People In Arranged Marriages Open Up To Share What Their Experience Has Been Like.
1. Hi my first marriage was arranged-ish my husband family made an arrangement with my father when I was 12 that I would marry their middle son who was two years older then me when I was 18 and had finished school. I knew him already his sister was my best friend and he was friends with my brothers. We never talked much till we made our engagement official and he had paid me my Mahr and in the about six months between our engagement and our wedding we hung out and went on "dates" talked on the phone got to know each other personally. I grew to like him a lot I wouldn't go so far as to say that I loved him. I grew to love him eventually and he was a very nice caring sweet guy and treated me well. He supported me going to university. We had a good life together we loved traveling together we both loved photography. We had been talking about having kids when I was finished with university.We weren't married very long only two years before he died in a car accident. I think we could have made things work with more time.
Sex was fine we were both virgins when got married I tried doing what I saw in porn but it didn't work out to well but like all things we got better with practice.
2. Like a fool I opted for an arranged marriage on the rebound. The girl I was originally seeing was ludicrous. But something strange happens when you get rejected, more so than the hurt...You become incapable of making good decisions.
Anyhow, was introduced to a girl. She had different interests, a different outlook on life and didn't take to kindly to my casual humor. So like an idiot I got engaged to her. Over the course of the engagement I was really busy with work so didn't see her at all. Then came the marriage. It was surreal. There I was sitting on stage with a girl I hardly knew, getting married!
Fast forward to the honeymoon. We were like awkward strangers. We actually never had sex on our honeymoon. Was the sex awkward? You're damn right it was.
Fast forward 6 years later and we have a child. Did I make the right decision? If I wasn't a father I'd leave tomorrow. I wouldn't let my parents choose my socks, but I let them choose my 'life partner' (the loser that I am). So why am I sticking around? To cut a long story short, I want my child to do well in life, so am living an act.
Do I have regrets? Don't we all?
Am I a good husband? I never argue, never complain and put on a smiling face.
Have I messed my life up? Not totally, I earn quite a lot. And unlike the BS you hear in the movies, money gives you great options in life, and I try to enjoy as much of it as possible.
3. My parents and aunt arranged a marriage for me and I traveled back to my country, met her once before the marriage. First night she was really shy and kept hiding under the blanket and pulling it away from me while giggling, nothing happened that night, then she got a call the next day from her mother and they kept talking for half an hour.
It happened then later that night when we were in bed innocently watching TV, then she looked at me and said:
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maybe the first complete sentence: "I don't know what I'm supposed to do" in a nervous voice. So I laughed and played it funny, then started gently kissing, hugging, and joked a bit then two hours later we are doing it and now I've two kids from her and she turned 26 last month.
Arranged isn't as bad as it sounds, but back in my place it's normal to have arranged marriages and even marriages without seeing the bride. Mine was great considering there are parents who wait outside the room to her the daughter orgasm to make sure she's virgin.
4. I have an amazing story regarding this.
This all happened April last year, and it is 100% true. My wife is from a Muslim country originally but her family is from the capital and quite modern. She has relatives however from a smaller village who are not quite as modern. So one of her second cousins (son of dads cousin) wants to get married. His mom interviews a few girls but it took a while. Some of the girls she didnt like because they werent traditional enough, and some of the girls families didnt want because the guys family was too strict, even for a small village (things like the girl having to be muslim, must wear hijab, pray 5 times a day, the whole ordeal).
Finally they find a girl who suits him, so they organize the wedding for like 2 weeks after.
So the wedding happens and it ends early and everyone goes home to rest and sleep. My wife and his family (parents and sister) go to the hotel which is an hour away.
Then my wifes dad gets a call. I should say before that my wifes dad is very well considered in his extended family because he has a very good job in the center and works with high profile people, basically a very respectable man. It was maybe 1am and he gets a call from his older sister saying that he needs to go back to the village immediately, there is an emergency. Him expecting it to be about money (he gets asked for money quite often) demands to know what is going on. So here is fun part.
