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Arranged Marriages  
User currently offlineAvianceGirlUK From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (9 years 9 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 1078 times:

Hi, sorry to bother y'all but i just need a bit of advice as my friends dont really know the ins and outs of these kinda things.
I want to know more about arranged marriages and why they happen.
Basically ill give you my example. Now ive been dating a muslim guy for 2 years now and i admit it hasnt always been perfect but i love him more than anything in this world and im not ashamed to admit it. He has lived here with his family ever since he was about 12 which was back in 1990. He is a family of 7 and next in line to get married. Now i would have thought that being accustomed to the western ways, they would adapt to dating and understand it, but this doesnt seem to be the case. He has told me that he is under the impression that his family are starting to look for someone for him to marry. Of course this is completly devestating. I just want to understand why this is still a common practice. Of course i understand the effects of arranged marriages in other countries but why is it still widely used amongst the muslims living in the western world. I just cant follow.
Please feel free to post your comment, shafts, 'I dont care' posts and everything else.

48 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineQR332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (9 years 9 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 1046 times:

AvianceGirlUK,
I'm guessing the guy is Pakistani, this is a tradition (a strange, backwards tradition) that they still have going on, and has been going on for hunderdes of years. I cannot really understand why exactly it is carried on, but how long have they been in the UK? If it has been several generations then I would have guessed this tradition has gaded.

Just to clarify something, about Muslims and arranged weddings, this is not the case as the Quran says a woman/man should never be forced to marry someone she doesnt want to, as I said, it is more of a tradition. For example, a person in Pakistan usually has an arranged marrige, while here in the Mideast it is much less common practice.


User currently offlineVonRichtofen From Canada, joined Nov 2000, 4627 posts, RR: 37
Reply 2, posted (9 years 9 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 1037 times:

This is a touchy subject... A good Hindu friend of mine had a sister that went against her arranged marriage and married her Caucasian boyfriend. Her father didn't speak to her for almost 10 years and he was somewhat moderate seeing as they (the parents) had been in Canada since the 70's. Arranged marriages are very common in that region and I don't think it's going to change much soon. I asked my friend the same question you're asking and he said they keep up the practice as a way of maintaining their culture while living in the West. I can see their point.

I've heard of westerners marrying Muslims before (unarranged) however I think they had to convert to Islam. Maybe one of our Muslim users could clarify that for me.

Anyway, not sure how moderate his parents are. But good luck!!

Kris



Word
User currently offlineAvianceGirlUK From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (9 years 9 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 1028 times:

QR332, he is from Iran.. and has lived here since 1990. He has 3 older brothers who are all married to Persian women and now live in the US.. but him, his younger 2 brothers and one sister live here in the UK and have done since 1990..

User currently offlineRyanb741 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 3221 posts, RR: 16
Reply 4, posted (9 years 9 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 1011 times:

Basically it's a cultural thing. Muslims marry people deemed 'suitable' by their family - basically a Muslim virgin known to the family. One of my friend's brother (Iraqi) is currently in the USA having a wife selected for him. He, like many muslims was allowed to sow his 'oats' with western women prior to the marriage (I'm not saying this is the case with your circumstances but it is fairly commonplace). Interestingly his brother is marrying an English catholic but this caused problems - he was basically kicked out of the family and has given up practising Islam.

Again I don't know your circumstances (and I really sympathise with you because it must be devastating) but Muslims tend to have a loyalty to their family first and foremost. You may be able to prevent him marrying someone else by converting to Islam and therefore making yourself more 'suitable' in the eyes of his family, but this is probably unfair on you.

BTW it's not just a Muslim thing, many Hindus and Buddhists have arranged marriages.

If you want my advice you should be frank with him about how upset this is making you and trying to get an idea of his plans. If he is going to go along with getting an arranged marriage it may be better to consider your long-term happiness and get out now. However, if he loves you as much as you love him then he may go against his family. Either way it's going to be difficult for all parties.

You could probably tell right now where the future lies. If he has introduced you to his family already and they have accepted you then I would say it may work out well for both of you. If this isn't the case then I'm really sorry to say it could turn out badly.

