Marriages come in different shapes and forms; there are marriages that stem from a relationship forged by two people who are In love with each other. This is the usual, conventional form of marriage. There are others, though. This week on WhatsApp conversations, we check out arranged marriages and delve into whether it might be better than the conventional form of marriage.
It all depends on the two personalities involved. For someone who had no interest in marriage, never fantasised about having a spouse, or enjoying certain things in marriage may not have a problem with arranged marriage.
When an individual has their own specification and standards, arranging a spouse for them will seem like a tug of war. Especially when these prospective partners are not in the league of spec.
In summary, arranged marriages work, depending on the couples. At the same time, marriages birth out of love will also work depending on the partners.
Marriage birthed by love is better because love grows, and it comes with understanding and total tolerance. For a person you naturally fell in love with, it is easier to forgive their excesses. When it comes to arranging, there will always be unhealthy tension in the air. Frankly, it will be hard to manage.
To me, it’s not something logical for a third party to introduce me to the person I want to spend my forever with. I really don’t know how I am going to view such a person. Except she is introduced to me, and then I like her and take it up from there by doing my homework. I will never encourage arranged marriages for any reason because I can say categorically that it won’t end well, except in rare cases which I myself cannot even imagine.
Arranged marriages are a tradition, so it has to match up with the values of the culture. Arranged marriages in a place like the West wouldn’t go well since it conflicts with common values of the people. For a culture more unitary, it could work, but an individualistic culture wouldn’t be suited to an arranged marriage.
Are arranged marriages bad? I can’t be the judge of that since I am part of a society that doesn’t have much experience with it, my values interfere with the idea of a unitary decision in my personal life.
From my own point of view, I don’t think arranged marriage can work compared to marriages birthed out of love. Marriages birthed out of love is far better than arranged marriage because two people see themselves and fall in love with each other; they begin to study each other to know if they are compatible or not. If they are compatible, they go for each other and continue their relationship. If they are not, they will go their separate ways until the other person finds someone he/she is in love and compatible with.
Unlike arranged marriage, when the bride and groom are selected by family members (parents are the ones that do select them most of the time). Arranged marriage can force someone to live with an individual they don’t know; it makes love a secondary reason to get married, it takes away the process of courtship and finally creates feelings of alienation. “Taking away the process of courtship” is what I dislike most about arranged marriage. I dislike it because “Once there is no courtship, hardly would the relationship stand the test of time.
After defending marriage based on a personal choice for a while, I have radically changed my opinion lately towards arranged marriage. The reason is simple: the data on the divorce rate. They are growing more and more as people get married because of a “coup de foudre” (romantic). Arranged marriage had and could still have the advantage of having a third party (parents or a marriage arranger) who gives a more objective opinion on the suitability of a union. The third party helps to assess important things like common backgrounds and common goals that are more important than the romantic aspect only to make a marriage more enjoyable.
Marriage is a matter of being in love even without that romantic feeling. And true love persists thanks to more objective things than romance only. People can still get married even if they are not in love but are good friends or can become (because they have some common goals). If their friendship is true, they will fall in love and have a lasting marriage.
I used to equate arranged marriages with forced marriages and think they were a thing of the dark past. However, since I’ve started interacting more with people who are commonly married in that way, I became more open-minded and understood that the way we do things is not the only way. As far as I can judge, all such couples that I know get along well and are happy together.
Also, the couple has to like each other and agree to get married. It is not done against their will. Parents just help them search for a partner. I think it wouldn’t work in western societies as here it is important for the couple to get to know each other well before getting married. But I’m no longer judging those who prefer to do things differently than we do. That’s for the people and cultures that I’ve got acquainted with. Forced marriages and child marriages are a whole different thing, and I’m not condoning these.
Next week, the conversation will be on the topic ‘Is torture justifiable if it is in the cause of National Security.’ To be part of the next edition, send your response to 08136601345 via WhatsApp or SMS.
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