“I don’t think I will go for an arranged marriage, but I am not against arranged marriages.”
Ranbir Kapoor, Actor
Pros and Cons of Arranged Marriages
Arranged marriages are marriages in which not the couple, but rather their parents or other family members decide that the marriage should take place.
Arranged marriages have been quite popular in the past and even in our current age, there are some countries in which the concept of arranged marriages is still practiced today.
There are several pros and cons of arranged marriages which we will examine in detail in this article.
Advantages of Arranged Marriages
- People may match better
- Higher level of experience of parents
- Assurance of social status
- Financial security
- Cultural similarities of partners
- Rational rather than emotional decision
- Family connections are strengthened
- Similar ethics
- Religious fits
- Similar values
- People may live in a happy bubble
- Avoidance of lovesickness
- No stress to find a partner
People may match better
Since family members or other professional matchmakers choose a partner for the bride, there might be a higher chance that those people match with each other since they might share similar views on the world and might have the same goals in life.
Therefore, if experienced family members search for a suitable partner, the chances that the fit between the marriage couple will be quite decent might increase.
Higher level of experience of parents
Since parents have much more life experience than their kids, they might also be better able to decide which partner might fit for their girl or their boy and which would not.
Hence, it could make sense that parents get involved in the decision process regarding potential life partners since they often know their children quite well and often know what’s good for them (or at least they think they do 😉 )
Assurance of social status
Arranged marriages often also have the advantage that they can assure a high social status. For instance, in many countries, parents try to find a partner for their son or their daughter which has a high social status so that their children can marry up and have a higher social status themselves, which often also translates into a higher overall quality of life.
There is also a financial aspect when it comes to marriages. Many marriages, especially arranged marriages, are not done due to love, but due to the fact that one partner wants to improve his or her wealth level.
This was the norm rather than the exception only one century ago and until now, the financial component related to marriages is quite important.
Cultural similarities of partners
Another benefit of arranged marriages is that partners often have quite similar backgrounds and cultural values. Most often, parents choose partners for their kids that have similar cultural values so that they will also fit well into the family.
Similar values also make it more likely that the marriage works out since there might be fewer conflicts between the partners in the long run.
Rational rather than emotional decision
In general, arranged marriages always come from a rational standpoint and emotions do not play a role at all. This can be regarded as either positive or negative.
The positive thing about rational decisions regarding marriage is that all the different aspects people are getting into are seen from an objective standpoint and also all the dangers can be evaluated better.
Therefore, arranged marriages may also lead to better decisions and to a better overall quality of life for the respective partners compared to marriages that are based on love and emotions rather than on hard facts.
Family connections are strengthened
Another upside of arranged marriages is that the connection between different families can be strengthened quite a lot. In many cultures, the connections between families are quite important in all areas of daily life and good connections to family members may also be beneficial when it comes to future career prospects.
Arranged marriages make it also more likely that people have the same ethics since they often come from similar cultural backgrounds and have been taught the same things when they were young.
Thus, due to those similar ethical perspectives, the chances for a marriage that works out in the long run might be higher.
Arranged marriages may make it also more likely that people fit on a religious level. Since parents will actively search for partners with similar backgrounds, the religious fit can be assured and therefore, it might also be more likely that partners get along with each other since they might share the same attitude towards religion and life in general.
In general, partners that met each other due to arranged marriages are quite likely to share similar values since their parents make sure that the value of the partner will fit the family values in order to assure a peaceful and harmonic coexistence.
People may live in a happy bubble
Even though people who had been forced into arranged marriages will never have the opportunity to actively date other partners, they may still live in a certain kind of bubble.
Since they never experienced the fun of dating, they will also not know what they are missing out on and therefore, those people might live in a kind of happy bubble and might even be happier than without this arranged marriage construct.
Avoidance of lovesickness
Another advantage of arranged marriages is that people can also avoid feeling lovesickness. Many people around the world may get quite broken due to a breakup with a partner and may suffer from serious emotional pain.
Yet, through arranged marriages, this problem will be gone since there will not be the opportunity to search for a partner and therefore, the possibility for lovesickness is also eliminated.
No stress to find a partner
Finding a suitable partner might also be quite a challenge for many people all over the world. Our expectations are often quite high and we will therefore often experience disappointments during the dating process.
In contrast, with an arranged marriage, there is no stress to find and to vet a partner since your parents or other matchmakers will do the job for you.
Disadvantages of Arranged Marriages
- Love is often not a factor
- There may be no fit at all between partners
- Potential higher divorce rates
- Separation may be difficult
- Spouses may not trust each other
- People may be quite unhappy
- Family problems
- No room for personal choices
- Husband and wife may have no say
- May promote gender inequality
- People often don’t know what they are getting into
- Dating period may be missing in a couple’s life
- Emotional stress
- Lower life expectancy
- Confined level of freedom
- Child marriages
- Mental issues
Love is often not a factor
As we have seen before, arranged marriages can have some advantages. Yet, there are several crucial problems related to forced marriages.
One downside of arranged marriages is that love will most often be not a factor at all. Maybe partners may get along with each other, however, they will likely never have any kind of feeling for each other.
This can be considered as quite sad since many people marry since they have strong feelings for each other and really enjoy their time together and arranged marriages will not account for this important factor at all.
There may be no fit at all between partners
Even though there will likely not be love involved at all, people might still get along with each other. Yet, in many arranged marriages, not even this will be the case. Most often, this kind of bonding will turn out to be a real mess and partners will often have disputes.
After a certain while, some partners will often just resign and just fit into the wishes and demands of the other partner in order to avoid serious trouble.
