arranged marriage blur2aSomething very specific prompted me to write this post, & when I thought about it so many things occurred to me.

I recently saw a video of a bride & groom on Facebook (their ethnicity was either South Asian, Arabic, Muslim, East Indian…I am not 100% sure). The bride fed the groom some cake, then the groom took the fork and fed himself some cake (instead of feeding the bride) & the bride chuckled but the groom was very serious about it. He didn’t do it as a joke – almost as to say, it’s all about me. That wasn’t what caught me – it was the comments section of the video where a few people mentioned that maybe it’s an arranged marriage & that most people don’t have a choice about who they end up with etc.

I felt an obligation to clear the air a bit for those with misconceptions. Not saying that anyone is wrong in the way they think of arranged marriages – they actually have a bad rap. I know its ironic for me to write about this – I am in, what my Hindu culture would call, a “love marriage” – meaning that I chose my partner & we got married.

I was always against arranged marriages growing up. The reason is pretty obvious. Everyone wonders how you could spend the rest of your life with someone you hardly know. The thing is – that’s not always how it is. As a matter of fact, especially in recent times, it is completely different to what people believe. I have seen some arranged marriages fall apart but more than those I have seen “love” marriages fall apart.

So how do arranged marriages work in modern times? Well, you can let your parents go ahead & find someone suitable for you, as long as that’s what you decide is right for you. They look around at different families in the community to see who is eligible & start the matching process. They then come to you with images & basic information of persons they think you may make a good match with & you take it from there. You can then go ahead & meet with them in person, meet their families & decide from there. Most people are okay with this. They really are. It’s actually the lazy way to date! Get your parents to hook you up πŸ™‚ I’ve seen couples who people met at weddings briefly & then ask their parents to get information about the person they met & arrange everything. I’ve seen so many happy, compatible people make arranged marriages work. I think in some situations, yes, it is a forced issue. For the most part however, I’ve seen some wonderful people meet throughΒ these means and have happy marriages.

I think our preconceptions are valid sometimes but the overall negative feelings people have about arranged marriages are displaced. Maybe the term “arranged” is what bothers most people? I’ve heard the termΒ “you will learn to love the other person”. I think that happens in all marriages doesn’t it? People are constantly changing even after they’re married – aren’t we constantly learning to love the new changes in them too? Don’t we embrace different circumstances together in marriage? Don’t we give & take for each other’s happiness? Isn’t all of that “learning to love”?

I think marriage on a whole is a constant journey & work in progress. In my humble opinion, even though there are some marriages that are forced in this way, arranged marriages are not so bad after all & are actually some people’s preferred way of finding a partner for life.

I don’t think the length of time you’ve known someone or how well you think you know them determines whether your married life would be successful or happy. I also don’t think that someone you’ve chosen yourself would be absolutely right for you as compared to someone chosen for you. Sometimes, even after years of knowing someone & marrying them, we learn something new about them. The question I leave you with is – do we ever REALLY know someone? I welcome questions, no matter what they may be. I would love to start a conversation!

Love & Light x

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12 thoughts on “The truth about: Arranged Marriages

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  1. In one of my first jobs, I recall meeting an amazing Indian lady. At the time she was married for 25 years. We often had some great conversations, she was so kindly and motherly. She told me that she had an arranged marriage and that she had never met him before the day of the wedding. To me that was quite a shocker, I had learnt about arranged marriages in school however I was of the impression that it is always a ‘forced’ thing or more for ‘business or financial gain’. She said she got pregnant on her wedding night and that. She thought me that yes it was arranged but she was happy, that it was an honor for her parents to choose for her and that they have been very happy.

    I’ve been married for 11 years and I choose him, I personally could not do it any other way. But had been born in a culture where this is the norm, I would be totally accepting, because that is what I would have known and what I would have found to be ‘normal’.

