Against arranged marriages essay
Fitting in with society is a major reason why families are so strict about arranged marriages. Families in certain communities are concerned about their "social status" and a child tha Continue reading this essay Continue reading. Toggle navigation MegaEssays.
Burdens and Benefits of Arranged Marriages
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Are arranged marriages better than marrying for love?
MegaEssays, "Arranged Marriages. The number-one attitude adjustment Westerners would do well to make if they'd like to lead more satisfying romantic lives and who wouldn't? In arranged marriages, says Reva Seth, author of First Comes Marriage: Modern Relationship Advice from the Wisdom of Arranged Marriages , "both people come into the relationship with a sense that this is forever. In this part of the world, she says, even in committed relationships, we're constantly asking ourselves: Could I do better? Would someone else make me happier?
That kind of mentality—coupled with how easy it is, legally and socially, to get divorced—"makes it extremely difficult to duplicate the level of commitment that I found among the women I spoke with," Seth says.
Research psychologist Robert Epstein, the former editor-in-chief of Psychology Today , agrees. After spending the last ten years studying arranged marriages for a book that he's working on, he similarly contends that deep connection isn't as crucial as deep commitment. Love is more likely to grow over time in arranged marriages, he argues, because those couples have more practical attitudes about what a relationship entails than those of us who believe life will be a piece of cake as long as we find "true love.
Rather, they believe it's something that evolves with the years—and with effort. People in arranged marriages are more serious about sticking by their partners through thick and thin, Espstein argues. They're more psychologically prepared for difficulties, while Westerners think less about what trials the future might bring. In fact, Epstein contends, we often assume that our significant others will always stay as attractive, youthful-looking, or thin as they were when we first fell for them.
Perhaps even more commonly, people in the West have impractical notions about how much effort a relationship will take, Epstein argues. We think that as long as we feel so strongly about our mates when we first get married, life together will be a breeze—and when it's not, we're quick to jump to the conclusion that whatever's not working can't be fixed. The fact that 45 percent of all U. As a result, he thinks bliss in so-called "marriages of choice" often reaches an apex on or around the wedding day, while it steadily grows for those in arranged marriages.
It may grow from nothing , of course--but perhaps that makes it all the more remarkable.
Nevertheless, for the sake of argument, here are some disadvantages of arranged marriages:
Seth says she's wary of making generalizations about how content people in arranged marriages are, since the women who wanted to speak with her about their experiences were the self-selecting happy ones. But neither she nor Epstein advocates that Westerners begin arranging their marriages—simply that they learn from cultures where people do.
All this aside, Seth says, "Among the women I spoke with, yes, they certainly seemed far more satisfied with their relationships" than those in marriages of choice. One reason they seemed to be more content: "I noticed a general tendency among the women I interviewed to focus on the positive aspects of the relationship and their partners," Seth reports.
That was not the case with her peers. She thinks the difference can be explained, again, by how seriously women in arranged marriages take their commitments. Hollywood--and all of the "happily ever after" stories it cooks up—deserves a lot of the blame for our distorted ideas about what marriage should be, according to Epstein.
Indeed, even Amina--who isn't exactly thrilled with George—likes romantic comedies; "her favorites were Sleepless in Seattle, Mystic Pizza , and Pretty Woman ," as Freudenberger writes. But don't romantic happy endings significantly pre-date Disney, going back at least as far as Shakespeare?
Sure, in Western culture, Epstein says. But folk tales and love stories from Asian cultures have, traditionally, ended differently from ours, he says, with more ambiguous endings—ones that we would find unsatisfying—even if the Westernization of the world is starting to change that.