The groom was a very traditional muslim man. He had never had a date, never gone out with a girl, and followed his religion in a very strict way. He had barely talked to women in the past. The bride has followed a similar path. So they finish the ceremony, they go to the room, and they realize they have absolutely no idea how to proceed. Like these people did not know how to have sex. They had never watched a porn film, they never had sex education, no one thought to tell them what they would have to do in bed. They are there wondering what to do now, so they call this aunt who is the eldest of the family to tell them what to do. But the aunt feels that a woman cannot possibly describe to a man how to have sex, that is so inappropriate, so instead she calls her younger brother (my father-in-law). My FIL doesnt want to hear about that crap, he is one hour away and it is really barely any of his business, it is late and he works the next day. Also there must be many others more suitable for that kind of thing. At this point my wife and her mom and sister are cracking up because they cannot believe this is happening on 2013, and the thing is no one expected this, otherwise they would have taken precautions.
So my FIL tells them to try to find someone else and if not he will go, but thankfully they contact one of the guests who is a mullah (not sure I spelled that right), like a religious figure, who agrees to go and explain to the guy what to do with his wife so they can consummate the marriage. But it doesnt end there.
Like a week later my wife comes and tells me that apparently something happened, because the next days the bride was seen walking funny, and apparently they had to contact a gynecologist because something had happened during the wedding night that actually hurt the poor girl. We never got to know what was it that he did (or they tried) that went wrong, or the outcome after. Keep in mind this is really embarrassing for them so they tried to keep it as low as possible, we only found out because they called my FIL first to try to go talk to the guy.
I doubt this happens in many arranged marriages, but hey, it happened in at least once.
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5. My parents' marriage was arranged. My maternal grandfather (major general in the Indian Army) served under my paternal great-grandfather (Chief of Army Staff). So the families had known each other for quite some time, and the decision was made by both sets of grandparents when my mother and father were both very young. Neither of them were told of the arrangement until both were in their 20s. The parents "introduced" them to each other, and they dated for a year.
Well, they ended up marrying and still love each other very much 24 years later. So that's something :)
6. My marriage was a traditional, arranged Islamic marriage. I'm 34 years old was married 8 years ago to my Amazing wife.
She was the sister of a friend. I told my friend I wanted to get married and after asking me what I wanted in a wife he suggested another friends sister.
I first went to meet with her father, we spoke about marriage and what I was looking for etc. He told me about his daughter and what she was like etc. Afterwards we had dinner, some tea then everyone left and I was introduced to my wife.
We spent about 30 minutes talking together which was difficult because she didn't speak any English and I didn't speak much Arabic at the time. But everything went very well and then I was asked... "Do you want her" I said yes, and we were engaged.
We met a couple days later for about 30 minutes then I left the country for work. I didn't see or speak to her for more than a year after that ( was working double shifts to get the Dowry, and wedding money ready.)
I know it sounds strange but in that year I developed a love for my wife I can't explain. I knew so little about her but we just clicked. I spent that year away planning the perfect wedding for her and buying her gifts and things I thought she would like.
I returned after a year and did a Casanova. (I wasn't permitted to see her until we signed the marriage contract. ) I sent flowers to her house with a friend, then I sent her a total of a dozen gifts every couple hours. Gold, perfumes, more gold, lots more gold, and some other romantic kinda things. I saved the diamond ring for last.
The day came for the Akht al nikkah (The traditional Islamic ceremony) which is basically more of an engagement than a marriage because you do not consummate the marriage but you are then freely permitted to be together to talk etc. I signed the papers, she signed the papers the Sheikh ( religious leader ) said congrats your married and I was allowed to go inside and see her.
She was dressed up all awesome and beautiful I came in and put the diamond on her finger and kissed her hand much to the surprise of her family who gave a bunch of ooohs and ahhhs and laughs from her sisters.
We then were able to spend some quality time together for the first time but still under careful watch by the family. (No closed doors etc) This is basically the get to know you phase so sexual contact is not allowed in case things don't work out there is an easy out and she has not been compromised.
It was great, she had learned some English and My Arabic was significantly better. We spent as much time together as possible and were properly married and consummated the marriage about 2 weeks later.
