How To Overcome The Hurdles Of An Arranged Marriage
Arranged marriages are still a common practice throughout the world and in many different cultures. There are some stereotypes that exist regarding how an arranged marriage works or what it looks like. In many modern arranged marriages, families choose the potential partner, and the individual ultimately decides whether they want to marry that person.
If you’re part of a culture that has arranged marriages or are curious to know more, you may wonder how you can make the arranged marriage successful. After all, you may not know anything about the partner you’re going to marry. Luckily, this partner was chosen by your family, who may have a good idea of what you want. And research shows arranged marriages actually have an incredibly low divorce rate, at only 4%, while non-arranged marriages in the United States have a divorce rate of nearly 40%. An arranged marriage may be easier than you think. Here are some ways you may be able to overcome the hurdles of an arranged marriage and have a healthy, long-lasting relationship.
Communicate And Interact In A Healthy Manner
Communication is the foundation of successful marriages. Before you tie the knot in an arranged marriage, take the time to have long discussions with your future partner and get to know them better. If it’s allowed, go on dates with them. Going into the marriage with little knowledge about your future partner may lead to problems down the road. Instead, break the ice and talk about your interests and goals. You can then decide if this partner is really for you.
Let Love Flourish
Arranged marriages typically exist to tie families together, and they can be great for financial or family reasons, but you should be happy, too. As you talk to your future partner, figure out if they’re right for you. You may not be in love with them immediately, but love can grow, and you can end up having a loving and happy future. You might end up falling in love with them slowly. But if you get to know them and feel as though there isn’t a connection, you may want to reconsider this potential relationship.
Come With Moderate Expectations
When you have an arranged marriage, you may have all sorts of expectations, and these expectations can ultimately make or break your marriage. If your expectations are too high, you might end up being disappointed. Your future partner is only human, like you, and all humans have flaws. However, if your expectations are too low, those feelings may carry over into the marriage, which can be problematic. Come into the relationship with realistic expectations.
Meeting The Family
If you have an arranged marriage and don’t know your partner’s family, you will most likely have the opportunity to meet all the relatives soon. In addition to meeting your partner’s parents, you will probably also be meeting the extended family. These family functions are designed to help the families get to know each other, but they may be overwhelming.
If possible, meet the family slowly, over time. Also, talk to your partner and learn how they want to meet your family.
Of course, your relationship with your partner's parents is very important. We’ve all heard of the overprotective in-law who is skeptical of their child’s partner. This may be a less likely scenario if you get to know your partner’s parents well. Be patient and try to spend as much time as possible getting to know them. Hopefully, you will become a valued member of the family as well.
Meeting The Friends
Meeting friends is yet another hurdle that you must cross. In addition to family, you and your partner probably have your own circle of friends, and you will most likely want to meet them, and vice versa. Hopefully, you will like one another, and you will all become friends. If this doesn’t happen in the beginning, give it some time. Friends are an important part of every individual’s support system, and having your partner get along with them is important.
Talk About Your Roles
The arranged marriage is a cultural tradition, but your marriage doesn’t necessarily have to have traditional roles. Today, modern arranged marriages have proven to be incredibly successful. It may be beneficial to sit down and discuss your individual skill sets. Figure out how you can take care of the house and your relationship—with equal responsibilities—most easily and efficiently.
Once you become married, you may want to start a family. It can help for you and your partner to discuss your desire, or lack thereof, regarding children before you agree to marry. You and your partner may both want children but have a different timeframe in mind. Talk to your partner and figure out what their idea of the future looks like and how it matches with yours.
Make Intimacy A Priority
Physical intimacy isn’t the only form of intimacy, but it may be a big part of it for many couples. Intimacy is a vital part of a marriage. Discuss your wants and needs around intimacy beforehand. Everyone has their own love language, so it may help to discuss how you like to express and receive love so you can be better partners to each other.
One of the big reasons why a marriage fails is because of difficulties regarding finances. You and your partner may have different priorities or ways of spending and saving, and this can potentially lead to some arguments, especially when there are children involved. When meeting your partner, it can be helpful to thoroughly discuss your financial situation. The two of you may be able to come to some agreement on finances to prevent problems down the road.
