Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Right to Choice of Spouse

In many cultures, marriage is family-arranged:
southeast Asian countries, such as India and Pakistan,
the Mideast, and some African countries.
Choice is based on a long list of factors:
religion,
wealth,
vocation,
family reputation,
city of residence,
age,
language,
diet,
and even horoscope.
Importance is placed on carefully thinking and planning this decision.
It is considered an act of love by the family.
The couple meets and,
 if either disagrees with the union,
 it is usually not forced.
Mutual consent is important; there is a choice.
The idea is based on cultural and family tradition---
to think with your head and not your heart.
Arranged marriage is usually not forced  marriage,
where there is no choice.


Marriage à-la-mode : The Marriage Contract  (1743)
painting, William Hogarth, National Gallery, London

In the U.S., European countries, and many other countries,
choice of spouse remains with the individual.
The idea is based on romantic love---
to think with your heart and not your head.

Author Reva Seth combines the best of both in her 2008 book,
Seth's advice is spouse choice based on romantic love mixed with
the  success of "planned thought" of the arranged marriage model.
Arranged marriages have a shockingly low 5-7% divorce rate,
versus the U.S. non-arranged marriage average of 50%.

53 comments:

Anonymous said...

The right to spouse should be something that is taken to practice everywhere. We use our heads 24/7, for once we should use our hearts. Our hearts is the only thing that can lead us to happiness when it comes to choosing a spouse. Marriages would be more difficult if we used our heads or had arranged marriages. Much more adultry would be committed if our spouse was chosing for us. At least if we could be with the one who you really love we would have less divorces, much more nice people, and less bitter and angry individuals.

f.c.

michelle said...

I am not a big fan of marriage, but when the right one comes along, why not follow your heart, instead of your head? most people, like myself,always say: stupid follows the heart, smart follows the head- be smart.. but sometimes we have t be "stupid" bcause if we never follow are hearts we would nevr take risks, and make choices that will change your life for the better. to me, the right to choose a spouce is having the choice to choose someone who you know that will work with you in the marriage or relationship. so be stupid. (:

michelle said...

OUR* -__- -michelle

Anonymous said...

I believe, that every individual has this right. Even though,now days the people is choosing to live together for some time to know each other well enough what is to live and how they will manage a marriage situation of sharing a family style of living.

Anonymous said...

I believe everyone has the right to choose a spouse. I dont like the fact that in some countries they choose a spouse for them. If you are in love and you want to spend the rest of your life with your significant other then by all means do it.

wimberly.rhonda said...

It is unthinkable that I would consider marriage to someone because of family tradition. I think marriage has to do with the heart. People should have the right to choose their spouse.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the previous posts, but I have personally known couples who have been in arranged marriages for over 30 years and are still going strong. Although divorce is not an option for these couples, they genuinely seem happy and enjoy each others company.
-Nick-

Espy said...

Nowadays, divorce rates are ridiculous. Quite honestly, it's because people don't plan their lives in advance. They just follow their heart. People getting married at age 20 because they met in Vegas and "fell in love" is beyond stupid. Another example is when a couple gets married and none of the two have a clue what they are going to do with their lives professionally. If I were to get a nickel whenever I would hear "he's the one"from one of my girl friends, I'd be a rich man right now. They have either broken off their engagement or gotten divorced within two years of their marriage. To have a successful marriage, I believe both the heart and the mind have to be working together.

Anonymous said...

I believe, that every individual has this particular right. Even though, the people is choosing to live together for some time to know
each other well enough to choose later a marriage
proposal, to share a family style of living.
Ismael DelValle

deltoroclaudia46 said...

I disagree with family arranged marriages. For the reason that we all have the right to fall in love with who we want and choose who we want to live the rest of our own lives with. I do not think that anyone can choose for you who you love and want to spend life with. We all have the right to choose our own spouse.

Anonymous said...

Everyone should have the right to choose his/her spouse. Although, as stated above, few people are not able to practice that right because of religion,wealth, ect.
Gaby R.

