Choosing a Partner

####Student Articles

Parents Should Choose Their Children’s Spouses

by Siotani Fakahua

From my point of view, parents should NOT choose their children’s spouses. This choice creates a lot of problems in our lives. Choosing a spouse means choosing the person to love, and our parents choices’ are based on different factors, such as religious prejudice and material possessions, and these factors does not make a happy marriage.

Choosing a spouse means choosing the person to love. However, love cannot be chose, even by our parents. Love is an internal feeling which is emotionally built up in the heart, with warmth and our personal preferences. We choose our own spouses according to the love in our own hearts. It is a feeling that only the individual knows best. Our parents may have good faith in someone, but do they what that person really feels? Does that chosen person have love? Why don’t parents enrich our lives by advising us, but leave the final decision of choosing our spouses to us.

Moreoever, parents sometimes are blinded by other factors and this also creates problems. Religious prejudice is a barrier that children have to face. For instance, Catholic parents wants their children to marry Catholics only. The same with Methodist parents, most of them want their children to marry into other Methodist families. If the children does not agree, they cause even more problems when they elope, embarrassing the families and their religions. But, I ask, what is wrong with mixed marriages. We, alone, should choose our spouses because even if our partners are from different religions, we will be the ones who will live with them, not our parents. We are all one children in the eye of God, so why should our parents restrict our choosing?

Sometimes parents look at material possessions as something to rely upon. This sort of fact affect the parents choosing of our spouses. Again, this causes problems for us. The chosen partner may have a car, a well-paid job, inherit land, and so on. This may attract parents. But may I remind you that only the sun shines forever. It may even be a borrowed car. Therefore, we should rely on our own choices for finding spouses because our parents are influenced a lot by outside factors when they do the choosing.

Not only that, but as Tongan children, we obey our parents. Even though we are not happy with their decisions, we still agree. However, this causes us great pain. Marriage should be a happy affair, but not this type of arranged marriages. In the poem, "You, the Choice of my Parents" by Konai Helu Thaman, Stanza two, line three and four, it says "…I see myself dying slowly, To family and traditions…". We surrender to our families need and wants, in marrying someone they have chosen, and we feel our freedom stripped apart. We stay home with our spouses, we pretend we care. As in Stanza four of the same poem, Konai states "…I love as a mere act of duty…". It would not be fair to allow our parent to choose whom we marry because it will cause us great unhappiness.

Let us parents remember what it was like when they were younga, and let them put themselves in our shoes and see if they would want the same done to them. We are the ones who will live with our spouses, so we are the ones who should be choosing our own spouses.


Parents Should Choose Their Children’s Spouses

by Siotoni Fakahua

Absolutely! This will not be best for the children themselves but also for the family as a whole. It is always wise to respect our parents wishes, since we owe them respect for having kept us from the time we were young to this day. Parents choices come from their experieces and they have more experiences of life than we have, so we should do what they want.

The conduct of one person in the family affects the rest of the family. So is marriage. Our parents live with us. They want someone who will come to the family and care for the rest of the family. Sometimes the children’s choices are based on physical appearances, and so on, but our parents try to find someone who will come into the family and live peacefully with them. The children often are not worried about what happens at home, and they bring someone who will not help the family. The parents choices are often wiser since they know more about life.

The parents often choose someone who is well-off. I think this is good, because that person will help financially. Someone who is very supportive in church activities, who will stay at home and not go out to dance parties. It will be a person who will love the parents and will stay with you until old age. Parents make their decisions thinking of the best for their children, hoping that they find true happiness. Lots of people have had divorces because they did not listen to their parents. They made their own choices and lived to regret it. If we listen to our parents decisions, we would lead happier married lives.

In conclusion, I strongly believe that parents should choose their children’s spouses. They do not want their children to fall into danger. It is not only our own business who we marry, because when we marry someone, that person will come into our families, so they need to be able to handle our families as well. The choices our parents make are often because they want the best for us. So we should listen to what they say and let our parents choose our spouses for us.

Revised: June 1, 1996