First Marriage, Then Love…Maybe

By: Riddhi Patelmarriage

Arranged marriage is the norm in many parts of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. For instance, in traditional Hindu and Muslim families, when an individual is ready for marriage, parents choose a potential spouse based on certain characteristics they feel would best benefit their child. These might include values and beliefs, family background and occupation. Once the two individuals meet and go on a few “dates”, they can either agree to get married soon thereafter, or disagree and continue the search for another potential partner.

Studies indicate that arranged marriages have lower rates of divorce than love marriages. India, one of the few countries where arranged marriage is still very common, has the lowest divorce rate in the world at 1.1 percent. This can have many different explanations. Due to the fact that arranged marriages remove differences in religion, cultural background and socioeconomic status, the husband and wife may understand each other more which may result in a longer lasting marriage. Another reason may be because parents know our personalities pretty well and so while choosing a potential partner, they base their judgment on logic rather than the emotion of love or lust. Those who believe in arranged marriage do not think it is necessary for love to be present before marriage. In fact, they believe marriage is like planting a seed in which love grows over the years.

However, there are instances in arranged marriages where the love just never grows. But, unfortunately, the couple remains in the relationship because divorce is frowned upon in their culture. Often times, in a situation like this a person may start to feel trapped in the relationship which can make matters worse.

If you or anyone you know is dealing with any kind of issues regarding a relationship or marriage, it may be beneficial to seek marriage counseling with a professional therapist who works with couples that have problems. If you are in Bergen County, New Jersey or Manhattan, New York, feel free to call 201-368-3700 to make an appointment with one of our own therapists, marriage counselors, psychologists or psychiatrists.

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