Arranged Marriages vs. Love Marriages
Marriage is a bond between two people who were united through a religious ritual. Traditionally between a man and a woman, marriage is suppose to mark the beginning of a new journey, wherein the people involved in the union mark the point of nurturing a family. They shall continue to live together under one roof, preferably where they will also raise children. They will live like this until their own children undergo the same union with a partner.
However, marriage is not simply having two people placed side by side to say ‘I do’ in front of a minister or elder. As debates continue to vehemently battle about which side is better, the two primary types of marriages are those which were arranged by elders or those which sprouted from love. Debates argue that the former is about perfect compatibility, in all aspects of the word. Meanwhile, the later is concerned about the true feelings of the people involved.
In this regard, this paper shall stand in the notion that marriage is a culture based ritual. Regardless of how couples are bound through a ceremony, their union remains to be recognized by the state and their respective religions. It is not about which kind of marriage is better, but about finding balance and perfect co-existence.
Furthermore, Jane Austen’s novel “Pride and Prejudice” will also be discussed to present how these kinds of marriages are utilized even at the time of the author’s life. Her novel is perhaps the best instrument to illustrate love and romance, as well as practicality and duty. The Bennets only have daughters to be paired with suitable men with good reputations in society. Some of them were arranged and some were for love. But for practicality’s sake, each shall be married off in the end.
Arranged marriages, according to an article from Planet Papers, is when one have others select the lifetime partner for him or her. Although it is a casual approach, the objective is to find the most appropriate and compatible partner for a person. In a more traditional perspective, arranged marriages are virtually contracts that were formed even before the involved parties are even born. In some cultures, there are child marriages—as an agreement between two families.
There are some known successful arranged marriages despite the nature of how it began. Others see it as a cold and unromantic union. But from there, love and compassion can also grow. It does not become a mere responsibility of the family.
Unfortunately, there are more people who would rather not have arranged marriages, especially today. People of this generation value freedom more. They would rather get to choose who they will be with for the rest of their lives. But these perspectives are reflective of their backgrounds. How they were brought up in the culture have an inevitable effect on how they deliberate certain issues. However, for the sake of argument, these shall be put aside to give way to an educational exchange of thoughts and debate. It should be re-established that these kinds of marriages could either be with force or not.
Advantages of Arranged Marriages
From the website Professor’s House, an article gave three major arguments for Arranged Marriages. Even if there are more people who perceive arranged marriages as a negative aspect of society, there are, without a doubt, certain benefits that could rise from this kind of union. These are (1) the risk of incompatibility is diminished; (2) the idea of having a divorce is not considered; and (3) the support from the members of the family are important and given in full.
As mentioned earlier, in arranged marriages, the most compatible individuals are paired, in all aspects of the word. This does not only involve their personality, but also their socio-economic statuses. Those who set the contract between families carefully deliberate that if and when the individuals are united in marriage, they would be able to survive the external influences to their union. This means that they should be able to fend for themselves—the educational backgrounds, aspirations, and means of feeding the members of the family they shall build should be stable.
Furthermore, it is believed that two people are most compatible for each other if they came from the same background. Sources say that when a man and a woman have the same culture, speak the same language, and have the same perspective about certain issues, then they are very much compatible with each other. To have these similarities, the spite that is built across cultures is prevented from destroying the bond formed by two people and their families.
The second advantage couples can get from having an arranged marriage is that the chances of having the relationship end through a divorce is minimized to none. Since they have the same backgrounds, it is highly possible that they share the same opinion regarding marriages and families. In contrast to Western Cultures, divorce is sometimes perceived as the cause of a lot of disbanding wedlocks, leading to unhappy parties and children. If they both believe that divorce can only do more damage than solve problems, then going through divorce will not be considered. On the other hand, if they believe in divorce, they would not have let family members choose their partners for them. Divorce is a contrast to traditional practices, and arranged marriages are more in line to that.
Furthermore, according to the aforementioned website, in arranged marriages, there are less chances of divorce because most of the arranged marriages in the concurrent period is no longer by force. They are now given the choice to deny a suspected mate for them. They have now have a word toward the selection of their families. In the end, however, these prospects for lifetime partners are still laid at the hands of family elders.
The third advantage of arranged marriages is probably one of the more important aspects of any bond. In an arranged marriage, the couple is not only compatible with each other as they also have the full support of the family and extended relatives.
Perhaps one of the most difficult to please in a relationship are the in-laws. Usually, family members are against the union of their son or daughter with a woman or man they do not know of. They have doubt, as they should always leave room for until proven otherwise. However, from this doubt, there could be a lifetime incompatibility between them, and the individual in between is torn between choosing the spouse or the family.