Either way, I wish you luck and I hope whatever happens is best for you long term. I had a similar situation with my wife who is ethnically Chinese. It took me ages to get accepted by her family but now I am like their son. The difference I fear between my case and yours is that religion wasn't an issue - it was a cultural thing. Unfortunately Islam is fairly 'non-negotiable' in this respect  Sad

My best advice is to think about what you really want, and speak to him about it and demand an honest answer. Based on that answer you can make the decision that is best for YOU. But you really must consider your happiness and your emotional needs - how are his family going to react. Try and speak to them (with him) about it. If this isn't acceptable to him and his family, then hard as it may be, I think he doesn't have your best interests at heart.

Either way, Good Luck, and strength to get through whatever comes your way  Smile



I used to think the brain is the most fascinating part of my body. But, hey, who is telling me that?
User currently offlineN229NW From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 1925 posts, RR: 32
Reply 5, posted (9 years 9 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 1011 times:

Aviancegirl,

One thing that you don't mention is HIS attitude toward all this. Can he explain to you his families wishes and desires for him and, most essentially for you, how he sees the situation (is he willing to stand up to them and stay with you against their wishes, etc.)? Seems like conversations that would be very important! Do you get along with his parents?

You know, things can get better. I have an Indian friend who married her white boyfriend, and although her dad basically threatened to disown her beforehand, once she said no and made her decision, they had a traditional wedding and he's been accepted into her family in the end.



It's people like you what cause unrest!
User currently offlineKilavoud From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (9 years 9 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 1004 times:

Arranged marriage is fixed firmly in the mind of some nations, and is a mainstay of their cultures.

Let us take the example of India. I am living partly in southern India, and can tell you that all the marriages to which I have been invited there have always been arranged. It is normal in India and among most of the Indian community living abroad.

I remmeber once flying between Singapore and Chennai (Madras), sitting next to young man (25?) living in Australia and I asked him whether it is easy to get the Australian nationality. He told me that now it is not as easy as before. And I put him the question : If you marry an Australian girl, then you can get the Australian nationality ? He told me : You know, as Indian, my marriage will be arranged in due times by my parents.

No problem for me to understand this fundamental characteristic of Indian culture, as my own marriage was arranged in India with the best of wifes. I am European and my wife is Indian. And we are very happy and have nice children.......

But I fully understand it is very difficult for a Western mind to understand and to accept that a marriage can be arranged. Just as it is difficult for a fish used to salted waters to understand and accept that another fish can swim in unsalted waters. And both are swimming and goind forward (or not).

Cheers. Kilavoud.









User currently offlineKilavoud From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (9 years 9 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 996 times:

I just want to add that an arranged marriage has nothing to to with a forced marriage. I have never got the impression to have been invited to a forced marriage in southern India.


Cheers. Kilavoud.


User currently offlineRyanb741 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 3221 posts, RR: 16
Reply 8, posted (9 years 9 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 990 times:

I think Kilavoud the difference in Hannah's case is that the 'groom to be' is already in a relationship with her. It's not whether or not arranged marriage is a good thing, it's the fact that she could end up as the 'loser' in all of this. Traditional arranged marriages don't factor in the man having a western girl 'on the side' and that the western girl will be okay with all of this. Quite clearly she isn't okay with all of this.

My opinion is that arranged marriages practiced in a traditional context can be as or more affective than western marriages, but not where the groom is currently in a relationship with a western woman. In this case, the man can't have it both ways - having your cake and eating it isn't the principle behind arranged marriage



I used to think the brain is the most fascinating part of my body. But, hey, who is telling me that?
User currently offlinePilot kaz From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (9 years 9 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 976 times:

I think arranged marriages are a sham.

You marry who you love not who your parents love! How can it be a real marriage if they are not in love? Isn't that what marriage is all about, expressing your love for each over??

really sorry to hear that Hannah. I'm here for you mate.

kaz x


User currently offlineQIguy24 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (9 years 9 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 973 times:

They have made a law in Denmark that forbids arranged marriage because the young people don't want to marry the people their parents choose.
But unfortunatly their kids gets sent back to their home countries and gets married down there and brings the new wife back to Denmark.

Now back to topic.

How does your boyfriend feel about all this? Do you know if he has talked to his parents about your relationship?
I had a friend from Sri Lanka who had exactly the same problem. He was in love with a danish girl and she loved him.
He talked to his parents and they actually accepted it. They werent happy about it. But they just wanted him to be happy.


