Reading Love and Lifesense

Jun 11, 2002 15:12 # 3853

chris ** wants to know...

Arranged Marriage

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You know, ever since RCD told his story, I have been amazed. Parental issues and family separation aside, I'm still stuck on how an arranged marriage can work out. Yet, it seems that he is quite happy with it.

That's pretty neat. It's certainly a step outside of the norm (in US culture, anyway), so it's something of a curiosity to me.

I spent a lot of years trying to find the right person to marry, and I'm glad that I finally did. There were a few times during those years that I thought maybe it would be really nice to have my parents find someone that they knew I would get along well with and just set me up. Then I realized that perhaps my parents weren't the right people for that anyway, since in a lot of ways they don't really know me all that well (my dad does, but my mom has some lingering perception issues even now :) ).

Anyway, I'm curious as to how it all works, how often it does and does not, and what kinds of benefits and drawbacks there are to it. It's something so incredibly foreign to me that I can't really relate to it. Of course, that also accounts for my curiosity about it. ;)


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Jun 11, 2002 15:45 # 3854

ReallyCoolDude *** throws in his two cents...

Re: Arranged Marriage

94% | 2

My two cents on Arranged marriages in India..

Indian culture is said to be thousands of years old, and ever since then, there has never been a concept of a marriage for love. According to the Hindu religion it is the responsibility of the parents to decide the marriage partners for their children. And, once the wedding has taken place, the couple is bound forever (not only for this lifetime, but for 7 more births - Hinduism believes in rebirths). There is absolutely no concept of a divorce in Hinduism.

This trend is changing, but very slowly, still around 95% of the marriages in India are arranged marriages, and once married, only 5% of the marriages end in divorce. The law allows it, but the religion does not, hence even if the marriages do not work, people just try to make it work, because there is no other way! Kind of brutal for people who are not made for each other!

But on the other hand, since the parents believe that its their responsibility, they make sure that the partner they are going to find for their child is going to be one who is going to be compatible with the child, and is going to keep the family tradition going. Majority of the families in India are joint families, the brothers, sisters, parents, grand-parents, children of everyone living together under one roof. A household sometimes becomes very large - reaching 50-100 people in one house. Only rarely people do tend to move out and start their own families. This trend is however breaking pretty rapidly, and currently only 60-70% of the families in India are joint families. So, when a lot of people are living together, the bride finds it pretty easy to mix with the new family, has a lot of friends, and the time passes pretty quickly. So even if she does not get along with the husband, she will probably try to get along with the other family members and thus make a place for herself in the family, earn respect and love, and thus life goes on!

I come from a middle-class family in India and most of the marriages for love in India do take place in upper-middle-class and upper class families, who tend to embrace the western culture a lot, and about 90% of the divorces that take place in India are in marriages for love. Those who don't have deep cultural roots, tend to get bored with the partner, and do not even try to adjust to the new lifestyle.

According to me marriage is a compromise, and its all about love. So whomever you marry, you have got to give your 100%, love whole-heartedly, and try to understand the other person. No two people are alike, so there are bound to be differences, accept the other person as it is, do not try to change him/her, and the marriage will definitely work, whether it is arranged or a marriage for love!

Love is blind, but marriage is a real eye opener.

Jun 11, 2002 16:01 # 3855

gentledeepwaters *** replies...

Re: Arranged Marriage

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I too am curious......because it does work so often and so long...........could it be the knowledge that this will be the way you will have your partner in you prepare to be more open and ready to compromise??? I mean, do you think that is one of the reasons???

quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Jun 11, 2002 17:48 # 3856

chris ** throws in his two cents...

Re: Arranged Marriage

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I find the statistics on number of divorces especially interesting, but I am tolerably certain that there is more to it than the arrangement (like cultural factors, as you alluded to).

I agree 100% with your assessment about marriage being about loving someone else all the way and working hard to understand one another. Marriage is an adjustment. It's supposed to be. It (ideally) makes us less selfish, which is always a hard change to make. It requires some humility, a lot of hard work, and often a completely new (and wonderful!) way of looking at things.

I find it distressing that so many families break up (we're up to more than half of all marriages, on average, ending in divorce in the States) over things that could be overcome with a little selflessness and a little willingness to work.

I don't know if I can pin down any one cause of the problems, not even in the (often overbearing) expression of an opinion, because the problem seems very complex. But, I believe that as a general principle, selfishness is at the root of it.

I find it very commendable and touching to read of RCD's overall attitude toward it and his feelings for his family.

As far as the wisdom of arranged marriages, I have a few additional thoughts on that:

1) When people say "marry for love", most often they don't really mean "love" in the right sense of the word. Sometimes I wish that we had as many words for it in English as there are in Greek. Greek is much more expressive and differentiates between different kinds of love.

My observation is that most people who "marry for love" don't really know what healthy love really is. They view it as an extension of the exciting and wonderful feelings of elation that come from being noticed and appreciated--in short, an extension of infatuation. It certainly has those elements, but it is not an extension of that frankly unsustainable set of feelings. The kind of love that sustains a marriage is a love of understanding and calm maturity.

It's often a choice as much as a stimulating feeling, and choice requires some level of responsibility, accountability, and maturity. Infatuation, while exciting and wonderful, is also selfish at its foundation, and thus cannot provide a good basis for a healthy marriage, even when "extended" as so many imagine that it will be when married.

