People In Arranged Marriages Reveal What Their Experience Has Been Like

We've all heard that in many parts of the world arranged marriages are the norm but rarely ever heard stories from the folks who are actually in arranged marriages.

The following Ask Redditors shared their marriage stories (and awkward first sexual encounters) below.

For more stories, take a look at the original source threads at the end of the article. 

I'm American born, but balanced that line between Indian and American culture. For American boys, I was too Indian. For Indian boys, I was too American. I never officially dated anyone and spent most of my time studying. I went through countless meetings with boys from Indian matrimonial sites and never clicked with anyone. As I reached my 30s, the pressure started to mount.

I had pretty much given up on finding someone and had grown content with my work and small group of friends. My father sent me a random profile and said he wanted me to look at it. I was not at all interested. So, I pretended to be my dad and sent an email to his dad. His dad (who ended up being him) responded to my dad (me) that we should talk.

So, I send an email to the guy and waited to hear back. A month goes by and I'm like ok, screw you then. Then, I get an email on the first of the new year in 2010. It was him. He wanted to start the year off with me. We talked via email for a bit. Then, the phone. He visited in February and we were married in March. 

We have a 6-year-old so, and he and my husband are my world. So, it was a quasi arranged. And, I'm so grateful to my father for finding this man for me.


This was a throwaway because I'm a loser. Like a fool, I opted for an arranged marriage on the rebound. The girl I was originally seeing was out of her mind. But something strange happens when you get rejected, more so than the become incapable of making good decisions.

Anyhow, I 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 the dense person that I am, I got engaged to her. Over the course of the engagement I was really busy with work so I 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! Most of the people at the wedding were my parents friends etc, I hardly knew anyone there!

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 screwed my life up? Not totally, I earn quite a lot. And unlike the b.s you hear in the movies, money gives you great options in life, and I try to enjoy as much of it as possible.


I met my husband on the 9th, agreed to marry him on the 15th, and were wed on the 20th. 

We literally said about two words to each other, and that was with five members of his family present. We've been together for over 13 years. 

Our marriage has had its ups and downs, like I imagine any marriage would- arranged or not. But for the most part, we are very good together. He tries to makes me happy in any way that he can.


I am 27 my wife is 26. We are both doctors and we had an arranged marriage. I may be biased but I think at least for me, that this has worked out better.

I had many social issues and really low self worth. I got matched to a really lively girl. I panicked when it started and I nearly ended the engagement because I thought we were so different that it would never work out. What I was not expecting was how much I would fall in love with her. 

She awakened my sleeping 'lively' side. She brings joy and fun to my life to the extent that I get depressed if I don't see her face in the morning. I love her totally. If I had been left to my own devices I would never have thought myself good enough for her. Now our life is looking up, as I just got a residency and I tend to think that is due to the luck she brings me.


My marriage was arranged. I'll give a brief rundown of my 'courtship':

I first met my wife-to-be in Chandigarh, India. My grandfather and her father were both in the army and had been posted there, so our respective families had a get-together. This was right after I had graduated college (she was still in high school). I don't remember much, we both said 'hi' to each other but that's about it. Around this time our families started the 'process', for lack of a better term.

Soon after I moved to the United States to get my masters' degree in computer science. I studied in the States for two years, and upon graduation I accepted a job offer at Intel. I worked there for a few years, and would visit India often. By now my wife-to-be was studying at Indraprastha college, Delhi University.

After working at Intel for a while, I moved to a better-paying position at IBM. At this time, my family and her family broached the idea of us getting married. By this point I barely remember my wife-to-be, having only met her that one time several years ago. 

We meet in India, and at that point we started 'dating'. She had graduated from Delhi University and was planning to apply to a Ph.D program

After a year of dating (that's essentially what it was), we got married in Telangana (both of us were Andhras). We knew each other relatively well at this point. Soon afterwards, she joined me in the States, having been accepted into a Ph.D program. I continued to work for the next few years until we had our first child.

We've been married for close to twenty years now. Both of us are very happy in our marriage. Obviously nothing is 100% perfect, we argue from time to time like any other couple. But she's been a supportive, wonderful companion for all of these years and I like to think, I've been the same for her.


My first marriage was arranged-ish. My husband's 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 already knew him, 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 (mandatory payment). In the next six months between our engagement and our wedding we hung out and went on "dates", talked on the phone and got to know each other on a personal level. 

I grew to like him a lot but 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 that treated me well. He supported me and helped me go to university. We had a good life together - we loved traveling and we both loved photography. We talked 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.


My parents arranged an engagement with one of their friend's daughters.

It was an international arrangement so it was a pretty complicated state of affairs with a lot of paperwork. So we got to know each other over a year while the paperwork was getting done.

All in all it's been pretty great, definitely not without the typical relationship issues. What's really nice about it though is that our whole family is approving of the relationship so there's a lot of support all around.


It's like playing Yu-Gi-Oh with a store deck you got for Christmas, sometimes the cards don't seem very good but you learn to work with them and find their strengths.


I'm 26 and coming up on 3 years of marriage very soon. Not really sure if I had an "arranged" marriage per say, I think a more appropriate term would be "match-making." 

My family and my husband's family had been friends for almost 10 years, but because both of our families are of the conservative-Muslim type we never met or spoke to each other. When his dad and my dad thought we might make a good couple, we spoke to each other over Skype (with parental supervision) twice because my husband was attending an out of state university. Before I knew it, our parents picked a date for an official engagement and we got married 6 months later. Like all marriages, we have our ups and downs but are generally happy and in love.

In the beginning it was weird because I wasn't in love with him. I liked him well enough and I knew that I would fall in love with him given time. It was disconcerting to be vulnerable and have sex with someone I hardly knew. It's hard to explain, but I guess what I'm trying to say is that emotionally I wasn't ready to be intimate with my husband but obviously hormones.

I wouldn't change a thing about how I got married because whatever happened, it's led to the beautiful, supportive, and loving relationship we have today.


My parents and aunt arranged a marriage for me and I traveled back to my country and 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 and nothing happened that night. Then she got a call the next day from her mother and they kept talking for half an hour.

We were intimate later that night when we were in bed innocently watching TV, then she looked at me and said (which was maybe her 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 marriages aren't as as they sound, but back in my country 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 hear their daughter orgasm to make sure she's virgin.


I dad an arranged marriage when I turned 28.

I grew up in the U.S and got married to a girl from back home in 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 as overwhelmed right now with all these changes and the new scenery (she came here from Pakistan).

I bought the most regular condoms and no lube. We made out for a while but then when I went to do the deed... 

it would just not go in.

I got frustrated and just gave up. 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.


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 okay with the proposal, so there was nothing forced about it. 

I am born and raised in the U.S and 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 and family around us. 

I will admit that the first 3 years, despite having a child, 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.


Sources 1, 2

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