User currently offlineKilavoud From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (9 years 9 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 961 times:

Ryanb741

I quite understand what you are meaning and accept it.

I give you another example. Once I was flying between European and India, sitting next to an Indian lady (50?) living in the Canary Islands. She was flying to India to by Indian gold jewels for the marriage of her daughter with a Western man. Her daughter had a long friendship with this man, and the family have tried to stop it, but could not succeed. This Indian mother sitting next to me in the plane explained to me that she has been suffering with her husband during many years because of that and that her younger daughter has accepted an arranged marriage.

But with the time they have realised that the Western man in firendship with their elder daughter was a nice person, and they have finally accepted to marry them.

This can happen, but I am sure this case should be considered as an exception. But exceptions are nice sometimes, are they not ?

Cheers. Kilavoud.



User currently offlineVaporlock From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (9 years 9 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 953 times:

AvianceGirlUK, I feel for you.......and I hope that he will realize just how much you love him and what he will be giving up! But, only he can make the decision to go against his customs/beliefs. It won't be easy for him but he should realize that you are worth it and if he truly loves you as much as you love him....then he will make the right choice. After all, happiness and true love are the most beautiful things one can experience!

I don't believe in arranged marriages and have met lots of girls who have had to marry someone that thieir family has chosen for them..... in 90% of the cases the girls are very very young....inexperienced and end up with some guy who treats them like shit!!! Sorry but thats just what I have experienced first hand....

Good Luck!!!!!

Phyllis  Wink/being sarcastic


User currently offlineJasepl From India, joined Jul 2004, 3582 posts, RR: 40
Reply 13, posted (9 years 9 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 950 times:

As has been pointed out, Arranged marriages aren't an uncommon thing here in India. However, in the cities at least, marriages aren't so much arranged any more as they are "facilitated". Your parents think you might be interested in someone, and they "arrange" for you to meet. More often than not, it's up to you to get to know the person and decide if you want to take things further or not. It's not all that different from a friend setting you up on a date.

That said, very many marriages aren't arranged and aren't necessarily forced. Again, I'm speaking from a big city perspective, but it depends more on how you want it done. Believe it or not, there are huge numbers of people who think it will be best if their parents arranged a marriage for them.

Then again, there are people or families who don't believe in the concept at all. For them, it's basically you find your own and deal. And if you don't find someone, consider it your bad luck (or good luck, depending on your point of view).

In my own family, for instance, my parents found their own partners, as did all their siblings and both sets of grandparents.


User currently offlinePPGMD From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 2453 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (9 years 9 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 924 times:

inexperienced and end up with some guy who treats them like shit!!!

Because they don't learn to appreciate how much of a treasure a good girl friend or wife is. He never had to spend months wooing her, never had to figure out ways to get out of the dog house for something stupid he did.

Let him decide if he rather have the love of a good woman, or to follow his families beliefs.



At worst, you screw up and die.
User currently offlineJasepl From India, joined Jul 2004, 3582 posts, RR: 40
Reply 15, posted (9 years 9 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 910 times:

Because they don't learn to appreciate how much of a treasure a good girl friend or wife is. He never had to spend months wooing her, never had to figure out ways to get out of the dog house for something stupid he did.

Let him decide if he rather have the love of a good woman, or to follow his families beliefs.


That's a bit of a naive, slanted view of it, isn't it? Plenty of men appreciate how much of a treasure their wife is, even though they didn't spend months wooing her. And men manage to get in the dog house with their girlfriends and their wives, arranged marriage or not.

Also, a man can have the love of a good woman even if he follows his family's beliefs. Are all men who are in arranged marriages stuck with miserable old cows?


User currently offlinePPGMD From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 2453 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (9 years 9 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 906 times:

Jasepl,

Speaking of the ones that treat their arranged wives like shit.



At worst, you screw up and die.
User currently offlineJasepl From India, joined Jul 2004, 3582 posts, RR: 40
Reply 17, posted (9 years 9 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 876 times:

Speaking of the ones that treat their arranged wives like shit.

Okay. But then it's not as if all the men who found their own wives treat them like queens. Far from it. Look in your own country (and I'm suggesting this only because such things are far more publicised there than elsewhere and because I'd venture a guess that arranged marriages make up an insignificant percentage of all marriages in America). For each instance of domestic abuse highlighted in the media, imagine how many instances go by unnoticed?