It's been 8 years now we are still very happily married. It hasn't been easy there have been a LOT of difficulties along the way but somehow we have both grown up a lot.
8 years later and I love her more than I ever have. We have 4 children together and are planing on more. She's an amazing woman and I am more than lucky to have met her.
I am away for work and I get messages like this from her every single day. I left the grammatical errors on purpose. English is not her first language as I said but she does well now.
"Harcesis, I love you and respect you so much and I hope to God that makes me a loyal wife to you. You are all my life and sometimes strange things happen that make me know that I love you and respect you and I want to accept God meant my love and loyalty to you."
:) Yes, I'm bragging a little but I love my wife and am so very lucky and happy to have her!
So, that's how my arranged marriage went :)
7. Not a lot of people know that I'm in an arranged marriage. Yep, my wife was chosen for me from before I was really cognizant of what love was all about. My family, well, I don't want to give too much away, there's a certain institution involved that gets really bent out of shape when stuff like this gets out on the Internet, but my folks were in deep. My wife's actually a few years younger than I am, so it's possible that we were arranged to be married before I was even born. But I'm not really sure, because nobody talks about it anymore.
But, and this is the crazy part here: (Continued)
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But, and this is the crazy part here: it actually wound up totally working out. Although you wouldn't have thought it would have if you were in my shoes about ten years ago. When I was a little kid, I just kind of grew up assuming that I'd get married when I was eighteen to my prearranged wife, someone I may or may not have known from the community. I wasn't allowed to watch any regular TV shows or questionable pop culture stuff, so -and you hear this from a lot of people in my situation- nothing really struck me as out of the ordinary.
So on my eighteenth birthday, I wake up, my parents tell me to come downstairs, and there's this girl ... look, I don't want to get mean here. I mean, if I say she was ugly, and then I describe her, I don't want anybody out there on the Internet to read this and think, "Oh my God, I look just like how he's describing this girl. I must be ugly too," because that's crazy. Who's to say what's pretty and what's ugly? Isn't it all about perspective, beauty in the eye of the something or other?
But, from my eighteen year old perspective anyway, this girl was not attractive. "Son," my dad stood there, beaming, "Meet your fiancee, Shelly." And I was automatically put off, I had this crazy anxiety like I'd never experienced before. But I saw my parents standing there, they were happy, I was a good kid, I never bucked the system of anything, and so I smiled too, because, that's what I did, I always tried to be a good kid and make my parents happy. That's what this life was, and I was just going along with it.
"Well son," my dad continued, "Don't you want to say hi?" And I did, I said a bunch of really awkward hellos, I did this weird handshake that almost morphed into a weird hug, but she kind of recoiled, and I didn't get much more aggressive than attempting a very lukewarm embrace. But I smiled.
"So this is OK with you?" my dad asked, "You're happy with your new fiancee?" And I gushed, "Yes dad, I'm really happy, I can't wait to get married," stuff like that.
My dad looked at my mom, and my dad said, "Phew, all right, good job, he passed." They both looked really relieved. "You can go Shelly."
And Shelly left. "Mom? Dad?" I asked, "What's going on?"
"Well son, your mother and I were concerned about your commitment to our way of life. Sure, you say you're into this whole arranged marriage business, and maybe if we brought you down here to meet someone a little more ..." again, I hate to say ugly, but she was ugly.
My mom picked up, "It's just that, well, seeing you ready to marry that other girl, your father and are both very convinced of your convictions."
"So if I'm not going to marry her, than who?"
And that's when they brought out Janice, my wife. She was so beautiful. And I was like, YES! That's what I'm talking about!
And we got married, and it was great. Hell yeah, arranged marriage, I'm totally pro arranged marriages!
8. Had an arranged marriage when I turned 28.
I grew up in the US and got married to a girl from back home (Pakistan). I'd had girlfriends before but never had sex.
I had a lot of anxiety about my first sexual encounter but I was pretty confident going in because I figured my wife was this good girl from back home who was just overwhelmed right now with all these changes and the new scenery (she came here from Pakistan).
