Friday, February 21, 2014

Why Arranged Marriages Last Longer Than Fake Love Marriage

A lot of people all over the world prefer arranged marriage to love marriage because it's known to last longer. Arranged marriage is where a third party, through matchmaking, brings two adults together who get to know each other, and this could lead to marriage.

Most marriages that started from matchmaking most times have a longer lifespan. This could be because the relationship is devoid of some constraints as both parties get to know their compatibility, lifestyle, taste, values, etc. It could also be because it has less courtship period as against love marriage.
“My belief is that when two parties have known each other for long before marriage, their post-marriage romance loses its spark. More so, two people who gradually fall in love after getting married tend to get the joy of having sown and reaped the relationship; so it lasts longer. I have seen more love marriages that end up in divorces than arranged ones. I think this could be the reason.” 
Jean Maria, a relationship counsellor, stated.

LEADERSHIP gathered that such marriages can survive the test of time, depending on the kind of arranged marriage as some of them come with conditions and constraints.

But to Rev Fr. Ken Maria Onuegbu, a canon lawyer and regional director, Redemptorist Community, Abuja, “there are two kinds of arranged marriage. While one could be arranged by parents of both parties under constraints and condition that either stands to lose the inheritance if he disobeys, the other could be arranged in a lighter note where both parties agree. Based on this, the latter lasts longer. So, a love-based arranged marriage tends to last longer.”

Fr. Onuegbu prefers the term, matchmaking or introduced marriage to arranged marriage, he believes that this kind of marriage lasts longer “because it is carefully selected as the third party becomes the central force who must have known both parties. Secondly, its courtship is usually short and it easily leads to proposal as both parties see each other as new. Thirdly, it lasts longer because they wouldn’t want to disappoint the person who introduced them to each other.”

People can get to meet through a friend, relative, pastor, priest, neighbour or colleagues. They tend to know a little about the other party through the third party. This must not lead to marriage, the end result is dependent upon their mutual agreement and acceptance to go into the union.

Mr. and Mrs. Bashorun have been married for over 37 years and are well-read. In their opinion, “none of them is fool-proof. It depends on the parties involved. In all relationships, there must be an entry point.”

According to the couple, “the entry point may be critical in terms of striking the compatibility note because the third party, from what he knows about this person, feels that the other could be compatible with this person. The entry point helps to fasten the error of mutual understanding. The third party here becomes the mediator who will in turn be appreciated after marriage with gifts. Therefore, intimate compatibility is the main reason for it to last longer.”

How then can these parties know that they are compatible without the third party? “The taste of the food is in the pudding. The two adults involved must get to know each other to know the things they can stand and accept from each other. For instance, some people divorce because they cannot stand the other person’s horrible snore,” the couple said.

Unlike arranged marriage, love-based marriage has the tendency to be short because both parties, in most cases, are infatuated rather than in love. They are already staying together as man and wife and there is no longer anything new about them. They are cohabiting and are unconsciously living in a family way; the only difference is that they are not wedded. Such tends to delay the proposal and loss of respect as the man feels like trying other girls, as variety is the spice of life.

A retired female public servant, 84, told LEADERSHIP that “this younger generation feels they know what love means. Most times, they are infatuated especially the so-called ‘love at first sight’ which could be devoid of mutual knowledge and understanding. In a love-based marriage, one has to distinguish between the physical appearances. In most cases, respect supersedes love in marriage,” the lady said.

Mrs Patricia Okhueleigbe is a medical nurse who is a testimony of an arranged marriage and just celebrated her 25th wedding anniversary last year. The marriage is blessed with five children. She feels maybe “the intervention of the third party during courtship could help both parties to know each other better. Also, because they both already know where they are going from there, they make up their minds easily.”

“I prayed about mine and it happened. As luck will have it, I am a living testimony of this because I met my husband through a supposed guardian while in school. Last year, we celebrated our 25 years in marriage and renewed our marriage vows,” Mrs Patricia said.

She also said that there must be God’s intervention for such marriages to thrive because it could be risky for one to go into a relationship with somebody known through another person. “It depends on the individuals’ maturity. You know men like variety. If you live with a man for years who has had carnal knowledge of you, he may end up leaving you for another person. I have seen two people who are happily married after courting for 12 years. You could also say there must be love in any relationship,” she added.

Lady Uche (LSJ), a professional marriage counsellor, said many fulfilled, lasting marriages have elements of arrangement in them as “no man is an island; so every responsible person is expected to interact with people – parents, friends, colleagues, etc, on the issue of marriage.”

She said, “when we talk about arranged marriage, one sees a very good preparation, taking into consideration many factors that affect family life before the couples are brought together. Experience is the best teacher. Most parents feel that they have good experience to arrange partners for their children.”

But Lady Uche said that most parents take time to critically choose partners for their children because “what the elder sees sitting, a child cannot see it even when on the highest mountain.”

This proverb goes well for any well arranged marriage guided in love.
Written by Nkiru Okpala and Abubakar Salihi

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