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My Take: Forget falling in love. Try arranged marriage.
February 14th, 2011
07:00 AM ET

My Take: Forget falling in love. Try arranged marriage.

Editor's Note: Ehud Sperling is founder and president of Inner Traditions International, one of the world's largest publishers of books on spirituality, religion, and holistic health. He is the co-author of For Seven Lifetimes: an East-West Journey to A Spiritually Fulfilling and Sustainable Marriage.

By Ehud Sperling, Special to CNN

All my life I had believed, like most of us, that romantic love was a sure precursor and indicator of marital bliss. I had played the game of love and lost.

How could this be? I was and still am a book publisher, successfully working with women on a daily basis for 35 years. But a lasting and stable relationship with a woman in the role of my wife was eluding me.

Disillusioned with romance after my second divorce, I decided to take a year off from conventional dating to try to figure out how to succeed at finding a wife with whom I could spend the rest of my life in unspoiled domestic bliss.

I wanted to be married and have a family. I was convinced that marriage was the right vehicle through which I would find happiness and fulfillment.

Since I had fallen in love and married twice, I thought about the whole process and wondered why it was called “falling in love.” I came to realize that what in fact fell was self-awareness, a necessary loss for Eros to be given full play in our psyche.

But one day we wake up and start to wonder, “Who is that person I fell in love with? What are his or her values? Are they compatible with my own?” As these ideas were passing through my mind, I found myself in New Delhi, India, participating in the arranged marriage of Sapna, the youngest daughter of an old friend named Harish Johari.

I had known Sapna as a child and was amazed to see her married to a man that her father and mother had chosen for her. Equally amazing was meeting up with the newlyweds two weeks after the wedding and seeing them already settled in as an old happily married couple.

It occurred to me that my ancestors from Eastern Europe had also practiced arranged marriage. In fact, this system of marriage was dominant throughout the world up until the modern era. The modern concept of romantic love has less than a 200-year history and a mere 50 percent success rate.

With that thought in mind and with encouragement from Harish - who has published more than a dozen books on Indian spirituality - I decided to try for an arranged marriage in India, where this system has operated with a high success rate for thousands of years and is still the dominant marriage system, as anyone who reads an Indian newspaper’s matrimonial section is sure to discover.

With the help of my friends I placed an ad looking for a woman that I could successfully share my life with, a woman with an excellent relationship with her mother and whose horoscope matched mine.

From almost half a billion women in India, Vatsala saw my ad and responded to it because, per the tradition in her country and family, she was also looking for an arranged marriage. Before we met or spoke to each other and way before Eros could raise his handsome head, we wrote 99 letters to each other in a little less than a year.

In these letters, we explored our values and all the day-to-day practical concerns that, if left unresolved, could trigger domestic wars, potentially break a marriage, and kill the sparkle and warm blush of romantic love. Our common goals for this marriage were stable and happy family life and self-realization.

Our ideals were also reflected in the ancient Vedic shlokas, or verses, recited at our Hindu wedding in India when my bride’s father placed her hand in mine:

. . . you need not go to the forest to do austerities for gaining wisdom. If you marry my wise daughter and settle down in the household, you will - by virtue of a family life lived well - gain all the wisdom that you are seeking.

Isn’t wisdom what we need to handle the complexities of modern marriage and its demands for clear gender roles? Isn’t wisdom necessary to create a successful partnership that supports the growth of the individual?

Isn’t it the better part of wisdom to have the advantage of arranging a marriage with the help of the people who love you most - your family - in an effort to harmonize and complement the qualities backgrounds, and value systems of the couple-to-be?

So how did it work out? After 15 years of marriage, we’ve just published a book on sustainable marriage.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Ehud Sperling.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Asia • Hinduism • India • Interfaith issues • Opinion

soundoff (205 Responses)
  1. scmaize

    An arranged marriage was the only way he could get a wife who was half his age!! Read the article and look at the pictures–arranged marriages are fine for old goats who want a young bride.

