How to make your arranged marriage successful

How to make your arranged marriage successful
Arranged marriages are very common in many countries, especially in the Middle East, and some parts of Africa, and most often than not, they don't last.

This is quite understandable especially because this kind of arrangement involves two people from different backgrounds coming together to build a home.

For most couples in Africa, marriage is "till death do us part" due to certain deep-rooted traditions that binds not just the bride and groom but their families together.

If you have found yourself in this kind of union, and you want it to succeed, here are some useful tips that can help you out:

Be a friend to your partner

Every single detail about your partner is important, whether it's their favorite food or color or temperament. This can only be achieved when you spend quality time alone with them, instead of with your respective families. Without families watching your every move, alone-time helps develop compatibility. As a married couple, you are entitled to a lifetime of harmony. Therefore, don't haste in making the marriage work. Just live one day at a time and savour the gradual growth in your relationship.

Maintain your individuality

Simply because you've found yourself in an arranged marital relationship doesn't mean you have to let your individuality go. You are still the same person you were before you got married or engaged. There is no rule stating that you need to spend all of your time pleasing your partner. Continue to go out with your friends and follow your passions and hobbies even after your marriage. If your spouse is interested in being a part of it, all the more fun, but if you feel you need the space and time away from the relationship to pursue your own interests, then let them know politely. That way, they'll be comfortable pursuing their own interests without feeling uneasy.

Fall in love

Love is a key element that will help both of you conquer many storms. If love at first sight hasn't happened, don't worry. It may take time, but you will eventually grow to love each other. Even if you're in love already, don't expect your partner to instantly reciprocate the feelings. Give him/her time and work on how you can earn his/her love. Be patient and don't get frustrated every time your partner says or does something off beat. In a study titled How Love Emerges in Arranged Marriages by American psychologist, Dr Robert Epstein, within 10 years, the connection felt by those in an arranged marriage setup is said to be almost twice as strong as compared to love marriages. Epstein discovered that the one key to a strong arranged marriage is the amount of parental involvement. This gives you another motivation to always be on good terms with the in-laws.

Be positive

You may think and feel that it is the end of your happily ever after dream of falling in love, but in reality, that's not the case. Keep your mind open and practice positivity. You must see the bright side of things instead of focusing on the negatives and drowning yourself in sorrow. As for the facts – according to research conducted by Harvard academic, Dr Robert Epstein, couples in arranged marriages or those who have had their partner selected for them by a parent or matchmaker, tend to feel more in love as time grows, whereas those in love marriages feel less affection for each other over time.

Spell out your expectations

Any individual entering a romantic relationship has expectations. If you think you don't, then you're lying to yourself. While compromise and mutual adjustment is important in any marriage, going in thinking that you're not allowed to have any expectations from your arranged marriage is wrong, unrealistic and impractical. Whatever expectations you have regarding your personal life going forward, or your professional life, in terms of career growth, let your partner know about them. Also, listen to their expectations too. These pragmatic expectations will ground you and let you move forward together in harmony.
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