|Arranged marriages are so cool! And hip! And sexeh!|
If you want to be in with the In-crowd, you've got to have one!
I am a 27-year-old man and a practising Muslim. I currently live in Germany. I am very liberal, and I respect the freedom and rights of women. I am engaged to a 24-year-old Pakistani-British girl, arranged by our families. I think you know how things are done in Pakistani families. We have been talking/texting for the last six months. I’m very doubtful she has been forced into this marriage. I have asked so many times if she is happy with it and she says that yes, she is happy with whatever her parents have decided for her.
She doesn’t take much interest in me, and tries not to share much about herself. I have complained about this and she just said that she is afraid of moving to Germany. She has never lived away fom her parents, and it will be very hard for her to leave everything. ...What should I do?Here comes the answer, written by a blonde Norwegian woman.
Mariella replies This is hard. You’ve written to an atheist, Norwegian/British feminist asking what to do about your arranged marriage. I’m flattered, but not sure how much help I’ll be.
...Your sense of duty and adherence to tradition are qualities I can only sit back and admire, even wonder at, having always felt entirely opposite impulses. It seems to me the most important thing is not to apply alternative standards to the situation you are in. You can’t expect to immediately imbue your relationship with the irrational but exciting love-at-first sight elements adopted in less traditional unions. I would suggest that, if at all possible, a visit to your future wife might give her a bit more confidence and understanding of you before she emigrates.
...You’ve decided to take a route to marriage that is often disparaged in the society we both live in. Yet as long as there is no coercion and you both enter the relationship with the willingness to make it work, you have as much chance of success as those who marry for love. All relationships require mutual respect, an ability to be both co-dependent and independent and a desire to maintain a union in the face of many challenges over many years.Source