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Marrying a Girl or Guy of Parents choice - Arranged Marriages in India

Anamika S. Jain has been a social media consultant for six years. She has written more than 200 articles on relationships and dating.

Should you marry the Guy or girl of your Parents choice?

Are Parents ruining the life of their children by forcing them into marriage?

Recently a chat friend of mine from England was dumped by her Indian Boyfriend because he wanted to marry a girl of his Parents choice. She was so shattered by the decision of this guy with whom she was in a serious relationship for 2 years. No amount of pleading and tears could change the guys mind. As an Indian, I feel shame over this act from a fellow Indian.

India is popular for the arranged marriage system where the Parents or elders in the family arrange the marriage for their children. Most of the time they may also take the help of matrimonial portals or marriage brokers to find a suitable bride or groom. They finalize the bride or groom after considering a lot of things like the family background, education, job, horoscopes, physical beauty etc. If the elders approve of the match, they get the acceptance from the boy and the girl for marriage. Many Guys and girls are forced to get married according to the wish of their parents. Some Parents even resort to emotional blackmail and threatening to get their children to marry the Guy or girl of their choice. Many times Parents turn a blind eye on whether the girl likes the guy or not. In Indian society, the girls are considered as the property of their married homes and the Parents try to get them married as earlier as possible. In fact, they end up sacrificing their life for the sake of keeping their parents happy.

It is said that Parents know what is best for their children. Often Parents ruin the lives of their children by forcing life decisions on them. A close friend of mine was madly in love with a Guy belonging to another religion for over 5 years. Her Parents forcefully got her married to a well settled boy of their choice from their own community. Before the marriage, she tried to get the Guy to reject her by telling him that she is in love with someone else. The Guy also did not take any steps to break the proposal thinking that she would forget her boyfriend after marriage. The girl denied intimacy to the guy as a punishment for marrying her despite telling the truth. Even after 15 years of marriage the girl has not accepted the guy or slept with him. This couple now leads a life of compromise. The Guy sleeps around, and my friend has no objection to it. They keep the pretense of a happy couple to the world. In short, my friend’s life was ruined by her own Parents.

I am not telling that parental consent or approval is not necessary for marriage. What I mean to say is that Parents should leave the choice of life partner to their children and not force them into a relationship they do not want.

Marrying a Guy/Girl of Parent's choice

Marrying a Guy/Girl of Parent's choice

Child Marriages and Domestic Violence in India

Sometimes Parents even get their children married before they reach the legal age of marriage. In India, child marriages still exist in parts of the country which is truly sad. Not only that, sometimes Parents force their daughters to go back to their married homes even after they complain of abuse by their husbands or family. For them, it is a shame to have a married daughter staying at her Parents house after marriage. So they forcefully send back their daughters to the in laws after giving some advice to adjust with them. Most of these Parents realize their mistakes only after their daughters dead bodies reach home. Every single day we see news about brides being burned when the demands for dowry is not met.

It is a shame that even in this modern age, there are Parents who consider their girls as a burden. Even when the law is against the system of dowry, majority of Parents show no hesitation in buying grooms for their daughters paying a high price without realizing that it can cause them to be more covetous. Who is to blame here? It’s time we take some serious action against these evils in the society.

Hubs on Parenting

Arranged vs Love Marriage – Which one is best?

If we start comparing love and arranged marriages,we will see that both has certain pros and cons.

In love marriages, the boy and girl fall in love and then get married. The couples get enough time to get to know and understand each other. Often these marriages are done without parental consent with the help of friends. Majority of times when problems arise in marriage, the couples do not get any parental support. Sometimes, Parents may accept the match either before or sometime after marriage.

Arranged marriages are normally arranged by the Parents or elders in the family of the bride and groom. They look into many things like financial security, horoscope, family background, culture, lifestyle etc before fixing the marriage. When problems arise in arranged marriages, the families of the bride and groom come together to solve the issues. Due to this, arranged marriages are often enduring than love marriages. It also offers more protection to the girl. The drawback of the system is that the bride and groom are often strangers who start a new life together. Many times couples end up living a life of compromise for fear of Parents and society. Nowadays even in arranged marriages, sufficient time is given to the couple before marriage to get to know each other. Some couples may fall in love after marriage.

What’s your opinion? Which one is better – Love marriage or Arranged?


Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on March 26, 2014:

Yo have mentioned such an interesting insight to the arranged marriage in India and I don't approve of arranged marriages.

