Different societies have different perceptions regarding the institution of marriage. In Islam, marriage is a solemn and sacred social contract between two willing parties which is not irrevocable. While in Christianity, Catholics believe marriage is a sacrament, but protestants do not.
In Hindu cuture, a marriage is traditionally viewed as a sacrament and not a contract. The bond between the partners is supposed to extend across many lives. It is supposed that these souls are enjoined in marriage because of their intertwined Karmas, Which need to be resolved in order for both of them to attain mutual salvation, i.e. Moksha.
Nita's post made me think about my marriage. Ours was an arranged marriage. And we will be completing 29 years of blissful married life in a few days. Sure, we have had our ups and downs and our disagreements, but they were on minor issues which resolved themselves in due course. And whoever was at fault, accepted that gracefully and both moved on with life. No lingering bitterness as far as I can look back.
It was a combination of factors. We were both mentally prepared for marriage and were ready to work towards making it click. Being from the same community and sharing similar backgrounds, outlooks, expectations and goals helped, of course.
Now, when 29 years later, I look at my wife, I feel in my heart that she has become a part of my existence. I can not imagine a life without her. And I know that the feeling is mutual.