A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

A question..

Posted by Pepper on June 21, 2015

Many months ago, I had this very interesting debate with Maya. I tried to evaluate the issue from many different angles and view points. I also started observing real life examples more closely. So far, I’ve enjoyed collecting and analysing the data in my head.

Coincidentally,  I was asked the same question again, very recently. I would love to share my thoughts on this subject on the blog, but before that, I would like to know your thoughts. So here is the question.

Do you believe that couples who have had a love marriage should ideally be fighting lesser than couples who have had an arranged marriage?  

I urge and request you to leave your responses in the comment section. In order to avoid influences and biases, I am not going to approve comments until I am ready to share my thoughts. I know I am using a small and random sample set, but the more comments and responses there are, the more interesting the analysis will be. So please, consider this to be my personal request to you and leave your responses in the comment section. Even if you are otherwise a lurker. Thank you very much.

PS – You do not have to be married to qualify to comment on this post. I will be very happy to hear your thoughts even if you are single, in a relationship, divorced, or belong to any other category possible.

 

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115 Responses to “A question..”

  1. I spoke to my friend who had a love marriage in December. I am at their place this weekend on San Diego.
    He and I agreed on the fact that in an arranged marriage, a lot of fights are avoided thanks to politeness and adjustments and such. But in love marriage, the comfort is already there to point out everything right away specially if you share that friendly equation. And in an relationship, surprises will always pop up no matter what, leading to fights. Hehe. I fought a ton with the xBF. It was me mostly with my lack of patience and short fuse. So I don’t think there are lesser fights in love marriage.

    • Pepper said

      Interesting to note you too fought during your courtship days. I think you tend to fight a lot more after marriage only if your life changes too much. If your life has remained the same after marriage, then your fights before and after marriage usually remain the same.

  2. My two cents. I don’t think having either a love marriage or an arranged marriage has anything to do with how much a couple fights. I think it has entirely to do with the personality. I thought I knew my husband super well in the 7 years that we dated. But after we got married and started living together, we learnt so much more about each other. Living together brings its own share of annoyances whether you’ve had a love marriage, arranged marriage or even if you’re roommates! I have a friend who had a love marriage and she and her husband fight constantly over small things. I remember she said ” that’s just who we are. It doesn’t mean we love each other any less. Just that we are both strong willed and take a while to give in. So naturally there seems to be a lot of ‘fighting’.” My parents had an arranged marriage and a number of disagreements in the initial years of getting to know each other. But I’d attribute that more to a personality clash rather than ‘because they had an arranged marriage and not a love marriage’.

    • I’m going to be following the comments on this post. I think it’ll be an interesting discussion! 🙂

    • Pepper said

      Hmm.. so you are saying you truly and completely know each other only after you live together? Well… Maybe. I’m trying to think.

      • Not exactly. I’m just saying that’s how it’s worked out for me. We spent our entire courtship of 7 years in a long distance relationship so most of our conversations were over email and chat. I find that most of the things that we fight about now are inconsequential every day stuff. Yes we did have a few big fights in those years and we continue to have the occasional big fight now. But like you said, marriage was inconsequential to that.

  3. mevsrogue said

    I don’t think so. Both are individuals with their own minds. I think the fights will be the same depending on the type of people they are with no connection to the type of marriage, except that in arranged marriage, they need to know and get used to each other initially, so more fights MAY happen early on in the marriage.

    • Pepper said

      Well we discussed this and you agreed with me and changed your mind about the ‘more fights happening early on in an arranged marriage’ after I pointed somethings out to you. So I won’t respond to your comment here and retype everything 😛

  4. shwethays said

    Yes pepper, I expect it to b like that. But for fact it’s not that way n never will be.

  5. No, i think it totally depends on the personalities in a relationship, be it arranged or be it a love marriage. They are two different individuals and there will definitely be clash of opinions and ideas of what life/ living should be. It does not matter.

  6. Interesting question. So here is what I think from my limited experience of being married for 6 years to a guy I fell in love with at 19. I do not think couples who have had a love marriage should in fact be fighting less. But I do think the making up bit is easier or “cleaner” somehow. Firstly, my husband is my best friend – I have had no other for the longest time . That said , maybe apart from the first 3-6 months of our relationship when we were young, stupid, not being ourselves and trying to be on our best behavior with each other – we have fought. Every few weeks, every few months – you know the drill. One of us itches for a fight and we have one in all its glory. We always do make up though, very rarely have we stretched one over days – don’t remember the last time. Not fighting is really unimaginable in our relationship somehow – but I think every friendship has situations which result in differences of opinion and if you are both strong individuals who have chosen to live your life together, and have absolutely zero ability to hide your emotions (like us, we say what we think to each other which can be bad sometimes and below the belt), you will fight. I say the making up is easier when I compare our marriage to some arranged marriages around me – family, friends etc. A lot of couples in arranged marriages seem to have issues they have never brought to the surface in a fight. So the make up to me atleast seems superficial – even with my parents. For us it’s all out there in a fight, it’s all apologized for, all forgiven and ultimately it’s just about him and me again. That’s what our world has always been – him and I. This is something some of my friends in arranged marriages will never say. For them their world always extends to their parents, family and external factors. We of course, love our folks but it ultimately is always just us – we will always pick each other over our respective families or anything else in life when it comes down to it. And this underlying fact somehow atleast from my observation affects the making up part. Not sure if I have expressed myself well enough in this comment but will stop now as its getting crazy long.

    • Pepper said

      Actually, I don’t know if I agree with your observations about arranged marriages. Or maybe they ARE true for the majority. Just that I know some couples who are so madly in love and treat their marriage exactly the same way as the love marriage wala couples do. For them, their marriage too is just about them, and not their families. So maybe we can make some generalisations based on the statistics, but ultimately I guess EVERYTHING depends on the couple and their personalities. Not their type of marriage.