Anonymous said...

I believe that everyone has the right to choose their spouse however,I do not find it shocking that arranged marriages have a lower divorce rate compared to that of non-arranged marriages in the U.S. This is because I think many people sometimes get married too quickly without developing a good relationship. In an arranged marriage the family can guide the individual. I also agree that a mutual consent is important in a marriage. -v.p.

Anonymous said...

I believe that everyone has the right to choose their own spouse. The divorce rate between arranged marriages and U.S. marriages is pretty crazy. You would think that because you fall in love with someone it would be a forever kind of love. Choosing your spouse should be based on love but also based on your background. Two people should be compatible with religion, culture, wealth, family interactions with each other, and etc. It is really hard to be with a person if there is going to be constant conflicts about issues of that type. I agree with the author Reva Seth when she combines the choice of spouse based on love mixed with success of “planned thought”. To have a successful marriage there has to be compatibility in order for it to work. People imagine themselves with that one person until the day they die. There should be a lot of thought and feeling if anyone decides to take that kind of step.
-Shivani

Anonymous said...

I think you are much more likely to have a loving relationship by using your heart, mind, and instincts together. Family obligation, for whatever reason, should not be the determining factor in who you spend the rest of your life with because then it is not really your life anymore. While theoretically there may be a "choice" in arranged marriage, the family pressure and consequences of not doing what is expected can obliterate any real choice.
Gabe

Anonymous said...

it will probably be the wrong choice anyway,
i think i heard somewhere that arranged marriages had lower divorce rates than chosen ones, which just shows that parents know best.

not in all cases though

JB

Luz Mery said...

I believe we should have the right to choose our spouse. No family member or religious group should have to make that choice for us. I think we should choose the spouse with our heart and also be smart enough to make the right decision. Always balance out both do not let your heart make final decisions.

Anonymous said...

Everyone should have the right to choose his or her spouse. Arranged marriages are not necessarily a bad idea; the divorce rate is low because the family on both sides is there to support the couple. Furthermore, they put the entire thing together. It is admirable to find true love or your own path to true love but sometimes others see the negative characteristic in a person that we cannot see because of infatuation. Gary Norris

Anonymous said...

I believe that everyone should have the right to choose their spouse for many reasons. For example, only you know what you are expecting out of the person and only you know what will make you happy. Unfortunately, not everyone can satisfy the other’s person’s needs. I understand that an arranged marriage is done out of love but I would have to disagree with it. Because not only does love take place to get married but you need to understand the other person, know what you like and what you don’t about them, and see if you are compatible. In top of all of these things, you need to be physically attracted to the person as well. Many times, we follow our heart and not use or mind, but I believe that if we use both we can have a successful marriage without anyone trying to marry two strangers.
MelB

luisa said...

Arranged marriages will be a tough tradition to break. Parents want what is best for their children and that includes what kind of person they marry. But in finding love the heart is superior to what the mind suggests. People do not choose who they fall in love with, and the right to choose your spouse may not agree with what the heart wants. Even though the divorce rates among arranged marriages are incredibly low compared to consented ones, spending the rest of your life with someone should not depend on who your parents find suitable.

Aimara said...

I think that arranged marriages are wrong. Everyone has the right to choose what they want to do with their lives, and they should get to choose who they want to share their life with.

Aimara Ors

Anonymous said...

It’s very hard to have an opinion on these cultural practices if we do not know them well. I think arrange marriages can be accepted as long as both partners are happy, respect each other and learn to love and value their marriages. Divorce rate is scarily high these days so I think we also have to love more with our heads and not only with our hearts. GS

Rosa F. said...

Maybe it has to do with the fact that I was raised in the U.S., but I prefer romantic love to "planned thought" any day. We may have a 50% divorce rate, but at least our couples consist of people who are crazy about each other. I can't picture marrying most of my guy friends, much less a stranger. I don't know how they do it. So yes, I do believe we should have this right. :) --Rosa F.

Anonymous said...

