Happiness And Marital Satisfaction

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Happiness and Marital Satisfaction

Happiness and Marital Satisfaction


Since the 1950's, researchers have been examining factors that contribute to marital satisfaction. Physical attractiveness, affection, negativity, age at marriage, children, socioeconomic background, similar goals and interests, and sexual activity are all factors that have been considered. Of these variables, one of the most interesting is sexual activity. While it has been studied for quite some time, recent research developments have offered incredible insights into the relationship between sex and marital satisfaction.


Marital happiness is a hard aspect to measure. Class, education, social power, and income affect this marital satisfaction. Couples are happier when they have things in common, including hobbies, class, race/ethnicity, and religion. Married couples work best if they have similar interests and activities. Economic security is huge in talking about marital happiness. The more stable the financial situation is, the more stable the marriage. If the couple is pleased with the sexual conditions, they are a happier couple. Having healthy and happy children is very important, almost as important as love and affection within the couple. Couples tend to be happier at the beginning of their marriage and then they have children. Children tend to put a stress on the marriage with an addition of responsibilities, economically and emotionally. The strain wears away at a marriage until a major low point in the children's later teenage years, right before they move out.

Teenagers are more demanding on mothers to conform into rigid gender roles and be that good mom. This could be particularly stressing on dual earner relationships and puts an inhibitor on the power and independence of the mother. The happiness within the couple begins to return after the kids have left the home. Higher up in the social classes, there is less marital friction due to a more successful economic position. This places less stress on the couple and a sense of satisfaction from the wife, as more freedom is attained. Lower down in the classes there is more marital stress due to the lack of finances.

Inequality is a major source of marital tension, mostly for wives. Today, dual-earner couples are not only necessary economically, but seem to be the way to go with marital happiness. Wives feel like there is a more equal distribution of family duties and the power is more equal. If both partners agree that this is the way to go, then it would be a good option. Equality within the marriage lessens women's dependency on their male counterpart and gives her options outside of the marriage that contributed to her emotional health and the overall happiness for the couple.

Current research on the topic supports the idea that marital happiness affects life happiness and life outlook, that is, that people who are involved in happy marriages will be happier in general. Several studies have researched this idea. Stack and Eshleman (1998) studied data from 17 national studies, and sought to discover if a marriage-happiness relationship, to see if it is ...
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