Imagine being forced to marry some random guy at the same age you’re getting ready to graduate high school. Some girls are stressing about looking for a dress to wear to prom, while in other cultures, girls the same age are stressing about who their parents are going to arrange for them to marry. In some cultures and religions, it is believed that young adults are too immature and not wise enough to pick a partner who will be their lifelong spouse. Under this belief, families feel they are responsible to pick an adequate partner who will support and care for their child for the rest of their child’s life. This is called an arranged marriage, and while it sounds like something out of the Dark Ages in the USA, it is still very much a thing.
It sounds crazy, but it’s true. Some of you probably don’t even want your parents to know who your crush is, so imagine having them decide who you marry! Keep in mind that there is a difference between arranged marriages and forced marriages. In arranged marriages, the couple meet each other through family and friends setting them up, and in some cultures, the male and female have consent if they have a valid reason for not wanting to marry that person. In forced marriages, the couple has no say in marrying one another and are forced to marry using threats, bribes, and even fraud. Talk about intense!
To learn more about arranged marriages among different cultures, read on for the nine unexpected things no one tells you about young arranged marriages:
Arranged Marriages Happen In Various CulturesNowadays, arranged marriages are not just limited to third-world countries. Arranged marriages basically exist everywhere today, even in the United States. Several cultures such as, Amish, Muslims, Hindus, Indians, and Chinese still believe in arranging their child's marriage even once they immigrate to the U.S. In these cultures, arranged marriages happen most often, so it makes sense that once they come to America, they continue to practice that custom. Source: iStock
Dating Before Marriage Is Non-ExistentIn arranged marriages, dating before walking down the aisle does not happen. Typically, the couple hardly knows anything about each other, making for a strained relationship. Not even the basics of favorite color, food, or middle name are known between the two people. Source: iStock
There Isn't A Limit On The Couple's Age DifferenceYou’ll often hear about a big age difference between couples when it comes to arranged marriages. In most arranged marriages, the female is very young and the male typically is at least 10 years older than her. Most cultures actually prefer for the female to marry someone much older. Source: iStock
Different Cultures Have Their Own Marrying AgeIn most cultures and religions, the female gets married young, while the male usually waits until he is older to wed. The reason behind this is so the male is old enough to take care of his wife. However, although most females are arranged to marry very young, cultures have their own marrying age. For example, In Albania, females are eligible to get married as young as 16, while other religions have the girl marry at 18. Source: iStock
Arranged Marriages Often Lead To DepressionThe female in the arranged marriage is typically the one to experience depression. When a girl is arranged to marry very young, they often feel trapped and stressed. These feelings are due to knowing nothing about their spouse, usually having to be subservient to their husband, and are very restricted on how they can live their lives. Many girls have claimed to take up smoking or could possibly suffer from anorexia. Source: iStock
Divorce Is Often Forbidden In Arranged MarriagesThe idea of getting a divorce in an arranged marriage is considered taboo. The divoce rate in arranged marriages is extremely low due to the fact that these couples are forbidden from ending their marriage. A lot of cultures have a stigma against divorce, forcing the couple to feel obligated to stay unhappily married. Source: iStock
Sometimes The Couple Is Allowed To Say No To An Arranged MarriageIn some cultures, arranged marriages are not necessarily forced upon two people, as the male or female is allowed to say no. The families of the couple will definitely try to persuade the two people to stay together, but the male and female are not required to do so. Unfortunately, in other cultures, the couple does not have the right to disagree to the marriage and are obligated to stay together. Source: iStock
Dating Resumes Exist In Arranged MarriagesIn arranged marriages, families have specific standards on who their child is to marry. Some requirements might be the person must come from a respected family, or as specific as what the person's horoscope is. In arranged marriages, a lot of work is put in by the families on arranging who their child should marry. Source: iStock
Arranged Marriages Are More Modern TodayArranged marriages have gotten very modern, embracing the generation of online dating. In the past, families of a couple would arrnage their children to marry by using family connections or word of mouth. Today, families are still involved in narrowing down a perspective partner, but the difference is that the use of the Internet is now involved. Source: iStock
What are your thoughts on young arranged marriages? Did you learn something new from this post? Tell us in the comments below!