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New York - Why Arranged Marriages Go the Distance

Published on: March 14, 2011 09:00 PM
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New York - Arranged marriages are far more likely to lead to lasting affection than marriages of passion, experts claim.

According to research, those in arranged marriages - or who have had their partner chosen for them by a parent or matchmaker - tend to feel more in love as time grows, whereas those in regular marriages feel less in love over time.

And within ten years, the connection felt by those in arranged marriages is said to be around twice as strong.

Relationship experts claim this is because arranged matches are carefully considered, with thought going into whether potential partners’ families, interests and life goals are compatible.

This means they are more likely to commit for life - and to stick together through rocky patches.

Those who marry for love, on the other hand, tend to be blinded by passion and so overlook these crucial details.

When the going gets tough, they are more likely to view the situation simply as a natural end to their romantic dream - a way of fate telling them something is wrong with the relationship.

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With soaring divorce rates and record numbers of single-parent households in the West, researchers suggest it is time to rethink the Western approach to love. Harvard academic Dr Robert Epstein has studied the subject of arranged marriages for eight years, looking at the approaches taken in cultural groups including Indian, Pakistani and Orthodox Jewish.

He has interviewed more than 100 couples in arranged marriages. His work suggests that 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.

Francine Kaye, relationship expert and author of The Divorce Doctor, added: “There is an awful lot to be said for arranged marriages. They are determined to make it work.

“I have seen in arranged marriages in the Orthodox Jewish community that the parents very carefully look at compatibility - it is not left to chance. They do their homework on their characteristics, their values, morals and life goals.

“There is a downside to arranged marriages though - no matter how pragmatic you are in choosing a partner, there always needs to be chemistry.”


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1

 Mar 14, 2011 at 09:28 PM AlbertEinstein Says:

"Vayikach es Rivkah, vate'hi lo le'ishah, vaye'e'hove'ha." Bereishis 24:67.

First comes marriage, then comes love.

2

 Mar 14, 2011 at 10:00 PM Anonymous Says:

They asked a hundred random couples, "would you re-marry your spouse tonight", and please don't think of the kids when answering, it's just your spouse and you, the kids aren't around yet. Whilst 8 couples responded positively, without to much hesitancy, 11 said "no" and the other 81 couples were silent. Go figure.

3

 Mar 14, 2011 at 10:14 PM PchaFresser Says:

In an arranged marriage, you feel like "hey what the heck. This is what I got let's make it work". In a goyishidike marriage, you are always left wondering "did I make the right choice?"

4

 Mar 14, 2011 at 10:28 PM Rachel W. Says:

This is old news. Those who opt for arranged marriages don't hang out with guys or gals beforehand. It's all new to the new couple and the excitement of "dating" actually begins with the marriage. The young marrieds are giddy with love for one another and are discovering things about each other in the course of their marriage rather than on noncommittal dates. The seriousness of the status of the relationship makes theirs a mature love that grows deeper with time, rather than the obsessive kind that is based on infatuation and fades as the boy / girl mature.

5

 Mar 14, 2011 at 10:35 PM Pickle Says:

Based on this study, I highly suspect that meeting multiple times, lasting a few hours each (such as the litvish crowd does) does not improve the overall relationship after marriage.

6

 Mar 14, 2011 at 10:51 PM the klerer Says:

Reply to #1  
AlbertEinstein Says:

"Vayikach es Rivkah, vate'hi lo le'ishah, vaye'e'hove'ha." Bereishis 24:67.

First comes marriage, then comes love.

Its funny you somehow forgot the pasuk which says yaakov loved rochel before he married her.

7

 Mar 14, 2011 at 11:17 PM shvigger Says:

Reply to #6  
the klerer Says:

Its funny you somehow forgot the pasuk which says yaakov loved rochel before he married her.

And you forget the Rashi that says it was because from her would come Yosef

8

 Mar 14, 2011 at 11:31 PM mannie Says:

It's so true, by non Jews over 80% of marriages are divorced, and even by Jews those who date expire like "dates", those who follow tora's way suceed, cuz they mean partner more then them selves. Period.

