Advantages of Arrange Marriage

Published: 11th June 2012
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An arranged marriage in India was seen as a way of promoting caste system or racism. It was just a tool for the upper caste people to protect their community and to maintain their social status. As such, they married their children to the person of the same caste or same social background. The practice eventually passed on to the lower caste as well, where it is used for the same purpose. The rituals and customs of arrange marriages in India vary depending on the caste and religion of the people. The system, though very old, still is one of the most prevalent practices performed and has today, become synonymous with the Indian society and culture.

If we leave the west for a few days and transplant ourselves into any culture that promotes arranged marriages, we will, in time, realize the logic behind this practice and appreciate the reasons why they work. Some of those reasons can be attributed to the wisdom of elders. Because they raised and cared for their children, they instinctively know what’s best for their children, which includes the decision to select a life partner.

1. Risk of incompatability is diminished

Arranged marriages presuppose that two people are perfectly matched because they belong to the same culture, share the same religious upbringing, speak the same language, and raised in more or less the same socio-economic class. These identical backgrounds make it easier for the couple to communicate with each other and understand where each “is coming from.” Decisions in the upbringing of future children and their education leave little room for disparities in their thinking because of this “likeness.”

2. Idea of divorcing is unthinkable

This is another acknowledged advantage of arranged marriages. Given that the man and woman come from a similar background and therefore share the same views of marriage and family, the chance of divorcing due to irreconcilable differences is not as strong as in western cultures.

Note that it is not so much the arranged marriage per se that reduces the likelihood of divorce. As we discussed in another article, most arranged marriages no longer trigger a negative reaction because a good number of them are not forced. Parents who arrange marriages are fully aware that their children can always refuse a selected partner, in which case they simply look for another suitable partner. The input from the future groom and bride carries weight. The combination, therefore, of the parents’ wisdom and consent of the child would lead to a happier union so divorce would be unlikely.

India is the perfect example of a society where arranged marriages are still the norm and where the divorce rate is very low.

3. Extended family support has its benefits

In traditional societies, spouses sometimes live with the parents or live in the same housing compound. In times of difficulty, the couple can count on the help of their parents and in-laws for physical, emotional and financial support. When the children are born and both spouses work, finding adequate babysitters is a non-issue because the grandparents pitch in the care and nurturing of the children. The children are therefore supervised by close family members instead of by complete strangers, making them comfortable because they live in an atmosphere that they know well. Needless to add, when the couple has arguments, well-meaning elders can step in and offer advice and “arbitration” sessions.

Benefits of an Arranged Marriage

* Reduction of incompatibilities- same religion, caste, dietary preference, linguistic group, socioeconomic background, etc.
* Following one's heart is often wiser than following one's head- love can just be an infatuation.
* Lower divorce rates.
* Low expectations- neither spouse knows exactly what to expect, so they are often pleasantly surprised by how good their marriage is.

The concept of arranged marriage may sound impractical to the Western world, but in India, it is a usual norm. No matter how westernized India may have become, arranged marriages are still viewed as the most preferred choice in the Indian families.

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