Everybody should have the right to choice of spouse because is a part of our right to freedom.

Claudia B.

Anonymous said...

I believe that everyone should be able to choose who they would like to marry. Only thing is that with the current percentage of marriages that end up in divorce, it doesn't look like many are making the best decisions.

Eddie M.

Renata said...

Even though some cultures and religions don't let people choose their spouses, I still believe that people should have the right to choose who they love and who they want to share their lives with whithout having to concern about what other people think or want.

Anonymous said...

Choosing the right person who you are going to spend the rest of your life with is a tough decision as it is. Some just go with what their heart tells them, others choose their mate with their head in conjunction with their heart, but it is a shame marriage is arranged by a third person. Everyone should have the right to choose that other half regardless of their social status, race or religion. GIL RO

Esmeralda A said...

I believe that one should have the right to choose who they want to marry. No one should have the right to choose a spouse for anyone. Marriage is a commitment and it should be taken seriously. Marriage is about loving each other and wanting to spend the rest of their life with that person regardless of material things such as money or lifestyle. Therefore, I believe one should have the right to choose their spouse. EA

Nicole said...

I believe that arranged marriages have their pros and cons just like any other marriage. The reason divorce rate is “shocking low” for arranged marriage, might be because of the fact that it may be against their religion to divorce. And they believe that any good thing in life is worth fighting and working for. I believe in unarranged mirages, people tend to get married for all the wrong reasons. Where as in arranged marriage, they are trying to find a true partner in life. Although, I WOULD NEVER let my mom pick my future husband, I do let her have an input on the men that I have dated.

-Nicole Chaplin-

Anonymous said...

Arranged marriages are usually done for the convenience of the families. These are totally the wrong reasons to get married. Marriage is a covenant, a commitment you make with someone to be with for them rest of your days, when the easy gets going and the going gets rough. So in my opinion, you should most definitely have EVERY right to choose your spouse, or you are in a death sentence.--KB

Pedro said...

The perspective on arranged marriages does change in modern times. Meeting people on the internet is a form of an arranged marriage, and is not decided by the family. I do not notice anything wrong with dating or meeting your spouse on the internet. P.L

Anonymous said...

I feel it is a good combination to use you heart and your head when picking a spouse. I know a woman from India whose marriage was arranged for her and her husband. It seems they are quite content and not influenced by the American’s disposable point of view of marriage. As we know arranged marriages are a foreign concept for Americans. We value personalization, independence, and freedom to do what ever we want.

Ann Marie

Patty. D said...

In arranged marriages, you go into it with the idea that it’s not about love, it’s about commitment.

Patricia Delgado.

Anonymous said...

I firmly believe that you have the right to choice your spouse. It takes more than love to make a successful marriage. The most important decision most people make is who to marry. It's their life, and their decision. E.S.

tiffytiff305 said...

There are still arranged marriages in many countries. I have asked many women who are in arranged marriages if they are happy and they have said yes. Maybe those women just do not want to seem unhappy. The right to the choice of a spouse is important to me. I could not imagine myself with a stranger. With the right to choice of spouse comes the freedom of finding the person whom you want to gradually begin to love. On the other hand, in arranged marriages they have to learn to love the person chosen for them.

daili7599 said...

We should all have the right to chose who we want to spend the rest of our lives with; even though good business might come from an arranged marriage, in my opinion, getting married isn’t about business but rather about being happy with that significant other.
-D. Diaz

Johana said...

I want the right to get married. Somebody who meets the criteria of what I've always imagined in and wanted from a partner - someone to marry and to bring children into the world with.

Anonymous said...

Everyone deserves freedom and, the ability to make their own choices and learn from it. I believe that people should find things with their hearts sometimes and, someone to marry is definitly something they should find with their heart in my opinion. This way they can truely be happy and live a great life. To deny someone the right to choose their spouse is denying them the right to love.
Marcia P

Anonymous said...