    February 14, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
  2. Janet

    This was not an "arranged marriage." Mr. Sperling and his bride did not have someone else in charge of their relationship. He place an online ad and she responded. They had a long courtship that focused on getting to know each other deeply before meeting in person. They did not meet each other briefly (or not at all) and acquiesce to the wisdom of parents or a matchmaker. This is more like a very slow OKCupid courtship.

    February 14, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  3. Greg

    Sounds more like a guy that through trials and tribulations finally figured out what he wants.

    The problem with marrying for love, is that you get two people who are "in love" that really don't know each other. Neither really sat down and thought about what they wanted in their mate. A lot of people in the beginning are just happy to have someone.

    Love shouldn't be a business arrangement, but you if you are planning on spending your life with someone. You should really sit down and think about it. Personally I feel that the most important thing is that two people have a lot in common so that after 10 years of marriage when you are sitting at the kitchen table, you still find things to talk about.

    February 14, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  4. PJ

    What the gentleman is describing does not sound like an arranged marriage. The core idea of the arranged marriage is that you trust someone else to find a match and you proceed with the wedding regardless of your own feelings about the person. You are sometimes allowed to communicate and even meet the match, but only to satisfy your curiosity, not to influence the decision.

    My own perspective is that more marriages will break in an environment where women have equal opportunities and there is infrastructure and tolerance for single parents to raise kids while working fulltime. Women want to be the same as men in societies where money equals respect. As parts of India experience wealth even at fractional levels of the developed world, I expect to see increased divorce rate regardless of trends in arranged marriage.

    February 14, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
  5. Pat from Madison

    I lose patience when people claim that something that happened years ago... at the inception of the relationship... detemines whether the marriage will be happy or not. It doesn't. It is every decision that you and your partner make every day of the marriage that determines whether or not you are happy.

    February 14, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • CDMH

      Absolutely! Hubs and I say 'love is a verb.' (Usually we say it when we're upset with the other person and don't fee "in love".) 🙂 Husband and I married young and of course we've each undergone many personal changes over the years. Must navigate the transitions–somehow. (I originally typed 'must navigate with patience and understanding', but let's face it, it's not always so serene–sometimes you just have to plow through!)

      February 14, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  6. Nancy

    So glad to hear something more than "chemistry", today's Western standard of selecting and marrying. Chemistry is mainly about looks and having to have immediately what stimulates one below the belt. You won't get a "letter" unless the chemistry/ust is there. Chemistry = Lust and that is the depth of the western world's marriage so 50% failure isn't surprising. When the lust is gone so is the marriage and then it is time to move onto the next object of chemistry/lust.

    Arranged marriages encourages people to think through those compatiblity issues versus drive the bus from the lower regions. And, it makes the couple think versus respond to lust. Don't know how many people in the US walk down the isle without a clue about what is expected of them and yet have such high expectations of what they should be getting by giving up their "freedom" and as this article suggest after the wedding, several years into the marriage they begin to wonder who did they marry.

    Most divorces today aren't a result of abuse. Most divorces today are a result of unmet expectations. The expecations were there from the begin as well as the incompatibility indicators. I've heard of people doing pre-marital workshops and in those workshops it showed they were incompatible yet they married and then later divorced. DUH. Some people are so arrogant that they dont' need any help, they have it all figured out (right!!!!). So having a family to help one sift through those things versus have a DUH/divorce moment isn't a bad thing. Flies in the face of ones "FREEDOM". No one is free, we are influenced by our upbringing, work environment, TV, etc., And, what you perceive will make you happy many times will not.. So having some help with the marriage selection from people who want the very best for you (sometimes we need saving from ourself) isn't all that bad.

    February 14, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
  7. Shawn Archer

    Arranged marriages are ending in divorce too. Im from india, and two cases in my family. Just that they dont advertise those cases widely. ANY marriage, its about making it work. Sacrifices.. which is a four letter word in modern "me first" society.

    February 14, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • Amused

      Good point. My co-worker is in the process of divorce. Hers was an arranged marriage. She finally realized that getting hit wasn't okay, no matter how "traditional" their families are.