But by having the family approve of a potential partner before he or she is introduced to their child, then the doubt is relieved. They could be happily reunited and extended. As any family member would, there will always be the concern for the welfare of their child. To be bothered by their subconsciousness, that a member of their clan is not being well taken care of, is a natural reaction. They have the underlying fear, which was given a remedy with this kind of marital arrangement.
Disadvantages of Arranged Marriages
On the other hand, arranged marriages also bring out disadvantages. When the earlier arguments are countered, the issue will be given greater light. These disadvantages are (1) the concerned individuals are rendered incapable of deciding for themselves; (2) the individuals are only given the choice to put love as second priority; and (3) the extended family are intervening with their lives.
When individuals have others decide for them, they might not be as happy as they would have if they decided for themselves. As it usually happens, when the individuals are lead in their marriage by the decision of others, then his or her heart would not be in the process of making the relationship work.
However, in arranged marriages today, they already have the chance to share their perspective regarding their agendas. Unfortunately, there are cases wherein the individual would rather not have an arranged marriage at all. But as tradition, and as part of family beliefs, they shall have an arranged marriage in the end. It is not being stubborn as it only retains what the family has been practicing for generations.
The another disadvantage of arranged marriage is that love only ranks second. It can be said that everyone who wants to get married ought to do so with a strong bond marked with unconditional love. Although it can be argued that individuals can learn how to love the partners set for them, it is not always the case. There can only be compromise, trust and responsibility. But a happier marriage can only occur when on top of everything that is compatible between the, there is love.
Perhaps, it is a dream today to marry for love. There are other matrimonial unions that are not founded on love. Some marry for convenience, others for money, others for physical pleasure. In the current world, that is mostly the case. But true love can always be found if given the chance.
The third disadvantage of arranged marriages is that the family is intervening with their relationship. It was earlier mentioned that to refrain from having unsatisfied or unhappy extended family members, arranged marriages allow them to have a say on who their child or relative will marry.
Unfortunately, since it is the lives of two adults, they should be able to have the freedom to choose who they will marry. Even if in any family, the elders and extended members are allowed to give their opinions about the potential partners, the involved individuals should still have the last word on who they want to marry. In this globalizing society, it is important to always consider the basic human rights each person has. That includes the person’s right to choose.
Love Marriages is based on, as the name goes, love. They grow from a certain point of agreement, and that is the admission of their feelings for each other. Here, the decision to get married is on the hands of the couple. Regardless of what people say or do, they will get married based on love and nothing else.
To be married by choice, the bond they created is expected to remain intact longer than if the union was arranged. It is not as if love marriages are bonds that will always last forever. There are also recorded love marriages that failed. However, since it was based on a firmer state in a relationship, the individuals remain to be on equal footing and understanding.
In love marriages, it is all about the romance that surpasses physical attraction. It is about having those seemingly surreal experiences with a special person for the rest of their lives. Although it is not always about how two people will always hold hands when they walk, at least they have common grounds. On the other hand, there are also some problems which could arise with marriage based on love alone. It is not always a perfect world.
Advantages of Love Marriages
According to the website, Discovery Articles, Love Marriages have its own set of benefits. These benefits are (1) the individuals are able to maximize their freedom to choose; (2) the individuals are, despite the many shortcomings of each, able to know and accept the other; and (3) with true love, nothing will be left unsolved. These are only the basic benefits couples can get in love marriages.
When a person is given the freedom to choose, that includes everything that may affect the greater part of their lives. This, of course, puts marriage into the same account. Having the will into getting married brings the heart along with it. In addition, it should also involve a happy and content union,. When the person does not have the will to live with his or her spouse with all his or her heart, then the union will only be for procreation, and other people’s satisfaction. The happiness of the people involved should also be considered in any kind of union. It is considered as the primary factor to keep the relationship working regardless of the hardships.
In contrast to arranged marriage, the couple here has full freedom of who they should marry, regardless of how the family feels about the partner they chose. It is not about what the family would think about the partner. Instead, family members should be happy that they raised the individual to have the capability to choose for their on lives. They should not take it against the person if they wish to get married out of love.
The second advantage of love marriages is that they know and accept the other person regardless of the shortcomings everyone has. When couples have this, they are able to handle problems at a more successful rate. Either party is expected to know the strengths and weaknesses of each other. In line with the first advantage, since they are able to choose the person they will be married to, they also get to choose the features they want in a partner. With this choice, it is almost expected that they should live by it, their hearts with it as well
Moreover, since they each understand the other well, the harmony they have counters the gap that is brought about by race and religion. Love marriages also occur across colors, breaking that barriers among races. Since they base the relationship is based on love, understanding and trust, it is less probable that they will argue about matters that usually put a hindrance to other relationships.
The most important advantage the couple will get when engaging in love marriages is that they will have true love. When this feeling comes from the very being of an individual, then everything that will follow through. Love is a strong base for any relationship. It will always be put into consideration in any thing the couple might need to deliberate on.