I think every person should have the right to chose the person with who they to build a life together, with whom they want to spend the rest of their lives. The idea in countries where marriage is arranged is that they think that you learn to love someone when you are living with that person, that you don't have to be in love first to get married.

Anonymous said...

I think every person should have the right to chose the person with who they to build a life together, with whom they want to spend the rest of their lives. The idea in countries where marriage is arranged is that they think that you learn to love someone when you are living with that person, that you don't have to be in love first to get married. Laura R.

ROB O. said...

Personal choice should be the only factor one considers when choosing a spouse. Even if their parents have the best of intentions for their child, the choice should ultimately be the one whos getting married.

Anonymous said...

I believe everyone has the right to choose a spouse. I don't like the fact that in some countries they choose a spouse for them. If you are in love and you want to spend the rest of your life with your significant other then by all means do it.

-Ukeme Akpan

Ingrid J. said...

In the Western world and most European countries a person has the right to choose a spouse and it is okay, but who are we to criticize other cultures and their traditions. It is the same way these Westerners and Europeans trekked into other people's countries, putting clothes on them claiming to civilize them, while pillaging their lands. What hypocrisy.

Anonymous said...

Arranged marriages are great for power and money; but you just cant go through life that way. Feeling unfulfilled with yourself and love and happiness is just the worst feeling i think.

-surfershoes

Terrance Carter said...

Marriage should always be based on agreement between two people. Love plays a large role and it could probably hold the marriage together for 50% of the time. My belief leads me to add the love of Jesus first in this special union.

Fernanda A said...

To choose a spouse means to share your life with someone you love, cherish and care for. It's a person that brings happiness to you. To me arranged marriages are wrong. The right to choose who you want to marry is important because you don't want to be with someone that makes you unhappy. I know in many cultures it's arranged but I don't believe its fair to the person. You should WANT to get married , not dread it.

Miglaude said...

Arranged marriage refers to a condition in which marriage partners are chosen mainly by someone other than the partners themselves .We may notice arranged marriages are surely not rare, in the population of India, Pakistan and others... A person has the right to choose someone he loves, but not obligate to love I think.

Janet Almonte said...

We should all have the right to choose who we desire to be with for the rest of our lives since we are the ones that have to live with this decision and no one else does. There has been much research that leads to the conclusion that those whose spouse is chosen for them have longer successful marriages. How do we really know this? How about if they are scared to tell society the truth? How about if they do not know any different and are denied what true happiness is? We really do not know the answers to these questions and only those who are in this situation can really attest to this. So what do we do to help others identify to this? We cannot tell others anything because what we believe is our formed opinions of the way we are suppose to feel and act in society. Has anyone thought that maybe these individuals believe in the right to arranged marriage and that the right to choose a spouse would be as nonsense to them as arranged marriage is to us?
Janet Almonte

shan said...

Marriage is based on the way two people feel at that moment, and I'll leave this topic alone.

lachinita520 said...

The right to choice of spouse is slightly different from marriage. Depending on the country and culture, choice of spouse can be based on mutual consent or forced, an act of love by family or the couples decision. Marriage on the other hand can be arranged by family or the bride to be, even gov. rights have a say regarding gay marriage. Regardless, one should have the right to choice of spouse. – D.T

kevin0121 said...

Choosing a spouse should be about love and not family traditions or culture, but you have to respect others in their decisions.

Jenny said...

I strongly believe that everyone should have the right to choose their spouse. Although the divorce rate of arranged marriages are microscopic compared to the U.S non-arranged, we must ask ourselves, are those couples truly happy? I believe that we should let our hearts decide who to love and not love.

JR

Anonymous said...

I think that a person should be able to choose it's on partner in life as they will be the one living with them for the rest of their and they wont be truly happy if their possible life partner is pick for them and they will be committed to the family so they wont be able to say no to the mirage because they will be afraid of the family rejecting them fro not following their choice. ---AN

RV said...

Personally i agree with having the right to choose by ourselves, but statistically arranged marriages get to be as happy as marriages by choice and sometimes even more.