I bought the most regular ass condoms and no lube. We made out for a while but then when I went to do the deed... (Continued)
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it would just not go in. I got frustrated and just gave up, blueballs'd like hell. I felt like such a failure. But, she told me not to worry about it and helped me in...other ways. I didn't actually do the deed till like the 4th or 5th attempt (several days later). But she was so sweet and never made me feel uncomfortable at all, despite how overwhelming the situation of being in a new country and leaving behind her family and friends was for her.
Still happily married after 12 years with 3 beautiful kids.
9. My parents are in an arranged marriage. They've been together for over 30 years. They were both the youngest of large rural Indian families, and their parents married them off so that they could move on with their own lives. They had never met beforehand. They came to America together, without really knowing English and only having a few hundred Rupees between the two of them. They aren't very affectionate with each other when other people are around, but I know they love each other. It didn't start out that way. They learned.
It's definitely shaped my perspective on love. In America people definitely get into relationships for the 'passion'. You can't blame them really, because they've been sold on the fairytale since they were a child. Their partner is supposed to complete them and all this other stuff. When the passion dies, most people here seem to just move on. I can understand this if you're young and inexperienced. It's okay to make mistakes in relationships. But nowadays this seems to be the case even when people are married. They just get 'bored' in the relationship or whatever so they quit.
That whole mindset is SO messed up to me. A relationship, especially a committed, monogamous one isn't ultimately about you. It isn't even really about your partner. It's about the whole picture, kids, in-laws, cousins, everything. It's a union of two families. In Asian cultures, divorce doesn't just speak to the toxicity of the relationship between the husband and wife, but also reflects poorly upon the parents and children involved as well. People don't get divorces on the other side of the world because it's just not done. It's seen as an incredibly selfish thing to do.
If there's one thing I've learned about relationships from growing up in an arranged household, it's that real relationships are primarily based around sacrifice.
The break down of marriage as an institution will have profound effects on the social fabric of America. I used to work in the inner city, and I can go on at length about the importance of a whole household on a child's development. If you take a look at the problems the inner city community is facing right now you'll see a lot of problems centered around fractured households. This new generation of Americans are living in an era where 50% of marriages end in divorce. Gay, straight, bi, whatever if you're having kids, they deserve to be raised by both parents. The disintegration of marriage isn't just the disintegration of traditional views of marriage, it's the disintegration of family.
In my opinion, all this helps prove that the West isn't totally right when it comes to its views on relationships either. Choice should be a part of the process, but here in America it's viewed as almost the entirety of the process. On the other side of the world it's viewed as merely the first step. The reality is we're actually more (Continued)
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compatible with other people than we think. We aren't all special snowflakes, and if we are that may not necessarily be a good thing. It's nice to date someone that likes Woody Allen or Miles Davis too but at the end of the day it's much more important to date someone that's thoughtful and considerate as opposed to thoughtless and self-centered.
I'm not getting an arranged marriage. I'd like to be able to meet a girl at a bar or on the street somewhere and have her eventually become my wife. But I'd also like that other person to understand the importance of sacrifice and commitment. I want the steady slow-burn of a stable relationship as opposed to the fiery passionate stuff that burns out and leaves you emotionally spent.
10. I am currently in a marriage that would be considered arranged. In my case, I mentioned to my parents that I liked the girl, and they proceeded with everything else. I was pretty involved and know that my wife was OK with the proposal, so there was nothing forced about it. I am born and raised in the US, my wife was born and raised overseas and moved here after we were married. We are going on our 11th year and have 3 wonderful children. Despite ups and downs, I feel that we are very happy.
My wife is absolutely beautiful to me and always stands out to me no matter where we are, and is THE single most nicest and most comforting person I have ever met. From this union we have become a solid rock to many people in our family and definitely give the impression of a happy loving couple in otherwise chaotic and turbulent relationships of our friends / family around us. I will admit that the first 3yrs, despite having a child, it was a little weird, but kind of in a positive way looking back. We always spoke to each other respectfully, and then it slowly broke away into more casual speaking. At this stage, I couldn't imagine anyone else as my wife, and feel that we were meant to be - no matter how we came to be together.