Love

5 anonymous people open up about what it's really like to be in an arranged marriage

Whatever I feel for him is what love is to me.

By Hannah Smothers
arranged marriage

In the 'traditional' order of things, This is how a marriage happens: You meet someone, you date, you get engaged, you get married. But of course this isn’t how it works for everyone. According to a 2009 statistic from ABC News, about 60 percent of all marriages worldwide are arranged — or the couple is set up by family to marry each other, and often don't meet long before their wedding day.

A recent Ask Reddit thread posed the question to people who are actually in arranged marriages themselves: What's it really like to be married to someone you didn't know for years, or even months, before committing for life?

1. "I'm so grateful to my father for finding this man for me."

"I'm American born, but balanced that line between Indian and American. For American boys, I was too Indian. For Indian boys, I was too American. Never officially dated and studied a lot. 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. My father sent me a random profile and said he wanted me to look at it. I was not at all interested. I pretended to be my dad and sent and email to his dad. His dad (who ended up being him) responded to my dad (me) that we should talk.

I [sent] an email to the guy and [waited] to hear back. A month goes by and I get an email on the first of the new year, in 2010. It's him. He wanted to start the year off with me. We talk on email for a bit. Then, the phone. Visited in February. Married in March. We have a six-year-old son, and he and my husband are my world. So, quasi arranged. I'm so grateful to my father for finding this man for me." —extremely_apathetic

2. "Whatever I feel for him is what love is to me"

"Met my husband on the 9th, agreed to marry him on the 15th, and were wed on the 20th. Literally said about two words to each other, and that was with five members of his family present. Been together 13 plus years. It had its ups and downs, like I imagine any marriage would- arranged or not. We are very good together. He tries to makes me happy in any way he can.

We are very good friends and I love him, of course. I haven't had any experience with any other relationships so whatever I feel for him is what love is to me!" —Kittiesandunicorns

3. "Nothing is 100 percent perfect, we argue from time to time like any other couple."

"[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, [and] 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.

I moved to the United States [for college], and upon graduation I accepted a job at Intel. I [visited] India often. My wife-to-be was [in college] at Delhi University.

I moved to a better-paying [job]. At this time, [our families] broached the idea of us getting married. I barely [remembered] my wife-to-be, having only met her that one time several years ago. We met in India and started 'dating.' After a year, we got married. We knew each other relatively well at this point. Soon afterwards, she joined me in the States. I [worked] for the next few years until we had our first child.

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

4. " 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 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, this has worked out better. I had many social issues and a 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, how could this ever work? 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 — I just got a residency and I tend to think that is due to the luck brought to me by her." —Drdontlittle

5. "I am happy with the man I married but I am not happy with the way it happened."

"My marriage was sorta against my wishes. I just wanted to finish college first. In my community, girls get married between 18-21 and guys between 24-30. I was already 22 and my parents were freaking out. I agreed to engagement but not the wedding until I [finished my] fifth year of dental college (I was in second year).

I [came] home for Christmas vacation and my parents [didn't] let me go back. I threatened to tell my now-husband and his family that I was being forced to marry. I never went back to college. I texted with SO for few months. The first time I saw him was at the engagement. Technically it was nikah, which meant we were married legally and religiously, but is treated as engagement. The wedding reception happened a year later after which we lived as husband and wife.

I am happy with the man I married but I am not happy with the way it happened. We are 1.5 years into our marriage now. At first everything was silently a compromise for me, but now I love him and can't imagine being married to anyone else." —NinjaPyjama

Via: Cosmopolitan US

  • Author: Hannah Smothers