Since childhood, there has been one rule I have always followed: to trust family. In India, that trust often includes allowing family to make one of the most important decisions that life can offer: choosing whom to marry. "Getting an arranged marriage will guarantee you a good husband," my mother would tell me. "You will never be disappointed with someone we pick." And I believed that was true— until my cousin's arranged marriage collapsed.
My cousin, who is seven years older than me, listened dutifully to her parents and trusted them to select a man worthy of her. They utterly failed; the man ended up being cruel, arrogant, and vain, causing her more misery in their two years of marriage than she had felt in her entire life.
My cousin's brutal marriage made me realize that, regardless of my mother's promise, arranged marriages do not 'guarantee' a good spouse, and that they— just like love marriages— may fail.
So when she was brave enough to break through the social norms and divorce her husband, opting to marry another man— this time one of her choice— she inspired me. I understood that the only true difference between arranged and love marriages was who took responsibility for the bride-to-be's life, and that making a choice for myself does not mean I trust my family any less; it simply means that in addition to trusting my family, I am also placing my trust in myself— which is just as important, if not more.