  7. V said

    Dear Pepper, I follow your blog regularly. If you can see, I am subscribed to your blog. I must say – You right very well and I relate to what you write a lot 🙂
    Nice question you put out there which made me write this comment first thing on Monday morning (I have not even opened my office email ;-)).

    I am not good at writing at once, but happy to discuss this further based on points you raise on this.
    P.S – Can I ask you not to post this comment for the mere reason that I have put out some sensitive parts of my life over here. I just felt like sharing and you could think of this like an email to you my blog friend 🙂

    • Pepper said

      Hello, I am only approving your comment so that I can reply to it. I have edited your name and everything else that can be considered sensitive. I just wanted to thank you for sharing your thoughts (and some pieces of your life) with me. 🙂

  8. Boiling said

    My view – Not necessarily.

    All couples have disagreements and fights. I think it is equally an issue if you fight too much or not at all.

    First, in many cases in India what is called as love marriage might not really be a love marriage. The couple may have chosen each other because they knew each other instead of being chosen and approved by parents but that does not often mean that the couple has dated consistently for a certain period of time. In may cases, the people in the relationship do not know how their other half will behave in presence of their families. Sometimes, many go ahead with marriage in spite of red flags because they have already fought with their parents for this.

    At the outset, it might look like people in love marriages have more fights but that is because –

    1. They already know each other’s quirks (to an extent) at least while in arranged marriage that will take time. So, people are more formal because they do not know each other much.

    2. The people in the relationship can compare before and after marriage, while arranged marriage there is little to compare? This may lead to resentment because you remember how you were treated when you were dating.

    I think that in a lot of cases from what I have heard, the husband changes dramatically after marriage in front of his family and this causes a lot of resentment.

    3. I feel that a lot of fights in a couples marriages (in India) are due to extended family & MIL/FIL/SIL/BIL interference and the family not letting the couple bond. In arranged marriages, this may (or may not ) be less but if the family is not happy about the choice of the spouse (due to caste, religion, state) then they may the cause of more rifts and arguments when the girl faces a hostile environment.

    Many of these fights can be avoided if the couple decides that they are a unit and they support each other.

    Also, I have noticed that in arranged marriages, if the family is not nice to the DIL and they try to get their son onto their side against the DIL, the DIL has no recourse and is resentful because even her husband does not know her much and won’t support her.

    4. Wives in arranged marriages may have lower expectations and more willingness to adjust (in terms of join family) though many times that may depend on the person’s nature.

    5. The T& C of arranged marriages tend to be slightly more clear when compared to love marriages where many things change when it goes from dating to marriage and is a source of friction.

    6. Besides in Asia, many people/couples will brush things under the carpet than discuss issues openly and there are so many things that are left unsaid. Avoiding discussion and fights may mean less fights but does it mean a healthy relationship?

    After all these factors level out, I feel the fighting rate equalizes in both couples.

    In my case, we fought more in the beginning of dating because there were so many different expectations and way of doing things and then it gradually decreased. Also, our lives barely changed after marriage, so that was no cause of fights and we rarely have stuff like ‘when we were dating you did this for me but now, you don’t” …

  9. anna's mom said

    Fights between a couple in a marriage depend on many factors – temperament, living situation, upbringing, level of comfort to name a few. I don’t think whether it was an arranged or love marriage play too much of a role here.

  10. Anitha said

    As someone who is the only one in my past and present group of friends to have had arranged marriage, I think I am qualified to state my opinion here 🙂 I think it just boils down to the temperament and personalities of the couple and it has nothing to do with how you got married. I know so many of my friend who have had love marriage bickering all the time and vice versa.

  11. SS said

    Very interesting question. My generation of Indian friends in their late 30’s to mid 40’s are all arranged marriages. There seems to be a lot of love marriages in the decade younger to us.

    Once you are married with kids and the daily grind of life takes over the romantic period, I don’t think there is much difference between an arranged marriage or love marriage couples.

    Couples who are more committed to the unit of family than to self, couples that are intellectually compatible, couples that have similar likes in food and hobbies, couples who have similar financial goals, respect towards extended families, couples who see eye to eye on the values and foundations they want to raise their children with – from big ones to religion, what language to speak, to eating junk food or healthy food, to the amount of time that the child watches TV, to whether you are okay if the child eats without washing their hands at the beach – to simple things like these are directly proportional to the amount of fighting.

    I think you get my drift…my opinion is one is very lucky to run across their soulmate in this vast wide world and get married to them. I don’t think arranged marriage or love marriage can guarantee a personality match and compatibility to eliminate difference of opinions in day to day living when you have to juggle so many responsibilities. If one was better than the other, it would have been proven by now as both methods have been in place for a while in different parts of the world.

    Harmless fights are not necessarily bad it just can be draining! Lucky are the couples that can see eye to eye on most things.

    Some of our ridiculous fights are When I start a de cluttering project. I like to give away stuff that we don’t use, and hubby likes to keep things around. I could very well do it without him knowing and he would never even know or care but I can only do it if he agrees. Oh, boy! Either one of us could be smart here and avoid the fight, but!

    • Pepper said

      “my opinion is one is very lucky to run across their soulmate in this vast wide world and get married to them” This statement of yours made me think… Actually, I don’t even know if I believe in the concept of a soul mate. I just believe people fall in love if they feel a connection. That connection can happen for whatever reason, intellectual compatibility, common beliefs, etc. In this regard, I will say that the chances of compatibility are higher in a love marriage.

  12. Uma said

    Hai,

    We had a love marriage and we do fight a lot. I am not sure if fight more or less when compared to couples who had arranged marriage.

    We are not very lovey dovey or romantic either and I am pretty strong and independent. I see some couples who had arranged marriages and living in US ( where wife is not working due to visa situation), the wives are not that outspoken or a little timid (could be due to the financial dependence).

