Comparison of marriages of different cultures
In the article, “Love marriages with low expectations” the marriages that have been talked about reflect low expectations from what is considered according to American standards a ‘Contract Marriage’. The change in the values and norms of the American society gets reflected in the way the people have started viewing the institution of marriage.
The outlook of the Americans as far as marriage is concerned, is different from that of the Japanese people. Unlike Americans, the Japanese follow the norms that are laid down by the government and directed and controlled by the church. Of late, most of the marriages in America have become a means to ensure a larger tax return, cheaper car insurance, and better finance option for a house. In contrast of this American outlook, the Japanese marriages are bound with a strict code of conduct and people there, still consider marriage to be a lifelong vow of love. The Japanese are more committed in their relationships. They ensure this commitment through patience, which in their language is known as ‘Gaman’. Many Japanese women have to face a lot of abuse, infidelity, and shame in their marriages. But they use the virtue of patience as a weapon to combat their sorrow so that the children are raised properly and the family stays together.
On the other hand marriage ethics in the United States are compromised because of the lack of diligence and patience exhibited by couples both young and old. Divorce has become extremely easy. It is just a click away. Unhappy American couples can apply for a divorce through the Internet or get remarried in Las Vegas. Another popular alternative for many young Americans is to not get married at all. Those who choose to get married in America often have liberal views of marriage and are not discreet when it comes viewing marriage as just a contract. Though both Japanese and Americans marry to experience love and happiness their outlooks create a difference in the consequence. Japanese marriages last longer but have a greater divorce rate. American marriages are carefree and experience changes that reflect the values of what is believed to be ‘cultural relativism’.
The book, ‘The Bookseller of Kabul’, has thrown light upon the difference in how the marital relationship is different for American women and their Afghani counterparts. In Afghan, men are permitted to have more than one wife. In the United States, polygamy regardless of religious beliefs is a crime. So when we compare the status of women in both the marriages we find that the American women emerge stronger because of the marriage laws of the country. She can easily take her husband to court if her husband ever tries to marry someone. While the Afghani women have to face the trauma of accepting someone else in her conjugal life because it is legal to keep more than one wife in that country.
So to conclude when compared to Japanese couples lack of patience is a disadvantage for American couples. In contrast the same lack of patience and tolerance proves to be advantageous for Americans when compared to the norms of Afghanistan as it better to be intolerant than degrade oneself by accepting a second or even the third and fourth spouse of one’s husband and spend life under the same roof together. Even when the duration of marriage is short it is better to be the only person in one’s spouse’s life than to be entrapped in a life long marriage in which one’s spouse’s love and attention gets divided between his other spouses.
Burylin, V. 2008 Marriage – An Emotional Bond of Two Lives till Eternity. 29 Apr. 2008 <http://www.articlesphere.com/Article/Marriage—An-Emotional-Bond-of-Two-Lives-till