posted on Oct, 19 2010 @ 10:22 AM
ATS is a place where you'll find a lot of folks have no experience with arranged marriages, and who aren't members of a culture that uses marriage
and family as a building-block for community.
For those who see no value in arranged marriage, I will say simply that in community composed of extended families, there is an emphasis on the new
partner becoming integrated into the web of family connections they receive from their spouse. They have a stake in the couples' success, and are
expected to help if the couple has problems--marital, financial, medical, etc. An arranged marriage increases the likelihood that your new in-laws
will come to bat for you when you have a crisis, and not just say "We never liked him anyway."
Like every other social system, it all depends on how much power the bride has. In cultures where the main wife holds a great deal of economic and
political power, she can veto the arranged marriage (this can be seen several times in the book of Genesis). In cultures where the woman is seen as
having little worth, she cannot say no and usually comes with a dowry, which is literally a payment to the grooms family for taking on another mouth
Just like in the west, women (and men!) who have no economic power live more or less as slaves....
As to the other question, of saving oneself for marriage, I must say that I did not, but my wife did. If I could go back in time and change the past,
it is one thing I'd change---I'd have waited.
Again, the west is composed of societies where the value is placed on getting as much as you can as fast as possible. The idea that anyone would
willingly forgo pleasure seems downright communistical, and flies in the face of obese consumerism that is the de facto religion of secular
I honestly enjoyed traveling to my bride's family and asking for permission to marry her; my family (who I expected to raise holy hell about it)
played right along and had the time of their lives.
I think one of the reasons for lower divorce rates in traditional societies is that both partners know they can always fall back on family---but that
they also risk the censure of family if they are seen as being the spouse who is "at fault." You hold your tongue when you remember her brothers'
temper, and she holds hers when she thinks her mother may side with you.