Disadvantages of Arranged Marriages

Published: 18th January 2012
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The arranged marriage of today is more clearly manufactured but it also offers a more certain outcome. Online matrimonial sites are full of young professionals seeking matches on their own, knowing that what is on the table here is not a date but the promise of marriage’s a world where our present has become a poor indicator of our future, the idea of arranging marriages continues to hold charm. Whether it is cloaked in tradition as it is in India or in modernity as it is elsewhere, the institution of marriage needs some help. The expanded Indian view of the arranged marriage functions as a facilitated marriage search designed for individuals. Perhaps that is why convened matches from status families will continue to look for decent marriages, caste no bar.

For those who learn that arranged marriages are not necessarily forced, they adopt a more tolerant attitude towards this practice. One reason for this tolerance is that arranged marriages are a cultural trademark and should not be judged using western standards. If those who marry believe it’s “no big deal” to have their marriages arranged because it is a way of life they are accustomed to, then why should outsiders try to convince them otherwise? It’s not as if they’re being dragged into the marriage against their will or being groomed as slaves.

Nevertheless, for the sake of argument, here are some disadvantages of arranged marriages:

1. Inability to make up one’s own mind

When marriages are arranged by elders or parents, this does not encourage spouses to make up their own mind about who to marry. Instead of dating and meeting people and comparing them against one’s ideals, they leave that part of the work to someone else. Should either spouse end up unhappy after being married a few years, it can be very tempting to blame one’s parents for making an unsuitable choice.

2. Love takes second priority

“Decide with your head and not with your heart” is what parents tell their children. This philosophy tends to put love in the back burner. For people who live in societies where arranged marriages are the practice, they are convinced that if they don’t feel any passionate love when the marriage takes place, love will bloom eventually. It is more important to consider the social and economic viability of the marriage rather than put romantic love at the forefront – which will fade anyway because romantic love is at best a superficial feeling.

3. Interference from extended family

While there are benefits to having one’s extended family close by who can offer support when needed, this proximity has pitfalls. For some Muslims and others who have, in particular, been living in the west for a long time, may find this closeness a little awkward and uncomfortable. Some marital arguments and conflicts are settled better when only the spouses are involved. When the in-laws interfere and impose their views, this can cause stress to the marriage.

Arrange marriages have certain ill effects on the society like it is biased over a particular religion, caste and a race. It is not healthy when parents are over protective and control their children's wishes and desires in choosing their partner. It is wonderful when children are given the right to make the final consent and decision on their marriage and also there should be arrangements for the would be husband and wife to meet and to understand each other.

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