Arranged marriages might be a very old and outdated concept, but they are still going strong. Maybe one day this practice will come to an end, but right now there are millions of people who are going through this strange custom. What's the point of such a concept? The obvious answer is that it benefits not the actual people getting married, but their families. Think of it more of a financial arrangement, where both families benefit and everyone is happy. Well, maybe not the bride and groom... But they're not really important, at least not in this scenario.
Of course, many arranged marriages turn out to be long-lasting, stable, and loving relationships. Let's be honest, most marriages, whether they're arranged or not, don't actually turn out so well. That's just the reality of the world we live in today. It's actually very rare to get married to someone you love, as depressing as that sounds. In the case of arranged marriages, the families at least benefit in some way. But there are some arranged marriages that go terribly wrong, as you will soon find out. And some of the most shocking stories are up on Reddit for the world to see. So get ready for some of the craziest stories from arranged marriages you'll ever read.
15 He Had An Arranged Marriage And Hated It
Sometimes, arranged marriages work out, but this definitely wasn't the case. This particular arranged marriage didn't go so well, because of the fact that this man's wife spoke absolutely no English. It's already hard to get to know someone you've never met before – someone who is now supposed to be your wife, no less – but to make matters even worse, she spoke absolutely no English whatsoever. What followed was a long and hard marriage, and eventually he ended up completely hating her:
"I was born over here to a Christian family from a small sect. My marriage was arranged and I (stupidly) consented. I hated her at first. My parents chose her on looks, and admittedly, she is very beautiful. But, they didn't pick on any other criteria. My wife had never left her home region, spoke only her native tongue (which I speak like an 8 year old), and had been groomed for marriage since she was young. She couldn't carry on a conversation. She hadn't read a book in 10 years. She had no interests, she was just always present. I hated her. She knew it, too."
14 She Was Forced Into An Arranged Marriage
While some of these stories about arranged marriages are funny and jovial, there's definitely a dark side to this strange affair, and this story definitely illustrates that to the fullest extent. The worst part about arranged marriages is the complete lack of control. This woman tells a story where her parents actually physically restrained her and didn't allow her to leave the country until she had married the man they had chosen for her. It's a stunning and shocking tale of abuse:
"My marriage was sorta against my wishes. I just wanted to finish college first. In my community, girls get married between 18-21 and guys between 24-30. I was already 22 and my parents were freaking out. I agreed to engagement but not the wedding until I finished fifth year of dental college (I was in second year). I came home for Christmas vacation and my parents didn't let me go back. Like, they physically restrained me. I threatened to tell my now-husband and his family that I was being forced to marry and for that I was beaten up badly. I never went back to college."
13 They Forced Her To Marry A Drug Addict
Most people couldn't imagine having their parents choose who they marry. Most of the time, your parents have very different tastes in men than you do. They're just not looking for the same things. Most of the time, in arranged marriages, the decision is heavily influenced by money and the family that they are "marrying into." But most of the time, parents choose someone that is at least an okay person. That wasn't the case here, as this family actually married their daughter to a drug addict with serious mental problems:
"My grandparents threatened to cut all contact with my recently graduated mother unless she entered into one. Everything was handled between the two sets of parents – she only met him twice before the wedding. What his parents didn't tell her family was that he was a drug addict with severe mental issues. They also failed to disclose that his father made it a habit to sleep with the wives of his sons and the sons turned a blind eye to this because daddy was bankrolling their lavish lifestyles in exchange. She finally did manage to leave him when I was in high school – but not before he attacked her with a knife."
12 His Parents Had An Arranged Marriage In A Cult
Arranged marriages don't always have to take place in faraway countries like India or the Middle East. They can happen right in your own hometown. There are many Christian groups that still engage in the practice, but that's not exactly what happened here. This story comes from a son who found out that his parents' marriage was arranged, and that it actually happened in one of those strange cults that popped up in America during the 1970s. It sounds pretty weird, and it's no surprise the marriage didn't really last:
"So my parents were an arranged marriage of sorts. It was the early 1970s and they were in a commune. I've grilled my mom a lot about the commune, and personally I think it was more of a cult. Anyway, it was the 70s and everyone was sleeping around. My mom and dad had been hooking up and hanging out a bit, when the cult leader decided he wanted to throw a big group wedding for the publicity. My parents were one of the couples to get married. My dad was gawky and awkward and not at all what my mom really liked. Dad just went along with whatever, too high to really care. They stayed married for 19 years until my mom just had enough. She finally asked my dad if he loved her, and he didn't, really."
11 The Wife Is Completely Unsatisfied
In any marriage, there's always the risk of one partner being unsatisfied. Sometimes this is because one partner is not pulling their weight around the house. Sometimes it's due to a lack of respect. But one of the most common sources of dissatisfaction revolved around what happens in the bedroom. That's the case in this arranged marriage, and if you can believe it, the marriage is still going. The poor wife hasn't been intimate for many years, and she's starting to get seriously frustrated. She even admits that she will probably divorce him soon if he doesn't get his act together:
"My husband was brought up in a home that made him feel inadequate. And therefore he lacks serious communication skills. We've tried counselling and now have her family involved in every aspect of our lives trying to help him at 31 years old to learn to communicate. I'm in a cold marriage where my husband is too afraid to tell me what he wants. We'll likely divorce soon if nothing changes. We're Indian. My parents had a love marriage and my two other sisters also have love marriages that are doing well."
