There are basically three types of marriages known today. These are: Arranged marriages, love marriages and forced marriages. Different people (within different cultures) have different opinions and perceptions regarding these three types of marriages. There are some cultures that prefer forced marriages to the other two types. Let’s pause for a moment and ask: Which type of marriage is better? An arranged marriage, a forced marriage or a love marriage?
To be sure, every coin as two faces and marriage isn’t an exception. In the three opposing camps, there are advantages and disadvantages. If you would like to shop around for goodies within each of these camps, you will find out that there are few things that you might like in arranged marriages. The same goes for forced marriages and love marriages. Various cultures have a variety of factors that lead them to accept and encourage either of these three types of marriages.
Reasons for performing forced marriages – and to a certain extent – arranged marriages include: strengthening extended family links; controlling unwanted behavior and sexuality; preventing ‘unsuitable’ relationships; protecting and abiding by perceived cultural or religious norms; keeping the wealth in the extended family; dealing with the consequences of pregnancy out of wedlock; considering the contracting of a marriage as the duty of the parents; obtaining a guarantee against poverty.
Some basic reasons associated with love marriages do include, but not limited to you being free to choose who you want to live with for the rest of your life; that you don’t want to have a strange bed-fellow; the ease of communication between couples; you can speak from your heart into your partner’s heart since your union is based on mutual love and affection that can in itself increase the chances of sharing the burden of life together and willingly.
The Essentials Of Arranged Marriages
First and foremost, we need to understand what an arranged marriage is, as opposed to a love marriage. In an arranged marriage, the man and woman is either chosen by parents, elders, matchmakers or religious figures. This idea of choosing who should marry whom is meant to guide young people through the process of finding suitable and compatible people to join them together in marry.
Generally, such matching is based heavily on societal considerations as opposed to preexisting mutual attraction. In short “arranged marriages” are usually employed to describe marriages that involve the parents or any other well-wisher within a social setting in a process of selecting a marriage partner for either a young man or a young woman. However rapid societal changes all over the world have complicated parents’ task in selecting suitable partners for their children.
In contemporary Africa, the Middle East and South Asia, where arranged marriages are still very prevalent, there is now a growing perception that arranged marriages are giving way to love marriages due to changing levels of education of populations and the increasing ability of women to exercise their choices. Arranged marriages are sometimes also perceived as a failure on the part of the man or the woman to find someone to marry on their own!
The Basic Ingredients Of Love Marriages
Love marriage is a terminology used mostly in some countries in South Asia, especially, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. This marriage is often construed as a marriage based purely on love – with or without the consent of their parents. In short, it is generally used to describe a marriage which was the sole decision of the couples involved and may not have had the blessing of their parents.
These marriages may transcend ethnic, community and religious boundaries because they are based purely on love. Formerly love marriages occurred between acceptable sociocultural backgrounds. Love marriage could also be used to describe a form of marriage that contains elements of both arranged marriages and love marriages. In some cultures, love marriages are often seen as the imposition of the younger generation’s will over the older generation’s wishes.
Forced Marriage – Often Construed as Forced Conjugal Association Or Conjugal Slavery
A Forced marriage is a marriage in which one or more of the parties is married – without his or her consent – or against his or her will. A forced marriage differs from an arranged marriage in which both parties presumably consent to the assistance of their parents or a third party such as a matchmaker in choosing a spouse. There is often a certain amount of coercion used to compel a marriage – ranging from psychological to existential – like subtle psychological pressure to physical violence.
Forced marriage is still practiced in various cultures across the world, particularly in parts of South Asia and Africa. An arranged marriage is not the same as a forced marriage: in the former, the spouse has the possibility to reject the offer; in the latter, they do not. The line between arranged and forced marriage is however often difficult to draw, due to the implied familial and social pressure to accept the marriage and obey one’s parents in all respects.
The 3 Types Of Marriages – Anecdotes
Arranged Marriage: The Al Qahtani family is looking of a wife for their beautiful daughter – Ameera. They hear of a compatible life partner, Yaser, from the Al-Otaibi family. Ameera is eighteen and Yaser is twenty-five. The Qahtanis and the Otaibis are both merchants and landowners. Both Ameera and Yaser are informed about the intention of the two families to join them together in marriage.
