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Arranged Marriage Is Better Than Love Marriage Essay Introduction

     There are psychologists who believe that arranged marriages are stronger than marriages based on love. However, first, every nation has a mentality of its own, secondly, what actually to strive for? For a strong marriage where relations are based on certain property relations or still for a happy marriage based on love?

     We have already discussed many controversial topics by now. If to speak about marriage, there is no happiness within a marriage based on a bare financial calculation only. People tend to match arranged marriage against love marriage in the society we live in. There is an indiscretion though: an arranged marriage may also contain love. In this case, matrimonial alliance is based on the following considerations: this person fits me, s/he wants love, I want the same thing, and we shall get it for sure. Alike outlooks may be considered as unrepugnant to reason as long as people value love in relationships and strive for it. 

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     People have become more selfish by nature in these latter days, which is why arranged marriage became a common occurrence. Alike alliances came around at all times. If a noble kin wanted to become relatives with a family as noble as theirs, they arranged about marriage between their children besides it was done long before their moving to adulthood. It was arranged on special conditions beneficial for both sides. By mean of such a marriage, families settled up territorial, financial and other significant issues and it was considered to be normal, a usual method of getting people together.

     Nowadays, arranged marriage is no rarity just as well. Two people decide to arrange such an alliance completely understanding all the pros and cons of this decision. It is commonly believed that arranged marriages primarily cannot become strong and happy marriages. Nevertheless, the reality shows the falseness of this consideration.

     The reasons why people go for it are different: to improve their social status, well-being, from considerations of economy, to get an official residential registration or elementary conveniences, everyday comfort, fear of loneliness and escape from it, striving for having regular and legal sexual relationships, a wish to have a nuclear family for a child, etc.

     Arranged marriages are based on material considerations, to turn around the fortunes at somebody`s expenses. Along with that, the other side has interests of its own. In this case, it is highly important for the calculation to be right.

     There is enough of prejudice in the society upon arranged marriage. For some reason, most pf us have rather negative attitude to them. To think that arranged marriage cannot be a happy marriage would be wrong. Why is it shameful to live with a man who has a stable social status and material conveniences? It speaks of him as a person who achieved something in his life. It is something worth of respect. Is there a woman who would refuse from being with a man who is worth of respect, to live a life of ease, where no room for problems of thousands of poor families?

     By the way, it is no surprise that men are up for such kind of marriage just as well. We can see young men with pretty faces getting married to older women who are rich and prosper. Besides that, these marriages are not that short lasting.

     All of us would want to accomplish some goals. This is another reason why people arrange marriages. To get some social status, to simply take care of someone and be taken care of. Such calculations are more of psychological character, than of financial or social ones. Striving for creating a family also may be considered some sort of a calculation. An assumed profit lies in financial support or in assistance in bringing up children. As often as not, we are to start a family because of housewifely functions (laundry, cooking, cleaning and other household routines), which can be put on a partner.

     Dynastic alliances are also arranged marriages.

     Overall, in accordance with statistics, arranges marriages are considered to be stronger. Besides that, if interest for accommodation or money are in the basis of the marriage, such marriages are strong almost always but there is no a happy one.

      Anyway, if you love someone, you will think it over well. A man, before asking a woman to marry him, will definitely think first whether he would be able to provide family, whether he is ready to become a father. A woman, before saying yes, should answer the following questions: whether she would be able to make a man happy, whether she would be able to build relationships, whether she would be able to make a compromise. Truly loving person would definitely think of the future ahead of the marriage.

      The most right calculation is the one which takes a partner`s interests into account. Let along the interests of children if any and of the future children. It is a good thing to take your interests into consideration but when it comes to a couple, if you will be thinking about what your partner will get as a result of alliance with you – you will be able to build something strong.

     An arranged marriage is an agreement of sorts and it is supposed to be mutually profitable. There are still people who find an arranged marriage to be a bobtail pool. Yes, it is good to live with an independent, reliable person; to respect him but such a union is a suffering of sorts without love due to some things to be done not for pleasure but because of a necessity. A few more serious aspects should be taken into consideration in order for a marriage to turn out to last long and was happy: compatibility of partners physically and psychologically, life experience of the future husband, ability to make a compromise and to conform. Which is why if you are to arrange marriage, these aspects should be viewed.

Pros of arranged marriage

  • Alliance from both sides is a responsible and comprehensive move. Spouses are not in the grip of feelings. The decision is made in the cold light of day.
  • Each of the spouses gets a realization of intended purpose.
  • There is no lovesickness; there are no blaming of attention lack, etc.
  • There is no reason to have an argument.
  • There is no risk to be off someone.
  • Marital duties are not compulsory. The main thing to father a child.
  • Daily graft is not a problem for such a family. It will not break it up.

Cons of arranged marriage

  • No love.
  • Sexual relations are no pleasure but a hateful duty.
  • If a wife grinded her own axe, she might be under constant and total control of her husband.
  • There is a chance of a “life in a walled garden” situation.
  • A complete dependence upon a person in whose hands all the finances are.
  • Businessperson spouse is often away on business being accompanied with secretaries with long legs resting in the clubs and other elite places with prostitutes.
  • Arranged marriage often covers an attitude of a managing finances man to his wife as if she was another thing he bought.
  • The side breaking a tacit agreement risks to end up with nothing.

