Academic journal article Pakistan Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology

Happy Marriage: A Qualitative Study

Academic journal article Pakistan Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology

Happy Marriage: A Qualitative Study

Article excerpt

The present study is focused on the factors leading to a happily married life. The sample included a married woman drawn from convenient sampling. Semi-structured interview was conducted to investigate her experience of being happily married and what factors she thinks are important to be happily married. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was applied as a research method. Sixteen categories emerged after coding the data were Similarities of Religious Sects, Satisfaction, Compromise, Love, Care, Trust and Understanding, Communication, Age Differences, Sincerity and Respect, Sharing, Forgiveness, Spouse Temperament, Strength through Children, Family Structure, Education and Status, and Positive In-Laws Relations. This study has important implications for married couples and counselors.

Keywords: happiness, marriage, interpretative phenomenological analysis, categories

It is said that marriages are made in heaven and celebrated on the earth. This popular belief is true to great extent because it is a special bond shared between two souls, who are tied in the wedding knot for the rest of their lives (Dev, 2010).

Marriage is defined as the civil status of one man and one woman united in law for life, for the discharge to each other, and the community of the duties legally incumbent on those whose association is founded on the distinction of sex (Black's Law Dictionary, 1891). It is also defined as a social agreement between two individuals that unites their lives legally, economically, and emotionally (Sheri & Stritof, n. d).

Marriage is the social institution under which a man and a woman establish their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments and religious ceremonies. It is a legal contract between two people that enables them to reproduce. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual are acknowledged by a variety of ways depending on the culture or demographics. People marry for a variety of reasons, for example legal, social, emotional, economic, spiritual, religious or simply to extend their family and to have children. Marriage may be arranged to fulfill family obligations for legal establishment of a nuclear family unit, for legal protection of children or to be with one's loved one (Marriage, n. d). Marriage has many important fonctions in a society; it prevents people from going towards adultery, to have children, and to have an intimate partner for sharing and comfort.

The ceremony that marks the beginning of marriage is called wedding. Wedding is celebrated differently in different cultures depending upon their customs and traditions. There are many factors that contribute to successful marriage. Some of these are love, understanding, respect, commitment, sharing, care, education, economic status, temperament, family structure, trust, communication, age difference, sectarian difference, forgiveness and satisfaction. Good and co-operative in-laws and a supportive partner also contribute to a happy married life.

Many couples are able to find all the key ingredients in their marital relationships and are happy and satisfied with their married life. Others lack some elements in their bond which gives rise to consequences that are not always desired, e.g., depression in married women has found to be associated with younger age, lack of autonomy in marriage decisions, marital rape, and domestic abuse by in-laws (Ali, Israr, Ali, & Janjua, 2009).

One of the visible reasons why married couples find marriage as a threatening bond is that they face a number of problems while being in a relationship and also they are not capable enough to overcome or solve these problems. Lack of trust, mutual respect, communication, love, and understanding contribute to the deterioration of the bond. That is why couples face adverse consequences like divorce. A research showed that marital status especially divorce has a strong effect on mortality because of suicide among men only (Kposowa, 1999). …

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