Consequences of refusing to go through with an arranged marriage
For a couple to get into an arranged marriage, it is apparent that their parents or family members made the decision to take away the offspring's ability to choose a spouse for themselves, before the marriage was contracted.
In other words, it can be said that an arranged marriage is contracted without considering love and in most cases, compatibility first.
Arranged marriages has always been a rather controversial topic that has been present through the years. It is however important to note that an arranged marriage is different from a forced marriage, where the person is left with no choice than to get into a marriage that can only be beneficial to the one who started the partnership in the first place.
It may interest you to know that even though the world has become 'westernised', arranged marriages are still being practiced all over the world. Even though activists are preaching women liberation and feminism, it seems like the practice is not going away forever.
Despite all the talk about finding love and having a 'happily ever after', some people still believe in having someone else bear the 'burden' of finding them the one they will become married to eventually.
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What is an arranged marriage?
An arranged marriage has been defined as one in which the parents or family choose a spouse for their child or relative.
How common is arranged marriage in Nigeria?
Contrary to popular belief that it is mostly countries like India and China that practice arranged marriages, it is actually quite common in Nigeria.
How would you explain a situation where a young Nigerian man leaves his home to a foreign country and after years of sojourning abroad, asks his parents to find him a 'beautiful and innocent girl' who he will build his future with by marrying her. Such people believe that someone whose culture they can relate to, will possibly make a better spouse than a foreigner.
Another common way an arranged marriage is forged in Nigeria is when there are two families where either of the parents have some sort of business relationship or lasting friendship, and they try to bring their children together, mostly because they assume it is for the best, 'class-wise'. This is likened to a case of the 'rich marrying the rich'.
The most prevalent type of arranged marriage in Nigeria, is one based on religious or tribal beliefs. Some have entered into arranged marriages because of the need to ensure that they do not 'stray' from what has become a way of life for the family they are born into.
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Some people have been known to refuse to enter into arranged marriages, either because they believe strongly in 'women liberation' and 'feminism', or because they believe they are capable of working out their own love lives without interference.
What are the consequences of refusing to enter into an arranged marriage?
- It could strain the relationship between the offspring and the parents - Refusing to go through with an arranged marriage could be seen as disobedience, and no parent wants to have an offspring who does not want to do as they are told, especially when the situation is believed to be for their own good.
- It could lead to one being ostracised - In some extreme cases, families have been known to send the offending offspring into 'exile', where he/she is not allowed to relate with any member of the family. This step is usually taken when it is believed that the 'offender' has brought shame upon the family, especially if the marriage was being arranged for business benefits or if the offender chose to marry for love against all odds.
Some have been 'rubbished' as a form of punishment, to the extent that no one will want to marry them, simply because they refused to enter into the arranged marriage with the potential spouse.
- Financial difficulties - Refusing to enter into an arranged marriage could lead to financial difficulties, especially if the person in question is financially dependent on his/her family.
The truth remains that there are different outcomes of arranged marriages, making it difficult to ascertain which method is the best, and the consequences sometimes appear to be too much burden, leaving no room for one to reconsider.
Watch this video to see what should be considered before going into any relationship: