If you’ve been visiting my site frequently, you may think that I’m a woman-basher. Heck the “love” category is freakin’ depressing: batshit-crazy women, bad mothers, and gold-digger mercenaries. Where is the love?
I gotta say … You got a point.
So in this article, let’s talk about something a bit more uplifting. Let’s talk about how you can get your marriage to last a lifetime … without becoming a spineless, supplicating, and weak husband.
To do that, let’s look at the marriage customs from more than 300 years ago …
Back in the 18th century and earlier, arranged marriages were the norm. You didn’t go out and choose your own girl. There was no flirting, no dating, and definitely no hooking up. You worked hard. And when the time was right, your parents (or even a matchmaker) chose the girl you were gonna marry. If you were lucky, you got to spend a little bit of time getting to know the girl. If not, you went straight from strangers to husband & wife. And most likely, you remained married for life.
In these days, arranged marriages have been replaced by autonomous marriages. You see a cute girl. You think she may be the one. You try to talk to her, without appearing creepy or desperate. Next, you try to date her. And then date her some more. And after a few years, you get married … with divorce looming over the horizon.
According to Wikipedia (with my emphasis in bold):
Divorce rates have climbed in Europe and United States, with increase in autonomous marriage rates. The lowest divorce rates in the world are in cultures with high rates of arranged marriages such as Amish culture of United States (1%), Hindus of India (3%), and Orthodox Jews of Israel (7%). In contrast, over 50% of self-arranged marriages in many parts of Europe and United States end up in divorce. This has led scholars to ask if arranged marriages are more stable than autonomous marriages, and whether this stability matters? Others suggest that the low divorce rates may not reflect stability, rather it may reflect the difficulty in divorce process and social ostracism to the individuals, who choose to live in a dysfunctional marriage rather than face the consequences of a divorce.
Hmm… It seems like American society has taken a step back when it came to fulfilling wedding vows. Why is that?
Why Do Arranged Marriages Work Better?
Based on the statistics, it is clear that arranged marriages work better than “true love” marriages. Why?
Parents’ filters. If your parents want to set you up with your future wife, you can be damn sure they’ll do quite an extensive background check. They would asked questions such as:
- Is she educated?
- What is her faith?
- What does she do?
- What is her reputation?
- How is her health?
- How old is she?
- What is her family like?
- Does she have kids?
You can’t blame them. They merely want the best for their son.
If they spot any red flags, the girl won’t make it through the filter. They’ll pass on the cigarette-smoking, divorced, and unemployed mom. They’ll ok the sweet, shy, and child-less elementary school teacher. Basically, when they introduce you to a girl, you’ll know that she met some kind of criteria.
As with any relationship, the better you are, the better your girl is gonna be.
Less choices. When a person has less choices, he’ll have less regrets. Since you are not meeting 10 different people every night (unlike the typical bar-hopper), you won’t have as many choices — which is a good thing. Studies have shown that more choices create more regrets. You are more likely to choose and to feel satisfied with your choice if the selections are limited.
What would you rather have: 3 high-quality selections or 30 various-quality selections?
The same can be said for your wife. If her choices were limited to a few, high-quality options, she would feel more satisfied in her choice. And hence, less likely to divorce.
Social expectations. Cultures which embrace arranged marriages are more conservative. Therefore, they strongly frown upon divorce. Divorced women may actually be ostracized from society. In traditional societies, female divorcees don’t get alimony, child support, children, or friends. She will have nothing.
Therefore, the wife would try her best to make the marriage work. At the slightest sign of difficulty, she won’t be crying out for a divorce.
In a no-fault divorce environment (which we currently have in the US), as long as one side (usually the wife) wants out, the divorce is gonna happen.
Is There Love in Arranged Marriages?
It is a fair question.
If two people are paired together without their consent …
If two people are strangers when they marry …
Can there be love?
According to Harvard academic, Dr. Robert Epstein:
… feelings of love in love matches begin to fade by as much as a half in 18 months, whereas the love in the arranged marriages tends to grow gradually, surpassing the love in the unarranged marriages at about the five-year mark.
Ten years on, the affection felt by those in arranged marriages is typically twice as strong.
Dr. Epstein believes this is because Westerners leave their love lives to chance, or fate, often confusing love with lust, whereas those in other cultures look for more than just passion.
He said: ‘The idea is we must not leave our love lives to chance. We plan our education, our careers and our finances but we’re still uncomfortable with the idea that we should plan our love lives. I do not advocate arranged marriages but I think a lot can be learned from them.
‘In arranged marriages, thought goes into the matching. In the West, physical attraction is important. But people must be able to distinguish lust from love. Strong physical attraction is very dangerous, it can be blinding.
So yes, love is present in arranged marriages. And after 10 years, the love in arranged marriages is double that in an unarranged marriage. Basically, there is less love in a marriage based on “true love” and “soul mates.”
Even though I write about loveless women (i.e. batshit-crazy women, bad mothers, and gold-digger mercenaries), I believe in love. I really do. And I think it is a great thing.
However, I don’t believe in romantic love — the love at first sight … the love from being struck by cupid’s arrow. I think that is more lust than love. And people who marry because of this “love,” are the ones who will most likely divorce.
My definition of love is unwavering loyalty. There doesn’t have to be fireworks or chemistry. But there has to be faithfulness and dedication. Therefore, based on divorced rates, there is actually more love (and more loyalty) in arranged marriages than autonomous marriages.
I’m not gonna get married. But if I do, my safe bet is to have it arranged.
Divorce-Proof Your Marriage
If arranged marriages are way too old-school for you, do not worry. You can still take active steps to make sure your marriage lasts for a lifetime:
Rule #1. Apply some filters. It doesn’t mean she has to be the hottest girl. It means she has to be a good girl and a loyal girl. This type of girl is most likely submissive and traditional. Good luck finding her.
Rule #2. Remember … less options mean more satisfaction. Hence, pick a girl with less experience. In other words, marry a virgin. Since she did not “try out” other guys, she has no one to compared you to. Therefore, you’re the best guy she’s ever had. Good luck finding her.
Rule #3. Live in an environment that empowers you. Is the community pro-marriage? Does the society shame promiscuity and divorce? Consider the legal factors too. Does the law of the land favor husbands or wives? Dads or moms? A smart man will try to tip the scales in his favor.
I came across a story of a wife that was growing uncontrollable. The husband seriously feared that the wife was gonna slap him with a divorce, take his assets, and keep his children.
So he secretly plotted to move to another country with his children. During the few months before the flight, he was doing his best not to displease his wife. He grit his teeth on the inside, but was full of deference on the outside.
Yes, honey. Whatever you want, darling.
Finally, the chance came for him to show his cards. The last few days before the flight, he told his wife, “Honey, the kids and I are moving. You can choose to join us, or you can remain here. If you remain in the US, you will never see them again. And don’t think you’ll get even a penny from me.”
The wife decided to move with the family. She couldn’t bear leaving her children. (She probably couldn’t bear living with her parents again either.) In the new country, her uncontrollable behaviors stopped. She became docile and submissive. The man reclaimed control of the family once again.
This story shows that you can break rule 1. You can break rule 2. But never break rule 3. Always tip the scales in your favor. There may not be love in your marriage. But with power, you can get things your way. In this case, more likely than not, you’ll be married for a lifetime.