Anamika S Jain (author) from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India on September 17, 2013:

@Rebecca 2000 Arranged Marriages are quite normal in India. Hindus normally finalize the marriage only after matching the Horoscopes of the Guy and girl. As per my understanding, the Priest has suggested the auspicious time for marriage after matching Horoscopes (after February 2014). Your Guy is free to marry anyone he chooses. His divorce or his live in relationship may not affect his chances of marriage in India. In majority of cases, an Indian Guy would prefer to marry the girl of his parents choice even if he has another girl in his life. Also many Parents prefer to hide the son's relationship to get him married to an Indian girl even if they know about it. Most Hindu families have a conservative outlook and do not accept live in relationships or marriage with foreign citizen. As of now, there is nothing much you can do to stop your Guy if he wants to marry a girl of his parents choice. It is up to you to decide if your man is trustworthy and would stand up for your relationship with him. Insist on marriage or ask him to take you to visit his Parents in India to see his reaction .

Rebecca 2000 on September 17, 2013:

I have been involed in a 2yr live in relationship with an Indian Hindu man. He has been married and now divorced here in the states, his parents in India do not know of this marriage. His parents are now sending him marriage proposals ( I just happened to see an email) from woman in India. Priest says the best time for him to marry is after Feb. 2014. what does this all mean? I ask him and he either starts to cry or deny what inevitably is going to happen to us...I am an American, he was married and divorced from an American, is he still eligible to have an arranged marriage and if so, how does all this work, pls help me decide if I should stay or run...I love this man with all my heart. and no, his parents know nothing about our relationship or our living together here in America.

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Rambo Fen from Raipur on July 15, 2013:

Interesting topic and i think that there should be mutual understanding between a parent and the child, Parent should be no force there children just because some one belongs to good family or is paying ransom money, rather they should be allowed to choose their best one...

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on January 07, 2013:

This is a fascinating subject and I agree there are both pros and cons to arranged marriages. Such marriages were also common in Peru in the past. It was still practiced in rural areas until just recently. I think it all depends upon the parents and whether they truly are looking out for the best interests of their children. Some parents only choose a husband for their daughter based on financial advantages and other selfish reasons. But I do know of arranged marriages that had a happy ending. There also many traditional marriages that end in divorce!

Moon from College Park,MD on December 26, 2012:

I would like to know how Indian boy feel about getting married with a girl that they don't know in an arrange marriage? also if they already experienced love before getting married. Im spanish and my ex boyfriend was Indian sweet boy, we met in usa, I still love him and I understant he has to f0llow what family force him to do. We loved each other. Sad.

Joshua Nyamache from Kenya on November 12, 2012:

I have never liked the idea of arranged marriage. In most cases couples who got married through arranged marriage are always not content with one another. Parents should just allow their children to choose their partners. It is very wrong for any parent to consider a girl child as a burden. Love marriage is better. Voted this hub up, useful and interesting!

yssubramanyam from india, nellore. andhrapradesh on August 30, 2012:

very realistic hub. there are variety of cases. the problem is not confined to India. it is going on at global level. it is left to boy/girl to choose their way of life in selecting the life partner. we must make sure that no unforeseen incident takes place due to our preoccupied traditions. every body must realize the present trend of modern age and get along with it. every religion on planet insists to accommodate life partner according to doctrines mentioned to keep up the relation for ages together. love marriage is not irreligious. it is hub for every age to read and learn life lesson.

witts on August 07, 2012:

My bofriend is going to marry with someone that his family arrange for him. His family told him that all their life sacrifice for him. Now it is his time to SACRIFICE for them. I want to be with him and marry him but I can't right now I asked him to give me time for few days but however his family can't wait. Besides, his family will not accept me. They only accept a person who they find for him. We love each other very much. I know that if he is not listening to his parents it will be big problem. I don't want to be the one make them breaking apart. I hate this i feel like dying everyday. Why must his parent use the word sacrifice? I don't know that when you sacrifice something to someone you need return. I want Indian parent to know how much and how many couple got hurt from what they want only use the word sacrifice

Dee42 from Beautiful Arkansas on June 11, 2012:

My dear writer, it seems you have opened up an interesting can of worms. Wow, how riviting was that hub!! You need to write a book, maybe non- fiction, but you are an excellent writer.

Everyone that had an opinion had good points on the subject on here. My first instinct is if the women were liberated, they may have more choices. I know, too far fetched. But on the other hand I have looked for great girls for my 3 sons, even looked on a 'Mother-Match-Making website. My 25 year old said " yeah, see if she goes to church, cause I can't seem to find a nice girl."