    • Pepper said

      Okey, I don’t think you can assume their timidness is due to financial dependence. It may be true to a large part, but it still bothers me when people associate being financially dependent to being subdued and submissive.

    • the owl said

      Maybe the wives are timid because they’ve had to move to a completely new country with new people and are still finding their feet? Or maybe they’re just soft spoken by nature? I don’t think timidness has anything to do with financial dependence, I have met far too many older women who don’t have a “job” but are the least timid people you’ll find 😀

  13. Shweta said

    No, Pepper. I do not think that the fights between couples depend on the choice of their marriage.

    In a Love Marriage, you have seen your partner change from a boyfriend to don a more responsible hat of being a husband and balancing his family and you. This may alter the image of the person you married and you may start drawing comparisons with his before and after self, which is one of the perfect backgrounds for a war! 😀

    Whereas in an arranged marriage, you may be willing to go with the flow and learn to grow together and adjust to life after marriage better.

    Your call on this thought??!

    • Pepper said

      Well, in general I agree that chances of fights could be higher in a love marriage.
      Although like Popgoesthebiscuit said, I have never experienced the whole issue of my husband trying to balance his wife and his family. For Mint and I, it is ONLY about the two of us. We aren’t married to each other’s families. I think that makes it easier .. Doesn’t the whole balancing act between wife and family usually happen in arranged marriages? Or maybe it happens in joint families whatever be the marriage?

      I agree comparing before and after self can be background for war.. haha..

  14. Sruti said

    Really depends doesn’t it? Love is not the be all and end all of a relationship. So, fights happen when you have a difference in opinion.
    I think it’s ok to fight, just important how you go ahead after the fight.
    Love or arranged, the expectations you bring to the table are important, and when these differ, you might fight a lot–but as long a you know how to reach middle ground.

    • Pepper said

      Of course it is okay to fight. I’d go to the extent of saying it is healthy to fight. But that wasn’t the point of this post at all..

      • Sruti said

        Ya so basically I meant it doesn’t matter if your marriage is arranged or a “love” marriage. It depends on the individuals in the marriage.

  15. meghajamba said

    I don’t think there is a difference. It does not depend on whether u are into a love marriage or arranged. We fight when we have difference of opinions and its not possible that u agree all the time.

    On the flip side – I feel that when you are into love marriages u have set expectations from your spouse. And when these set expectations go haywire – it leads to fights. Whereas in an arranged marriage, you are open to accept and adjust (Totally depending on the individuals). So probably its more fights in love marriages or balanced – but not LESS.

  16. Hello Pepper! This is my first comment in your blog as I belong to the lurker category. I love your blog. I am happy every time I see a notification in my inbox that announces a new post from you.

    My answer to your question is – After 6 months into marriage, arranged marriage or love marriage, it all becomes one and the same. It is the love after marriage that counts.
    If you marry someone you have fallen in love with, there is an unspoken take it for granted attitude that – you knew what I was, you fell in love with me. you chose me …what are you complaining about now.. The expectation that the spouse should understand is high. Whereas in an arranged marriage, chances are that, the expectation of the partner will be less and thus lesser disappointments.
    Having said that, my husband and I hardly fight. Ours is a love marriage. But i feel that even if I had married this guy in an arranged marriage, the way we are with each other will be the same. How we ended up marrying each other does not matter.

    • Pepper said

      Thanks! I love hearing nice things about my blog 😛

      I agree with you, Only thing is that I am not sure everybody takes 6 months to even out. This period could differ.. But in the end I do think all couples reach the same state. At least all couples who truly love each other.

  17. AG said

    Intercaste love marriage. Eight years. Two babies.

    We love each other. A lot. But we also fight a lot. From the usual bickering to really nasty fights that involve a lot of yelling, name-calling and below-the-belt remarks AND the mother of all fights that occurs once a year. The kind where I’ve packed my bags and called a cab, ready to leave for the airport, kids in tow, but agreed to give it one last chance when my partner literally pleaded with me, tears and promises galore. That’s the kind of fight that I’m most afraid of. Of course we do eventually make up and try and go back to our usual equation and in fact for a long time after that (I’m talking months) there are ZERO fights or even arguments because we are still reeling from the after-effects. I used to naively feel proud of our ability to make up and bounce back to being the way we were. However, of late I’m realizing that these kind of ugly fights take a huge toll on our relationship and with each subsequent episode I feel we both die a little and irrevocably lose a piece of ourselves and guess what, the next big fight is worse than the last.

    Since it’s a love marriage, we have noone to blame but ourselves and for that I’m GRATEFUL because imagine involving more people in this nasty business!!! Incidently, we had one of our worst fights just last week and as ill luck would have it, one set of parents are coming over for a month-long visit starting tomorrow and I’m not looking forward to pretending all’s well in front of them. Additional stress.

    Long-time lurker, commenting for the first time.

    • Pepper said

      I totally know what you mean when you talk about not fighting because you are reeling under the after effects of a bad fight.. I notice the same pattern in us..At the end of the day, I find human behaviour the same.

      I really do hope you manage to truly make up before the parents arrive. Pretending takes a much bigger toll than anything else. Big hugs!

  18. Reblogged this on oshriradhekrishnabole.

  19. Hi, I am not married. But, I feel fights do occur whether it’s love or arranged marriages. See, as human beings we are different from each other and we are on a path of discovery when we uncover differences. What matters is accept everyone as individuals with flaws and celebrate the differences. Guess, it’s also important to communicate with each other.
    As I mentioned, I am a bachelor and may be wrong person to give gyaan but my two cents..space do matter, I feel and let individuals bloom with their set of friends and do things their own way:)

    • Pepper said

      No, I invited gyaan from everybody. Bachelors included.
      I agree.. communication is key. It depends on how much you use that key to avoid / end fights.