10 He Had An Arranged Marriage And Couldn't Satisfy Her
Sometimes, a family is forced to jump into an arranged marriage. Financial reasons sometimes dictate that a family member must make a sacrifice and marry someone they didn't actually choose. While this might seem crazy to us, it's very common in other countries across the world. This particular story happened in Jordan, and the arranged marriage didn't really go so well. The husband married a woman who did not want him, and this woman had been with other men in the past. While this might not have been such a big deal, it was pretty awkward when she told him to his face that the other guys were better lovers, and that he would never be able to satisfy her:
"My wife was picked by my father's family in a move of desperation. We had little money to work with during Jordan's economic down. And we needed the marriage to get government money. The girl my dad chose was very quiet and awkward. She had already found other men in her life and had made a point to tell me I could never satisfy her. I tried to at least get along with her but she never decided to like me. Our marriage eventually failed and it cost my family a great deal of money."
9 They Had No Idea How To Consummate The Marriage
Often in arranged marriages, both partners are inexperienced. While this isn't always the case, it often goes hand in hand with cultures that adopt this principle of arranged marriage. In many cases, the bride and groom are matched with each other before they're even in their teens, so there's pressure on them from the start to "save themselves" for marriage (to someone they don't even know). But as this couple found out, sometimes it helps to have a little experience:
"The groom was a very traditional Muslim man. He had never had a date, never gone out with a girl, and followed his religion in a very strict way. He had barely talked to women in the past. The bride has followed a similar path. So they finish the ceremony, they go to the room, and they realize they have absolutely no idea how to proceed. Like these people did not know how to be intimate. They are there wondering what to do now, so they call this aunt who is the eldest of the family to tell them what to do. But the aunt feels that a woman cannot possibly describe to a man how to do it, as that is so inappropriate, so instead she calls her younger brother (my father-in-law). My father-in-law doesn’t want to hear about any of this, so we didn't know what to do."
8 He Made A Huge Mistake
Most of the time, people have no say in the matter when it comes to arranged marriages. But this guy's story was somewhat unique in that he agreed to the arranged marriage. He was under no obligation to say yes, but when his parents suggested the idea, he agreed. This was because he was rebounding hard from another failed relationship, and he thought he had nothing to lose. Well in the end, it was the biggest mistake he ever made:
"Like a fool I opted for an arranged marriage on the rebound. The girl I was originally seeing was batsh*t crazy. I was introduced to a girl. She had different interests, a different outlook on life and didn't take to kindly to my casual humor. So like an idiot I got engaged to her. Fast forward to the honeymoon. We were like awkward strangers. We actually never did it on our honeymoon. Was it awkward? You're damn right it was. 6 years later and we have a child. Did I make the right decision? If I wasn't a father, I'd leave tomorrow. I wouldn't let my parents choose my socks, but I let them choose my 'life partner' (the loser that I am). So why am I sticking around? To cut a long story short, I want my child to do well in life, so I am living an act."
7 He Had An Arranged Marriage With His Relative
Some cultures are a lot more accepting of certain practices than others. Cultures and nations that are accepting of arranged marriages might also be accepting of other practices, which are equally foreign to us, like marrying your distant cousin. This might seem strange to us now, but a few hundred years ago it was actually pretty common. In this story, the guy not only had an arranged marriage, but he did it with his own cousin:
"My mom said she had thought about the possibility of me marrying my cousin and asked me what I thought. I was initially pretty grossed out by it but she asked me to mull over the decision for a while. A couple of months later my mom said that my aunt said that my cousin (now wife) is willing to chat to me about it if I am. About 2 weeks after our 'engagement' we had been talking a bit and I sent her some semi-lewd texts which eventually blew into full blown inappropriate messages. Yes, 2 weeks after I agreed to marry my distant cousin."
6 His Arranged Marriage Ended In The Wife Running Away
There are not many ways you can legitimately back out of an arranged marriage once it happens. That's because in countries where arranged marriages are common, divorce is usually very rare and very shameful. So if the marriage goes wrong, you're in a pretty hopeless situation. That is, unless you move to somewhere like the US, which is exactly what this couple did. Once there, she was free to leave, and that's exactly what she did. Turns out she had a man who she actually loved, and ran away to be with him. Can you blame her? Here is what she said:
"I am a victim of an arranges marriage. I used to live in US and my parents are in India. My parents arranged the marriage, they saw the girl, liked her and family so fixed the marriage. They told me after they did everything. She was beautiful and educated so I didn't mind. I did talk to her on the phone multiple times before we got married but it wasn't the same. Fast forward first night after we got married: every time I wanted to touch her she moved away. I thought she was just scared. She was 4 years younger than I was, so I didn't try much. I waited for whole month as she said she will get intimate once she came to US to live with me. She did come here after few days but left without even meeting me. Apparently, she had a premarital affair. That was the reason she didn't let me touch her that way. After she went back she went MIA for three months. After that she emailed me to get divorced and asked for a lot of money from me."
