Post # 1
I’ve been watcing OWN this morning (don’t judge!) and they keep advertising this week’s Our America with Lisa Ling which is going to be about arranged marriage. It makes me curious to see if any Bees on here were part of an arranged marriage? I could not imagine marrying someone I met once or twice beforehand (or sometimes not at all!).
Post # 3
It’s still quite common outside of the US. Personally, it’s not for me, but I wasn’t raised in a culture where it was the social norm. For many couples (including a co-worker of mine who immigrated to the US from another country), you’re raised by the product of an arranged marriage (your parents), surrounded by friend’s and families in their own arranged marriages, so it’s the notion of marrying for romantic love that seems weird. FWIW my co-worker and his wife have been together for 20+ years, have 6 or 7 kids, and appear to be no more or less happy than their counterparts who marry for romantic love.
The mindset of the arranged marriage is that the marriage itself, and the union of the two families, is more important than the individuals who make up the marriage. The divorce rate is MUCH lower (~4% in the parts of India where arranged marriage is more common, vs 50% here in the US), although it’s very hard to compare domestic violence rates as in many cultures (the US included), it’s underreported.
Post # 4
I went to college with a woman in an arranged marriage from a culture outside of the USA, and she was a genuinely happy lady and spoke in positive regard to her martial situation.
She compared it to boiling water on the stove. They started marriage with the water cold, but once they got to know each other they grew in their love together and made things boil 😉 She said things were the opposite in many cultures where the relationship starts with a “boil” and it ends up fizzling to a simmer, or back to cold water more often than not.
Obviously, they are broad generalizations, but it gave me a good visual and idea 🙂 I also know it varies by culture, as some arranged marriages are not sunshine and roses.
Post # 5
While I don’t think I could do it (wayyy too independant and generally the cultures in which arranaged marriages are common tend to be much more male dominated cultures), I think it can and did work for most of history. While there were lots of unhappy arranged marriages, there are lots of unhappy marriages when both parties picked each other.
Post # 6
@google: I’m not part of an arranged marriage, but you might want to check out the movie Arranged if this topic is interesting to you. It’s about an Orthodox Jewish woman and a devout Muslim women who become friends when they realize they’re both going through arranged marriages. Assuming the filmmakers got things right, these women could at least accept/reject guys, even if their parents/community suggested the guys in the first place. Anyway, it’s a really good movie on the topic!
Post # 7
I’d like to point out that in certain parts of society in the US, there are marriages that aren’t quite arranged and aren’t quite romance-based. Many of the upper-class families have longstanding traditions, a heritage even, of determining which people within their own society should marry, and mystically, most seem to fall into line and do so.
I grew up on the fringe of such a society, and watched it happen time and again. “She” was always going to marry “him” because it had to be so, according to their respective families. Some of the time, the people in question were friends or acquaintances already, and since they had some kind of congenial relationship, they bowed to the inevitable and married. A few openly detested each other, but married anyway. And a very, very small number went totally against the family and married “out,” frequently giving up their previous roles in society (not to mention large inheritances) to be happy.
This probably sounds like bad fiction to some of you, but I promise, it DOES happen. It’s gotten better over the years thanks to more years spent in education and travel — families are more accepting of “outsiders” as long as they meet similar standards.
As far as true arranged marriages go, it’s not something I understand as a westerner, but I don’t object to it as a cultural norm. Sure, I personally think options are better than a forced wedding to a person I don’t know, but there are worse relationships than those built on mutual understanding and respect. It’s the no-divorce, abuse-ridden parts of arranged marriages I object to, which has more to do with the surrounding culture than the marriage itself.
(Sorry… I studied the history of marriage, so this kind of thing really interests me).
Post # 8
I can’t ever see myself being happy in an arraged marriage as it just doesn’t fit with my super-independent personality. But obviously some people are genuinely happy in them so who am I to say that my preference for a marriage based on romantic love is “better”. It is simply what works for me!
Post # 9
I know someone that’s in an arranged marriage. They met once before their wedding and have been married around 30 years. They seem to be quite happy with each other.
I can’t see myself being a part of one, but I’m too independent for it.
Post # 10
I have two friends who’s parents both had arranged marriages. Both of them said that the arranged marriage was more like matchmaking than the idea that most of us have of arranged marriage. They said that their grandparents found a suitable match for their parents with another good family, had them meet and get to know each other over a couple months. If they got along well, then they would get married. Both sets of parents are VERY happy & in love! Gave me a totally different perspective on marriage. One of those friends is actually my Maid/Matron of Honor and she said she would consider a similar arranged marriage for herself.