Being the part of a joint family, I have seen like thousands of arranged marriages so far. All of those weddings have been quite similar except for the actual reception part. The preparations, shopping, rituals and food are some aspects that people enjoy the most during Indian weddings. But, that’s not all that you get to witness during arranged marriages in India. There is lot more that people don’t either see or eventually avoid.
As I already mentioned, I have been attending and enjoying arranged marriages since my childhood. Now that I am all grown up, there are few things that I find rather unreasonable. They say that love marriages are more prone to end at a point as compared to arranged marriages. But, no one really mentions the struggle of people to survive in marriages arranged by the parents or any relatives.
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It’s not necessary that all arranged marriages end up with devastation and despair. There are few examples that predict the beauty of being with someone special for the entire life. Yet, every story hold the experience of some adjustments and truths. In this post, I will list out some of the aspects that reveal the dark realities of arranged marriages in India:
The ‘Good Wife’ Theory
We Indians have progressed a lot since independence but some of us are still struggling with narrow thinking. No matter how open minded some people are, they will always see things the way they want to. The facts sets completely absolute when it comes to the theory of the good wife.
As per these century old rules, virginity of a woman is more important than her consent for the wedding. Besides, she must fulfill the demands of her husband and in-laws. If she fails in doing so, she will be judged for her ‘harsh attitude’ towards her new family. Everyone expects the bride to adjust exactly according to her in-laws in some cases. In short, arranged marriages in India aren’t always fair to women.
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Beginning with Motives
It all begins with a motive that can be financial, social or anything. There are thousands of Bollywood movies where you can hear a line, ‘Enough with the friendship. Let’s become relatives now and make our children marry each other.’ It’s the conversation between the parents of the groom and the bride. In some cases, financial factors start the flame of an arranged marriage.
Last year, a friend of mine married a guy as per the will of her parents. Her parents wanted her to do so because of the prestige of the guy’s family in the society. Similarly, the agreed to marry her only for the political benefits. In fact, business marriages are widely common in different parts of the world. No matter how developed a country is, marriages for benefits can happen anywhere.
The Chain of Love Triangles
There is a video on YouTube by AIB about honest Indian weddings. Needless to say, the video is an amazing portrayal of numerous situations that people face during arranged marriages in India. A guy agrees to marry a girl for attractive gifts and cash. And after consummating the marriage with the girl, he thinks of getting back together with his girlfriend. Well, this is just an example that I have seen three times so far.
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Arranged marriages in India are the decisions that parents make for their children. Therefore, many cases of arranged marriages confront love triangles. In fact, the situation gets even worse in some cases and the couples end up with a brutally ugly divorce. This may not be a definite case in all weddings but most of the divorce cases in arranged marriages address this very similar issue.
Eternal Evil System of Dowry
I am going to elaborate an example that I previously mentioned in the section of love triangles. Whenever I talk about that case; I often get personal and I just can’t help it because the victim was a close friend. That weirdo actually married the girl because her father was gifting a luxury car and gold jewelry to his son-in-law. Now, the dowry-obsessed jerk is living with his girlfriend.
The story doesn’t ends here. India became an independent country decades ago and yet we are living in 19th century. Visit any Indian wedding and you will notice that groom’s family shows dominance on bride’s family. I have seen people saying, ’Ladki Wale Hain to Jhukna to Padega Hi’ (We are from bride’s side and we will have to agree to their opinions). The point is that people don’t even try to deal with the pathetic mentality. What they believe is to go with the flow.
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Extremity of Societal Pressure
I feel that no one really understands why these societies were formed originally? By this time, society is all about pressure, restrictions and controlling rules. If someone wants to analyze what societal pressure is, they can attend arranged marriages in India. I don’t mean to disrespect the society ethics. But there is no point of accepting eventual slavery for the sake of fake prestige.
Lack of Love and Intimacy
Not all arranged marriages are same and similarly, not all of them are successful either. Besides, you never know how your spouse feels about you unless you have an interactive courtship. Moreover, consummating arranged marriages is not an easy deal especially for women. We can all imagine how icky would it be to get intimate with someone you barely know. Some of you might be surprised to know that few decades ago, brides and grooms weren’t even allowed to see each other. Tough call!
Are you willing to come along some more interesting facts about arranged marriages in India? If yes, then you can go through this amazing article on Wikipedia.