Potential higher divorce rates
Depending on the country and on the individual circumstances, arranged marriages might also lead to higher divorce rates. Even if this is not the case, some partners may simply escape their marriage by traveling to foreign countries with hopes for a better life in order to get out of their misery. Moreover, even if people stay in arranged marriages, many of them might not be happy at all.
Separation may be difficult
It will often also be quite difficult to get out of an arranged marriage since families are often bonded quite tight together and if you want to leave a marriage, you will also have to cut all cords to all your family members.
This might be too painful for many partners and therefore, they often decide to stay in a marriage rather than to end it since they simply fear the consequences that would be applied by divorce.
In many cultures, divorce is also against religious beliefs and people who break up may have to fear from serious punishment.
Spouses may not trust each other
Since they actually do not know each other before the marriage takes place, there might also be a significant lack of trust between partners in a marriage.
Hence, if partners do not trust each other, it might be quite difficult to maintain a working marriage since mistrust can destroy bonds between partners.
People may be quite unhappy
In general, people who are forced into arranged marriages may be much unhappier compared to people who were able to choose their partner by themselves since they might feel like all the freedom of choice had been taken away from them and they never had any influence on this important life decision.
Since partners are not able to choose whom they want to marry, arranged marriages often also lead to serious family problems.
Quite often, there is stress on a daily basis between partners, which may turn into serious disputes in the long run.
Yet, people might be too afraid to break up and to start a new life with a different partner and might still stay in their misery due to this high level of fear.
No room for personal choices
Personal choice regarding such important topics like marriage is considered to be a human right in many regions of our planet for an important reason.
However, in countries where arranged marriages are the norm, there is no room for personal choice and this important human right is often entirely taken away from people.
Husband and wife may have no say
In fact, in arranged marriages, partners often have no say at all when it comes to choosing their future wife or husband. Instead, they often have to solely rely on matchmakers or on family members to make this important choice for them.
Even if they are not attracted to their future partner at all, people might simply have no choice other than to agree to the marriage in order to avoid serious trouble with their family members.
May promote gender inequality
Another downside of arranged marriages is that they might also significantly contribute to gender inequality. Women often have much fewer rights compared to men in those arranged marriages and therefore, they might literally get trapped in those arranged pair-bonding situations.
This may also lead to a state where women will not be allowed to get any sort of education and their lives may turn out into a mess due to that since they will always be dependent on their husbands, which is never a good idea since it leads to an imbalance of power in a relationship.
People often don’t know what they are getting into
Even though many people think that complying with the rules of getting into an arranged marriage is the right thing to do since they are told to do so by their family and friends, those marriages tend to turn out into nightmares and people may realize too late what they have gotten into.
Therefore, people may also not be aware of the true consequences of those arranged marriages, which may lead to serious issues later on in their lives.
Dating period may be missing in a couple’s life
Many of us also really enjoy dating many different people until we find the partner that best fits our preferences. However, it is only possible to decide who fits for us if we get experienced in dating.
Hence, if this experience is missing, plenty of fun is taken out of all of it and also, the chances for a misfit will become much higher.
Marrying and spending your life with the wrong partner may also imply plenty of emotional stress. I could not even imagine living with a partner I don’t like too much and spending my entire life with such a person would make me feel quite sad. This might also turn into plenty of emotional stress and other issues in the long run.
Lower life expectancy
People in forced marriages might also suffer from a significantly lower life expectancy. It has been proven by many studies that people who enjoy living with a partner will have significantly higher life expectancy than people who are miserable with their partners or who have no partner at all. Therefore, arranged marriages may also do people no favor in terms of overall life expectancy.
Confined level of freedom
Freedom is a valuable human right and the confinement of freedom through arranged marriages that should be considered to be quite problematic.
In fact, in my opinion, everything that takes away our freedom should be considered to be intolerable and only in a few rare cases, this confinement in freedom can be justified.
Therefore, since forced marriages take away the freedom of people, they should never be the norm.
Another issue with arranged marriages is that child marriages become much more likely. Children get often married at a quite young age and will have no chance at all to escape this construct.
In turn, being a child for a certain period of time is simply taken away from those children, which may result in plenty of emotional problems in the long run.
There will also be plenty of mental issues related to arranged marriages. Even though it can not be measured by studies since many people in forced marriages are simply too afraid to report their mental conditions and their misery to the outside world, it is estimated a high fraction of people in arranged marriages suffer from significant depression and other mental problems since they are often simply not able to deal with the fact that they basically have to waste their life solely to comply with the wishes of their families.
Top 10 Arranged Marriage Pros & Cons – Summary List
|Arranged Marriage Pros||Arranged Marriage Cons|
|Better match of couples||Partners might be unhappy with each other|
|Family might have similar values||Confined level of freedom|
|Partners may share the same ethics||Less room to develop your own character|
|Religious concerns may be in line||Dependence|
|Similar value system||Hard to get out of this sort of marriage|
|Parents may be more experienced than yourself||Love is no factor|
|Happy life bubble||Missing fit between partners|
|Stress to find a partner is not on you||Family problems|
|You will not suffer from lovesickness||Child marriages|
|Family connections are strengthened||Mental problems|
Do Arranged Marriages Make Sense?
Even though arranged marriages might have made sense centuries ago in order to secure the survival of a family, forced marriages should be considered to be a rather outdated social construct and in most cases, those arranged marriages do more harm than good in our current state of the world.
Therefore, it would be great if families all over the world abandon this social norm and let their children decide whom they want to marry in order to increase the overall level of happiness.
About the author
My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people of all ages about our environmental problems and how everyone can make a contribution to mitigate these issues.
As I went to university and got my Master’s degree in Economics, I did plenty of research in the field of Development Economics.
After finishing university, I traveled around the world. From this time on, I wanted to make a contribution to ensure a livable future for the next generations in every part of our beautiful planet.
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