They do Work
Arranged Marriages are usually successful
and last until death does them part.
This is because the community is invested
in the success of the marriage.
Yes, in some parts of the world the marriage
is done against the will of the boy or girl.
Yes, in some parts of the world a girl of nine
is married to a man of 39.
But that is the negative side of what has been, for thousands of years, a positive.
Although the Western World might scoff at Matchmaking, preferring its own hit and miss styles and 50% divorce rate, Arranged Marriages are alive and well in many modern communities.
How It Happens
There is usually an official 'Matchmaker'.
She is 'hired' to find the perfect match.
She has knowledge of the community,
and her position is accepted, (even
She makes all the contacts.
When the two potentials are introduced it is in her presence and under her supervision their families already know all about the other and have approved
The parties know their union will be blessed by the community.
They know the purpose of their meeting; it is marriage.
It is not hooking up or trying a thing, it is either you meet and see in the other as an
acceptable partner or you don't.
Matchmaking begins very early.
The boy and girl may be somewhat aware of the other, although kept apart until they are old enough to wed.
The age depends on the society. Sometimes the parents have virtually decided
from the cradle, other times the children are no more than ten or as old as eighteen.
In the pre-puberty age group, depending on the society, the girl (or boy) may be
accepted into the others home as a kind of sister/brother as sexuality is not going
to occur until adolescence. This might be fourteen for a girl.
In others, the betrothal takes place shortly before the wedding; and depends
on the legal age limit in the society before the marriage is consummated.
In some cultures, the boy or girl goes to live with the family of the other person. S/he is accepted into the home and the lives of the family. If they are very young they may attend school or be trained in the family business.
The girl is usually taught how to cook for the boy, what he likes and doesn't like. The boy is taught how to provide for a wife.
When the parties are over eighteen, the living arrangements may still be with a parent or a house or flat will be provided to them. Often the first year has them as pseudo children in a parent's home, where they are just to get to know each other.
As the parents of the couple are of the same race/religion/ethnicity there is no dislocation in culture. they have known all about the new member of the family for years. There isn't any awkwardness.
The married couple are not left 'on their own' to muddle through. There is family around, and even after they move to their own place, they are still very much part of each other's family.
Why These Marriages Work
Arranged marriages work because of various factors.
Firstly, the parties enter the relationship as 'engaged'. They may have never seen each other before but their pasts are very similar. They are often virgins so there is no 'comparisons' to make. As they were born knowing that they would be married to a person their parents would select there isn't any feeling of being oppressed or forced.
The parents of the couple know and like each other. They know their children well. They know their likes and dislikes and what they need and don't need.
The Matchmaker is the repository of this information in cases where the Parents have found no one suitable. The Matchmaker does the initial contacts. No one will feel 'rejected' if a match is turned down because the boy and girl don't know who their potential spouse is.
Once a selection is made, everything is done by the families and community to insure the marriage is successful. They enter married life without the pressures of work/home/relationship they have no outside forces which stress their relationship.
They have never dated, hooked up, had broken hearts, unrequited love.
None of that exists in their world.
Hence, arranged marriages work.