What do I do about having an arranged marriage?

My mother is pure American and my father is a born American whose family moved from Yemen almost sixty years ago. For the passed 4 years I've been living with my father side, learning about the religion, life, etc. Recently, I have been asked to get married. At this moment I don't know what to do. Should I take a chance by getting to know this guy and see if he can be the one?

The thing is, I've never felt like I belonged when I was around my father side of the family. I always felt like the black sheep of the family. I seem to relate to my mother side more and I always thought that if I was to get married that it would be with an American guy that I was with for a while. For some reason I feel like I have more in common with pure Americans, if that makes sense.

So this is really different and I don't know what I should do.

Another thing is that my problem is I feel like I'm always trying to make everyone else happy instead of doing what makes me happy. I stayed living with my father to make him pleased but honestly would have rather lived with my mom even if that meant I would be forced to live in a box under a bridge. The only reason I never left my father side was because if I didn't do something that wasn't approved by my dad I felt like he would disown me. A part of me is scared to see what might happen I chose my mother lifestyle over his. Where as my mother, she only wants to see me happy and doesn't care much of how it happens. I know that no matter what, she'll always be my side. Actually my whole mother side will be by my side but not so much my dads. Sadly, I'm willing to get married to make him happy but would rather much find my own husband the American way.

Okay, I kinda blabbered alot... SORRY! Anyways, should I give this 'arranged marriage' a try? It's a big step but may or may not work and honestly I'm trying hard to think positive. -_-

And for the people who doesn't know much about arranged marriages, it's when a guy comes and ask for a girls hand by the father. If the girl agrees, they both get engaged and during that time they are able to get to know each other, etc. During this time they can only talk on the phone and he may or may not be able to come to her house. If everything works out and they seem to hit it off well then they get married, if not then they go their separate ways.


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Most Helpful Guy

  • First of all you have to realize that you come from two cultures. One you seem to know and identify with very well. The other you're really just beginning to learn and there's some level of discomfort with it.

    Next thing you have to do is realize your parents, thought they both mean well, will pretty much embrace their own culture and the fact that you are the daughter, they will want you to embrace their side over the other. Its difficult, but you will have to try to find the balance in all of that, or shall I say, the happy medium, if at all possible.

    Additionally, I know you love both your parents, but the sad reality is they won't be around forever. They have lived their life and part of living it resulted in you coming into a diverse world. While they taught and nurtured you as you grew up, now that you're grown, you have to be responsible for your path in the world, as well as your happiness.

    Being with your father is an enriching experience, especially since you're in his native land. You are learning in greater detail how he lived and the intricate ways of life that are everyday ways of life there.

    I know you wouldn't want to disappoint your father, or your mother, but the biggest disservice you could do is disappoint yourself. If you agree with an arranged marriage to please your father, it may or may not guarantee you a happy life, even while he's around or long after he's gone. Additionally, if things really get bad and you need recourse to get out of that situation, you will need to know the legality regarding your rights, options, conditions and the time frame that it will take to resolve the issue in a manner that will grant you freedom out of that situation.

    Also, if you have an uneasy vibe regarding this arrangement, then chances are you should follow your intuition and avoid it, especially if you have plans to return to the US in the future. Maybe you should emphasize to your father your interests in putting your social life on hold until you can sort out what you want to do and where you want to permanently live.

    In regard to disappointing either of your parents, if they truly love you as their daughter they would recognize and understand the situation you are in and your right to live a happy and fulfilled life as best you see fit. If they want to force something upon you and choose to disown you as a result of your decision it wouldn't be an easy pill to swallow, but it also shows their selfishness as a parent.

    If your father disowns you, try and understand it may be a temporary situation and still has the potential to work itself out. Just always try to maintain a line of communication with him and perhaps in time, once he can see that you're truly happy, he'll come around. If not, you have to weigh whether his disowning you for an extended period of time is worth the misery and agony of trying to please him by allowing yourself to enter into a situation that might not be in your heart or best interest.

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What Guys Said 4

  • Ican't claim to totally understand your situation, but I can say that arranged marriages work out more often than marriages we contract 'on our own.' Statistics are there to show it's true.

    I mean think about it. Your dad's family knows this guy inside and out like no one on your mother's side would know any guy you find on your own. They know him better than you would know most boyfriends you'd find 'on your own'

    Give the guy a try, at least. Usually people won't try to force you to accept someone you detest from the first glance, even in the most traditional 'arranged' marriage.

    You can always switch back over to your mom's side if this gets too heavy.

    Let us know what happens, ok?

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  • Get away from this primitive backwardness! This is not civilization and you'll be miserable your whole life for getting married in the name of this barbaric Muslim-Arab culture. You stated yourself that you don't feel like one of them and you feel like being with your mother's side!

    I think you should definitely get away from these negative characters. Just so you won't face first hand the famous honor-killing that is so famous in the mid-east even today. Because in the Arab culture women are property.

    I live in the middle east. I've see this kind of thing every day and I know from people that Arab women married to Arab man are very dissatisfied with their lives.

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  • Don't go for the arranged marriage. If you give it a try, you can't back it out from now.

    I think you'll have a better future with your mom who only considers your happiness.

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  • You clearly don't want to do it. So don't let your father pressure you into doing it. Only you can life your life. It sounds as if you have some really big self esteem issues, if you would consider getting married to someone, that you don't want to marry just to make your dad happy.

    I think it would be better if you didn't see your father anymore, until you have increased your self esteem, so that he can't control you anymore. As it stands now you will never be happy, living as if you belong to your father. It is also likely that your new husband will be the one controlling you, if you don't increase your self esteem, and learn to stand up for yourself.

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    • The thing is if I tell him I don't want to have an arranged marriage then he assumes I want to be a whore. This is because his religion thinks dating is a BIG sin and arranged marriages are pure. I don't want anyone to look at mess a bad person because of my decision in life and because of that I am afraid at the aftermath. It's pretty sad but hard to try to get out of.

What Girls Said 2

  • It doesn't sound like your dad respects you. your mom does. if your dad is going to disown you for being your own person that is his problem not yours. you're are an adult. don't you think its time to discover who YOU are. not who people want you to be?

    you don't just try arranged marriages out. you do it or you dont. that's your choice. but do it because you want to . you can't live your life for others and still have a life. you either want a real life made up of experiences based on your principals, ethics, passions, beliefs, ideas , experiences, or you just want to keep breathing till you draw your last breath... . your choice.

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    • It's just how it is with Muslim Arabs. They view women as not a lot higher than animals so naturally her father treats her like some piece of property.

      Source: I live in the mid-east. I see these fellas everyday.

  • Well... Arranged marriage is not something you can test and then walk out if you don't like it. To my knowledge, middle eastern people don't typically divorce, and did you say Yemen? You must know (but I'm sure you're going through the process of learning their religion) that they have certain rules according to their religion. So... Sounds like you don't want to fully commit to this, then why do it?

    Arranged marriages are not like a candy bar you throw once you don't want to eat it anymore.

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