2) Arranged marriages are made by interested parents. This can be good or bad, depending on parental motives. If the parents are selfish and interested in furthering their own interests, then the marriage can be miserable for their child. If not, I think they stand a very good chance of making the right choice for their child. After all, they have wisdom and experience of their own, combined with a deep understanding of their children.

The sum total of all that, I guess, is that I see how arranged marriages could work rather well. Either way, it requires that selfishness be put off. Arranged or not, if selfishness is part of the equation, it can't be very good.

That's my two cents worth of rambling.


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Jun 11, 2002 20:48 # 3865

ReallyCoolDude *** has all the information you need...

Shades of Love

Wonderfully put!

Just an information on different shades of love...

Ancient Arabic literature classifies love into seven different shades:-

HUB (Attraction) - When their eyes meet, it's like a touch, a spark.
UNS (Infatuation) - The touch of the eyes turns into Infatuation.
ISHQ (Love) - The flame of her body is felt, his breath starts igniting. This is Love.
AQIDAT (Reverence) -  She touches him like a whisper, as if silence is mixed in her eyes, he prays, knelt down on the floor, a little consciously and a little Unconsciously.
IBADAAT (Worship) - He is entangled on her path, entangled in her arms. Love turns to Worship.
JUNOON (Obsession) - His living is an Obsession. His dying is an Obsession. Apart from this there is no peace.
MAUT (Death) - Let him rest in the lap of Death, let him drown his body in her soul.

P.S. - There was a movie made in Hindi/Urdu - "Dil se..." by one of the greatest Bollywood directors - Mani Ratnam - on terrorism and love, and he tried portraying the above 7 shades in the movie (the hero goes thru all the above 7 shades of love when he falls in love with a terrorist (woman)). It was a beautiful movie when it comes to intensely-filmed sequences and the portrayal of relationships between people. It had some great performances, but it had a very weak screenplay and very poor characterization, hence it was a big flop in India, but it was a success overseas. If one is interested they can probably get a DVD for it which has sub-titles (needless to say, I own its DVD).

Love is blind, but marriage is a real eye opener.

Jul 10, 2002 16:49 # 4112

Hawkeye *** has an idea...

Re: Shades of Love

94% | 3

Regular marraiges aren't always good. High school sweethearts get married and then divorce after a year simply because when they married, they were still changing as people. Mathematically, this can be expressed as delta X where delta X is the change in personality over time. Well, the time two high school sweethearts marry, we'll assume they are in perfect compatability. Well because of their age, personality changes are rapid, so delta X is rapid in both the male and female. Therefore, the distance in their relationship is 2 * delta X.

This doesn't always happen, but I think it is one of the biggest contributers to why people divorce (including non-high school sweethearts).

I assume in arranged marriages, the two people destined to be married know each other a good bit ahead of time. While there is still a rapid change in personality between the two people, it is predictable because they know each other well enough perhaps?

Let me see, that would mean:
Love = ( First_Glance ^ True_Love + Compatability^3 )/ (nervousness^2 - ln ( Num_Roses ))

I guess love can't really be expressed into a mathematical equation, but if it were, maybe I'd finally know what to say to my girlfriend to make her happy again. :)

If the world should blow itself up,the last audible voice would be an expert saying it can't be done

Jul 10, 2002 17:08 # 4116

ReallyCoolDude *** throws in his two cents...

Love and it's Maths!

82% | 2

I have always wanted to express love in a mathematical equation, and this is how I came up with my version...

Whenever someone dumped me they said RCD, it was not love, it was infatuation!. And, whenever I dumped someone, I said the same thing, that since I never felt the same thing from my end, it was not love, and was probably infatuation from the other end.

So, here is my (recursive) definition of love:-

Love is infatuation from both the sides,
and infatuation is one-sided love!


Love is blind, but marriage is a real eye opener.

Jul 10, 2002 17:29 # 4119

Hawkeye *** has all the information you need...


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I came up with this great analogy for a relationship. When you first start to date a woman, you purchase "land" which is to say you both stick out your neck in hopes of getting somewhere.

Later, if things go well, a foundation is built with cement. Things "solidfy" in your relationship with this woman. Meanwhile, every piece of information thrown back and forth at each other comprises of the brick walls that make up the sides.

Finally, when you walk down the aisle and say "I do," you complete this structure you've built with a roof over your head, which is to symbolize your commitment and your housing of two souls in one house so to speak.

Whether you have insulation (it is a cozy environment) is entirely optional. :)

If the world should blow itself up,the last audible voice would be an expert saying it can't be done

Sep 12, 2002 08:18 # 5268

Chahta * replies...

Re: Analogy

66% | 4

A quite interesting analogy. I do hope there is good ground wiring in this home or both will be in for quite a shock. At this point I suppose there is no plumbing, afterall it takes devotion to glue PVC pipe together!

Jul 10, 2002 17:57 # 4121

chris ** throws in his two cents...

Re: Shades of Love

95% | 2

I think that most of the high-school sweetheart marriages that end in divorce do so because the two people didn't know what marriage was. They probably thought that it was a way of making infatuation intensify and last longer, and that is usually exactly the opposite of what happens. As love grows, infatuation diminishes because it is not necessary anymore. Similarly, as people decide they don't like each other, infatuation diminishes. Either way, it diminishes.

Maturity plays a big role here, as well. That comes with time, and the time to learn maturity is not during marriage. Sure, you learn more of it during marriage, but you shouldn't just be getting started down that road when getting married.


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