In love marriage, from the term alone, the relationship is based on that feeling. From there, they grow together as one person. Love is not only expressed, but shared. It marks them not as partners, but as one. Although it is a rather romantic perspective in approaching marriages, it is considered as the spice in their union after all.
Disadvantages of Love Marriages
When a marriage is based on love alone, the couple is being selfish and inconsiderate of other people. Even though they are happy with being together, they may end up being estranged with their respective family members, which could be a cause for a whole different set of problems. In this regard, the disadvantages of this kind of marriage are (1) the couple does not always have the support from the family; (2) it could be a disgrace to the family; and (3) they might not have chosen the right person for them to be with. This, in itself, could be disastrous to their relationship.
The first disadvantage the couple could experience is to be estranged from their families. Since family members did not have a say regarding their union, it is possible that they felt that they were not important. They were put aside in their decisions as if they did not have an important role in their lives. They would feel neglected and overlooked. In any marriage, the families are expected to take at least a small part in its planning and execution.
Although this was not the purpose the couple, it could be the interpretation they get based on the treatment they get. This could lead to unhappy siblings or parents. Not having the support of their families could lead to problems later into their married life. Even if they do get married but not having their families bond in the ideal way, they will always be bothered.
The second disadvantage the couples can get is to bring disgrace to the family. This is during the case wherein the families don’t just get along, they are a completely incompatible match, except for their children. In certain cultures, the estrangement between families could be traced back to ancestral parents whose spite run through the families today. Although it is a rather traditional perspective, it is a reality for certain people.
In other occasions, wherein the predicament is in a more contemporary period, it could be that the families has contempt against other families. This could be rooted from negative perceptions and images that family has with the public. Others might not want to have anything related to them. So when one of them chose to love and marry one from the other family, they might take is as totally tarnishing the family name.
The more important disadvantage the couple could experience with love marriages is that the choice they made might not have been the right option they took for themselves. Since this kind of marriage heavily regards how they have the right to choose and maximize that freedom to their heart’s content, they could have been mindlessly led by emotions alone and wake up to reality at another time.
When people find that they are in love with someone, they could be blinded in making reasonable choices. They could be thinking that with this feeling, nothing could go wrong between them. Everything would have been perfect for their union. But as the greater scheme goes, there is nothing perfect even if it would feel that way. There are only moments of bliss and moments of doubts. Love could be a good start in a relationship. However, a relationship will not survive on that alone.
Relating the Novel “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen
The novel by Austen was more than the romantic drama some students have been required to undertake for academic purposes. The story implies more than romance and intrigue. It also presented the issue at hand. In the story, the period was when families play a major role in the marriages of their children. With the case of the Bennets, whose children were all women, they were trying to have each lady married off to a reputable gentleman in time they are legal to get married.
The story presented either side of the arguments, as discussed earlier in this essay. The Bennets were described as a family who were well off in their simple livelihood. However, as society would have it, they are still candidates for more reputable families such as the Darcys. However, the Darcys are not very welcome to the idea. It came to a point wherein one of the elder family members tried persuade Elizabeth to refuse the proposal that was already pre-announced.
The novel showed both arranged and love marriages. One example of arranged marriage was when Mrs. Bennet was trying to present her daughters to the more elite circle of society. She kept on persuading them that they could be happier with these gentlemen. They have the money and social stature they are lacking. This kind of marriage was also evident on how the Darcy family was trying to persuade their boys not to choose any Bennet because they could tarnish the name they were taking care of.
However, love marriage was also evident in the novel. This can be observed when one of the young women eloped with a man whom the Bennet family had some doubts on. However, they did not force the couple to be separated since one of their primary objectives was to have all their girls married to men of good reputation. A soldier was quite a position in society.
Whether one would recognize and admit the presence of these kinds of marriages, they still exists. Their existence were perhaps brought about by tradition and contemporary thinking, one should still remain open minded. People should not be judged by who he or she is marrying, or how they got married in the first place. Although it could be an interesting story to hear, the person’s involved should not be judged by it.
Although there are striking differences between arranged and love marriages, one should be able to realize that it cannot only be one. There will have to be a compromise or common grounds. This is having the best of both worlds or trying to get the best option possible for the couple and their extended families.
The families of the couple should not be disregarded. But they should not also have the final say of who the individual should want to marry. They can only offer their opinions and let those be deliberated by the couple. On the other hand, the couple should not be selfish. There are a lot of other people who could be affected by their actions. If one would say that he should be able to choose who to love, regardless of what their families would say, then the purpose of having a family is pointless. Just like the nature of the marriage, there should be a great deal of common grounds to be able to make things work.
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Austen, Jane. “Pride and Prejudice.” Project Gutenberg. June 1998. 8 April 2008 <http://www.gutenberg.org/catalog/world/readfile?fk_files=38524>.
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