Most people find love then get married while others are married and then have to learn to love one another (Pooja). But it’s not so easy to fall in love with someone when it’s against your will. Since the beginning of time we’ve constantly had some structure of arranged marriages, from Adam and Eve to the first caveman and cavewomen. The only difference is that they had no one else to choose from. The Caste system gave birth to arrange marriages, as the upper caste families didn’t want their children to marry outside their community and caste (Pooja).
An arranged marriage is an ancient tradition that has followed us to the 21st century. Although there has been a decrease in arranged marriages since the 19th century it still exists(San Francisco Chronicle). Some say bash the tradition and follow one’s heart while others follow the rules and abide by their parents. The single fault in not being able to follow one’s heart is that if the person doesn’t fall in love with their husband, then what is the point in that? For the rest of their life they’ll have to live with the person they don’t feel affection for.
Many cultures from different countries have a variety of traditions and in most cultures, particularly the ones in the East, an arranged marriage is one of them. From countries like India and China an arranged marriage is very normal, while in other countries it is uncommon. Surprisingly lots of people all over the world prefer an arranged marriage and send money to an organization for a mail order bride from eastern countries (The China Post News Staff). An arranged marriage isn’t for everyone. Most would rather find true love then be setup with someone they don’t care for.
According to Anita Jain, a journalist at NYMag, living the single life of an American Indian is intensely demanding. Relatives are always pressuring her to find a guy and asking when is she going to get married. The only problem is that all the men her family sets her up with have no personality. She’s dated a few men who were not Indian but the relationships went nowhere since her family did not approve. Her father’s requirements for her future husband is that he has to be Indian and either a doctor or an engineer or make lots of money. In Anita’s article, Is Arranged Marriage Really Any Worse Than Craigslist? he discusses the issues that she faces as a modern Indian women’s struggle with arranged marriage. Luckily, her parents let her pick and choose. Unfortunately, not all families are lenient enough to let their children marry whomever they want, especially those who are very strict on tradition. In many Asian customs an arranged marriage is certain when in a very traditional family. Most eastern families are very strict with their traditions and when disobeyed consequences will be the result. In a lot of Eastern countries when parents are disobeyed it means that the child has disgraced the family and shamed them.
Honor is the most important thing to most of these families and some are beaten or threatened until they consent (San Francisco Chronicle). According to the San Francisco Chronicle a Muslim lady was married against her will. Her mother threatened to commit suicide and her father beat her until she consented. She fled the unwanted marriage for a German man that she was dating before the setup. When her family found out her brother hunted her down and killed her for dishonoring the family. In another instance, a adolescent Turkish girl raised in Berlin was forced to marry her cousin in Istanbul at age sixteen.
She later defied her parents and got a divorce. The Turkish girl was pregnant and returned to her parents in Berlin to give birth to the couple’s son. She then decided to finished high school. Afterwards, she graduated and discarded the traditional Islamic head scarf. She began working as an electrician and lived alone with her son. Her family felt disgraced by their daughter and so her two brothers tricked her out of the house to meet at a bus stop. When she arrived and killed her because she divorced her husband, refused to cover her head, lived alone and dated men (San Francisco Chronicle).
Some of these ladies who were forced into arranged marriages were lucky enough to find assistance when they left their spouses. There are a few non-profit organizations that provide shelter and new identities to help protect these women. But they still fear for their lives wondering if their families would find them or not (San Francisco Chronicle). In the article Muslim girls in Austria Fighting Forced Marriages from the San Francisco Chronicle, a Hindu women was forced to leave her long-time fiance in New Delhi and marry an older man. She later divorces and moves away from her family.
Even though several years has passed since the divorce, she still lives in fear that her family will find her. She now works as a nurse and still gets psychological counseling. Arranged marriages can end up blissful while some end up with disaster. A few women who stayed in their arranged marriages found love and kindness in their relationship. Others who stayed weren’t as fortunate and found hatred and wickedness in their marriage. Some of the daughters who were stuck in an discontented arranged marriage were beaten by their husbands and in-laws for making small mistakes.
Daughters were abused and assaulted to tears and before they could get a chance to dry up their tears they were beaten again (Verma). No matter how badly they were beaten they would stay in the relationship to uphold the honor of their parents. Arranged marriages across the world are different. Many turn out to be pleasant while others are dreadful. Deep down inside all people prefer to pick and choose who they would like to spend the rest of their live with. Some get the chance while others don’t. Love and happiness are essential in a marriage whether it was developed before or after the wedding.