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Negative effects of an arranged marriage

Updated March 23, 2017

Arranged marriages are marriages that are set up by the parents of the bride and groom instead of by the bride and groom themselves. They are often used in Indian cultures to create a marriage that is compatible in the parents' eyes and also solidifies family ties. However, there are many disadvantages to arranged marriage, all stemming from the fact that the bride and groom's personal choice is undermined.

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Non-arranged marriages are the product of years of dating, getting close and generally nurturing a connection with your spouse-to-be. This means that when you choose your marriage partner you know what you're getting into and you have an idea of what to expect. If, on the other hand, your marriage is arranged, you don't have that background; you're making the same long-term decision without the information a non-arranged marriage provides.

Family vs Self

An arranged marriage tends to be more about the family than the individuals in it. An arranged marriage will generally connect two families; when you marry someone in an arranged marriage, you are taking on their entire family rather than just your spouse. So, while an arranged marriage can be very beneficial for both of the families involved, it may not necessarily be beneficial for the individuals involved. Indeed, individual needs and wants are generally a secondary priority in an arranged marriage.

High Stakes

Since arranged marriage partners are generally chosen by the families involved, a divorce can often mean disowning or having a bad relationship with your family. This considerably raises the stakes -- an arranged marriage partner may not be perfect, or even good, but if the cost of leaving him is losing your entire family, then it becomes very hard to justify ending the marriage.


Arranged marriages do not just arrange the partner, but they also arrange the timing. For example, women often have to have an arranged marriage in lieu of going to university or working on their careers. Again, this is negative because a woman may not necessarily want her life to be defined by her marriage. However, due to the custom of arranged marriage, it is not always up to her.

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About the Author

Sam Grover began writing in 2005, also having worked as a behavior therapist and teacher. His work has appeared in New Zealand publications "Critic" and "Logic," where he covered political and educational issues. Grover graduated from the University of Otago with a Bachelor of Arts in history.

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