      February 14, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
  8. sacchrainkiss

    I used to know a doctor who's marriage was arranged by her Indian family and his. They met each other once or twice before the wedding, which was in India. After the wedding she moved to Boston to be with him. I remember asking her if she was scared, what if he was horrid, or if they couldn't get along. She said, "I trust my family to pick a good match for me. Our families have our best interests in mind, and if we are truely incompatible we can divorce." She said that when she was young she never worried about boys or dating, and it allowed her to focus on school. Doesn't sound like a bad system. I don't think it would work in this country though, families aren't as close here as there.

    February 14, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
  9. kake79

    1. As others have pointed out, this was not an arranged marriage. It was online dating before the internet age.

    2. Where your first two marriages failed and this one succeeded was that you discussed your expectations and values before marriage. Any mature person would know that this is necessary to insure a successful marriage. This has nothing at all to do with arranged marriage and everything to do with maturity and compatibility.

    3. Divorce rates are lower in India not necessarily because of arranged marriage but due to societal expectations. In the U.S. divorce isn't taboo or abnormal or surprising. Plus, the social pressure to be married and have a family isn't anywhere near as strong as it is in India. Many Indian women stay in unhappy marriages because they are expected to, because they need to for financial reasons, because of their children, and so on and so forth. Many Indian women will stay in abusive relationships because the pressure is so strong.

    February 14, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
    • Pure

      This. So much. A relationship "arranged" by a newspaper ad does not sound much like the traditional marriage arranged by families.

      February 14, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
  10. curmudgeon

    Wait, he woke up one day and wondered if they even shared the same values? Hey braniac – that's all stuff you're supposed to figure out before you marry. Sounds like this guy is totally clueless.

    February 14, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • CDMH

      Exactly. That struck me too. It sounds like perhaps he has finally figured out that is A-#1 for marriage–let's hope so. I had that figured out when I married at 22. Married 10 years now (and yes, I know 10 years doesn't make me an expert on marriage, but we're doing just fine).

      February 14, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  11. Lola

    Bit of an age difference in that wedding photo. I'd estimate 15-18 years. That makes this man the same as any male serial husband –he wanted a young, compliant woman that he could boss. I know several Indian couples who have happy arranged marriages, but they married as peers, and were close to the same age. This man's THIRD marriage sounds more like the marriages of those guys who shop online for "old fashioned" wives from the old USSR countries. I think he is full of nonsense.

    February 14, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
  12. Angie

    I think you should be free to marry how you want. Speaking as a christian, marriage is a union of two people as one. If you read the bible, the family, NOT God has more to do with the process than anyone! Two people are going to have bumps and spats regardless of how you choose to put God in your relationship. I detest crazy christians who believe in what was put forth by catholic popes who hoped to gain power and popularity. Serve one another in love and help those in need. Jesus was a hippie!!

    February 14, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      "Speaking as a christian.................. Jesus was a hippie"!!
      --------------
      Huh?

      February 14, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
    • CW

      Steve – Why do you think Jesus was a hippie? Long hair and robes/sandals were all the rage back then. Don't be a hater.

      February 14, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • CW

      CW The real one,

      @ Steve,

      There are several posts that are not me....Don't care if Jesus was a hippie or not....I'm still not worthy to buckle his sandals. I do read his truth's on marriage though.....and so putting God first gives all marriages 100% success rate.

      @ All others,

      I've seen comments on whether staying in dome-'stic voi-'lence situations. I would say that one should seek safety and pray and do their very best to reconcile with God at the center of the marriage. Second I also view people who divorce and remarry someone else as doing wrong if they divorced and they were the one in adultery or if they were the one to seek the divorce without adultery as the grounds. People....Marriage is sacred....i e....one marriage...the only marriage....no wonder there is so much damage to kids from broken homes where this is common.

      February 14, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      @CW
      Not to worry CW. I never believed it was the REAL CW. There is something called trends. None of your emailed trended in the fake CW's direction. You have battled in favor of the truth. I know it is not you but rather someone who is too ashamed of his/her own thoughts! No worries my brother! Stay blessed!

