My marriage fell into my lap. We sent a few emails, went on a single dates at a Thai restaurant ( I ordered pad Thai and embarrassed myself with a serving mishap) and then chaperoned with some of his friends (I was from out of town so had no friends in that area). It was pretty much arranged, though by us…still we never dated or even held hands before we got married. I wasn’t expected to date him at home with dim candlelight. I wasn’t expected to sleep with him before marriage and hope he calls me afterwards. I was allowed more self-respect then any other date I had ever been on with any man. Even during another ‘set up’ with a different guy months before, where during the first date the guy took me to a movie and as soon as the previews started, tried to stick his tongue down my throat and his hands in my pants.
It happened and it was fate. My inlaws were a bit shocked at first as there was no money from them to see the wedding as my future husband was still in school getting his PhD. I don’t blame them for their shock. They had never met me but they trusted my husband. And becasue they trusted my husbands judgement they immediately took me into their family.
Right away I respected him. His character was obvious when we first met. He was easy to be with. Easy to enjoy. Easy to talk with and share life stories. Even now we can talk for hours. We have a few differences but that does not stop us from connecting on a level I have never known with another human being. But honestly I think fate and luck really played a part. I think I was lucky.
I have seen a lot of arranged marriages and a lot of marriages done out of convenience for a temporary spouses or papers. I have seen many marriages fail. Unfortunately, I have seen a few where people had given up looking and then married whoever came along. That happened to my husband’s best friend and after they divorced, he vowed never to remarry. In the end, when she left he ended up missing her cat more then his ex-wife.
My youngest brother in law is getting married in a month. It is completely arranged by his family and he has never met his bride-to-be. I worry about if they will be happy but I worry about that with all marriages I see. I am happy for him. He is a quiet guy and I know my in-laws. They would have scanned her entire family before telling them yes. They love their kids and they want them to be happy. I think the future couple will be happy with each other. She seems equally humble, quiet and traditional has him.
I don’t see arranged marriage as a bad thing. I know I don’t see it as most Americans would. When having dinner last week with a nice American couple they started asking about India. It always comes up with my Indian husband, because you can’t mistake his accent. My husband started talking and after a few minutes they asked “What about the culture?” My husband starts talking again and after a few sentences he says the word ‘dowry’. Their eyes light up and they sit up straighten “Yeah.” the woman said totally excited. “That’s what I mean.” When we got home I told my husband, probably more bluntly then I should have, that most people don’t care about anything else, they just want to here the dirt about something they think is totally awful and ‘forced’.
To be continued…