I said " quit looking in bars."

samantha on April 22, 2012:

I too are in a relationshit with an Indian man, he has told me that in October / November he is leaving for India to marry. I am so heart broken n I have begged n cried but nothing he will not take me or change his mind. I'm confused n sick if crying everyday n being sad like life is a stand still. Our relationship has changed so much he has turned into a asshole n lies a lot, maybe his trying to push me away? :(

Kaiharriss from Wandsworth, London on April 11, 2012:

Marriage decision should be imposed by the parents.... A person can wisely take this decision on his behalf. After all it is his life.

Vegas Elias from Mumbai on April 01, 2012:

It is a sorry thing to know that India is ranked fourth dangerous place for women after Afghanistan and a few African countries by the United Nations. We have still to go a very long way in giving full freedom to our women which they aptly deserve. However I find that most of our lesser educated and uneducated women are happy with the suppression.

inaniLoquence from Singapore on March 31, 2012:

I believe it also depends on the relationship of the parents and the child. I have a Singaporean-Indian friend who is very close with her parents and respects them thoroughly. I asked her whether or not she would find her own husband in the future or settle for an arranged marriage. She chose the latter. She trusts her parents to find a suitable guy for her. I think this pushes the envelope of trust. :) Thanks for sharing this great hub, Anamika! And thanks for following me as well. :) Voted up, interesting and useful.

Levertis Steele from Southern Clime on March 25, 2012:

Indian Chef:

You made some very truthful points, although I do not quite agree with a couple. Your commennts about Western divorces are mostly true in some cases. Like India, all Westerners are not alike. We are individuals, too. Many marriages are sealed for life.

Men of India are not all saints, especially when they are away from home. Some of them help themselves to other women right here in the USA. Do they still marry the celibate ladies after they have lost their "virginity" to others? Certainly they do!

Which is better, to live in a miserable, unhappy arranged marriage or to divorce and avoid the abuse of a poor choice? Many people of India come to America for prosperity. Their children grow up in a society that does not force marriage. Some of the children will be persuaded that arranged marriages take away their freedom. So there is a cultural conflict.

I am not downsizing arranged marriages if they are working better than "love" marriages. Love marriages? If love were in these divorced marriages, they would not be divorced. I firmly believe that most people do not know how to choose a proper mate.

Levertis Steele from Southern Clime on March 25, 2012:


You said, "The success rate certainly seems to be greater than in western cultures."

Amazing! I wondered about the success rate. If the couple can have a part in the selection, that should be better. At the rate of divorces in many lands, maybe wise parents could choose better mates. If Freedom is not accompanied by Wisdom, he can end up a very unhappy fellow.

A man who worked five miles from my home killed his son's wife because he did not honor the marital arrangement that was already in place for him.

buddhaanalysis on March 25, 2012:

india is not good place for love marriages due dominance of cast system.

rohit on March 25, 2012:

in india love marriages are rare due to cast system

Luxmih Eve-Lyn Forbes from Fort Pierce, Florida on March 19, 2012:

I was fascinated to read this Hub because I am a western devotee of a Brilliant Hindu Guru.

I admit to being amazed to discover that in this 'modern' day and age that arranged marriages were still a viable option. I could not imagine someone else selecting my life partner. But after seeing the multi-faceted lengths that went into selecting the 'perfect partner' for the bride and groom, and then watching the love that blossoms beyond the marriage, I have to admit that in many cases arranged marriages can work well.

Being a westerner, I am relieved that I was able to choose my own husband. Although I made a bad choices in that arena, I have now been happily married for 36 years.

Perhaps the advantage to the arranged marriages that I have witnessed is the fact that the couple were part of the selection process? They each approved of the match and they were both aligned spiritually because the partner was chosen from within the same spiritual community and the union blessed by their guru. The success rate certainly seems to be greater than in western cultures.

A great Hub. Enjoyed reading.

Julianna from SomeWhere Out There on March 18, 2012:

@ Indian Chef the difference between arranged and non-arranged in our Western World is that we as women have a choice. I agree the divorce rate is high in the U.S. but at least we (as couples) can Divorce the person if we are not compatible with them and move on. I as a woman could not imagine having my family arrange my marriage. Thank God I am American because I had a choice.

Not all marriages in the U.S. end in Divorce I have many friends who have been married since they were 18 years old, with one partner. 20+ years is a long time.

Women being tortured and abused is wrong and no woman should be abused by a man. We are empowered to be all that we can be. Why stay with someone who you are miserable with? What a horrible way to grow old.

@ Anamika: Thank you for shedding light on this subject that so many of us in the U.S. try to understand. I have friends who are miserable in their marriage, both are Indian and the marriage was arranged. They can't stand each other, but for the sake of family they try to tolerate when they are amongst friends and family. I personally believe they would be better off if they were divorced at least they would be happy. voted and shared.