     There is a tendency for an arranged marriage to be on the decrease due to a marriage settlement. This document provides for possession of property, which normally is possessed apart. An arranged marriage is replaced with a rational marriage now. There are no finances or social status based within such an alliance but a hope for a strong alliance with spiritual peace, respect, mutual understanding and reliance. Warmer relations than just a friendship appear within such an alliance, then love comes along. As a rule, such a marriage provides for children in the future.   

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Your parents have started making subtle hints about you getting married soon. Only half joking, they say your uncle or aunt knows someone who would be really perfect for you. “Maybe you should just meet him/her once before you say ‘no’”. You have this scary feeling that they won’t just be joking about it in the near future. For many modern young people of today’s generation, an arranged marriage does not hold much attraction. However, it is a fact that about 90 % of Indians still have arranged marriages. While not all of these marriages are successful, some of them certainly are.

A marriage is not just a union of two people but a coming together of two families, two social networks which are now more closely linked than ever before. An arranged marriage focuses on this family union. While looking for a partner for their son or daughter, parents will first check if the potential bride or groom’s family is compatible to theirs. Do they share the same background (cultural and religious), socio-economic status, level of education, similar values? If so, they feel they can safely marry their son or daughter into this family, knowing that they will be taken care of and live a life quite similar to their parents’. Security and stability seem to be the most valued things looked for in an arranged marriage. While this might seem like an unemotional way to go about it, the value of a stable marriage is undeniable. Perhaps this could be one of the reasons why India has such a low divorce rate.

Critics of arranged marriage would say that not enough importance is given in such marriages to how the couple feels about each other. Emotional and physically compatibility is overlooked in favour of practical considerations. If you say ‘I don’t feel anything for him/her’, family members might respond saying ‘Love will grow in time’. Another drawback is that the couple might not have enough time to get to know each other, understand each other’s feelings, values and opinions, about different issues. So, once the wedding happens, there is a tremendous need for adjustment. Each partner will have to learn to understand and accommodate the other and begin to appreciate the good things in the relationship.

When I talk to people who are about to get into an arranged marriage, I often sense that many of them feel a strong sense of obligation and duty to their parents. They feel that they HAVE to accept their parents’ choice of a life partner for them. To do otherwise seems to be perceived as disrespectful to their parents and a betrayal to their family. Sometimes such people enter a marriage in which they know they will be unhappy just so that their parents are happy. On the other hand, love marriage is also often misunderstood as an expression of freedom or rebelling against one’s parents. Finding a balance between one’s own desires and satisfying our parents’ wishes is a hard task which we all struggle with.

Love Marriage:

On the surface, love marriage seems perfect. We find our soul mates, get married and live happily ever after. What can possible go wrong? Many things, actually. As F. Scott Peck says, ‘Love is not effortless. On the contrary, it is effortful’. A love marriage needs as much work as an arranged marriage. It has its own share of strains, which sometimes are increased by the fact that we have to take full responsibility for our choice of a partner. We don’t have our parents or any others to blame if it doesn’t work. Even though we have known our partners well before marriage, being married and living together is a whole new experience which will have its own ups and downs. On the other hand, a love marriage allows us to freely choose our mate, to find someone we are intellectually, emotionally and physically attracted to. We can build a life with them on our terms and make our own happiness.

A statistic says that ‘love’ in an arranged marriage apparently reaches its peak when the couple have been married about 5 yrs. In contrast, the peak of a love marriage would already have been reached before this time and started waning. This could be because people enter love marriages with a lot of expectations. The most common one is that those passionate, romantic feelings you are feeling now will stay the same for the rest of your lives. After the first few months when the honeymoon stage is over and the mundane realities of marriage have set in, people begin to feel dissatisfied wondering if their partner still loves them . In contrast, one might enter an arranged marriage with much lower expectations and not expect everything to work out immediately.

There is no perfect formula to make a marriage work. Both arranged and love marriages have their own strengths and faults. Many of us might currently be facing issues like how to choose a spouse, choose between arranged or love marriages, resolving our own fears about marriage, wondering what to expect in a marriage etc. If you have been struggling with these or similar issues for a while, and talking to friends or family members has not been enough, you might consider talking to a counselor. It could help you look at the issue with new eyes and develop more awareness of your own opinions and priorities. At TalkItOver, we provide individual, couple and family counselling by qualified counsellors to our clients for a range of issues. To find out more, click on the button below.

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About Sarayu Chandrashekar

Sarayu Chandrashekar is a qualified Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT). She has an M.S in Marriage and Family Therapy from Purdue University, USA, an M.S in Psychological Counselling from Montfort College, and a B.A in Psychology from Christ University, Bangalore. She has worked in a de-addiction centre and a family therapy clinic in the US as well as with the Association for the Mentally Challenged, Bangalore in the past. She has also completed a research study for her MFT degree on Indian couples living in the US and their marital satisfaction. She has nearly 1000 hours of counselling experience. She incorporates a combination of systemic family therapies and cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) in her work. She has a passion for couple and family therapy and group work.

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