There are so many reasons for marriage. Hundreds of years ago, two clans or tribes were united this way. Love had nothing to do with the arrangement.
I read about one form of foreign marriage this morning where siblings from two different families marry to avoid extra dowry. In other words, two brothers in one family marry two sisters from another family. Apparently that falls foul when one couple decides to split. The family reject the other sibling.
In our western society, the 'normal' marriage takes place after the couple fall in love, and then give careful consideration to their choice. Needless to point out, this often ends in divorce.
In England, many people try to get automatic citizenship by means of a sham marriage.
In Parliament this week, a senior minister will announce a crackdown on sham marriages in a firm but fair shake-up of immigration rules. After that, the current notice period of a wedding ceremony will be almost doubled from 15 to 28 days, which will give immigration officials more time to investigate whether a proposed marriage is genuine. The move should clamp down on an estimated 2,000 sham marriages every year.
The new rules will apply to all couples and will end the shotgun wedding where couples try to marry speedily.
In 1988, I arrived in England to apply for a job as a nanny, recommended by a sister agency in Australia. Within a week, I found a suitable position and traveled around the world with my new employers. However, when I met the man I fell in love with, I had to apply to the Home Office for leave to remain in the country until my divorce came through. During that time, my intended's home was inspected and I went through a series of tests and questions.
We've been married for 25 years to this date. Companionable years filled with many of real life tests.
I don't think it's such a bad thing that people unite in marriage to find a new home. However, this little island can't take many more people who don't contribute to society.
What are your thoughts on sham marriages?