  20. Tanishka said

    Now that you have invited lurkers too so here I am.. I think fights between couples have got nothing to do with the kind of marriage (love or arranged) coz dating someone maybe one thing but staying with someone sharing everything is a different ball game all together… And that’s when majority fights start.. While I may be fine with my room being messy, he may want it always clean and organized.. While I may like my room to be a bit warm, he may not be able to sleep without AC at all.. So on and so forth.. These difference are bound to be there irrespective marriage being an arranged one or a love marriage.. Just because its love marriage and you know the person better in advances doesn’t changes much.. For instance if its love marriage and I know well in advance that he likes to have his room tidy while I am a bit messy doesn’t changes that fact that we want different things.. The fight will happen anyways.. So I think these fights have got more to do with differences in personalities and preferences rather than the kind of marriage one has..

    • Pepper said

      Hello.. Do you remember who I am? Are you sure you classify as a lurker? 😐

      Agree with your views fully.

      • Tanishka said

        Off course I remember, I never forgot.. 🙂 In fact I miss chatting with you on Gtalk… Commenting on your blog.. And a lot of things.. While I stopped commenting on all the blogs for almost two years now there are a few blogs I could never stop following.. And yours is one of them pepper… I really love to read everything that you write and my favorite still remains all the peppermint stories… 🙂 I am so glad that you are still in Mumbai only & that too soo close to your loved ones and I am very happy that you have become an entrepreneur… Its really awesome!!! Lets catch up sometime once again… 🙂

        PS: I classified myself as lurker coz I was not sure if you would remember me.

  21. A said

    Interesting question. Delurked after ages… I think it will be similar for love/ arranged marriages-at least in Indian families where one ends up integrating with the families. Most fights end up happening because of one’s quirks, how they treat the spouse’s family/ spouse’s family treats them, how they as a couple respond to life events (financial, health, family, children etc). Mostly, courtship doesn’t provide the opportunity for couples to see this side of their spouse. Will be interested to see the responses from others.

    • Pepper said

      Well, what do you think about couples who do not have to integrate with families? Where there is no pressure to get approval of other family members.. where you dont have to bond with x and y?

  22. Visha said

    What has the type of marriage got to do with fights? Be it love or arranged, you argue/fight because you have a difference of opinion on a particular matter.

    Agreed, in love marriage you know what kind of person he/she is beforehand, having spent lots of time with each other, but that does not stop from having a reasonable argument or a tantrum when the situation arises.

    Arranged marriage sees more of the habits, thought processes, decisions on an everyday basis leading to assume that this is the way the person behaves, accepting it and even adjusting to it as the days pass by. But acceptance does not mean you cave in easily without a counter argument when you know it is not for the good.

  23. xy (what else) said

    Not necessarily. But I do think that they are not as open with each other. If they were telling each other each detail of their thoughts then yes, they would fight more. I also think that the fights probably reduce as the marriage matures and the couple starts understanding each other more.

  24. S and I are like Tom & Jerry. We do argue a lot but fighting happens very occasionally. We are never the ones to never agree on the same thing – even if its a very small/negligible to our life. And when our opinions do match, we both give out a surprised look to each other. I dont think the number of fights/arguments vary between love or arranged marriages, but in love marriage I know I can trust him completely and since I know his character well, I am more comfortable and we just understand each other better. We dont hold grudges against each other. One of my friends had arranged marriages, for few years she couldnt trust the guy. Every small deal was blown out of proportion by each of them. She never told how she felt about it to her husband and let the pressure build up inside her. When she had an abortion from all the pressure and negative thoughts, her husband became really close to her, understood her.

  25. Sudha said

    Hello Pepper,

    I have been reading you for a while and I get excited when I see a new post from you. Always wanted to drop a comment but ..you know how it goes 😦 Anyways, the question you’ve asked is very compelling and I figured this is the best way to begin expressing how much I enjoy your blog!

    To answer you question, my perspective is that it is the opposite. I think that love marriage ends up boosting our expectations of each other – “he/she knows me better and how could he/she do this or say this” thing happens quite a bit. A lot of things are assumed to have been understood and then ends up disappointing more when we realize more effort is needed!

    Good luck with all the great things you are doing.

    Thanks,
    Sudha

  26. seema3 said

    I feel that couples who have love marriages would be fighting more than the ones who have arranged marriages. Why??? Because the expectations are so high. You go from being lovers(which is the best phase where you will normally show each other happy self most of the times)to actually living together (which is when you really experience each other completely and that is what can lead to fights)

    Also the constant comparison, You have changed so much from before blah blah.

    Ideally arranged or love does not matter, marriage is a whole new beginning that you have to get into together.

    • Pepper said

      Agree that love marriages can see more fights because the comparison comes in..
      But I disagree with your first part.. I think even as lovers you can show your dirty sides to each other… I know we did.. So in that sense, marriage didn’t mean more fights for us.

  27. Maya said

    Okay… I have mixed views about this … my immidiate response was that, yes, couples who have had a love marriage should be fighting less .. and my justification was that, they kinda know each other pretty well .. so it would be easier to adjust and hence they should be fighting less as opposed to arranged marriage where the people involved are almost strabgers to each other…
    however , that theory was quickly put away by me bexauae, we live qith our parents all through life and know each other inside out and we still fight qith our parents .. our parents have lives with each other for 2 to 3 decades easily and they atill fight, sometimes even over petty matters .. so.. i am leaning more towards a NO.
    Couples fight. Friends fight. Bffs fight . Lol.
    everyone that loves , fights

    I remeber reading somewhere that people fight when they care.. this is of course in a nutshell..

    There will love as long as people..and as long as people are ther differences and e fights will be there roo.

    • Pepper said

      This is very interesting. When did you change your mind? I went through our comments and our email exchange and you were very convinced of your perspective at that time.. Your theory wasn’t quickly put away by you at all .. 😛 I was sure you strongly believed in your original theory….Because, let’s admit it, it is a good theory. Just that it is hard to put in practice.
      So I am curious, how did you change your mind? Anyway I do agree with what you are saying ofcourse. That point about friends, parents and everybody else fighting is very valid!