    Thanks Div

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    1. Even though it’s “normal” in my culture, being so exposed to western culture and growing up in Grenada, the people around me who weren’t Indian always made me feel it was an absurd thing to do and I was always rebellious against it. My parents had an arranged marriage and they are totally happy. As a matter of fact people think that they chose each other. It’s actually such a beautiful thing especially when girls are young and naΓ―ve or sheltered. The parents made a suitable choice and I totally respect it now. Thanks for your input hun. Very much appreciated πŸ’•

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  2. I attended a very multicultural school in the UK and I learned a lot about Asian culture through my Asian classmates. Due to the challenges of being exposed to western culture outside of the home and their parents trying to maintain their traditions a lot of the young Asian girls would rebel and express fear or negativity about arranged marriages. For a long time, I thought everyone was forced into it. As I got older and started to speak to my friends more openly about it and observed the successes of arranged marriages among my Asian friends and even African friends, it completely changed my view. Most of them met their partners through introductions via relatives and none of them ever felt forced to be with someone they didn’t want to be with. In fact, all of them settled into marriages very early and they are still going strong.

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    1. Yes absolutely Kered. I always rebelled against it myself til I saw examples and they are all happy and wouldn’t have done it any other way. Thanks for your input. Much appreciated ❀️

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  3. I grew up hearing my grandparents talk about arranged marriages and how the woman was suppose to wait on the man while he was out at sea. It baffles me because it’s still happening and 95% of the time he would end up cheating and have a whole other life/family and the woman would just be there…..waiting.
    When I was in my teens, I was talked into being with someone who I had absolutely no interest in. He however; liked me so much that at one point when I didn’t respond to him, he would try and embarrass me in public. I got tired and eventually told him how I felt in a very harsh way. To this day he doesn’t speak to me and thinks of me as “nothing” all because I refused to be in a relationship with him. I always believed in finding someone on my own and falling in love. My mom always said to me, “I can’t tell you who to love and I will never.”

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    1. Totally agree. And I used to feel that way until I saw how good people arranged their kids marriages and it worked out. When I say good people I mean those who respected the opinions of their children and never I’ll treated them nor wanted them with anyone that would hurt them in anyway. A lot of people think arranged marriages means the wives are slaves and have no say in anything and it simply isn’t true. The arranging part exists just for the initial contact and the rest is up to the 2 people involved. Took me many years to see and understand that it was done from a place of love and not control. Yes sometimes it happens because of control, but as we know negative things get more limelight than positive. Thanks for your feedback as always. Much appreciated ❀️❀️❀️

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  4. I am so happy you wrote about this. The topic of arranged marriage has come into my life recently. My partner is the first person I know who does not view it in a negative way and has explained to me why it is not always an oppressive situation. Your parents know you the best, and therefore can probably judge with more perspective why someone is more compatible with you. Attractions don’t always work out to be lasting, healthy and functioning partnerships. Especially in the model where the arrangement is just for the initial introduction and the choice of marriage is left up to the individuals.

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    1. Exactly. I’ve seen so many happy people and most times much happier than people who made their own choices. Our parents do know us very well even though we don’t want to admit it sometimes. Thanks for your input Sheba. Always appreciated ❀️

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  5. I actually don’t against arrange marriage and pretty positive about it since it is 2017. I think it is wonderful idea to have our parents + relatives to find someone that they think is suitable for me. We also get more open-minded and rich that we don’t need to “sell” our daughters. I will against if it is 50 years ago. But even back to 50 years ago, when we look at our/friends’ parents, are they happy? I mean it is pointless if you find your “true love” but break up or feel unhappy few years later. If people argue the point that no one know about the future, then it is same as arrange marriage. I personally think arrange marriage is a double secured dating that gives 90% successful married rate.
    I am really happy that you bring up this topic and talk about it in an open-mind.
    PS: I wish my parents can throw me a picture and tell me I am going to get married within a year. XD XD We have no resource. XD I am a poor forever single lady. XD I need a cat. XD

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  6. I too think arranged marriages get a bad rep and I happen to think they are a great idea as long as it’s between two consenting adults. In fact one of my most anticipated reads for this summer is a modern contemporary about this topic called When Dimple Met Rishi I think that a large pillar of marriage is commitment and I think that an aranaged marriage can certainly have this element and thus a fair chance at success.

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