Loading...
The Heart Beat The Heart Beat blog

Can We Learn From Arranged Marriages?

Some studies suggest arranged unions may work better.

By Kristin Wong Jul 9, 2012 3:47PM

Photo: Andersen Ross/Getty ImagesFor most of us living the Western world, where freedom and liberty are emphasized, the idea of an arranged marriage immediately seems unsavory. But one researcher seems to think there's something to be learned from those unions.

Robert Epstein is a Senior Research Psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology, and he's been studying couples in arranged marriages for the past eight years.

According to Epstein, those couples end up more in love with each other than couples in "love marriages." He explains that in non-arranged marriages, a couple's feelings dissipate as much as 50 percent after only 18 to 24 months of marriage. But based on his own findings as well as other studies, Epstein claims that arranged marriages are twice as strong as love marriages within the first ten years of the union.

"I’ve been studying this by interviewing people in arranged marriages, having them fill out certain forms and analyzing the data," Epstein told Family Fed. "People I’ve interviewed in arranged marriages laugh at us, because we’re so naïve about what happens over time in a relationship."

Epstein added that unrealistic expectations are often to blame for the failure of love marriages:

"The notion that we get from movies and fairy tales and novels say that love lasts forever, that the person you marry is the one, your soul mate and that you live happily ever after. We have the notion that the good feelings will continue. All those expectations are wrong."

While Epstein believes much can be learned from arranged marriages, he's not necessarily advocating their practice in the Western world:

"Groups like the Beatles and the Beach Boys brought pieces of eastern culture into western culture, wonderful techniques for creating a sense of well-being. We didn’t adopt the religion, the culture – we adopted the practices. I think we can learn from successful arranged marriages and adopt the practices."

It should be mentioned that Epstein is not referring to forced marriages. He clarified in an interview with the Algemeiner:

“In arranged marriages, there is a choice, and it is respected. The parents and the son or daughter make the decision together; everyone is interested in everyone else’s benefit.”

And the family's involvement is precisely why Epstein believes those marriages have an advantage.

"It means that there’s a third party involved, there are other perspectives in the matching process.” Epstein said. "We stumble across somebody in a bar on online, a poor basis for a marriage."

But of course, the idea of arranged marriage doesn't sit so well with some.

Fraidy Reiss is the founder of Unchained At Last, an organization that helps "women leave arranged marriages." Reiss told the Algemeiner that couples are often coerced into getting married at a young age, when they lack the "tools they need to make a proper decision."

“It’s a business transaction. It’s not about love," Reiss said. “The choice you make is not a choice at all. Its societal coercion.”

Epstein sees those flaws, but argues that "an arranged marriage is not perfect, but in some respects it’s better than a love marriage. I’m not saying we should practice it, but I do think we can learn from it."

And, generally speaking, what is there to learn?

"We can use our heads a little bit more, looking beyond just the physical characteristics, and then we can develop skills and an awareness that can help us not only keep love going but also make love deeper over time."

Photo: Andersen Ross/Getty Images

More on love & sex from MSN Living:
The 10 Worst First Date Ideas of All Time
The Most Memorable Star-Crossed Movie Couples
10 Rom-Coms That Won't Put Your Guy To Sleep

0Comments

love: friendships, dating, sex & marriage

  • Lies wives tell

    7 lies your wife tells you

    How to flag her little fibs. By Laura Tedesco

  • A new study on attraction may help explain why fashions change. AFP Photo, ©Serg Zastavkin, shutterstock.com // A new study on attraction may help explain why fashions change. AFP Photo, ©Serg Zastavkin, shutterstock.com (A new study on attraction may help explain why fashions change. AFP Photo, ©Serg Zastavkin, shutterstock.com)

    Being the odd one out may make you more attractive

    A new study on attraction may help explain why fashions change.

  • The Viceroy Anguilla

    Great getaways for a spring-summer honeymoon

    As a general rule, any island that offers great weather year-round is going to attract the most visitors in the winter (high season) when we’re all trying to escape the snow. Once summer rolls around, many islands see a sharp drop-off in tourism since many people have beach weather right in their own backyards.

  • Getty Images

    The top 10 complaints from unhappy husbands

    And how you can attack the issues together.

  • 25 wedding photo bombs

    25 wedding photo bombs

    A wedding is an exceptionally special day. Sometimes, an opportune photo flub makes the occasion even more memorable. Here are 25 awesome wedding photo bombs.

  • He takes you on nondrinking dates.

    7 signs he’s getting serious about you

    Somewhere between the first few butterfly-inducing dates and the committed-for-life stage, there’s the period of wondering if you’re both on the same page about how serious you feel about a future together. If you’re not quite at the point of "that talk" but you’re looking for a few clues you’re heading in that direction, here are some signs he’s in it for the long haul as your relationship progresses.

  • 'Have you tried online dating?'

    15 things single people are tired of hearing

    What’s that sound? It’s white noise blocking out the well-meaning person proclaiming groundbreaking news about where you can meet someone, asking why you’re still single, or bugging you about when you’re getting married already. Don’t be that person. Here are 15 annoying things all single people don’t want to hear.

  • 1. New Hair Color

    11 things to avoid the week before your wedding

    With just a few days left before the big day, you already have a mile-long checklist of to-dos—now meet the don’ts! From impromptu skin treatments to all-night movie marathons, here are 11 things to avoid at all costs.

  • 'It’s a Wonderful Life'

    13 movie romances we can learn from

    A new study shows that watching and discussing romantic films can drastically reduce your chance of divorce. These flicks more than fit the bill.

  • About you and someone else

    10 things he’ll never forget you said

    These seemingly innocent phrases still have the power to wound… big time.

  • He or she is the first one you want to tell

    6 signs your marriage will last a lifetime

    Making "I do" last forever is one of the biggest challenges you'll ever face—and it's normal to worry about how you'll do it. But, if your connection involves any of these things, rest assured that you're in it for the long run.

  • Simone Becchetti, Getty Images // Simone Becchetti, Getty Images (Simone Becchetti, Getty Images)

    Can you stay together after a marital affair?

    Ultimately, as hard as it may seem at the beginning, a marital affair can be a turning point.

buzzing now on msn living
Loading...
The Heart Beat is a Great Dating Blogs Winner The Heart Beat is a Great Dating Blogs Winner
relationship videos
editor's picks
Loading...
the heart beat
Loading...