I'm not supporting or advocating arranged marriage - I can't, because I myself can't quite grasp the concept and wouldn't wish it on myself or anyone else. But it's not all as bad and evil as people sometimes make it out to be.

I personally don't know anyone who has been forced into an arranged marriage. And I live in India, which is supposedly arranged marriages central!


User currently offlineQIguy24 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (9 years 9 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 868 times:

PPGMD,

They might not be married but does the name Paris hilton and Nick Carter ring a bell? What happened to her?
And what country are they from?

It's just an example to show that no one is perfect. Not even the your own people.


User currently offlineQR332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (9 years 9 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 864 times:

Kris,
I've heard of westerners marrying Muslims before (unarranged) however I think they had to convert to Islam. Maybe one of our Muslim users could clarify that for me.

Many religious people won't marry unless the man/woman converts, but more moderate people have no problem with marrying other religions, a freind of mine has a Muslim father and a Catholic mother for example.

AvianceGirlUK,
QR332, he is from Iran.. and has lived here since 1990. He has 3 older brothers who are all married to Persian women and now live in the US.. but him, his younger 2 brothers and one sister live here in the UK and have done since 1990..

I can't help you here as Persians in general are different from Arabs, but as I said its more of a tradition there. Also, 1990 isn't that long ago compared to other family, so maybe thats why they are still holding on to the Persian culture.

Kilavoud,
I just want to add that an arranged marriage has nothing to to with a forced marriage. I have never got the impression to have been invited to a forced marriage in southern India.

Exactly. In Arabic culture, many wedding are arranged, but it is up to the man/woman to decide whether they want to get married. Basically, the tradition is if the woman or man see someone they like, they go, see her parents, and they express their feelings towards this. The man and woman then have some time to get to know each other, etc, and this could last as long as they want, and then they get engaged.

PPGMD,
Let him decide if he rather have the love of a good woman, or to follow his families beliefs.

It is up to him/her in Arabic culture, not the parents, they just arrange the wedding, or try to at least. Read above for a better explanation.

Speaking of the ones that treat their arranged wives like shit.

Which is an example of what happens in forced weddings.


User currently offlineJasepl From India, joined Jul 2004, 3582 posts, RR: 40
Reply 20, posted (9 years 9 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 863 times:

Going back to the original question though...

Hannah, it might not be as bad as you think. If he's under the impression that his family's looking for a nice Iranian girl for him, it's just as possible that they don't know he's interested in a long-term future with you. Hell, they could be under the impression that he actually wants them to look for a girl for him because he's never told them otherwise. If they don't know he has other plans, they're going to continue doing what they've always done.

Never underestimate people's ability to adapt.

And I know this doesn't really help you out as much, but it's really up to him to get it sorted. He needs to tell them that he has someone in his life who he sees a long term future with. In all probability, they will come to accept that and even love you. If not, he's going to have to grow a pair and stand up to them.


User currently offlineAvianceGirlUK From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (9 years 9 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 849 times:

Ok let me tell you then that i have never met his parents and as far as they are concerned they know hardly anything about me. His mother knows that i exist and has seen my pictures. His father on the other hand is the one which knows nothing about me. I often wonder is his mother talks to his father about me but i will never know. His father (from what i have heard) is a very scary man who has been in the army etc and his beliefs must never be questioned. It was only last week when i saw a picture of him for the first time and that alone scared me.
Converting to Islam is something i could not see myself doing. Although i love him very much, i think its wise to just give up on this one even if i dont want to. His feelings towards all of this are nearly the same as mine, he is just as devestated as myself but it seems as if his family life is pushing him towards the arranged marriage situation and he cant get out of it. And for that, alone, i repect his decisions. But if there was anything i could do to change his or his familys's mind i would do. He is very frightened to be disowned from the family and i understand this... completly.. but just dont know how it has come to this.


User currently offlineQIguy24 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (9 years 9 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 842 times:

AvianceGirl,

Why should you convert to Islam? Why is it always the girls who have to do that?
He could convert as well if he loves you as much as you love him.


User currently offlineChrista From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (9 years 9 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 835 times:

Converting to Islam could be the worst thing you'll ever possibly do in your life..

