What if We’re all in Arranged Marriages?

Now, I have to be honest here. Id grown up around arranged marriages that seemed quite happy, so I suspected that there was more to it than I understood or had been led to believe by the common portrayal of them. So it wasn’t a complete surprise to come across some really positive aspects of arranged marriage during my initial interviews but I really hadn’t thought that romance would be among them.

From First Comes Marriage: Modern Relationship Advice from the Wisdom of Arranged Marriages by Reva Seth

I’ve always been upfront about what a struggle my marriage of nearly 33 years has been. Holly and I have been guilty of about about every marriage bungle in the books, and yet still managed to raise 3 pretty cool kids, who seem headed towards creative lives of love and work. It’s almost weird to think that we’ve done this while often frustrating the hell out of each other over unmet expectations and a fair amount of resentment.

During a recent rough patch I asked Holly if she would read a book with me. She agreed. I had a book or two in mind, but came across First Comes Marriage in which Seth draws on interviews with 300 couples whose nuptials were arranged by families. My initial forays into the book revealed an interesting deconstruction of our Western expectations of marriage. She then offers some core insights into what makes arranged marriages work.

And somewhere in there it hit me: I’m in an arranged marriage also! Only my marriage was arranged by the subconscious needs of my small self, and my wife’s. We have spent our lives trying to move forward, using the equally subconscious paradigm, of Western Romantic Love.

I’m looking forward to reading this book, and discussing it with Holly. I’m a very inconsistent blogger, but my intention will be to fill you in on where this goes for us….





About Wes Eades

I've been a pastoral counselor, marital therapist, and overall listening ear since about 1989 or so.
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