I've been married for more than a third of my life. Like all couples, we’ve had our share of ups and downs, dealt with the external pressure of work, kids, extended family etc. We’ve hung in there during the tough times. I look back and I’m thankful I made a good decision when I accepted my husband’s romantic marriage proposal. After lunch at a gorgeous restaurant on the beach, he proposed, bending down on one knee in the sand.
Not long ago I met a young woman who was about to fly home to get married. Her Asian homeland has different cultural values to the western society I live in. Her parents arranged the marriage and she hadn’t yet met her fiancé in person. For those of us who live in the western world, this concept is foreign, possibly horrifying and is reminiscent of a plot line in an historical romance novel. To her credit, this young woman respected her parent’s decision, accepted their choice of husband and was determined to make the best of her marriage.
In progressive western societies, our right to choose our life mate is held in high esteem. Yet, as time goes on the divorce rates climbs and more relationships break down. I realize that cultural and religious values make divorce an untenable outcome for many couples in arranged marriages, but I assume many, quite possibly the majority of these couples, are satisfied with their relationships.
Which makes me wonder, do our parent’s know best? Are our parents, who have lived longer than us and maybe learned life’s lessons the hard way, better equipped to choose our life partner? Did your parent’s influence your decision regarding your choice of a spouse?
Marriage of convenience is a classic plot line in the romance genre. Do you like reading books set in foreign lands that explore different cultural traditions? Have you recently read a book that draws on the unique cultural heritage of the country where the story is set? I’d love to hear your thoughts.