The Arranged Marriage is Still Going Strong


The Arranged Marriage

Do you have an arranged marriage in your future? Although family members or parents organize most, they can also be put together by a matchmaker. The practice remains common in many areas of the world today, particularly in South Asia. Arranged marriages have seen a decline during the 19th and 20th centuries, although these marriages still happen by the thousands each year in different parts of the world.

No Choice In Selecting Your Partner

An arranged married, sometimes called “blind marriages,” usually does not allow the male or female any “say-so” in regards to the marriage. Sometimes the bride and groom do not meet until the day of the wedding. Sometimes the future husband and wife are allowed to see each other through pictures. The arranged marriage is still seen in some countries of Europe and North America, particularly among royal families, aristocrats, and minority religious groups (such as the Fundamentalist Mormon groups in the U.S.). 

Consequences Of Leaving The Arranged Marriage

If a woman refuses to participate in the arranged marriage or if she tries to get out of the marriage through a divorce, or if she is suspected of any immoral behavior, this can be considered as dishonoring or disgracing her entire family. Besides, her husband’s relatives may be ridiculed or harassed, and her other siblings may find it impossible to enter into a future marriage. Sometimes drastic measures are taken, and the woman may be killed for the family to enforce the institution of the arranged marriage. These are considered as “honor killings.” The killing is often completed in a public setting for everyone to witness. Frequently family members are involved in the final act.

The Arranged Marriage And Children

Arranged marriages have been encouraged due to many factors. These include the practice of child marriage, late marriage, culture, religion, poverty, and limited choice, disabilities, wealth and inheritance issues, politics, social and ethnic conflicts. Child marriage is perhaps the most disturbing of the arranged marriages, particularly for those below the age of 12. These marriages are seen mostly in areas of poverty. Parents want to ensure their child’s financial security as well as reinforce social ties. Not only does it guarantee their child’s successful financial future it also reduces the economic burden as they no longer need to feed, clothe, or educate their child. This is mostly true for females. The child’s family also improves their social status by establishing a social bond between each other. Child marriages continue, particularly in the African countries as well as India and Pakistan. Surprisingly child marriages are also observed in parts of the Americas.

The Price Of A Bride

Many cultures, particularly in parts of Africa and the Middle East, the daughter is valuable when it comes to the marriage market. This is because the groom and his family must pay cash and property for the right to marry the daughter. This is called “Bride-wealth.” It is also referred to as Labola and Wine Carrying. This can be a great source of income, particularly for a family living in poverty. This often results in the brothers, father, and male relatives taking a keen interest in arranging her marriage. Of course, their choice is to find the man willing to pay the most wealth in exchange for his future bride. Perhaps the most substantial bride prices are paid regularly in parts of Papua New Guinea where as much as $100,000 paid for a bride is customary.

Controversy And The Arranged Marriage

Today arranged marriages cause controversy. People question if they violate human rights, particularly women’s rights. Questions come about if they yield more stable marriages for raising children if there is more or less love involved, and if the relationship creates respect for the married couple. 

Imagine meeting your future partner at the alter without ever meeting him/her before. What happens if you are totally repulsed with him/her?