      February 14, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
  13. Hypatia

    The question, of course, is arranged by whom? I can't think of anyone I would ever have trusted to make a decision like that for me. Some people may like being sheep. I don't and playing that 'ooooh, let's get into something strange and a little dangerous' Western idiot game (in which the Westerner can cherry pick what traditions he wants and jettison the whole shebang when he gets bored and/or dissatisfied) is the height of arrogance and stupidity.

    February 14, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
  14. Alverant

    "The modern concept of romantic love has less than a 200-year history and a mere 50 percent success rate."

    Take THAT defenders of "traditional" marriage.

    February 14, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      You have a serious point there with one slight exception. All marriages have the capacity for 100% success. The issue is one of unforgiveness and selfishness! Not to mention leaving Christ out of it! THAT destroys marriages! And sadly, yes that woud include Christians! That however does not change God's design for "traditional" Marriage.

      February 14, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
    • Nonimus

      It would be interesting to know the ratio of 'traditional' vs. non-traditional marriages sanctioned God in the Bible.

      February 14, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      It would but the basic step is defining traditional marriage (one man/one woman)! I know Solomon had 700 wives or so AND concubines! I am good with my one wife!

      February 14, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • civiloutside

      "Not to mention leaving Christ out of it! THAT destroys marriages! "

      Feeling the need to chime in here, as an atheist who will be celebrating his 14th wedding anniversary in just a couple months. Both my wife and have been atheists throughout the entire 18 year span of our relationship. Neither "Christ" nor any other religious figure has ever enjoyed any place in our relationship whatsoever. We've been through hard patches that have severely tested our marriage bond, yet today we are as firmly committed to each other and our shared family as we have ever been and continue to find happiness in each other on a daily basis.

      Mythology is no necessary precondition to a successful marriage.

      February 14, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      civiloutside
      Mythology is no necessary precondition to a successful marriage.
      ---------–
      Glad you and your wife are doing well. This is my reply to Amused:

      You "appear" to be doing fine, here on earth. That appearance will dramatically change after you pass on without Jesus in your life! You are free to reject Him. Yet you are not free to reject the eternal consequences of that decison to reject Christ!

      February 14, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • civiloutside

      Well, Steve, your assertion is a bit off the topic of what is required for a successful marriage. Suffice it to say that I continue to remain unmoved by threats of consequences that can't even be demonstrated to exist.

      February 14, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  15. Pam

    This isn't an arranged marriage, it's a personal ad marriage. Which is fine as well. Considering the divorce rate in the world in general, I say however people choose to meet their spouse, let it be as long as it works for them and is mutually agreed upon. Arranged or not...

    February 14, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
  16. billy

    Not many places have freedom of choice, ever think of that? These days you get to search and choose who you wish to be with, can't handle it? Stick to arranged marriages and let others decide for you, pathetic.

    February 14, 2011 at 11:58 am |
    • rahul

      if you think that others decide for you in arranged married, then you are wrong ... both the guy and girl have final opinion ... if you think that they work because woman are forced to stay in the marriage, then you are wrong ... rather than checking divorce rate, even if you see marriage-satisfaction rate, couple in arranged marriages are more satisfied ...

      conclusion : you cant be anymore wrong.

      February 14, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
  17. Kal

    You are right. All marriages in India work out cause they match horoscopes! Lets go back to the dark ages.C'mmon it is more about compatibility, upbringing, society yada yada yada.

    February 14, 2011 at 11:42 am |
  18. CW

    You know why this guy has been married and divorced?

    I have the answers...that all married couples need to know and I don't have to write a book or a story either. First off when you marry someone you marry before Almighty God. This cove-'nant before your spouse and God shouldn't be taken lightly as our generations have done so...in such a faulty way. Second when you marry...you and your wants and needs take a backseat and should come in this order:

    God is First
    Your spouse is second
    Any kids are third
    Then your wants and desires come LAST

    TO ALL...you see people from the so called "old days" when they married they married for life UNTIL DE-'ATH DO US PART NOT TILL DIV-'ORCE DO US PART That is the vow you take before God and all....ALL SHOULD KEEP THAT VOW.