      • Maya said

        Oh no no no…a small co fusion.. this is not the dreamymommy wala Maya .. this is a different one.. mostly a lurker , but your very regular reader …
        and I was readig this post as i was playing with my baby boy.. so my first thought and what i felt on thinking some more is what is posted above …

  28. Disclaimer – When i say arranged marriage, im referring to those marriages where the couple had a few months before the wedding to get to know each other, felt a certain degree of attraction towards one another and hence agreed to the wedding. Im not talking about marriages where the girl/boy’s opinion was never taken into consideration or where the marriage was a forced one.

    Nope, i dont think the number of fights in a marriage has anything to do with the type of marriage. Similarly, i do not think there is any relation between the success of a marriage and how the marriage happened. I think the number of fights/disagreements has more to do with the kind of individuals they are, their temperaments, how similar/different their thought processes are etc. I cant see how this has anything to do with how they met/got married. Some might argue that a love marriage might throw up lesser surprises. This may or may not be true. The surprises would have come up while dating, whereas in an arranged marriage they will spring up during the inital months of marriage. Bas. Infact i feel there could be a lot of things you learn newly about ur spouse while living together even if you knew the person for years before.

    Plus people change. That might also cause some friction. And poeple are bound to change irrespective of how they married na. Well, i dont know what more to say, but ya, i dont think it matters.

  29. I cannot say much about the fighting part, but I do believe knowing a person before marriage (and actually being in love with that person) certainly makes one more “content” being married to that person as most of the major conflicts are pre-resolved or atleast there is some understanding on what ones’ stand is where conflict of interest lies. My husband has a completely opposite view on this and he feels that arranged marriage has a slight upper hand as far as happiness is concerned because one does not have pre-conceived notions on how a partner should be and one tends to be more adjusting (both husband and wife) if one does not know the partner well. We have had a love marriage and we fight quite a lot, based on comparisons with my other friends who are married. But I do feel our fights are NOT on core marriage principles like equality and gender stereotypes and in laws issues. They are more individualistic, I would say, for the lack of better word. So, maybe this is the difference,..the types of fight one has varies with the kind of marriage you have had? But I think, in the long run the type of marriage (love/arranged) really does not matter.

    • Pepper said

      Yes. I agree. We rarely fight over core marriage principles too. My husband is the most amazing person ever and I never have to worry about being treated unequally. I never have to fight about in law issues.. Our fights are like you say, individualistic. Maybe in an arranged marriage, people do fight about core issues in the beginning, until they learn to find a middle ground. Although in my personal opinion, people should ideally TALK about all core issues before marriage. Yes, even before an arranged marriage.

  30. the owl said

    I feel like there are too many unknown variables to answer this question correctly. Just a few random thoughts,in no particular order :
    1) What about arranged marriages with an extended courtship period where the couples get to know each other? Would you expect them to fight less or more than a couple who has been in a relationship for the same time?
    2) What about “love” marriages where the two people are argumentative by nature? Wouldn’t they fight more than a couple who went the arranged route?
    3)I don’t think you can say that one should be fighting more than the other,but I think the nature of the arguments may be different. Like probably in a traditional arranged marriage,there may be a lot of arguments initially when the two people are getting to know each other, in a non arranged marriage,the arguments may be about other things,perhaps annoying habits that they only noticed after living together?

    • Pepper said

      I agree, the question had too many unknown variables. People call it a love marriage even if the couple just met a month ago and chose to marry. They have practically no courtship period. But it is still considered ‘love’ only because it was not arranged. So yes, the question was too generalised. But I was only talking about typical scenarios ..
      I agree with your last point..

  31. No, I do not believe so.
    The amount of a couple fighting is not related to how they got married.

    One might think people in love-marriages should fight lesser since they got into it knowing each other too well. But, hey, people change with age and environment. Perspective changes, life changing events happen, kids happen.There are so many factors that can bring difference of opinion and cause arguments/ fight.

    Personal observation and experience has made me believe couples fight based on how much they are willing to compromise or find a common ground.
    Nothing to do with how they got married.

    My 2 cents.

  32. Hi Pepper !
    As far as my opinion goes, It doesn’t matter if you have had a love marriage or an arranged one. After marriage , you are ‘Husband and Wife’ in both cases. The fights , misunderstandings and how you workout each others imperfections depends on the character and personalities of the two people living together. Married life is going to throw at you several situations unexpected, unthinkable, unpredictable.
    Just because you fell in love before marriage does not become a valid reason for the couple to be prepared to face all these different kind of situations. At the same time , just because it was an arranged marriage doesn’t mean everything is really difficult to solve as you weren’t aware of whats hitting you after marriage.
    If you have two hot headed people living under one roof – heated arguments and fights are inevitable, be it love marriage or arranged ! AT the same time if you have one of them humble and understanding or both adjustable , they work their way ..there may be tears and misunderstandings but they stick on. Work on it and Live Life !

    • Pepper said

      You put it so well! Especially these lines:

      ‘Married life is going to throw at you several situations unexpected, unthinkable, unpredictable.
      Just because you fell in love before marriage does not become a valid reason for the couple to be prepared to face all these different kind of situations’

      I was struggling to explain this.

  33. Bhavani said

    Very good question Pepper…And my answer would be no…I don’t think fighting between couples has anything to do with how they got married.

    A couple either from Love or arrange marriage makes little compromises while living together. No one is perfect. Most arguments arise due to some situation which causes stress to either one and things blow up sometimes. We cool down, make up and move on..at least that’s what happens with us…

    As you said, I have seen close friends in Arranged and Love Marriages living happily, but the fighting and making up part is the same every where…

    Eager to see your point of view and what others say in this.

