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Diane S
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Mom wants me to marry her bestfriend's son

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  • Mom wants me to marry her bestfriend's son

    Here in Asia, arranged marriage is not new anymore. And to my family, itís something that we need to follow. Yes, it is a culture of our lineage that we need to embrace and respect. Trust me, it is never a good idea.

    Last month, my mom planned a blind date for me. She set me up for a romantic dinner with her best friendís son. She even organized a vacation for the two of us to make sure that we get along together. Her ideas were lame, and I even read those from an international dating blog for hopeless romantic individuals.

    Well, if you are curious what happened after that vacation - NOTHING. I donít like him and I know he feels the same way. But what should I tell my mom? Is it a good idea to confront her about choosing for myself? About choosing for the right man to marry? Need help!

  • #2
    I would encourage you to first have a conversation with yourself.


    Because arranged marriages are way more successful than those where people get married based on a brief period of infatuation and best behavior.

    Getting married because of "love" is a fairly recent invention, Eloisa. Yes, it "feels" right to those in the west and those in modernity but the divorce rates in the US for first time marriages currently hovers around 43-45%. Among arranged marriages the divorce rate is about 4% (about 6.5% globally).

    The truth of the matter is that all of us have to learn what love is, what love is not, and how to do it. No one gets married knowing how love is done. We all think we do but we do not. So get it through your head right now that you have little clue what it is you're doing when it comes to marriage. Neither does your prospective spouse.

    So..... Neither I, Eloisa, nor my future husband have little idea what it is we are doing and spouses in arranged marriages are ten times less likely to divorce.

    Next, consider the marriage you parents have (or didn't have). Then consider the marriage this other young man's parents have (or didn't have). Is your mother happy? Your father? And the other young man's? You don't say how old you are or in what country you're writing from so I cannot speak to the specifics or the cultural relevancies, but in general children do not have the privilege to step inside their parent's world until they turn thirty (or older). Even after the age of thirty the privilege must be earned. A mother is not likely to share the most intimate parts of her life and marriage with her child, even if that child is over thirty. This is generally somewhat different (easier) among women than men but still challenging for all. Here's my suggestion: whenever your mother gives advice listen patiently and when she's done ask something to the effect of, "How was that realized in your own life, mom?" or "What happened in your life, dad, that helped you learn that?" Then listen some more and when they are done thank them for sharing. That is not an opportunity for you to disagree or test them. If you want to learn the real details of life then shut up and listen with gratitude. A lack of gratitude will close them off from you until such time that 1) you're more mature and 2) they trust you because folks don't trust those lacking gratitude. The more your parents get to know you as an adult the better spouse they can pick or...... the more likely they are to trust you to pick wisely for yourself.

    If you listen to them then maybe they will listen to you.

    Alternatively, if you want to select your own spouse then you have to be a spouse worth being selected. You will also have to be an adult your parents trust; one they see as mature enough to marry, one responsible enough to make her own decisions, one assertive enough to weather both the blessings and travails of life-long intimate relationships if you want their support.

    So work on your own character. Become the woman you want the man you want to want. Because I can assure you that if you want a man who wants a problematic woman then that guy will find you. Conversely, the relationally healthy, noble and discerning woman is much more likely to find a man of similar kind.

    What I am talking about is running a marathon, not a sprint. Take the time necessary to make your desires happen, beginning with yourself and becoming the woman God has made you to be.

    I'm a professional mental health counselor and I do a lot of marriage counseling. I can tell you how to have a good marriage but all the knowledge in the world won't do you any good until you actually get married and fail. And succeed. And fail again. And then win. and so on and so on. Think of it like this: you can read every single book ever written about all aspects of tennis. You can read all the rules, the strategies, the strokes, the different types of balls, or the different types of court surfaces, etc. but until you actually get out on the court and apply racket to ball... you don't know anything about marriage. Think that's crazy? Then apply the same thing but take out the word "tennis" and replace it with the word "sex," because I can assure you that reading every book ever written about sex will not be the same as actually having sex.

    And you are concerned about marriage - the second most difficult thing known to humanity (statistically much harder than putting a person on the moon ). Ever married poster here will tell it is a learning process.

    That being said, one of the best books I have ever read on marriage is "The Meaning of Marriage," by Timothy Keller. It covers the "philosophy" of marriage and many of the tools and practices of successful marriage while providing a theological basis what all too many people think is just an earthly matter. I believe its content will apply to many cultures.

    Most importantly, pray. Creator of creation created you and put you in the household of your parents in the country in which you live during the era in history in which He wanted you to live. He knows your parents better than any of you and He knows you better than you know you. Tell God what you want. Give God all your concerns; just lay them right at the foot of the cross and surrender them to His sovereignty, His will, and His purposes for you. Tell him what you'd like in a husband. Tell him about your concerns having your mother involved.

    I am also a little curious about where your father is in all of this and whether or not you and your parents are Christians. Your father is the one who is supposed to be providing a spiritual covering for you. Is he doing so? How do the two of you get along? What does he think of your mother's arrangements with her best friend's son? Do the fathers in your country get involved, or is this the domain of women? Got tons of questions along these lines.

    If you tell me how old you are, what country you are in, and a little about yourself I'll see if I can't provide a little more practical guidance.
    All verses cited or quoted or in the NAS unless otherwise noted.

    ďif anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules.Ē (2 Tim. 2:5)