The single biggest disadvantage of an arranged marriage is usually that the two people do not love each other.
They never experienced the feeling of love at first sight – or love at all. There is no initial passion between them whatsoever.
Even though they may wind up married for many years, love may never enter into the equation.
Can people in an arranged marriage learn to love each other?
Occasionally yes, but typically they cannot. Every step taken in an arranged marriage is done out of duty to their families or their country of origin.
This is as opposed to the steps taken during the course of a traditional relationship.
Do arranged marriages last?
They usually do; but again, out of duty to family or their nation. Often in these situations, it is not possible for them to get a divorce no matter how unhappy they might be.
Are all arranged marriages unhappy?
No! There are exceptions where the partners learn to love each other. Sometimes a mutual appreciation or fondness develops between the two people even if they don’t fall in love.
If the man is respectful and gentle towards the woman, they can actually be very happy together for many years. This is definitely possible at times.
Decision-making is unbalanced
What does this mean? In an arranged marriage it is usually the man that makes all decisions.
Women are not permitted to have a say, not even if it is regarding their children. Is this unfair? Perhaps yes, but that is the way things are in such a union.
Women do not have any rights in an arranged marriage
The man is usually allowed to do anything he wants, but the woman is not. She must do exactly what her husband tells her to do.
Otherwise, there can be harsh consequences.
There is no trust between the two people
This is especially true if the man has a suspicious nature.
He may elect not to believe that the woman is not doing bad things when he is not home. In turn, she does not trust him either.
When he leaves the house, she suspects he is betraying her.
Violence against the woman can occur
Very often in an arranged marriage, the husband is cruel and violent towards his wife. Sometimes also towards their children.
The wife must endure this for the rest of her life. She is not afforded the option of seeking help or of leaving.
There is no courtship period between the two
In a conventional union, there is usually a courtship period. The two people in the couple are attracted to each other. One asks the other for permission to date them.
In an arranged marriage, this does not happen. There is no spontaneity involved and subsequently, no attraction either.
The man can be just as unhappy
It is not only the woman that can be unhappy in an arranged marriage. Very often the man is equally miserable. He has no say in the partnership either.
Perhaps he is in love with someone else and is now separated from them. Unhappiness excludes no gender in an arranged marriage.
Different religious values can be present
When a couple marries by force, the spouses may have different religious or spiritual beliefs. These might have to be cast aside for the remainder of their lives.
One or the other could be very religious and attend services faithfully, while the other stays at home and professes their faith privately.
Sometimes same-sex marriage is not permitted
In cultures where marriages are arranged, it is also commonplace for that culture to strictly forbid any same-sex marriage.
If anyone tries to defy this practice, harsh punishments may occur. Yes, this is unfair. Be thankful if you live in a society where this does not happen.
Families are permitted to interfere
In an arranged marriage, it is common for the families of both parties to interfere.
Sometimes, if it is an overbearing family committing the interference, these acts do more harm than good.
Neither the husband nor the wife is able to stop this from happening.
There could be many wives and many offspring
Within some cultures that promote arranged marriages, the man can have many wives.
Sometimes the husband has a favorite and the other women are considered inferior. In these cases, there might also be many children around.
Would a woman be held responsible for participating in the care of other women’s children? Perhaps yes, it depends on the culture she lives in.
Intimate relations between spouses are unpleasant
It might be difficult to picture this if you live in a society where you are free to choose your own spouse.
However, frequently in an arranged marriage, intimate relations are mandated in order to bear children.
There is no pleasure in the equation. It might even be painful to one or both people.
Having goals that are unattainable
In prearranged marriages, the couple frequently does not have attainable goals. Each person wants something different out of their unions.
Additionally, they have no such goals regarding their marriage either. For better or for worse, they are both stuck with each other for life, no matter what happens.
The couple never goes out on a date
In a society where dating is prevalent, it is hard to imagine this. In an arranged marriage, quite often the couple never goes out on a date.
In fact, they almost never go anywhere together.
An exception to this can be if they have children. Then sometimes the father takes the whole family out to eat or to a movie.
The woman is not permitted to go to work
In cultures where arranged marriages are commonplace, the wives do not go to work.
No matter how difficult the financial situation may be for the family, she is not allowed to get a job.
Which cultures still arrange marriages?
Yes, believe it or not, there are still places in today’s world where arranged marriages are conducted. Which countries? Take a look at the following list.
- South Korea
- A few religious sects
- In some cases in western countries, wealthy families insist on arranging marriages for their offspring
Are there arranged marriages in the United States?
Sometimes, yes. It often depends on where the individuals come from. If they are born in the States to an average citizen, most of the time they choose their own spouse.
If the people come from a country where arranged marriages are common, they may elect to do things according to the country they come from.
What about rich families?
There are some wealthy families here and in Western Europe where the parents arrange for their children to be married.
Sometimes bad things happen when the children defy their parents and enter into a relationship of their own choosing.
Is this legal? Yes, in these instances, the government does not interfere with the wishes of esteemed families.
Does an arranged marriage impact the children?
No, not really. They are not usually aware of these things and are still raised with love from both parents.
The offspring of an arranged married couple can be happy and grow up to lead fulfilling lives.
What if you are facing an arranged marriage?
Depending on what country you are in or your family history, there may be nothing you can do about it.
In this case, you will learn to make the best of things and accept the marriage.
Can an arranged marriage be a happy one?
Yes. There are cultures where this practice is still widely accepted. Neither spouse questions details like this and ultimately, they do learn to love each other.