An arrangement is made for the both of them to get to know each other. During their meetings, there is always a chaperon to supervise them. After several meetings, Ameerah’s parents asks her if she would accept Yaser for a husband. Her answer seems ambiguous. She is vacillating. Yaser’s parents asks him the same question. He gives an affirmative answer. Ammeera accepts the verdict of her parents. The date is set. Marriage consummated.
Love Marriage: As they sit in a hair salon overlooking the bay area, Jackson sees a girl passing by. He asks his friend Joe, if he knows her. Jackson is in his late twenties. And Cgristina seems to be in her early twenties.
“Yeah. She is the only daughter of Mr. Smith – the grocery store owner around the corner from this salon.” Joe replies.
” I would like to have her for a wife. She has something of the dog in her. ” Jackson says.
” She’s got a boyfriend. And I heard they are getting married after they both graduate from college” Joe says.
” Who is that lucky guy?” Jackson asks with a twisted face,
” He is Robert. He is the son of that woodcutter who lives nearby.”
” OMG! The son of a woodcutter?” Jackson asks with a demeaning tone.
“Yes. I know you are a famous basketball star but that doesn’t qualify you to win her love. She’s already hooked!” Joe asserts.
Jackson wouldn’t accept defeat.
” I’ll visit her family tonight. And later ask her out for dinner.”
To cut the story short, Christina later fell in love with Jackson. They dated for two years, and later got married. It was Christina’s own decision. She dumped Fred and opted for Jackson.
Jackson had good looks and also had the money! Fred too had equally good looks. He was also well-behaved. His only crime was that he was poor. A woodcutter’s son!
A Forced Marriage: He was a droll of a man. He was oddly amusing. Fabulously rich. He could make you laugh by whimsical, eccentric conduct. He was a short and plump person in his mid-fifties. He was bald and had unusually large ears. He liked watching feminine underwear advertisements. He was always looking for a sex angle in any given situation. His ex-wife, Sarah, wasn’t that kind of woman who would forgive her husband his sexual peccadilloes simply because he cherished and provided amply for the family.
She was tall, and shy. Beautiful and fairly educated. She was in her mid-twenties. Her face was round and soft – rather than sophisticated and refined. Her father was a retired school teacher, partly blind, in his late seventies and in debt. Her mother was a housewife.
One hot summer afternoon, There was a timid knock at their door. It was Miss. Nkuta – the matchmaker.
” Where is your Dad”, Miss Nkuta asks.
” He’s taking a shower.” Wynona replies.
” You look so excited. Aren’t you?” Wynona asks.
“Yes. Wynona, I have good news for you.”
“What is it about, News about a job?”
” No. Wynona you really don’t need to work. I have found a gold mine for you already!”
“What is it about? I have found for you a decent husband. He is Mr. Jackson. His wife Sarah divorced him recently, and he’s desperately now looking for another wife!”
“But I …” . Before Wynona completes her sentence, her father steps into the hall and interrupts.
” Miss Nkuta. Thanks so much. I know Mr. Jackson. Wynona has no objection. It’s a done deal.
” Wynona, you know how much we have struggled to get you through college. It’s now time for us to reap the benefits. Look at your dad, He ‘s in debt. I have glaucoma and, we live in a rented apartment. Wouldn’t you like your dad to have his own apartment?” With tears dropping down freely from her wrinkled cheeks, Wynona’s mother appeals to her daughter.
” But Mom…”
“Wynona, the case is closed.” Both parents say in tandem.
Miss. Nkuta thanked Wynona’s parents and lives.
Wynona’s marriage was consummated within the next few months!
At different stages in our lives, we all have to face the real world of love, romance and marriage. They could all be unfair and unkind. Falling in love these days seems to be the hardest thing to do. You really cannot tell who would be the best partner in a marriage or in a romantic affair. It is equally harder to stay aloof from romance or marriage – unless of course – you have taken a vow of celibacy!
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