    AS FAR AS THIS GUY WRITTING BOOKS ON MARRIAGE.......WHAT A JOKE.....WHAT A JOKE....HE FAILED AT TWO MARRIAGE B/C HE DIDN'T PUT GOD FIRST OR HIS SPOUSE...NOW HE IS GOING TO HELP EVERYONE ELSE?.....HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!...come on....isn't there someone else who deserves some of the attention and not this guy....what a joke.

    February 14, 2011 at 11:03 am |
    • Peace2All

      @CW

      Hey CW...

      So, I'm very curious. What would you say to a few of the couples that I know of that did 'exactly' as you suggested, i.e...God, first, etc... and, still ended up in divorce...?

      Are you saying that still under -0- circ-um stances that divorce is not o.k...?

      And...In your opinion, did they somehow do something wrong under your equation...?

      Peace...

      February 14, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • Daisy

      If you research marriage customs around the world...you will find that marriage and religion were not always intertwined. It was not until the 17th century that the church (by church I mean early Christian churches) decided only marriages in the church were sanctioned by god. Before that it was considered a civil matter and the church kept its nose out of it. So if you had been born a few centuries earlier you would probably have a different opinion.

      February 14, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • CW

      @Peace2All,

      You say:
      Are you saying that still under -0- circ-um stances that divorce is not o.k...?

      I say:

      Let's examine what the Bible says especially the gospels. In these you will find that Jesus told the pharisees that people divorce b/c of hardened hearts. Furthermore in answering your question specifically in the Bible it states two ways in which the marriage covenant is allowed to be broken...1 de-'ath....and 2 adul-'tery. Notice I said "allowed" b/c eventhough adultery is one of the conditions our Lord never said that you "should" divorce...everyone makes mistakes so we should forgive and do our best to save all marriages even in these situations.. In the old testiment our Lord even said that he "ha-'tes divorce". The truth is if your faith is strong and your walk with God is strong HE can show you how to Stand for your spouse and wait and change yourself. Then God will do the work to get your spouse back on the right path and your marriage will fall back into place.

      February 14, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • CW

      @ Peace2all,

      You said:

      So, I'm very curious. What would you say to a few of the couples that I know of that did 'exactly' as you suggested, i.e...God, first, etc... and, still ended up in divorce...?

      I say:

      To answer this question I would say the couple didn't fully put God first. Second I would ask you...what were the cir-'c-'u-'mstances b/c as it says in the good book..."NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR GOD"....not putting a broken marriage back together...raising the dead...curing diseases....or anything.

      February 14, 2011 at 11:55 am |
    • billy

      Marriage is man made.

      February 14, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • Pam

      So if one spouse starts beating the other after marriage, God should work it out? I think your beliefs work beautifully in an ideal world where both parties turn to God for support. Unfortunately, that's just not always the case. Many times one person does and the other does what they want. God would not want anyone to stay in a marriage where they are at risk for STD's because of infidelity or their personal or mental safety because of abuse. Those who say he would (That would be you apparently) need therapy badly.

      February 14, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
    • Alverant

      So CW, did your god ever get married? Did he ever wed that Jewish girl he knocked up? No? Well maybe the bible doesn't have much credibility when it comes to marriage.

      Remember Atheists have a lower divorce rate than most christian sects.

      February 14, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      Alverant
      Remember Atheists have a lower divorce rate than most christian sects.
      ---------–
      Remember, you are an atheists and as such always require evidence of anything! So, provide me the same courtesy and provide proof that Athesists have a lower divorce rate! You might be right but do I just take YOUR word for it? Nah!

      February 14, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @CW,
      "To answer this question I would say the couple didn't fully put God first. Second I would ask you...what were the cir-'c-'u-'mstances b/c as it says in the good book...'NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR GOD'....not putting a broken marriage back together...raising the dead...curing diseases....or anything."

      Do you not see the faulty reasoning here? If the marriage didn't work it's because the couple didn't put God first. The reason: nothing is impossible for God, so if they had put God first then He would have put the broken marriage back together.