9

 Mar 14, 2011 at 11:41 PM Anonymous Says:

You need to be the type of person to be able to accept arrange marriages. Also, if you grow up with TV, internet, etc., it is more difficult. If you come from a very chassidish family, easier to to.

10

 Mar 15, 2011 at 12:07 AM Rebyid40 Says:

It never ceases to amaze me how quick we frum yidden are to gloat and bury our heads in the sand. There are countless frum divorced couples, who married through arranged marriages. To stay happily married and have the love "grow" a couple has to constantly work on their marriage. This rule applies whether the marriage is the result of a shidduch, or a "goyishdike" marriage. Let's stop fooling ourselves please!

11

 Mar 15, 2011 at 12:22 AM Anonymous Says:

The reason why arranged marriages work (for the most part) is because the couples are very young and sheltered and trusting of their parents decisions.

We got married at 19 yrs old and are happily married for the last 20yrs (our daughter is married too, 19 years old)

However I freely admit that had my parents waited until I turned 21, I wouldn't have accepted an arranged marriage.

12

 Mar 15, 2011 at 12:30 AM chaim Says:

Reply to #3  
PchaFresser Says:

In an arranged marriage, you feel like "hey what the heck. This is what I got let's make it work". In a goyishidike marriage, you are always left wondering "did I make the right choice?"

With arranged you wonder if your parents made the right choice. Anyway what difference does it make how you meet if it is basheirt?

13

 Mar 15, 2011 at 12:33 AM shmueldov Says:

im all for shiddichim, but part of this is because we who have arranged marriages discourage divorce. hindus, muslims, and us yidden all look down on it, we might not forbid it, but gets are not handed out left and right

14

 Mar 15, 2011 at 01:15 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
AlbertEinstein Says:

"Vayikach es Rivkah, vate'hi lo le'ishah, vaye'e'hove'ha." Bereishis 24:67.

First comes marriage, then comes love.

And let's say the love doesn't come

15

 Mar 15, 2011 at 05:53 AM shlomozalman Says:

"Love" is not an acceptable term in the frum veldt. The frummer will tell you that one does not marry for love or stay married for love. Love is for the goyim. Mitzvos is for the yidden.

16

 Mar 15, 2011 at 06:33 AM menachemwh Says:

It may also be due to the personality of who wants to have an arranged marriage. Perhaps these people ask for less in life or are more satisfied when others wont be.

17

 Mar 15, 2011 at 07:56 AM Anon. Says:

All lot of it has to do with the culture and values of the community. In countries/communities were it is acceptable
to get divorced people do so, even if they had an arranged marriage. In places were divorced is frowned on, look at Catholic countries in south America for example, people get divorced less.

18

 Mar 15, 2011 at 08:11 AM WiseDude Says:

Reply to #8  
mannie Says:

It's so true, by non Jews over 80% of marriages are divorced, and even by Jews those who date expire like "dates", those who follow tora's way suceed, cuz they mean partner more then them selves. Period.

I can tell you the Family Courts in New York State are full of divorcing frum couples. Let's not be smug.

19

 Mar 15, 2011 at 08:24 AM Litvish Says:

It's so true, I am a litvish boy who had to date by myself, it is really hard, and the results were bad, rather follow those who have arranged, and for those who say that love is not a Yiddish thing probably dosnt have shalom bayis, cuz open a Rambam and you'l see it explained. Thanks

20

 Mar 15, 2011 at 08:28 AM Anonymous Says:

Regarding "chemistry" - if the couple says yeuch, it's over. Of course there has to be a certain amount of attraction, but unless they are revolted by each other the shidduch is worth pursuing. No one is perfect: trophy wives work very hard to keep thin & their plastic surgeons love them. As for the rest- a few kids & even the most gorgeous girl puts on a few pounds & looks frazzled like her dowdier neighbor. Men can go bald & paunchy & sometimes, broke!

A big part of the attraction should be the character of a person. At the end of the day, is this the the person you see yourself having breakfast with for the next 60 years? If you shudder in horror, then this person isn't for you.

On the whole the system works.