Find Common Interests
Another issue you and your partner may face is a lack of common interests or hobbies. One partner may like to play sports while the other may not be as physically active. Trying to force your partner to change their hobbies to match yours will mostly likely not be helpful. Instead, it may be beneficial sit down and discuss your hobbies. Some hobbies you may prefer to do alone or with friends, while other hobbies you would love for your partner to try, and vice versa. Explore each other’s hobbies with an open mind, and you may end up liking them. If not, at least you’ll probably have a better understanding of their interests.
Go On Dates
When you’re married, you can still go on dates to enjoy each other’s company and keep things fresh and exciting. Make time to get some coffee or see a movie. You can go out on the town, explore something new, or go hiking; the possibilities are endless. Spending quality time engaging in activities you enjoy with your partner may promote a healthy and fulfilling relationship.
Spend Time Alone
While spending quality time with your partner is important, it’s equally important to take time for yourself. When you spend time alone, it gives you a chance to unwind and reflect. This is important, especially at the beginning of your marriage, where you may need some time to process everything. On the other hand, too much time alone can also potentially hurt the marriage. Talk to your partner, set aside some time alone, and encourage them to do the same. Some healthy space apart can give you the chance to miss each other and create a longing in the relationship.
Express Your Concerns
It’s likely you may have conflict in your relationship, as most couples do. Conflict is normal, but how you choose to manage conflict is ultimately the deciding factor in whether you can overcome it. Everyone couple has problems, grievances, and annoyances at times. When this occurs, talk with your partner and express your concerns with open and honest communication so you may be able to work through it together.
Seek Arranged Marriage Counseling
Whenever you and your partner run into an issue that you are having difficulties resolving or coming to a compromise on, a sign of strength is seeking support. Marriage counselors specialize in relationships, and many know how to handle the uniqueness of arranged marriages. A marriage counselor may be able to help you and your partner reach a solution that is beneficial for both of you. Regularly visiting a counselor can help you keep the marriage healthy and strong. Getting the help you need is a sign that you value the marriage and want it to be the best that it can be.
If you are in an arranged marriage—or will be in the future—and are experiencing difficulties, a relationship therapist may be able to help.
ReGain is an online therapy platform specializing in relationships. At ReGain, you will be matched with a therapist who best suits your needs. They can provide tools and guidance to help you overcome any challenges you may be facing in your relationship. Reach out today to improve your relationship and overall well-being.
In the end, perhaps the best way to make an arranged marriage work is to focus on clear and effective communication. The marriage may be arranged, but you still have full control over your life. Talk to your future partner and see if they’re right for you. Discuss the things that are most important to you, such as beliefs, values, and goals. Arranged marriages can work if you and your partner respect one another and keep the lines of communication open.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Are arranged marriages more successful?
Arranged marriages are more like a business agreement between families. In this sense, they can sometimes be more long lasting because they are frequently based on financial or family reasons instead of love and passion. Arranged marriages are based more on logic, and the individuals may have fewer expectations before marrying.
There is a common misconception that arranged marriages are forced marriages. While that may occasionally still happen, it’s more common for the individuals to be included in the final decision. In a recent study, researchers found the divorce rates of arranged marriages to be 4%, while the divorce rate for marriage by choice in the United States was 40%. In India, the divorce rate of arranged marriages is only 1%. Although a successful marriage is really up to the married couple and their effort to make it work, statistically, arranged marriages are more successful.
Why do arranged marriages happen?
Around 90% of marriages in India are arranged marriages, and 60% of marriages worldwide are arranged. The practice of arranged marriages began as a way to unite and maintain upper-caste families. Arranged marriages have frequently been more of an alliance of families instead of a union between two people.
Are arranged marriages happier?
Many marriages worldwide are arranged. It really depends on the individuals themselves. While the divorce rate for arranged marriages is lower, happiness is subjective and difficult to quantify.
As a married couple, whether it’s arranged or not, communication is key. Honest and open communication, where each partner can voice their needs and concerns, can make any marriage happier..
Does love exist in arranged marriages?
Love can exist in arranged marriages, just as it does in any type of marriage. Love may not be immediate in an arranged marriage, but love can grow. It is really dependent on the couple. How compatible they are, the work that they put in, and possibly a little bit of luck will determine the love they have in the marriage.
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