    -Bhavani

  34. I really think fighting or disagreements have no bearing with arranged marriages or love !! The hubby and I were like the star matched couple before we got married…. Firstly we had a long distance relationship for the most part of the 6 yrs we knew each other and when we met we were like making the most of the lost time:) …. So all my temper tantrums and other idiosyncratic behavior was witnessed by him only after marriage… The first year it took quite a few fights to get certain expectations straight…. I think irrespective of what kind of marriage it takes a little while to actually know the spouse.

    • Pepper said

      True. But then, I do believe it is possible (albeit difficult) to fully well know each other even before you marry, or start living together,

  35. Prachee said

    Well…I dont feel so.
    It depends more on the person rather than type of marriage..!
    Similar opinion I got by my husband…so you have two votes here..:-)

  36. I remember we discussed this a while ago. I really don’t think that people with love marriages fight less than the ones with arranged marriages. Maybe what they fight about differs but I think when you put two different people with different backgrounds, who’ve spent most of their lives apart, there will be some friction if not a lot. And that remains same irrespective of what kind of marriage they have. Fighting isn’t an indicator how well do you know someone. Having different opinions is a part of being different individuals.

    Though, I think, those in a love marriage might be able to predict their partner’s reaction a little better than those in an arranged marriage.

    You know my situation, I wouldn’t know for sure. Currently, K and I are too chicken to fight with each other.

    • Pepper said

      I agree, in a love marriage you might be able to predict your partner’s reactions. But over time, I think arranged marriage couples also reach the same level of familiarity. Don’t you think?

  37. daisy13mya said

    i am usually a lurker.. but here goes..
    We had a love marriage- as did my parents..
    Well- for me, I look at my husband as my equal and my friend. I actually get frustrated with him if he doesn’t get me, because you know we have known each other since we were scrawny teenagers..
    I think we tend to fight more than friends who had an arranged marriage- because I take lot of liberties with my husband.I also think that’s normal and healthy – as opposed to pent up emotions bursting one day.

    However, I feel our fights are sillier- not the serious types when compared to friends who had an arranged marriage.Even if it is a huge fight, we both know the tricks to make the other smile.. Also, Because we chose each other, we take responsibility for our lives. I have seen so many of my friends blame their parents after fights with their spouses.I think that is the single biggest difference- that you take responsibility for your own decisions and the choice you made.

  38. Rachna said

    No, I don’t think so. I believe that once you live with someone, especially in such an intimate relationship, it does not matter whether you had an arranged or a love marriage. The rapport you share depends upon your equation with each other which involves many factors.

  39. I do not believe that couples who have had a love marriage should ideally be fighting lesser than couples who have had an arranged marriage. I do not think such generalizations is possible because human beings are really complex. I belief amount of fighting depends on the individuals involved, irrespective of how they got involved(love/arranged).

    • Pepper said

      Yes. What we should never forget is how complex human beings are. No simple theory will work. Everything changes because of the complexities involved.

  40. Preethi said

    Hi Pepper,

    I don’t think couples in love marriage fight less than the couples in arranged marriage. Neither the other way around. I have seen many couples in both arranged and love marriages. My observation is that if one of the partners is easy going or the one who doesn’t react to any misgivings from husband/wife, they fight very less. My elder sister is a classic example of this. Even if she dislikes/disagrees with some of the things that my b-i-l does, she will not argue with him. She says that there is no point in questioning his choices when at the end of the day he will listen to his heart and does what he thinks is right. I want to highlight the point here that my sister is not of subdued nature. She is a very strong, confident and an independent woman.

    I, on the other hand am the not-so-strong person. I will fight and argue with my husband for each and every small thing if I think it is not the right way to do it. We have been married for 10 yrs now snd still have our regular share of fights. Does it mean that we love each other less? NO.
    Sorry for the long comment and I don’t know how much sense I made 🙂

  41. As someone who has had an inter caste love marriage, I really don’t think we fight any lesser than others.. In my opinion, all couples come to the same level of compatibility within a few years of marriage.. In this generalisation, I am excluding the couples who vehemently hate each other or are absolutely inseparable…

  42. Ranjini said

    Haha! Absolutely not! I grew up in a different household, raised by different set of parents than my husband. Even if I were to discount that, I am a whole other person with my own set of ideals some even starkly different (if not opposing) compared to his. My husband and I have known each other for 15 years now, dated for 5 years before we tied the knot. Yet, the first year of marriage was an eye opener for both of us. We fought like we didn’t know each other anymore. I don’t think it has anything to do with love or arranged, if you put two people who very strongly believe in what they do and feel- under a single roof, disagreements are a given, more so because they are not just two people sharing four walls anymore, they are two people who love each other, come back home to each other and expect things from each other. Though I detest hurtful arguments, I’ve learned so much about myself (and him) from them. For one, I’m a free swearing libertarian and my gentleman hates it! He renounces house hold chores, works late and I can’t stand that among other bazillion things of course. 🙂 Now, I watch my words when we fight and he takes out the trash after. We absolutely still enjoy an occasional debate, but it’s not vicious anymore. If I were to do the dating, marriage thing all over again (ugly fights included), I’d pick the same man even with my eyes closed. 🙂
    And I am sooo sorry for hogging up this space. I hope you find all the answers you are looking for.

    • Pepper said

      I wasn’t looking for any particular answers. I was just trying to understand a subject that I thought was interesting 🙂 Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
      My experience with marriage has been a bit different. from yours.. I dated for a few years before marriage too.. and being married hardly changed anything for us. We felt like we knew each other forever. There were no surprises. We fought, but then we fought exactly the way we used to before we were married. No more than that.. So I am guessing each equation, situation is vastly different. It’s hard to make a generalised statement.

