In a day and age where reality television is the norm, Channel
9's show, Married at First Sight, has caused uproar in
parts of the community. A petition is now calling for the
show's cancellation, before it even makes its debut.
If you're unfamiliar with the concept of Married at
First Sight – the show aims to arrange a marriage
between two strangers, matched by relationship experts and
The concept of an arranged marriage (essentially what the show
seems to be doing) is unusual in Western culture, where individuals
decide who they marry, after dating to decide if a relationship is
worth pursuing. In other cultures, arranged marriages are seen as
the more logical, wise and accepted custom – based on the
rationale that young people are immature, inexperienced and lack
the capacity to make the best choices about their relationship.
Again, while Western cultures may struggle to understand this
concept, advocates highlight that studies have found, time after
time, that arranged marriages have a much lower divorce rate than
'love marriages.' This may be the case, however the reality
is that there is also an equal or stronger belief that divorce is
not an option where arranged marriages are the custom. This causes
complications when a violent spouse is involved or there are
numerous instances of family violence as divorce will 'shame
In our experience, deciding to separate is difficult. It can be
made more difficult when violence, cultural issues and children are
Married at First Sight is viewed by some as making a
mockery of how relationships are formed, the ways people get to
know each other, and decide to stay in a relationship. The show may
not help make the public aware of the reality of how difficult an
arranged marriage can be.
If successful marriages are to be gauged by looking purely at
the divorce rate, then arranged marriages are the way to go.
However, until a study is conducted with respect to the level of
happiness in a marriage (and even that is subjective), there is no
quantifiable data which can shed light onto which marriages are
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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