21

 Mar 15, 2011 at 08:45 AM GB_Jew Says:

Reply to #13  
shmueldov Says:

im all for shiddichim, but part of this is because we who have arranged marriages discourage divorce. hindus, muslims, and us yidden all look down on it, we might not forbid it, but gets are not handed out left and right

"we who have arranged marriages discourage divorce"

Clearly, R' Shmueldov, you and your family live in a Utopian world where all is sweetness and light and everything in married life moves smoothly along a preordained path of serenity from the chupa to the grave.

As you are unfamiliar with Gittin so I will tell you (without any cost on your part) that it is one of the six parts of the Mishna (you do know what that is, I hope).

Maseches Gittin deals with the intricacies of divorce among Jewish people so chazal anticipated a world that might differ from the one occupied by R' Shmueldov, who would have clearly incompatible couples suffer a living Gehennom in this world (C"V) as well as in the next.

By the way, the plural of "get" is "gittin", and NOT as you would have it.

Muslims also have specific religious laws relating to and therefore permitting divorce among their faithful. Even the Hindus in India have divorces laws. Admittedly these procedures are new, but the Special Marriage Act 1954, and the Hindu Marriage Act 1955, serve to cater for divorce among Hindus.

22

 Mar 15, 2011 at 08:52 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #15  
shlomozalman Says:

"Love" is not an acceptable term in the frum veldt. The frummer will tell you that one does not marry for love or stay married for love. Love is for the goyim. Mitzvos is for the yidden.

Hahahahaha. U have issues my friend. I wish u a long and happy marriage.

23

 Mar 15, 2011 at 08:57 AM The_Beadle Says:

It all depends on what you mean by a marriage having "worked".

If you mean that it has worked because they haven't got divorced, that isn't a fair comparison. It is much more difficult to divorce in the frum world due all sorts of societal pressures.

Also, if you go through life / marriage conditioned to have low personal expectations, you will quite easily meet those expectations. Doesn't neccesarily mean that you have had a succesful marriage - it just means that you didn't really expect to get much from it.

In short, you are comparing apples and oranges.

24

 Mar 15, 2011 at 09:45 AM anon1m0us Says:

Reply to #15  
shlomozalman Says:

"Love" is not an acceptable term in the frum veldt. The frummer will tell you that one does not marry for love or stay married for love. Love is for the goyim. Mitzvos is for the yidden.

I guess Yaakov Avenu was an BUM because he "LOVED" Rachel!!! As it states in Posek!

25

 Mar 15, 2011 at 10:44 AM Ari N. Says:

I'm reminded of a story that happened some time ago with a chashuve gadol in Israel. He happened to find himself with secular jews, and before he knew what's happening they were verbally attacking him on several fronts regarding Chareidim.
During the course of the debate they started poking fun about the way in which we get engaged without knowing each other well. Not being intimidated by them, he answered in a very smart way. When you guys get engaged, you're on your best behavior, you're out to impress, walking on egg shells, only showing the bright side. As soon as you get married not even a day later, everything comes shooting out all at once. The not so bright side starts coming out, with the expected results!
He continued, by us we know very little about one another when we get married, we are still uncomfortable enough to be on good behavior. As time passes by the weak points come out together with the strong points, and we learn that no one is perfect which sets the ground for a strong marriage!
They were left speechless and shamefaced!

26

 Mar 15, 2011 at 10:58 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #15  
shlomozalman Says:

"Love" is not an acceptable term in the frum veldt. The frummer will tell you that one does not marry for love or stay married for love. Love is for the goyim. Mitzvos is for the yidden.

The 'frummer' will tell u? Who t these frummers u speak of?

27

 Mar 15, 2011 at 11:13 AM Anonymous Says:

The main reason these couples stay together is because of the communual and family pressures to stay together. These marriages only take place in societies that if you are divorced you are considered worse than a leper, therefore couples are forced to stay in bad marriages rather than be outcasts in their community.

28

 Mar 15, 2011 at 11:42 AM banana Says:

Reply to #15  
shlomozalman Says:

"Love" is not an acceptable term in the frum veldt. The frummer will tell you that one does not marry for love or stay married for love. Love is for the goyim. Mitzvos is for the yidden.

Where are you coming from? Love is acceptable! I am a from Lakewood learning full time. I had choson classes with one of the most yeshivish people around. Love is definitely acceptable and desired!