5 Arranged Marriages In China
This is an interesting insight into how the Chinese have their own version of arranged marriages. This one guy, who is presumably Chinese, tells how in his country they have these "dating conventions." It's like a job fair, with resumes and everything, only instead of jobs being available, there's single people. And it's their parents who do all the work. They meet with other parents, learn about their kids, and come to some kind of agreement. And this agreement is strictly financial, with money being the most important factor:
"There are like 'dating conventions' where parents walk around with pictures and 'dating resumés' handing them to other parents or hanging them up. I don't think the kids themselves really go. A lot of young Chinese adults are not dating and instead focusing on their careers, so their parents go spouse-shopping for them. Parents then arrange to meet and go on a sort of date for their kids, talking about their son or daughter's career and finances and stuff like that. It's like a financial arrangement, it seems."
4 His Parents' Arranged Marriage Is A Complete Sham
We've heard about what it's like for the spouses in arranged marriages, but what about the kids? Growing up with parents who fight all the time is never fun, and as this person admits, it's even worse because they never actually chose to marry each other in the first place. Not only that, but the marriage is a complete sham in other ways as well. They bought a house they can't afford, and it was all so they can improve their image and reputation... It's pretty sad:
"My parents are pretty much in an arranged marriage. And it turned out pretty badly. They fight with each other ALL the time. They find excuses to fight with each other and often times will even bring their kids into it. I come from a broken home but my parents are too narcissistic to even admit it. Divorce is not an option because even after coming to the US, they didn't bother to make any American friends. All of their friends are also Indian and they would basically shun my parents if they even thought about divorce. They bought a house which they can't afford (to show off to their friends) and now they have no money for ANYTHING else. We drive a beaten up old Honda CRV, get clothes from thrift stores, and can't afford college for me and my sister without scholarships."
3 After The Marriage, He Became Violent And Abusive
All marriages, not just arranged ones, have the potential to become violent and abusive. But when two people don't even know each other, there's no opportunity to assess whether someone has the potential to become violent. For this reason, getting involved in an arranged marriage can be like walking into a minefield, because you don't know who the other person is or what kind of bad things they're capable of. That was certainly the case with this person, whose parents' marriage turned into a complete disaster:
"My parents have an arranged marriage, and honestly, it's a disaster. They are both from South Asia. My father was a doctor at the time, and my mom was in medical school. My father came off as charming and caring, so naturally my mother's parents encouraged her to marry him. She was young, she didn't know him well, but they ended up getting married. Once they moved to America, everything changed. My father was violent and abusive. He was financially controlling. My mother became pregnant with me and was incredibly sick throughout the whole pregnancy (she didn't gain any weight; she was hardly above 110 lbs during her third trimester). My father made a lot of money (again, he was a doctor), but would not pay for any daycare services once I was born. My mother couldn't get back to her career because she had to take care of me. Throughout the next few decades she never left him because she wouldn't have any money if she did."
2 Her Husband Became An Unemployed Deadbeat
Husband and wife are supposed to support each other, and help each other through the bad times. But there's also a responsibility on each spouse to pull their own weight and contribute to the marriage. In today's world, women are becoming more and more successful, and that's a great thing. But when the wife makes more money than the man, it can become a bit confusing. In this case, the husband was unemployed and just moped around the house all day. And this all stemmed from getting involved in an arranged marriage where she didn't get to know the man she was marrying:
"My wife's co-teacher is from India and had an arranged marriage. From our perspective, she is one of the nicest, most emotionally stable people we've ever met. The problem is her husband. While he is not physically abusive, he is emotionally very distant and does not communicate well with her. On top of old problems, he now has issues finding a well-paying job and feels that he is letting the family down. Instead of going on disability, getting a less 'desirable' job (in his mind at least), or even working together as a team through their instability, he just mopes around and she is left out of the loop on a daily basis. He occasionally has emotional outburst or becomes accusatory. She contemplates divorce daily but their kid is in like 8th-9th grade so she doesn't want to rock the boat."
1 Both His Cousins Had Terrible Arranged Marriages
This has to be one of the craziest arranged marriage stories, and one that will definitely make you think twice about whether this practice is actually such a good idea. This one guy tells a story of how not one but two of his cousins got into arranged marriages and neither of them ended well. One of them married a woman who lied about her age and tried to kick him out of his own house. The other cousin was beaten by her husband, who was only using her to get a US Visa. Wow... Here is what she had to say:
"My other cousin had an arranged marriage as well. He m arried some 40-year-old who said she was 30, and then tried to kick out his parents from their own house and take it over (its a really nice house, even by American standards). He was married for 2 weeks before he filed for divorce. I took one look at her and knew she was bad news. Another cousin got beaten up by her husband, only used her to get a US Visa, then got his parents over then they got a divorce. Everything was in his name: the house, the cars, but my uncle went there and fixed it all so it was 50/50."