Difference between Arranged Marriage and Forced Marriage

Many of us are under this assumption that all arranged marriages are usually sad and there is no love between the partners. This assumption is not true because in an arranged marriage, the family takes the lead to find a marriage partner for their son or daughter. And both partners are free to choose whether they wish to tie the knot or not. Whereas in a forced marriage, all the decisions regarding marriage are taken by parents or elders alone.

Let us find out the actual difference between an arranged marriage and forced marriage below.


An arranged marriage has the consent of both the parties. And parents respect the wishes of the child. Traditionally, there was a very little input from their child. The idea is that parents know their children and can use their wisdom to know what will bring their child happiness and are in a position to find the most suitable partner for them. The couple concerned are given enough time by the elders to know each other and also to check if they are compatible. They are neither forced nor it is made compulsory for them to get married without their consent. They get married only when both the partners agree to marry and feel comfortable with each other.

The main goal of an arranged marriage is happiness shared not only by the partners but also the families.


Forced marriages, on the other hand, are when one or both parties do not give full and free consent to the situation. A marriage can also become a forced marriage if one or both of the parties are forced into staying in the marriage. Forced marriages can look like arranged marriages and often the two can be indistinguishable. Although it might be said that either party can decide not to get married, it can be strongly discouraged and those involved can be coerced or even threatened into a situation they do not want to agree to. This is one of the most disastrous form of marriage which should be discouraged.

Forced marriages may happen for a variety of reasons. A few reasons for forced marriage are:

  • Ensuring care for children who have a physical disability.
  • Protecting ‘family honor’.
  • Keeping land, property, and wealth in the family.
  • Reacting to social pressure.
  • To reduce the level of poverty or to repay a debt.
  • When the is no one agreeing to marry your child.

So you can see that there is a huge difference between an arranged marriage and forced marriage. Arranged marriages have a negative connotation to them in the Western world and to many others, but when you take a deeper look, it is really forced marriages that has many issues. This goes to show that what you see in movies or on TV shows is not always the actual case. Hopefully in the near future, everyone will be able to see a world without forced marriage, and would also know that forced marriage isn’t the other name for arranged marriage.


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