      There is no way to verify this statement, it is true regardless of the behavior of couple and regardless of the existence of God.

      ps circ-umstances or circ.umstances works fine

      February 14, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
    • CW

      @ Daisy – The church got involved because they were missing thier cut of the deal. It is written in the scriptures that you need to put God first, and that means you have to pay $$ to have the church say your marriage is good.

      February 14, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
    • CW

      @ billy – you mean marriage is wo-man made!

      February 14, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • Q

      @ Steve(TRO) – http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_dira.htm

      February 14, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • Dingbat

      Hey CW, you have the right-ish idea but your facts are a bit off.

      There are two valid divorces from a biblical stance, you got neither of them right tho.

      The first one is call the !st Cor 7:10 divorce. If an unbelieveing spouse chooses to leave, then you are not bound. In this the other spouse makes the call not you. You can only be a victim.

      The second one is for unchasteness, not adultery. Notice that the standard was set by Jesus himself.. did he say go home and get divorcded to the woman brought to him, or did he say go and sin no more showing forgiveness? Unchasteness means you bargined for a virgin and that is not what you got, basically fraud. IF you knew she had been busy before, then this is not an out.

      Since scripture also records the opinions of others, what did the 12 say of their masters statements? What they said was, if this is truly the way it is, then it is better for a man not to marry.

      But this is only from a biblical stance. If you are going to read the bible with a pair of scissors, you will be corrected by those of us who do not.

      As for the other comment about abuse I saw here, thatis addressed to. We live under the authority of the government as is established by god. Therefore, you must do as the law says. He hits you, you prosecute for assualt – and do not drop the charges for his puppy dog eys cryin. Or you are choosing to be a punching bag. Abuse is a learned behavior, because it is not met with consequences. Either teach the abuser what no menas, or be a punching bag.

      I'm done

      February 14, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • Amused

      Please explain how my three sisters, each of whom is religious and married men they met at church, have all divorced (two of them twice now), while my wife and I – both atheists – have stayed married for 18 years.

      If it takes fear of the disapproval of God or society to keep you married, you're doing it wrong.

      February 14, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      Amused
      Please explain how my three sisters, each of whom is religious and married men they met at church, have all divorced (two of them twice now), while my wife and I – both atheists – have stayed married for 18 years. If it takes fear of the disapproval of God or society to keep you married, you're doing it wrong.
      ---------
      1. Selfishness
      2. Unforgiveness

      Sadly, this affects some Christians also as "Christian" weddings also failing at 50% or more!

      3. Being religious does not always equate to being a Christian!

      February 14, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • Amused

      Steve,

      That still doesn't answer the OP's contention that "Almighty God" needs to come "First," because we're doing just fine without any invisible sky father.

      February 14, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      Amused
      Steve, That still doesn't answer the OP's contention that "Almighty God" needs to come "First," because we're doing just fine without any invisible sky father.
      ----------
      You "appear" to be doing fine, here on earth. That appearance will dramatically change after you pass on without Jesus in your life! You are free to reject Him. Yet you are not free to reject the eternal consequences of that decison to reject Christ!

      February 14, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @CW

      Sorry for the delay in responding, however, I see that -Nonimus stated very eloquently the basics of what I would have responded with.

      Peace...

      February 14, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Steve the real one

      Hey Steve...!

      Well, if in fact you do end up being right about this whole cosmological and theological world-view that you hold, please put in a good word for me with J.C, and St. Peter at the Pearlies, maybe he'll let a guy like me in...?

      Hope that you are well.

      Peace...

      February 14, 2011 at 11:32 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      Peace2All
      @Steve the real one
      Hey Steve...! Well, if in fact you do end up being right about this whole cosmological and theological world-view that you hold, please put in a good word for me with J.C, and St. Peter at the Pearlies, maybe he'll let a guy like me in...?
      -----–
      Hello Peace,

      He'll will definitely let a guy like you in. I know this because He let a guy like me in (into His family). All that is needed is to ask and believe! Just establish a relationship with Him while you are still walking on this earth! That, Peace is the only opportunity we have! Good to hear from you!
      Hope that you are well.

