The question on what makes a marriage last has become one of the most asked inquiries of all time. The debate between the practicality behind arranged marriages against love-based marriages has gone viral in the society especially at the onset of high rate divorce cases occurring around the world. Notably, it could be understood that this particular thinking is produced simply through assumed knowledge. What do the facts support?
Marriage and love are two different matters. While some might say that they love a person, not everyone else understands what the word ‘love’ means. To establish the argument of love being the strongest bond and reason for couples to get married, it is first important to know what love is. Love is not merely an emotion. According to the latest research on the psychology of ‘love’, humans tend to seek affection through feeling accepted and appreciated by another, but this does not constitute the overall meaning of love, instead, it just defines a part of the large concept that identifies the real meaning of love (Fisher, 2012). Identified by Oord (2010) as a state of mind, love is a distinct assurance that one can accept whatever a person is, whoever a person maybe or whoever he or she may become in the future. Love constitutes a holistic vision of another, something more complex than simply experiencing the feeling of belongingness (Oord, 2010). In marriage, the characterization of love as an affection that spurred out from friendship towards knowing each other for a long time and understanding each other’s personality, is an important aspect of success.
It should be realized that marriage is an important contract, not written just on papers but in the heart of each person getting into the agreement. It constitutes the whole being of a person submitted towards the other. It involves the whole personality of an individual and the willingness to adjust to the behavior and characteristics of the other. What makes marriage last is the willingness of each person to understand each other and be ready to take into account the fact that every person makes a mistake. Without such consideration, every marriage is bound to fail. During the first three years of marriage, couples are expected to adjust towards each other. They are expected to take note of the character of their partner and be able to establish a balancing reaction to the situations that they get involved with along the way. Usually, the first three years is considered as the most crucial part of adjustment among married couples. This fact is considered for those who have already shared some time together as unmarried couples, seeing each other in a more distant vision. At the time of living together as a married couple, mates are expected to learn more about their partner, some may be amazing but a lot more about these discoveries could be somewhat disappointing. A large number of those couples who have been involved with each other in a loving connection before marriage are able to survive this stage.
What of those who are engulfed in the need to marry someone due to a sworn agreement? Imagine being asked to pay for a debt that has never been made by the payee; what would the emotion of that payee be especially in understanding his responsibility towards the one receiving the payment for the debt? Being subjected in an agreed or arranged marriage appears to be the same thing, only that the debt is the contract itself and the payment is one’s lifetime of years spend with a person that the married couples never even knew from the start. Having made to pay such debt is daunting.
Even though marriage contracts under this form of connection may be considered valid and binding, there are instances when the individuals involved in such arrangement are rendered with no choice at all, therefore, putting them in a situation that they are forced to stay in. In this case, the real value of marriage is dissolved. Without love at the beginning of the relationship before marriage, a written contract may not be as strong as hopefully binding as it is between two people who have no affection for each other in the first place. In fact, statistics has it that love-based relationships stay stronger than arranged ones as the ratio is 10 is to 2 whereas ten couples who are married based on love remain stronger for longer years compared to arranged marriages which ranges at to against 10 (Oord, 2010). The concept of understanding this situation however lies on the proper aspect of understanding what is meant by the word ‘love’.
In this regard, it could be noted that love is the binding factor that could successfully put to individuals together, with love as the binding factor, two people who chose to live and grow old together would be more willing to work things out than just leave things behind unresolved. Having the proper affection for each other makes it easier for married couples in love to keep their connection stronger by the minute and not turn their back on their partner when the tough gets going.
Fisher, Helen. Why We Love: the Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love.
Giles, James (1994). "A theory of love and sexual desire". Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 24 (4): 339–357.
Oord, Thomas Jay (2010). Defining Love: A Philosophical, Scientific, and Theological Engagement. Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos