Love Marriages Vs Arranged Marriages

During a particularly intense group discussion on modern marriages, one participant from the group of senior citizens that meets every evening at our joggers’ park, offered the comment that most problems that married people were going through now a days, was due to a lot of them being love marriages as opposed to the good old fashioned arranged marriages. This led the group dividing into to two equally strong sub groups, one for and one against love marriages.

Since, I did not have either the love marriage as is popularly known, nor the arranged marriage, I had to keep quiet. I married my friend’s sister after having known her for eight years purely on a platonic basis. We were good friends and just decided to take it to the next step without too much fuss. We have now been married for forty years and the marriage has worked very well.

I however offered the thought that the word “Love” is used very indiscriminately and it needs to be defined for each context. I suggested that in our case, my wife and ‘grew’ in love rather than ‘fell’ in love prior to our marriage. I strongly believe that the word has become a catch all one for describing all kinds of emotions. It amazes me when a man who says that he loves his wife, after five minutes, says that he loves Masala Dosa! When I voiced this thought, naturally there was a lot of good-humored ribbing about the group that was pro love marriages.

There are many reasons for marriages failing and I am not an expert in the subject. I however came across a beautiful story as a ‘forward’ without mentioning the author’s name and I reproduce it below.

I once had a friend who grew to be very close to me. Once when we were sitting at the edge of a swimming pool, she filled the palm of her hand with some water and held it before me, and said this:

“You see this water carefully contained on my hand? It symbolizes Love. This is how I see it. As long as you keep your hand caringly open and allow it to remain there, the water will always be there. However, if you attempt to close your fingers round it and try to posses it, it will spill through the first cracks it finds.

This is the greatest mistake that people do when they meet love … They try to posses it, they demand, they expect … And just like the water spilling out of your hand, love will retreat from you. For love is meant to be free. You cannot change its nature.

If there are people that you love, allow them to be free beings.
Give and don’t expect.
Advise, but don’t order.
Ask, but never demand.
It might sound simple, but it is a lesson that may take a lifetime to truly practice.
It is the secret to true love. To truly practice it, you must sincerely feel no expectations from those who you love, and yet an unconditional caring.”

Passing thought … Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take; but by the moments that take our breath away.