      Peace...

      February 15, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
  19. Nonimus

    Perhaps I'm missing something, but this didn't sound arranged it just sounds more business-like, advertise, communicate by mail for a year to work out details/values/goals, then meet.

    February 14, 2011 at 10:49 am |
    • Pi

      marriage is just that. in society it is needed for socioeconomic status, having children, and financial stability. it has become more business than anything else anyway

      February 14, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • Nonimus

      @Pi,
      Sorry, I wasn't complaining that is was too business-like, I'm just saying that it didn't sound like it was "arranged." I thought "arranged" meant that someone else arranged it for the couple and the couple just accepted or rejected. This sounds like the couple still did all the arranging, just at a distance instead of at a bar (which is probably better anyway).

      February 14, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • Pi

      It is sad what marriage has become. Arranged and love marriages both have become a mockery compared to what they used to be. It is sad to see what it has been reduced to. divorce is so simple now that it is the easy solution when times get hard.

      February 14, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • Amy

      It's very common for partners for an arranged marriage to be found online, where families can seek out someone for their son or daughter. Typically, one family will post something for the child that is ready to be married, then another family can search through the database to find the right person for their child. Some marriages are arranged by one family knowing someone who knows someone who is looking to marry off their daughter, but online services are also highly used.

      February 14, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  20. doctore0

    Arranged marriage is a crime against humanity

    February 14, 2011 at 9:24 am |
    • kas

      No, forced marriage is a crime against humanity. Arranged marriages are usually initiated by family and then the bride and groom consent. Nothing wrong with that as far as I can see. Perhaps more people should let their families participate in the process, after all, who knows us better than our families.

      February 14, 2011 at 11:04 am |
    • Sheri

      You couldn't be more wrong, doctore0! I come from a family where we have had ONLY arranged marriages in both my parents' families – and get this.... we have not had a single divorce or separation to date. The longest of these marriages are 50+ years and still going strong, I've been married for over 10 years and we are happy as ever – the love for my spouse deepens with time and that's mutual. We have our fair share of rough patches, but we don't go for a separation or divorce the moment something goes wrong, no matter how painful. There has not been a case of adultery or extra-marital relationships in our family, that's because of our commitment to our spouse and our fear of God above anything else. When it was time to choose my spouse, my parents let me decide if I liked the person or not that they had chosen. I never went out in search of someone – they did the choosing, it was upto me to say yes or no. I said yes after about 4 were suggested to me, and we share a wonderful happy marriage. We have been thru poor health, joblessness, lived apart, etc. but thru it all – we made it thus far and so have the rest of our respective families.

      February 14, 2011 at 11:46 am |
    • sun

      Guess you are not from the south east asian continent. Arranged marriage is no crime, but forced marriage is

      February 14, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • realistic

      @ Sheri: The reason your family has no divorces is because most of the girls are afraid to let down their parents. It would be shameful...so check your family and see how many of your cousins, sisters, aunts are or were actually happy with their spouse. Most of these arrange marriages come from countries where women are brainwash since childhood they have to get married and marriage is forever. There's no way out.
      I don't see anything wrong with getting divorce. Besides you only live once and you don't want to waste it being unhappy with your significant other.

      February 14, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • rahul

      @realistic: if you have only read about arranged marriages in books and not seen them happening and growing , not met men/women/couples in arranged marriage, then you better dont comment and shut up ... Sheri is right ... I have never seen a single case in my family where aunt, or some woman was not happy with the marriage ... if you dont know it, you dont comment on it ...

      February 14, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
    • Sheri

      @realistic – I am a woman myself and happily married – the one life that I have, I'd rather spend with my husband than anyone else. I doubt you've witnessed an arranged marriage in your life or your families' – so shut the hell up. My parents have been married for over 40 years, my mom is a happy wife and enjoying marriage to the fullest. So are all the women in my family. You don't choose to love your child when he/she comes into your life – you love your child regardless of their shortcomings. The same goes with our spouses – we love our spouses unconditionally and that love is mutual.

      February 15, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.