  43. MR said

    No I dont, but… I do think more couples in a live marriage do help out and are more supportive of their spouses than in arranged marriages. Again I mean a small %more not all.
    I think couples who picked their partners fight without worry 😄 . Atleast that’s my experience, a good old fashioned no holds barred fight, and makeup .

  44. Richa said

    Oh Pepper,

    I have had an arranged marriage and I would like to believe that love marriage has lesser fights and disagreements since the two know each other from before so they know each other’s weaknesses and their dislikes.

  45. rhythm said

    I had love marriage and we had been in a relationship for almost 8 years before we got married. Though it is mostly one-sided, we do fight every other day. After all we are all human beings and none of us are perfect. There is no guarantee that you remain the same person before and after marriage. So fights do happen and it doesn’t really have any connection with the type of marriage you had. At least this is what I think.

  46. The Bride said

    On the surface, you’d think they’d fight less because hello, love, romance etc. but in practice I think they’d fight more because the arranged set-up presumes a certain relationship in which one party defers to the other in major decisions.

    • Pepper said

      I agree.. especially your last line. I said this to somebody and ended up offending her. She said I was making a generalisation about arranged marriages. I do believe it is true, however it may not be applicable to all cases just because it is applicable to the majority. But it IS applicable to the majority of arranged marriages in India.

      Anyway for now we’ll only talk about cases where the partners are absolute equals, even in an arranged marriage. Do you think in cases of equal partnerships, the fights should be the smae?

      • The Bride said

        In case of equal partnerships…I don’t know. Interested to think what you say.

        • Pepper said

          Can’t say with certainty, but I believe then the fights depend on your personality and other related factors. Not on your type of marriage.. But then, can’t be sure. It’s just what I think and what makes sense to me.

  47. liliputs said

    I don’t think love marriage will have less fights.. Mine is completely an arrange marriage and we fight too way less. i think its all depend upon person giving up..

  48. […] A question.. […]

  49. deepthi said

    Hi again,

    Commented on the second post, and then read these. It’s interesting, because the things that we get offended with are sooo related to our personal life choices. I had an arranged marriage, a happy one at that, and have closely seen over 8-10 arranged marriages – siblings, close cousins, friends etc. And I find it narrow-minded that people think there’s less compatibility, or that it presumes an unequal relationship. You, Pepper, lived in the US, without a work permit, and was financially dependent on your husband – so you get offended when people generalize that financial dependence implies being subdued and submissive. Now, in my heart of hearts, when I dont care about being politically correct, I believe in the latter misconception, and you, Pepper, in your heart of hearts and when you don’t care about diplomacy believe in the former (I think?) – and unless our life trajectories change drastically, we may continue to believe in these, and that’s ok. But with these interactions, I think, we’re all just trying to broaden our minds a little, and hear a viewpoint different from our own.

    Very rambling, I must say, and not at all to the point – but I thought this a better use of space than defensive arguments about arranged marriages.

    • Pepper said

      Hey Deepthi! Good to hear from you.. I think I need to make a few clarifications first because a lot of the things you’ve said here seem to be your own reading.

      1) The general assumption wasn’t that there is less compatibility in an arranged marriage. The assumption was that there SHOULD BE MORE compatibility in a love marriage and therefore lesser fights. I have a problem with this premise.

      2) Which part of the post or which comment said arranged marriages PRESUME an unequal relationship? Presume is the wrong word and I don’t think anybody said that. Or are you referring to the comment in which I mentioned that I believe majority of the arranged marriages in India are unequal? Sadly, I do believe that is true. When I talk about the majority, I talk about our entire nation, including the interiors. I think women are rarely treated as equals, especially in a marriage. I know you have a very equal relationship in your marriage, so do your friends who had an arranged marriage. But I will still say you constitute the minority. If you think differently, we can agree to disagree 🙂
      And on second thoughts, I am actually going to modify my opinion here. I believe women are treated unfairly even in majority of love marriages. However, there may be a slightly higher chance that they are treated more as equals in a love marriage than in an arranged marriage. That’s my opinion as of now and it needn’t be right. It’s just what seems logical to me. What are your thoughts?

      3) I’m not sure how the issue of financial dependence even came up here but I can guess which comment you are referring to. If you go back and read that comment, you’ll see that I started my statement with, ‘It may be true to a large part..” By that admission, I agree that there is a higher chance of women who are financially dependent being submissive, don’t I? All I said was that I do not like the instant association of financial dependence with being submissive. And I stand by that, because it is not necessarily true. And no, unlike what you believe, my belief does not stem only from my own experience. My mother quit her high profile job when she got pregnant with me and she has been financially dependent on my dad for almost 30 years now. I have closely seen their marriage .. and also the marriage of many other couples where one partner is financially dependent on the other. So while I agree there is a good chance that the dependence makes you an unequal partner, I do not believe it is safe to assume that for all such couples.

      I agree, what we get offended by often depends on the choices we’ve made in our personal life.

      I’m not sure I fully understood the last part of your comment, but I do sense some amount of annoyance/discomfort (for the lack of better words) in your tone. If you believe that I endorse thoughts like ‘arranged marriages aren’t as good as love marriages’ or something to that effect, then I assure you it is entirely your own reading. In fact, what I have been fighting to say is exactly the opposite of that! 🙂

      • deepthi said

        Hey,

        Not at all – no annoyance or discomfort.

        The phrase you used is more appropriate: “instant association”. Having seen my grandmother being ridiculed by my grandfather for being the non-earning member, and then her determination to make all her daughters financially independent, I used to instantly associate long-term financial dependence with an unequal relationship a few years ago. Now, not so instantly, but I may still need more convincing, as compared to someone like you who’s seen this work more happily, from your childhood.

        The presume part came from Bride’s comment above.

