Friday, June 5, 2009

The Case for Arranged Marriage

disclaimer: This came to me in the middle of the night, I don't know why. Up until this point I had been against arranged marriage.

Love is the most sought-after commodity on this planet. Romance is the most common practice when trying to attain love. Yet, why is there so much heartbreak and divorce in this world? For two people so enamored and wild about each other, the next step, naturally, is marriage, correct? Then why does it so often end in pieces?

Well, let’s look at the definition of marriage. The joining of two people. With what intention? To be together for the rest of their lives. Another purpose of marriage is to begin a family. It begins with the couple, and continues to produce children and grandchildren. Some marriages do not produce children, but since we are a species of this earth, we must reproduce somehow.

In more traditionally-minded societies, such as those in India, marriage is principally designed with the intent of raising children. Why do these arranged marriages have a lower divorce rate than the rest?

When a man and a woman, two strangers, are joined in marriage, there are no expectations of love. They have been married by their parents, with the intent of raising a good family and carrying on a good family name. They start with nothing – they know absolutely nothing about each others’ personalities.

In a more Western marriage, two people who are affectionate for each other marry. Sometimes this is a product of lust, sometimes of convenience, sometimes it really truly is love. Most of us can’t tell. The principle focus of the marriage is the love between the man and the wife, whether it already exists or not. There are high expectations between a husband and wife, with any small deviation leading to hostility. Rarely ever do a man and wife still love each other the same amount or even more than when they first got married. The traumas of midlife crises, raising children, and economics often drive a couple apart, which is why divorce attorneys are never out of work.

In an arranged marriage, however, since no standards have been set for love, it only has the potential to grow . No expectations exist; therefore, none can be broken, and no fighting occurs. Raising children cannot separate them, because that was their purpose in getting married – to raise children to the best of their abilities. They pour all their love into their children, because that is all that they really have. The two develop an appreciation and respect for each other over time, and a friendship that cannot be broken, because they have this one common goal that unites them. Since both of their efforts are concentrated into perfecting their children, the children are not traumatized by fighting and divorce, and therefore turn out to be happier people.

This is the purest form of love – between an unbroken family. Romance comes and goes, but the love that is built upon through years of hard work is the most satisfying love a person can experience. One cannot just expect this from life – they have to strive for it. It is not easy, but it is worth it.

1 comment:

J. H. Kranti said...

Everyone's got to fight the good fight and strive for it, no matter if their marriage was arranged or love. That being said, arranged definitely has a pretty good track record. But there's been so much cultural exposure to love marriage (in the West) such that many arranged marriages here would start off with at least some sense of negativity -- i.e. notion of being strangers, or that there's no love in the marriage.

Indeed, if we lived in an ideal cultural vacuum, it would be great if we can all take up a particular type of marriage that seems to work best. But we're here, and heck, I would hate to be an in arranged marriage.

OK that's enough commenting for now.