The Pros and Cons of Arranged Marriages
Length: 902 words (2.6 double-spaced pages)
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The way in which arranged marriages are handled determines whether or not they are cruel and old-fashioned. I am now going to provide a balanced argument that takes all the different views into consideration.
Islam is one religion that uses arranged marriages. Not only are the marriages arranged by the parents but also by older relatives as well. They believe that the parents know all about their children so they are capable of choosing a suitable partner whom may enable the couple to have a successful marriage, all though if either the bride or groom disagrees the wedding cannot go on. The details of the marriage are set out in a contract which is a legal document. Hinduism is another group of people who have arranged marriages but not to the same extent. Hindus believe that a marriage is based on more than physical or emotional attraction and at one stage Hindus were strict about arranged marriages where the parent’s decision was final.
Marital incompatibility has been found to be a major reason for divorce. When the parents arrange the marriage they will have found someone who is compatible so that the marriage will work. When the parents pick someone they are drawing from experience typically 20 years of married life and they went through the same process no doubt. There is also a lower divorce rate in arranged marriages. When in a arranged marriage situation there is a lower expectation because neither side knows what to expect of the other person. Both sides imagine the worse scenario or outcome but when they get to the marriage and meeting the other person things turn out better than what they originally thought and they are willing to stay in the marriage and to make it work and get to know there partner better. There is a 0% - 7% divorce rate for arranged marriages compared to a 55% divorce rate in the England. Western societies seem to focus more on the physical appearance in relationships, therefore are more obsessed with love, sex, beauty etc. Marriages based on these things may not work out due to clashes in personalities, beliefs or common annoy things. In contrast in the eastern cultures that use arranged marriages put emphases on practical things such as integrity, diligence, ambition, humility, generosity etc.
people therefore are getting married due to practical reasons and work on building the love in the relationship later.
However, not everyone agrees with arranged marriages and some believe it takes away freedom of choice. Someone else is deciding which direction your life is going in. When marriage is a consideration people are old enough to make their own decisions. Love marriages offer more independence and freedom in the context of choosing who you are with and what you do. Due to the parents choosing the partner for the woman she then feels obligated to stay in the relationship for the sake of the family pride and also respect in the community. There is a lot of pressure placed upon the child to conform to their parents expectations and she wants to make her family happy. If the family really cared about their daughter wouldn’t they let her make her own decisions?
How can you marry someone you do not know? When you know somebody before marriage there is a large understanding of each other’s needs and desires. Knowing someone before you get married, you mean what you are saying in your wedding vows not just saying them so that you may be married. In the love marriage there is more of a relationship built. There is a relationship when teenagers possibly, spend months or years together before you decide to dedicate yourself to your partner. Divorce does not necessarily happen due to bad choice. One reason is because these days women are better educated and women are no longer afraid to stand up for themselves and take charge of their own lives. Arranged marriages can also go too far. Forced marriage is where the parents choose their child’s spouse with no input from the child and even if the child disagrees or disapproves the marriage still takes place. Some parents go as far as threatening the child to ensure cooperation. Where’s your freedom there? That is a real good way of ruining the family. Child marriage, parents marry their child off when children or even infants. They stay with their family until they are older and what if their partner has changed since they were young? This is very likely and could mean the couple no longer match.
In conclusion there seems to be arguments for and against arranged marriages. Good logical decisions are made in arranged marriages but they can lack the love that can be in a ‘love marriages’. Therefore it comes down to a personal opinion. Some do not have a choice because they choose to follow the religion they were brought up in but for Westerners they have choice whether to go down one path or the other. If it were possible to take the best of both ideas you may come up with a procedure that may benefit more of the people most of the time. However, it is not fair to say arranged marriages are cruel and old-fashioned if you are talking generally as it depends how the situation is handled.