12 Downsides of Arranged Marriages
An arranged marriage is one in which two or more parties arrange for a marriage between two people. Marriage parties may choose suitors based on financial security, religion, upbringing, health, and a variety of other factors.
These parties could be the unwed person’s parents or matchmakers. Typically, the parent/matchmaker develops a list of potential mates for their child/client. The two families may meet, and the unmarried individuals may determine whether or not to pursue getting to know each other. If this is the case, there may be another meeting, or the two families may form a bond and the engagement will be complete!
An unmarried person may date several possible partners before settling on one. Traditional arranged marriages, however commonly referred to as forced marriages, do not take place unless both parties consent.
Let’s take a look at the top 12 arguments against arranged weddings. Keep in mind that we are just discussing planned marriages, not forced marriages. In our society, an arranged marriage gives lots of room for hiding deal breakers, such as the ones listed below:
One is not in control to choose a life partner
Except for one, you enter this world with all of your relationships already in place. Finding a mate is essentially everyone’s right, and arranged weddings deprive people of that right. One does not have the opportunity to listen to their thoughts and compare them to their ideals. Most parents assume that a meeting or two with a prospective match is sufficient to make a life-long decision.
Compatibility is decided by parents, family
Compatibility might result in a successful marriage or a disaster. In the case of arranged marriages, however, one cannot learn enough about the other person to determine compatibility during the brief courtship phase, during which most people put their best foot forward.
The process is dehumanizing
Some cultures have a procedure in which the prospective bride is chosen based on her skin colour, height, weight, and so on. The female is frequently presented as a product, and the groom may reject the girl based on her appearance–from breast size to big smile. In arranged weddings, people marry the physical attributes of a person that satisfy them, not the qualities.
Love is the second priority
Arranged weddings, at least in India, are marriages between families. This puts a lot of pressure on both parties to meet the expectations of the opposing family. This frequently results in frustration, frequent disputes, and unhealthy compromises, forcing love to take a back seat in the end.
Extended family interference
Because the full control of the wedding and everything concerned with it lies with the parents, their involvement stays paramount in the relationship. Sometimes, it could turn nasty with privacy and individuality both being compromised, giving the marriage a miserable shape.
Expectations are not clearly defined
All of us have some expectations of our life partners, which actually rarely get discussed in arranged marriages. With a very limited say in your and your partner’s life, it could make a marriage unhealthy and unsustainable.
One ends up living with a stranger
Imagine meeting a person a few times briefly and the next thing you know is you are sharing a life with him or her! Bizarre as it may sound, it is the truth. Arranged marriages do not leave one with enough time to get to know each other closely.
Likely communication gap
One does not know what to expect out of the marriage, one is in very limited control of the relationship and one is battling loads of family interference. The communication gap creeps up its ugly head and turns out to be a potential relationship wrecker.
The relationship takes a long time to bloom
With love a second priority and the weight of family expectations, it is only likely that a relationship will take a long time to bloom. It is sometimes after having children that a couple realizes that they are true, in love!
Lovemaking is a chore
With little or no feelings, lovemaking just becomes a regular chore, at least for women in the initial stages of arranged marriages. No one talks about what they like or dislike and simply ‘do it’ because they are married.
In arranged marriages, there are huge chances that one is not aware of the financial debts of the other family. Sometimes, one partner is not prepared to deal with the financial commitments of the in-laws and this serves as a deal breaker. Dowry is often associated with arranged marriages, so as to show off the financial status of a family.
The low divorce rate, but high unhappiness index
Because arranged marriages involve families, people tend to live in bad marriages for the fear of bringing shame to the family. Even if a marriage is an abusive one, many women continue to live their life in misery and fear as a divorce is unthinkable and will bring a bad name to their families.
So Are Arranged Marriages Wrong?
In theory, arranged marriages seem a perfect way to start a married life. Why, the divorce rates are almost negligible! But in practice, they are much like a social evil, with individuals having little or no choice over their most important decision in life. They bring about a lot of other evils too, like abuse, dowry, compromises etc. Love should be the driving force behind a marriage, not family pressures. Kick-starting a new life with someone needs to be a happy, mutually consented decision so that life is enjoyed in all its glory.