        I’m very uncomfortable making assumptions about the family dynamics of the entire nation, and interiors. When your biggest concern is how to feed your kids tomorrow, patriarchal injustices, wanting to feel valued and equal etc, quickly go down the priority list like Maslow said – or do they? I honestly don’t know. So, in that sense, my comments are strictly limited to the section of the society whose voices we’ve heard on this blog, in these contexts. I can empathize and try to step into those shoes with all the reading in the world, but I still feel inadequate forming opinions or conclusions about a way of life so different.

        • Pepper said

          I don’t blame you for needing more convincing. We see enough cases of power abuse when one partner is financially dependent on the other. But it still bothers me when I hear the ‘instant association’ of financial dependence with submissiveness. You’ll be surprised by the number of people who absolutely refuse to believe in the possibility of being an equal partner if you are not financially independent. Talking about my mom, she has an Honours in Economics and worked in the finance department of a top airline company for many years. If she consciously chose to give up her earnings (and her social standing?), surely it was because she didn’t feel threatened in any way. If it was possible to be treated as an equal even 30 years ago, certainly it should be considered more possible now? I find myself arguing with people who do not believe in this possibility. Although with time, I have learnt to not argue. If they believe they know better and insist my mom has not been an equal, I don’t have anything to say to them. I’ve just turned a little sensitive about this topic because of the constant lashing.

          Sorry, didn’t notice that word earlier.

          I wasn’t talking about the segment that lived below the poverty line. For them, survival itself is a struggle and equality will take a back seat. You’re right about that. But I am talking about the remaining very large part of society that do not have to struggle for survival, not just the middle class, but even the moneyed. Most of them do not treat their women as equals. I wouldn’t call this an assumption. I think we have enough stats to back this up?

          If you are talking only about the section of society whose voices we’ve heard on this blog (I still believe we are a minority), then I fully agree with everything you are saying.

  50. suni said

    Hi Pepper
    I think it doesn’t make much difference…Both types of marriages; fights are inevitable..my parents had an arranged marriage and mine was a love inter religious. .and I can say that my parents fought till the very end..my dad passed away few years back..The initial few years were very tough for me..now we have tuned ourselves to each other so fights are less. .but not completely zero…and one more reason for lesser fights is because our kid interferes and beg us to stop…so that’s a major reason ..
    Love reading your blog..pls post often..
    suni

    • Pepper said

      Thanks, Suni! I too have seen people in love marriages fighting bitterly, similarly I have seen really bad fights occur even in an arranged marriage. At the end of the day, it really depends upon the people involved.

  51. anjeneyan said

    I somehow missed this blog post. I read this only when I read your subsequent blog.

    I had an arranged marriage 38 years back and my views are based on this experience.

    Love and marriage are two different aspects of life. Love and affection is an intangible thing which manifests in many small and big ways in our thought, speech and action. Marriage is a physical act in which we need to discipline ourselves to be able to live with another human being in a most intimate way. Love can make you like a person which could culminate into a desire to spend life toghether. Having arrived at that decision, it is simplistic to think that the existence of love prior to marriage would smoothen the path of living together.

    Simple things like expecting the wife to bring coffee or tea to the living room, or leaving the wet towel on the floor of bathroom- in general being insenstive to each others needs, inability to sense the other’s unstated expectation, interse relationship with parents, siblings of the spouses, agreement on food habits and so on can create issues, which have nothing to do with love or lack of it prior to marriage. Small and thoughtful gestures, politeness in most day to day matters, expression of mutual trust in a mental and physical sense could bond the relationship.

    Fights would take place irrespctive of the nature of relationship prior to marriage. It could be lessened by understanding each others needs and avoiding prior mistakes ( forgetting what the spouse has asked for).

    I am unsure of how much financial independence of the wife impacts the marriage. Money brings in a sense of independence and can buy comforts. But a woman would still want her husband to buy her some gift on important occassions or without any particular reason, which reflects his love for her. I believe that a woman would still expect small gestures of love and affection – irrespective of the length of marriage- even if she is financially independent.

    Needless to say a similar gesture from one’s spouse would be appreciated by the husband also.

    Another aspect I am witnessing is that couples who are highly educated (professional qualified) and are holding good positons in workplace face the same adjustment problems that we have seen fifty years back in case of our parents. I believed that education would help in adjusting to post marriage environment. I am not sure whether this generalisation is correct. But I am certainly witnessing this.

    So to conclude, love and marriage are two different matters. What is important is love should survive after marriage.

    • Pepper said

      I agree with almost everything you say. The only thing I didn’t understand was the line, ‘ I believed that education would help in adjusting to post marriage environment.’

      How would this work? Why would education make you more adjusting? I’m curious.

      • anjeneyan said

        I believe that education ( not just literacy) in the truest sense enables a person to enhance the understating of self and that of others who impact their life significantly. An educated person should be able to curb the basic negative emotions such as anger, envy, fear of change, lack of self confidence, letting emotions rather than reason rule us and so ( which impact any relationship) , at least to some extent. I do not find that maturity in close relationships. Many times much deeper meanings are read into routine reactions.

        Two educated individuals should be able to arrive at a better understanding of each other as compared to two individuals who have not had equivalent advantages. Simple things like sharing of day to day experiences with each other, explaining the innermost anxiety or concern, failures are sometimes not shared by couples both of whom are post graduates. I find that surprising as such couple would be better placed to appreciate such concerns or anxiety as compared to a couple whose education/ experience in life is assymtrical. I do not know whether I am able to convey my beliefs.

        Maybe the reality is that in a husband wife or a man woman relationships there cannot be a logic or reasoned approach to all matters. But what is clear is that this relationship requires continuous investment ( just like Systematic Investment Plan for mutual funds) to be sustained over a life time.

        • Pepper said

          I agree with you almost entirely. I am just confused about one thing though. Curbing emotions, etc, is a sign of wisdom I thought, rather than education. Are you telling me that all good education translates to wisdom?

  52. […] Recently Pepper had asked a question on her blog. Do you believe that couples who have had a love marriage should ideally be fighting lesser than coup… […]

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