Thursday, July 17, 2008

Arranged Marriage to Open Marriage




Most Indians can relate to the first part of the post. If you are born in India or an Indian born and raised in the US, you will surely have atleast heard or had an arranged marriage. India is still one of those countries that has the record high of arranged marriages, no surprises there, though the divorce rate is also slowly, but steadily creeping up in present times. What with the advent of outsourcing, BPO's, women working night shifts and having higher education and more financial independence, along with which comes lesser tolerance to put up with crap from a male dominated society, divorce is also happening more commonly these days amongst Indians.

In my grandmother's generation, she got married as a child at 11 without even seeing my grandfather, the wedding was arranged by the families and they've been happily married for 50 plus years. In my mother's time, she went through the bride seeing process and ended up marrying my father whom she saw briefly for 10 minutes before a group of relatives and my parents have been happily married for 25 years or so. Growing up in India and having come to US for a masters education unmarried, I knew that I didn't have a choice to date (given that my folks had a lot of trust on me that I would go the arranged marriage way). Thanks to all the horrors of horoscope matching, the filtering process etc. I ended up marrying K, the first guy whom I met, though we definitely interacted a lot more than my mother and grandmother ): before making the decision.

I am sure that there may be others who have gotten married the arranged way, others who were lucky enough to marry the person they fell in love with etc.

Has anyone heard of the term "open marriage". The first time I heard it was yesterday morning when I was driving to to the train station to get to work, on the Don Blue show in FM 101.3 when they talked about how the actor Will Smith revealed that he and his wife Jada Pinkett-Smith have an open marriage. Apparently, open marriage means when you tell your spouse that you want to sleep around with someone else. It seems that honesty is the basis of this relationship where in the couple are honest with one another in expressing their attractions to someone else and then ask the other partner if they are okay with them sleeping with someone else. Will was quoted saying that he wasn't sure of his reactions on how he would respond to Jada's question if she wanted to have an affair, but, he thought that she should okay his intention. Given that Jada is being given honesty about his actions first from him rather than hearing it from the tabloids or someone else.

Folks listening to the radio were asked to call in to voice their opinion on the open marriage concept. While, I personally feel that the open marriage fluff stuff will fly only for movie stars and those type of people where morals are defined differently. Even, the most liberal person who is open to gay and lesbian relationships would want to have their partner exclusive to themselves all the time. One of the callers was saying that it doesn't make a wrong doing right if you confess about doing the wrong thing.

Given the background from where I come from, this seemed like an interesting thing to blog about.

19 comments:

Uma said...

Interesting topic Mitr! Thanks for the info on open marriage! Never heard of it.

AJEYA RAO said...

Open marriage seems so scripted for publicity! Anyways.

About arranged marriages, i think they are good, but one should be allowed to talk before taking the desicion. And i think the present generation is doing that.I find this improvised arranged marriages much better.

Bharathy said...

Open marriage!..very interesting..:)..though new to me..

Why going to your Granpas and mom's period..
Well,I got married when I was a teenager..had never interacted with my husb till marriage(just looked up at him for the bride seeing ceremony) and we stick together well even after 15 years :)..

VEGETABLE PLATTER said...

That was an interesting write-up .. I have always somehow believed in arranged marriages cuz it has worked out well for me & most Indians

Sachita(india) said...

I have heard of open-marriage before but yeah never really gave thought about it much. Besides, I also vaguely recall, it is also one of the steps people take when they are thinking of divorce.

Yeah, When you think about it, it's quite funny. Somebody ought to define marriage before we look into the definitions of open marriage.

thetastetinkerer said...

very interesting essay, Mitr- I'm with you; I believe that open marriage might as well mean you're not married to anyone!

Laavanya said...

Huh.. and pple here think arranged marriages are weird?!! Just being honest about other relationships doesn't make it right / acceptable - methinks.

Rajitha said...

so if you want to rob a bank..just tell the bank manager and is it cool!!..i think all this is just 'hype'..and if you really want to sleep with whom you so desire..why marry or get into a relationship...

mitr_bayarea said...

Uma- thanks.

Ajeya- yes, the present generation is doing a bit too much in terms of the talking in the improvised arranged marriages.

Bharathy- wow- married as a tennager, kudos to ur successful marriage.

vegetable platter- Yes, it has worked out for majority Indians.

Sachita- quite true, we need to define the terms of a marriage first.

Taste tinkerer- right, might as well remain single and play the field.

Laavanya- I know...

Rajitha-Loled at the analogy w/ bank robbery, yes, being honest abt it doesn't make it right at all.

Usha said...

Hey there is a surprise for you at my blog,please check it out :)

na_an said...

discussion of 2 extremities :-)open marriage cannot be defined as a marriage. There is no marriage without commitment to one person in all respects.

Cham said...

Interesting post, open marriage will work only for hollywood dudes! Open marriage will never work out for our Indian culture...

Jayashree said...

Whoa....."open" marriage....not at all a concept that I can digest.....why marry at all if you want to sleep around with other people???....and it's funny how Will says he is not sure he'll be happy if Jada chooses to have an affair....

mitr_bayarea said...

Usha- Thanks very much for the friendship award...

Na_an- yes, wanted to write about the contrasts in marriages.

Jayashree- you hit right on the point, since Will seems to say he isn't sure how he will react if Jada has an affair, though he says that he will feel better knowing about it from her, than the tabloids.

Bavani said...

I have heard of the "Open Marriage" concept. Just never thought about it much before. Firstly, I just wanted to agree with you that it is all Fluff! Secondly, I am SO DISAPPOINTED that Will Smith leads such a life hehe - he is one of my favourite actors - technically, I shouldn't care, but it does bother me especially since they have kids!

This gives me inspiration to blog about my concept of marriage!

mitr_bayarea said...

Bavani-

waiting for ur post on ur concept of marriages.

UL said...

i abhor the idea of open marriage, why get married in the first place if one intends to sleep around? Fashionable term it may be, but one that makes me wonder time and time again, "What is this world coming to?"

Madhuram said...

This is the first time I'm hearing about open marriage and it's GROSS!

x said...

we r in open marriage for over a year now,yes we r indians settled in US.open marriage really help to avoid lots of common problems between husband and wife. NO cheating here and NO doubts on each other.and we r more close than before.