Concerns about arranged marriage

Concerns about arranged marriageCategory: RelationshipsConcerns about arranged marriage
Aseel Aman asked 4 years ago

So, this is a question about arranged marriage in Islam that touches on several issues and concerns that I have.
Some background information about me, I am a 20 years old male and live in the United States. I was born a Muslim with both of my parents being from Afghanistan.
I am aware that statistically arranged marriage is more likely to be successful. I do not think there is anything wrong with arranged marriage if both parties are consenting and okay with it. I have read the Quran and am aware that forcing 2 people to get married against their will is a horrible sin.
I just have a few problems with arranged marriages. Where my parents are from, or in places like India where societies are more collectivistic in comparison to the individualistic lives we have in the states; we are more separated from one another. For example, in India/Afghanistan etc. people know their neighbors, community, and just about everyone in between. It is more tightly knit. While in the States, you would be doing better than most if you knew your neighbors last name which most don’t. So, this is point number one, it is a different society with different cultures and environments.
The second issue that I have is the main point, compatibility. In general, the standard process would consist of a supervised meeting between both parties where the parents are normally present. While in fairness, you can get to know if you are compatible in terms of political ideology, religious beliefs, hobbies etc. There is too much that is being hidden at the same time. During this meeting, both parties will be at their absolute best behavior. It is just like a job interview in the sense that we are trying to sell ourselves and it will not necessarily be the true picture of ourselves but an oversaturated version. We do not know their tendency, habits, true personalities and other things that we could only find out over time. Another thing that is kind of just glossed over is sexual compatibility. The Quran talks about how it is a women’s job to please a man, so he does not go astray and do things that are haram such as partaking in prostitution, making sure he is controlling his gaze etc. And at the same time a man needs to do the same to a woman and be fair. The problem that I have is when it comes to sexual compatibility which is pretty much never discussed, how do we know that both parties are compatible without any experience with one another. What if one party is asexual be it the man or women. Or one party only desires sex monthly while the other daily and again this can be either party.
Divorce is allowed in Islam, but it is heavily discouraged. While people who are in arranged marriage are “statistically” more likely to be together compared to people who meet each other from other forms there is a dark side to it. I have personally witnessed what it is like where a woman is trapped in marriage because there is no option to exit. Again, as mentioned, while technically anyone can get a divorce in Islam it is just not true because of “culture”. I could safely assume that there are more people who are unhappy with their arranged marriage and being together on the pretense that leaving would be worse especially for women because they are seen as “less”. Women are less likely to be able to get remarried and in my experience are less because they could not fulfill this basic duty. A woman without a husband is seen as less, while this is not something I believe in or what Allah tells us in the Quran, this is the harsh reality that Islamic culture has instilled. A man who gets a divorce can easily remarry while a woman is seen as a salvaged car. It will run, but you never know. Again, I am not claiming this is what Islam believes in but realistically this is what is happening. I am a man and this problem wouldn’t affect me, but I do not see this as fair.
These are the problems that I am having, it is the what if factor, While I am not saying arranged marriage is wrong by any means, I am agreeing that in certain societies it works even better but in a society like the United States this is not the case. How do I know it will work, let’s say randomly I am compatible with 50 percent of people that I have vetted? We may have perfect compatibility from what was mentioned when it comes to political ideology, beliefs, etc. but I do not feel like that is enough to see if we will work for each other without a test run or simulation. And with divorce not being a real option, this is what really scares me. I apologize about the rant, but these problems mentioned above is what really scares me for what is to come in my future. I would love to hear any thoughts or anything at all that you may have to address this. Thank you for taking the time to read this far. Asalam Walekum