29

 Mar 15, 2011 at 11:44 AM ShmuelG Says:

Reply to #10  
Rebyid40 Says:

It never ceases to amaze me how quick we frum yidden are to gloat and bury our heads in the sand. There are countless frum divorced couples, who married through arranged marriages. To stay happily married and have the love "grow" a couple has to constantly work on their marriage. This rule applies whether the marriage is the result of a shidduch, or a "goyishdike" marriage. Let's stop fooling ourselves please!

Reb Yid, you are right that there are too many divorces among the frum because one is one too many. But if you want to be objective, our divorce rate is such a small fraction of what it is among goyim and jewinos or even moderns, that what we consider too many for them would be such success in marriages that they can't imagine in their wildest dreams. One man has a cold, another – an incurable cancer rl"tz, both of them are sick, but you don't think of them the same way, usually don't even mention them in the same sentence.

30

 Mar 15, 2011 at 11:50 AM ShmuelG Says:

Reply to #14  
Anonymous Says:

And let's say the love doesn't come

Then you should engage in some introspection, and with the rotzon of Hsh-m, you will understand what made you into a person incapable of love. This is not easy but the schar will be great. Hatzlocho!

31

 Mar 15, 2011 at 11:56 AM ShmuelG Says:

Reply to #23  
The_Beadle Says:

It all depends on what you mean by a marriage having "worked".

If you mean that it has worked because they haven't got divorced, that isn't a fair comparison. It is much more difficult to divorce in the frum world due all sorts of societal pressures.

Also, if you go through life / marriage conditioned to have low personal expectations, you will quite easily meet those expectations. Doesn't neccesarily mean that you have had a succesful marriage - it just means that you didn't really expect to get much from it.

In short, you are comparing apples and oranges.

#23 and #27: I observed that people who are especially envious of our family life have a tell: they always claim that we must have low expectations. Think of it, it's much easier than to admit (to themselves, most importantly) their and their society's shortcomings.

32

 Mar 15, 2011 at 12:12 PM Shalom Bayis counselor Says:

Reply to #10  
Rebyid40 Says:

It never ceases to amaze me how quick we frum yidden are to gloat and bury our heads in the sand. There are countless frum divorced couples, who married through arranged marriages. To stay happily married and have the love "grow" a couple has to constantly work on their marriage. This rule applies whether the marriage is the result of a shidduch, or a "goyishdike" marriage. Let's stop fooling ourselves please!

We are not fooling ourselves. Anyone who who is involved within the haredi community in shalom bayis issues knows that the message that a marriage is like any partnership, it needs constant work to make it more and more successful, is one that cannot be stressed often enough. Also we all know that the divorce rate is rising. However it is still a one digit percentage figure of all haredi marriages. That is vastly less than the percentage divorce rate in either the general Jewish community, or lehavdil, amongst the general non Jewish population. It would be easy to say even one divorce is one too many but there are times when divorce is actually the most appropriate response to the given situation. Unfortunately many if not most of the haredi marriages that fail, fail soon after the wedding. Either the parents of the young couple have not actually done their homework well and/or the young couple have not been told that they both need to work on their marriage. A wedding happens overnight, a marriage does not.

33

 Mar 15, 2011 at 12:15 PM Anonymous Says:

By none yidden 25% are unhappily married and the other 75% are happily devorced

34

 Mar 15, 2011 at 01:51 PM Yanki Says:

The gemorah says care for your wife more then yourself.
excuse me for going in to detail. As a perspective of an husband When there is good piece of cake or chocolate etc you leave it for your wife
follow the Torahs ethics and you are good...

35

 Mar 15, 2011 at 01:55 PM The_Beadle Says:

Reply to #31  
ShmuelG Says:

#23 and #27: I observed that people who are especially envious of our family life have a tell: they always claim that we must have low expectations. Think of it, it's much easier than to admit (to themselves, most importantly) their and their society's shortcomings.

You know nothing of me and my family life to make this claim.

If you read what I wrote, you will notice that I was saying that one cannot compare arranged marriages with love marriages - the same barometer cannot be used, there are too many other parameters.