If he loves you that much, surely won't he go against his family, eh?

Regards,

Christa


User currently offlineMdsh00 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 4124 posts, RR: 8
Reply 24, posted (9 years 9 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 834 times:

I want to echo what the others are saying in favor of arranged marriage. I think that a lot of people in Western cultures match it with the idea of people being forced to marry against their will. This is not true. In the culture or my parents and many cultures of India, arranged marriage is done analagous to "introduction."

In western culture, a person's friend might introduce a friend of theirs and the two people might fall in love and get married later on. It works the same way at least in Hindu culture, except that the parents introduce their child to another, and the process is shorter. I'm not saying that there is no pressure involved...but it isn't commonplace.



"Look Lois, the two symbols of the Republican Party: an elephant, and a big fat white guy who is threatened by change."
25 Yyz717 : Converting to Islam could be the worst thing you'll ever possibly do in your life.. Exactly. Don't do that! On that note, why can't he convert to Chri
26 Jasepl : There you go Hannah. His mother barely knows that you exist. It does seem like he's not brought up your relationship with his family, which is somethi
27 QR332 : AvianceGirlUK, His mother knows that i exist and has seen my pictures. His father on the other hand is the one which knows nothing about me. I often w
28 Mdsh00 : ...Arranged marriages are often a way to "jump the queue" for immigration. They should be banned by all Western nations if they involve one party bein
29 Yyz717 : His father on the other hand is the one which knows nothing about me. Why not? So go visit his parents and introduce yourself! That's what people do!
30 Mdsh00 : This reminds me of a story that a friend of mine told me about himself in high school. Apparently he had been dating a Muslim girl (he's Hindu) and sh
31 Sv7887 : Hi All, PPGMD's statement was characteristic of the typical American propaganda about Asia's culture. Speaking from an Indian perspective, most marria
32 Post contains images Christa : QR332, To answer your thought.... I believe that Islam is something that has ruined not only the Middle East, but the western world. For example, look
33 Jasepl : I resent that comment, I'm Muslim myself and i'm wondering why its such a bad thing? Don't resent it - just laugh. He's probably pissed that Miss Cana
34 Yyz717 : But it doesn't have the 60% failure rate that American marriages do.(I challenge anyone to justify this failure rate as being okay) The justification
35 Mdsh00 : In the West we have laws against spousal violence and a judicial system not focusing on favouring men. That is the difference. There are laws against
36 Jasepl : Okay, I just wanted to clarify something a lot of you have been saying. Arranged marriages haven't anything to do with religion. It's more of a socio-
37 Mdsh00 : I think that the problem is that the Western Media has done a very one-sided and negative view of arranged marriage for so many years, that end-result
38 Jasepl : Hannah, whatever you choose to do or not do, try to avoid taking any of Yyz's "advice". He's been so full of it lately, I'm beginning to think he's ac
39 Ryanb741 : Well, if you have been going out for 2 years and the father doesn't know about you yet then I'm really sorry but I can't see this one working. But don
40 Jasepl : But don't give up before having a chance to ask him what he wants to do (you might not get a 'happy' answer though). Either way, good luck, and make s
41 Sv7887 : Yyz717 "If he's living in the West, he should follow Western cultural norms, which are to date anyone he pleases" What an arrogant statement. Who are
42 QR332 : Christa, I believe that Islam is something that has ruined not only the Middle East, but the western world. For example, look at terrorism in the west
43 AvianceGirlUK : Thankyou, thankyou so much for all of your help and kind words. I admit i was kinda worried about posting this on a public forum but i knew i would ge
44 Jasepl : Come to think of it, I've met people from Latin America who have talked about a Casamento Arranjado not being all that uncommon over there.
45 Ryanb741 : Good luck girl! Anyway, sorry I can't talk any more, I'm off for a few drinks but have a good holiday, use that time to clear your thoughts and gain p
46 Sv7887 : Christa, That is an ignorant statement. You make it sound like all Muslims are suicide bombers and terrorists. Islam in the pure form is an honorable
47 Jasepl : Yep, what Ryan said!
48 Post contains images Klaus : Christa: I believe that Islam is something that has ruined not only the Middle East, but the western world. For example, look at terrorism in the west
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