Have you ever heard your parents make subtle hints about someone they want you to meet? How would you react if they tell you that they want you to marry that person, someone you barely even know? Would you thank them or would you be appalled? Believe it or not, it used to be unusual to get married because you have feelings for your partner. There was a time when marriages were arranged by parents, and they get to choose the person you’re going to spend the rest of your life with; at least, if the parents of the other party agree. Some families still practice it here in the Philippines; they’ll even shoulder the expenses to get the best catering in manila if that’s what it takes.
But which really is the better choice: for duty or for affections? Let’s take a look at the facts:
Chances of dun-dun-dun DIVORCE
Statistic show that around 50% of love marriages end in divorce while the average percentage rate for couples in an arranged marriage is less than 10%. These facts have led even scholars to ask whether arranged marriages are better than love marriages. However, many experts suggest that these low rates may not reflect stability of the union; rather, it could be due to the possibility that some of the families who practice arranged marriage view divorce with disdain and would ostracize anyone willing to do so.
Life after exchanging vows
A lot of surveys and studies have been undertaken for decades to determine which union would lead to a better marital life. The results are mixed; neither love nor arranged marriages can guarantee that one is better than the other. Both can develop to loving and healthy relationships. And both have the potential to deteriorate into a dysfunctional union, with possibilities of marital abuse.
Reasons for Marriage
There’s also the issue of the parent’s meddling to deal with. While most parents do pick the ideal spouse for their children, others tend to arrange marriage for wrong reasons (To preserve wealth, to achieve political ends, you name it!). It was even reported that some parents came to dislike their son- or daughter-in-law for certain irreconcilable differences they haven’t noticed before. In short, even if our parents do know best, they can make mistakes sometimes.
But it’s just emotions…
Love marriages are based on your affections for your partner. It’s initially more passionate and spontaneous, and a certain level of comfort and familiarity has been developed between the couple prior to tying the knot. However, no long-lasting marriage can be sustained by just emotions; for that you need devotion and commitment. You’d be surprised to know that many newly married couples miscalculated how ready they were for marriage, considering how unprepared they actually were to face these challenges.
Arranged marriage may not have the same sizzle as its autonomous counterpart, but it’s no less exciting. Ironically, adjusting to a married life with a spouse you barely know is easier than doing it with someone you’ve known for quite some time. They also tend to be more sensitive to their partner’s needs, as people who just met are. And the best part is, arranged marriage is based on commitment first. Their love and affection for each other would develop overtime.
These show that both love marriages and arranged marriages have its different advantages and disadvantages. In the end, all that matters is that you honor your commitment to the person with whom you exchanged vows, and that you’re willing to stay by his or her side ‘til death do you part.