Thursday, December 13, 2007

How do arranged marriages differ from ones based on love?

While most couples in Western societies marry for love, people in many other parts of the world follow the tradition of having marriages arranged. Even in the West, unions arranged by the couple's families occur among some ethnic groups.

Arranged marriages appear to be more durable than ones based on love. In part, this is because the society usually frowns on the breakup of an arranged union and makes getting a divorce difficult. And in such cultures, women often cannot work and support themselves. But some scholars also believe that partners themselves tend to be more satisfied in the long run, because each goes into the marriage without expecting personal happiness. Since the wife and husband commit themselves to marriage and family rather than romance, they tend to stay together even when they are incompatible.

Furthermore, spouses whose marriage has been arranged usually have strong ties to large families on both sides. This provides a ready source of close family friends, who make up for any lack of companionship in the marriage and provide support and advice when the couple has difficulties.

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