Alina Khan Gumbs
English Composition 103
Dr. Alina Gharabegian
In the world we live in, human beings rely on their socialization skills to survive. These social skills help them to develop interpersonal relationships with each other. One of the main intimate relationships that developed over time is the bond between a man and a woman. This union became sacred in society, and a term “marriage” developed. In their book, The Ties that Bind: Perspectives on Marriage and Cohabitation, Bachrach, Hindin, and Thomson define marriage “as a legally and socially recognized union, ideally lifelong, that entails sexual, economic, social rights and obligations for the partners” (3-16). Since the evolution of marriages, there have also been arranged marriages. This can be seen as the arrangement of a marriage by a third party, usually by the couple’s parents. Arranged marriages may lead to a longer lasting relationship than non-arranged marriages, because the success of the marriage is stronger with a support system, since the parents, community, religion, and cultural background are involved in making and sustaining the marriage bond.
Initially one might believe that arranged marriages are a distinct feature of the eastern societies but the western societies also have deep roots and seeds of arranged marriage customs and traditions. Arranged marriages have existed for centuries, and it traditions are still practiced today. Many might see an arranged marriage as forced or unwanted but studies done by Myers, Madathil, and Tingle “showed that differences in marital satisfaction between arranged and non-arranged couples are typically insignificant” (183-190). Even a study conducted by Schwartz, “found that ratings of passion, intimacy, and commitment were not significantly different between arranged and non-arranged marriages. Her study also study also noted a lower rate of divorce among arranged marriage couples than non-arranged couples” (68). Despite the number of non-arranged marriages over arranged marriages in today’s world, non-arranged marriages are as successful, if not more successful, than non-arranged marriages. Throughout this paper the success of arranged marriage will be discussed reflecting on the support system, of the parents, community, religion, and their cultural background.
The love of parents and their desire for their children’s happiness is the key when helping them choose a mate for their child, they ultimately want to choose a spouse who will seek out their child’s happiness. One can question, who else knows you better than you know yourself? Your parents, so therefore, most often the children of the arranged marriages, have confidence that their parent, of whom they trust, will choose an ideal spouse for them. Our parents are the first people we grow a love bond too; we spend the beginning of our life with our parents learning, living, and growing with them, therefore they know us the best. They know exactly what we like and dislike. It is this same type of love bond, but more intimate, we grow with our spouse over time, and thus, our parents are best at choosing a spouse for their child. The parents of the couple do this by filtering eligible persons for the characteristics they think will best suite their family and their child, such as ethnic values, cultural and socio-economic factors. For instance, in India where arrange marriages are common, the society believes that when a daughter gets married, her parents literally give her away to her new husband’s family; in a way she is the new daughter of her husband’s household. This is significant because the new daughter of the family, has the reputation of the family’s name in her hands; which she has the ability to build it up or break it down. Another reason why the parents want their child to be happy, and take it very seriously when choosing a spouse for their child, is because in a way they are determining the entire future for not only their...
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