36

 Mar 15, 2011 at 01:58 PM WiseDude Says:

Reply to #33  
Anonymous Says:

By none yidden 25% are unhappily married and the other 75% are happily devorced

So, according to you, there are no happily married gentiles. You really need to get out into the world and find out what is really going on.

37

 Mar 15, 2011 at 02:20 PM oldschoolorthodox Says:

Reply to #15  
shlomozalman Says:

"Love" is not an acceptable term in the frum veldt. The frummer will tell you that one does not marry for love or stay married for love. Love is for the goyim. Mitzvos is for the yidden.

great point! Love is complelty unacceptable and very goyish. It is goyim who say vehavto es Hashem elokecha. Yakov avinu and yitzcahk avinu were obviously goyim. Thank you for your shrewd and spot on analysis

38

 Mar 15, 2011 at 03:16 PM ShmuelG Says:

Reply to #35  
The_Beadle Says:

You know nothing of me and my family life to make this claim.

If you read what I wrote, you will notice that I was saying that one cannot compare arranged marriages with love marriages - the same barometer cannot be used, there are too many other parameters.

But I did read what you wrote, and it reeks of envy of frum family life. To quote you, with all your grammatical and spelling errors:

"Also, if you go through life / marriage conditioned to have low personal expectations, you will quite easily meet those expectations. Doesn't neccesarily mean that you have had a succesful marriage - it just means that you didn't really expect to get much from it."

39

 Mar 15, 2011 at 06:18 PM The_Beadle Says:

Reply to #38  
ShmuelG Says:

But I did read what you wrote, and it reeks of envy of frum family life. To quote you, with all your grammatical and spelling errors:

"Also, if you go through life / marriage conditioned to have low personal expectations, you will quite easily meet those expectations. Doesn't neccesarily mean that you have had a succesful marriage - it just means that you didn't really expect to get much from it."

You suppositions and assumptions do not make it so.

40

 Mar 15, 2011 at 08:15 PM the klerer Says:

Reply to #7  
shvigger Says:

And you forget the Rashi that says it was because from her would come Yosef

It is irrelevant why he loved her, but the passuk still says he loved her before he got married.

41

 Mar 17, 2011 at 12:00 AM more amoratzim! Says:

all of you amateur psychologists and marriage counselors are hysterical in your pontificating and your ridiculous opinions.

If you don't have the self-confidence to find your own wife and let someone else choose one for you, where would you get the self-confidence to divorce her if you're unhappy?

Talk all you want about Yaakov and others. The truth is that most of today's yingerleit are not educated or mature enough to know how to find a wife, or a job, or do anything by themselves. So they marry the woman picked out by their family, move into an apartment and drive a car their parents and in-laws paid for, start making babies, and if they work, they are given a job, or even a business by their father in law.

They wouldn't last ten minutes in the real world.

42

 Mar 17, 2011 at 04:51 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #25  
Ari N. Says:

I'm reminded of a story that happened some time ago with a chashuve gadol in Israel. He happened to find himself with secular jews, and before he knew what's happening they were verbally attacking him on several fronts regarding Chareidim.
During the course of the debate they started poking fun about the way in which we get engaged without knowing each other well. Not being intimidated by them, he answered in a very smart way. When you guys get engaged, you're on your best behavior, you're out to impress, walking on egg shells, only showing the bright side. As soon as you get married not even a day later, everything comes shooting out all at once. The not so bright side starts coming out, with the expected results!
He continued, by us we know very little about one another when we get married, we are still uncomfortable enough to be on good behavior. As time passes by the weak points come out together with the strong points, and we learn that no one is perfect which sets the ground for a strong marriage!
They were left speechless and shamefaced!

this is lovely to read, but completely not credible as to have actually happened.

Send it in to the Jewish Press or TV Vues and Torah Times, I'm sure they will be glad to reprint it for you.

43

 Mar 17, 2011 at 05:39 PM FredE Says:

Reply to #15  
shlomozalman Says:

"Love" is not an acceptable term in the frum veldt. The frummer will tell you that one does not marry for love or stay married for love. Love is for the goyim. Mitzvos is for the yidden.

Count me with the goyim....

44

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