Arranged marriages have higher success rates

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Such a monster, Aunt Euphemia is indignant at the thought of the Muslim man who promises his daughter to someone else without even asking her. Everyone at the table nods, including the young nieces, who will have it easier and can choose freely, as long as the husband is at least a doctor, notary and descendant of a family that has lived here for at least 100 years and is free from refugees, Prussians and other people that you really don't have to have in the relatives - well, the Dr. S. is really lovely, you should invite him over for tea. There are no forced marriages with us. That would be far too primitive.

There is not even an unsolved secret in this woman!
Djuna Barnes, Ladies Almanac

 

Preliminary remark: Almost a year ago I received an inquiry whether I could imagine writing a blog for this newspaper; I could freely suggest the subject as long as it was soon. In an hour I wrote a page about class society, went to Frankfurt, and 1 year and 16,400 comments later it seems that this project didn't go that badly: I'm writing something, claiming that the better society would see it that way too, the readership agrees and doubts it, and two or three days later the next post comes. You chat, you are more or less nice to each other from right to left, you talk. But you don't ask.

Blogs are something extremely modern, real hell machines in the hands of journalistic nihilists like you and me, but personally I am also a romantic and I particularly regret the extinction of two other categories: the spa and holiday list of arriving, departing and deceased personalities, and the Questioner. “Dear Mrs. Euphemia, my daughter was recently in a dark driveway with a boy” - you understand. For the anniversary, I think I've told you enough for now. Maybe you also have questions. You can put them more or less anonymously in this electronic mailbox called formspring.me (if it is open):

https://www.formspring.me/donalphonso

I'll pick up the best questions about myself, my behavior, my culture, whatever, and answer them at least as honestly as a journalist after my London vacation. Do you get frosted-clear honesty about your need for knowledge for the anniversary, maybe 20 pieces? Don't be shy, please.

It's such a thing with forced marriages: It wasn't 90 years ago that the lover of my grandmother's cousin went out with her to the Donauauen, where they sat down together on a bench, roughly where the doctors' villas are today . They wrote a letter, then he shot them and then himself because both parents had forbidden marriage between the two, as was customary at the time. It wasn't even a question of the - nonexistent - class differences, just arrogance, prejudice, different plans of the parents, and on the other hand hopelessness through pregnancy and shame. It happened in the best of families. Only then were the rules loosened significantly, for my grandmother, for example, but in general I think that the enlightened, progressive Occident shouldn't ramble so loudly about other hillbilly marriage habits - and that without taking into account the women, some of whom are found in Internet catalogs in Eastern Europe or Far Asia.

The last forced marriage among the same, which I witnessed, happened shortly after my Abitur, when a classmate slept on a nurse at the first party in community service, of course without any precautionary measures. Because her father came from a village and there was still decency there, my acquaintance had no choice but to marry her in the face of various repression measures. Like his father, he is now a doctor and everything has gone very well. Forced marriages can end well.

And while my family, like so many other better names in the city, is merrily driving towards extinction in third and fourth sports cars by refusing to procreate, there are also other families in my parents' western quarter who take the religion that is common here very seriously. They say they are happy marriages, but in fact the daughters of this family, all of my age, have all found men like themselves, and have again had children like themselves. Now, at an age when we in society are slowly coming to terms with other ways of life, they are just becoming grandmothers. With a little over 40. No forced marriages, that just fits, everything is right, every law is kept there, divine as well as worldly.

“Arranged marriages”, because this is what ultimately happens when family associations are so closely linked that the offspring have few alternatives and the partners come from a very similar environment. “Arranged marriages” sounds a lot nicer than forced marriages, which of course only take place in Islamic life. It all depends on the arrangement; For example, if you serve home-made apple strudel, we can't refuse a guest, you put the child in the right school and apply a little pressure here and there, if you create a little conceit that you are something better, then everything will work out to everyone's satisfaction , then the choice is limited, then there are only pleasant men.

What, admittedly, really doesn't exist anymore, are parental agreements about which child should marry whom. That was perhaps still necessary in the past, when the cities were small and the choice was very limited in better society, when you had to grab it quickly at a time when children didn't understand it yet. In times like ours, however, when many have made their way up, the children are usually given a choice, as long as the choice is made from the wide range on offer at the right social level. It is a compromise between coercion and freedom that only makes sense: real forced marriages are quickly separated in times of easy divorce, with many costs and complications that stand in the way of the desire for social prestige and preservation of wealth. The admitted love of the spouse is, seen in this way, a safeguard for wealth and offspring at a time when nothing else is safe. Children are arranged in the environment to search for a partner, while parents come to terms with the present.

Of course, that would not be expressed so clearly; Of course, these strategies are sometimes only hints, foresighted parental action, barely perceptible wires to remote control, invisible hands, but ultimately I know almost no marriage that was concluded across major differences in class. The fact that the breakpoints in such relationships are often ignited by boredom, culture or small, love-killing quirks is also not so tragic: Because when it comes to a divorce, the next relationship is often enough - the marriage of convenience.

And reason marriages, the core idea of ​​which is the mutual provision of tax advantages, money, food, someone to talk to and perhaps even horizontal marital duties, this community of convenience, which is in the best bourgeois-mercantilist tradition, is perhaps something why the citizen of the West turns to the Arab May look down: Because it is the proof that you can have all the advantages of forced marriage without having to endure its disadvantages. The opportunism of the parents has been replaced by the opportunism of the children, and I have to admit that the corresponding offers are not that bad: Those unmarried and newly divorced people who I know in their search efforts are all very friendly, well-groomed and courteous beings, which promise perfect performance within the framework of the requirements.

Of course, romance is neglected, but reason when choosing a partner guarantees rationalism, class awareness and a close look at the future prospects of the partner, attention is paid to long-term opportunities and not to this sex, which is already irrelevant at that age. Of course, the alternative would be the hopscotch, the old multiple divorcee with male wear and tear and alcohol problem, at least that's what is reported in family gatherings in which the marriage of convenience is praised. But for such behavior with potential for development towards the crazy old aunt in Nice, the classic, better circles of the West are usually just not the right humus. In the end, the compelling logic of reason usually wins, and it does that at least more gently than the second mayor of Vierharting am See, whose wife was so incredibly nice when they offered to accompany their stressed daughter for two weeks to the cure in Merano .

Keywords: old Europe, rearing, elite, class struggle from above, religion, tradition, unreasonable demands of modernity
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Coercion, reason, supply and arrangement

From Don Alphonso

Such a monster, Aunt Euphemia is indignant at the thought of the Muslim man who promises his daughter to someone else without even asking her. Everyone at the table nods, including the young nieces, who will have it easier and can choose freely, as long as the husband is at least a doctor, notary and descendant of a family that has lived here for at least 100 years and is free from refugees, Prussians and other people that you really don't have to have in the relatives - well, the Dr. S. is really lovely, you should invite him over for tea. There are no forced marriages with us. That would be far too primitive.

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