Indian Chef from New Delhi India on March 17, 2012:

I am really surprised that you felt bad that an Indian guy dumped a western girl when they do it all the time on flimsy. I know an Indian guy who was dumped by an American girl because he wasn't Christian and she did it after 3 years of courtship and she knew it from day 1 that he is a Hindu guy. Also who knows the guy might be tired of that British girl and it might be an excuse. Also you can not be ashamed because some Indian did something.We are 1.2 billion and we can not be responsible for each and every individual. When I see how most of love marriages end, I have started to find merit in arranged marriages. If love marriage was so great then how come most marriages in west fail and some in weeks? I got nothing against arranged marriages.. it is working for not only us but also all over the world ( leave aside western world.) Also since girls and guys are mentally tuned since childhood about arranged marriages here so it is not a shock for them. Also this prevents or reduces to nearly nil chances of children outside wedlock or children growing up in single parent homes or broken homes. Not all love marriages are great. I have a facebook friend ( in usa) who tell me that how badly her bf treats her or even use physical violence but since since she has now two very children from him and she don't have any support so she can not leave him. How is this better than family sending girl against their wishes. At least in arranged marriages families take responsibilities but I see in west her family not even supporting her. The family support in India so very high not like west where the girls are forced to live on their own by 20 and you know what happens then. We as Indian are not ready to accept a girl or a guy ( as a spouce)who has been doing it regularly with other boys or girls.. Are we?

sp on March 17, 2012:

Hi, I'm forced to like the person I don't like....seriously I'm hurt.......

lakeets from London on March 17, 2012:

As a second generation British Indian living in London, I'm still surprised to find that many of my fellow friends who are 20 something are preferring to opt for an arranged marriage. I think some feel that it is less hassle. There is a stark difference between consenting and not though here and it is very sad that the pressure of families can leave the lives of their children miserable and living in a compromised way.

martatron23 on March 16, 2012:

This method has legitmate logic. In ancient times it was seen as a way to preserve bloodline energy running through a particular family, knowing that couples who mate also retain and effect the energy of those genetically tied to those couples (i.e family, future children)

This logic still exist today, however some families have altered this concept to support self gratification based on socially twisted definitions of "family honor" and/or personal insecurity issues.

Im married by the way but i would gladly marry my cousin. Lol

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on March 16, 2012:

Wow! This information is riviting! I do know an Indian couple that just moved to this state about a year ago - they have a high school aged daughter. I felt really bad for the daughter who wanted so badly to get an education in college and her father told me flat out that was not going to happen. She would be married in an arranged marriage. It is not my place to try to change this mans mind - but I know his daughter was miserable even thinking of it. I felt she should be allowed to chase her dream and be a doctor! I do not think she will be though - I think her dad will get his way. Sad for her!

I have never heard of anyone burning a bride! That happens there? A lot? That is so unbelievable! Excellent hub - so interesting and informative.

Levertis Steele from Southern Clime on March 16, 2012:

Before a woman enters a relationship with a man of another culture, she should become knowledgeable of the beliefs and pratices of his culture. If she knows that a man is of a culture that believes in arranged marriage, she should know that the man's marriage has already been arranged. If he does not talk about it, or has not resolved, or changed that arrangement, with the two families, she should listen to the warning bells. Many men of other cultures help themselves to unsuspecting women before marrying their often protected and virtuous brides. Women must protect themselves by using the good senses that God gave them. If a woman is not married to the man, she should deny him sex and other marital privileges, and she will soon discover the real man. Sex is for a husband, not a boyfriend. When women realize and practice that, the world will change like magic. A real man who loves a woman would not leave her because she chooses to save herself for marriage. The worst he could do would be to put her on a shelf and use other women until he marries her.

JerryJupiter from United Kingdom on March 16, 2012:

A world of stuff I'm not very knowledgeable about - but is very interesting - thanks for sharing this hub - I've learned something today. I'm not sure if I agree with arranged marriages, but I do know a couple who're happy as anything (now in their 70's) who were arranged.

Daniel Long from All Over on March 16, 2012:

interesting and useful hub as ever, anamika. in my opinion prearanged marriages should be banned because it inflicts pain an suffering to the affected.

cebutouristspot from Cebu on March 16, 2012:

I only knew of one girl who had an arrange marriage but the guys was rich and after a long time she learn to love him. Back then she receive a lot of pressure from family and relative specially about why she haven't conceived basically she caved in but luckily for her she was never mistreated nor experience domestic violence or so she say.

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