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Justice Mmebusem & Abena Boatemaa

The Arranged Marriage System

Arranged marriage, also known as’ pragmatic marriage’ is a marital union where the bride and the groom are selected by a person’s parent. Arranged marriage was most common in the eighteenth (18th) century, in recent times, however, this marriage has changed drastically and love marriages prevail.

This type of marriage is most common amongst royal families to conserve the inheritance of their wealth, especially aristocrats and wealthy business tycoons.

In china, arranged marriage (baoban hunyin) and sometimes called blind marriage (manghun) was what was practiced before the mid-20th century.
In past times, the choice of whom to marry was determined and tampered by customs and traditions, however, in recent times, arranged marriages have declined drastically in successful countries as a result of increasing individualism, education, urbanization and social mobility.

The issue of arranged marriages have been actively debated, as to whether such marriages produce more stable marriages or turn out to be dysfunctional marriages. We cannot declare all arranged marriage as successful and all love marriages as failures neither can the vice versa be ascertained. The ultimate key to a successful marriage is prayer and mutual understanding and not material possessions that would not last.

Arranged marriages have its implications negatively and positively.

Parents and grandparents have enough experience in the leap and bounce of life. There are many things they will see from the onset that youngsters may not be able to see because they are carried away by the word “love”. No one wishes for the wellbeing of the child than the parents.
Due to the love parents have for their children, they would not choose someone who would dehumanize their ward, hence they conduct proper background checks on the man and vice versa, to make the best decision after considering the pros and cons. parents, therefore, have a big role to play in their choice of partners, hence the advantage of arranged marriage producing a more stable marriage.

Furthermore, parents reserve the right to choose a lifetime partner for their ward because they are the ones who make a human from nothing to something. Parent would never think carelessly when it comes to the marriage of their child. In the case of a father in his bid to provide a better future for his child, works more than his strength and capabilities, not forgetting a mother’s unconditional love. Parents think not only about the present situation but the future also. Most youngsters in love think only of the present.

Moreover, in arranged marriages, whether love or not, the couples have the support of the family. Most often, parents provide financial support for the wedding and housing. They also provide emotional support to the parties involved and in the event of the death of the couples, parents most often take good care of the children since such marriage was arranged and approved by them.

In an arranged marriage, there is fun in discovering each other. It is often said love comes after marriage. Love takes time but will hopefully bloom. One gets to discover fun things about the partner which will make them eventually fall in love.

Statistic conducted by Brian in 2012 revealed that from 53. 25% of the marriages arranged worldwide, the divorce rate for arranged marriages in the world was 63% showing the high success rate of arranged marriages.
Needless to say, arranged marriages though has many positive sides, also has implications on the negative side.

Sometimes, parents give prominence to social status, that is wealth and family names of the couples, rather than the state of mind of the child. Such marriages more often than not, turn out to be dysfunctional, because first and foremost it lacks love which is a necessary ingredient for a successful and prosperous marriage. Love conquers all disadvantages. The couples will find it difficult to adjust to such situations. Marriage is the way you love your partner every day.

Again, arranged marriages, most of the time do not give room for tribal diversity, as they are based on intratribal marriages.The focus in an arranged marriage is keeping culture and tradition alive.Partners have to choose prospective persons to marry into the family and by deviating from the norm, it brings the family culture traits to an extinction. The claim is intratribal marriage is more secure and last forever. Parties involved will still face similar ups and downs every marriage go through, be it intertribal or intratribal marriage. Intertribal marriage fosters unity as it allows the one to know other peoples culture and appreciate it. Arranged marriages based on intratribal marriage makes no room for cultural diversity.

Arranged marriages do lack privacy. There are too much family closeness and interference. There is no sovereignty in the marriage. In times of conflicts, parents do get the blame. All other things in the marriage become subject to the approval of the people who arranged it.
Most often, problems of potency and other hidden ailments could arise which otherwise might not have been disclosed as at the time of marriage. In the event of this, the marriage is likely to end in a divorce.
An arranged marriage may only last long as a result of fear in the couples in separating from each other due to lack of parental support.
In recent times, various international organizations including UNICEF have advocated and campaigned for laws to ban arranged marriage of children as well as forced marriage.

In conclusion, in the words of Robert Quillen.”A happy marriage is a union between two forgivers.” A marriage been it arranged or a love marriage will flourish if only with prayers, love, understanding, forgiveness, patience, effective communication, sexual compatibility and the like.
Michel de montage said, “A good marriage will be between a blind wife and a deaf husband”. Marriage is indeed our last best chance to grow up.

Gombilla Naziha Amin ~

The University of Ghana.

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