In psychological research, the main focus is on the study of marriage satisfaction. Most experts define it as an internal subjective assessment, the attitude of the spouses to their own marriage. The most complete definition of what marriage satisfaction gives S. I. the Hunger: “marital Satisfaction, obviously, doubles as a result of adequate representation implementation (image) of family, prevailing in consciousness of the person under the influence of meetings with various events that constitute its experience (real or symbolic) in this field” (Hunger S. I., 1984).
Family stability and marriage satisfaction are not mutually exclusive concepts, they have a lot in common, but they do not have an unambiguous meaning — highly stable marriages are not always characterized by a high level of marriage satisfaction (for example, for traditional families, a stable marriage is quite common when the spouses are completely dissatisfied with their relationships, and in a modern family, such dissatisfaction can lead to a break even if there are children) (Sysenko V. A., 1981).
Many researchers have studied the characteristics that affect marriage satisfaction.
In the most systematic form, they are presented in the model of marriage quality created by American researchers R. A. Levis and J. A. Levis. B. Spanier, who performed secondary analysis of more than 300 works in the late 70s. They identified 40 important signs of marital success, combined in 14 groups, which, in turn, gave three enlarged blocks of factors:
social and economic;
personal and intra-marital (intra-marital).
More than 2/3 of the specific parameters they mentioned that positively affect the quality of marriage are purely psychological in nature. The authors of the marriage quality model note that most of the parameters they selected characterize the degree of similarity and agreement in the interpersonal relationships of spouses in different parameters (Lewis R., SpanierG., 1979).
This principle-the principle of consent – was the basis for most tools designed to measure the quality of interpersonal relationships between spouses (Aleshina Yu. E., 1993; Aleshina Yu.E., Gozman L. Ya., Dubovskaya E. M., 1987; Gozman L. Ya., Aleshina Yu. E., 1987).
Yu. e. Aleshina found that marriage satisfaction depends on the length of family life: the curve of this dependence has a U-shaped shape – at the beginning, during the first two decades of family existence, marriage satisfaction gradually decreases, reaching its minimum value in couples with family life experience from 12 to 18 years, and then increases, but more sharply (Yu. E. Aleshina, 1985).
A study led by N. G. Yurkevich found a relationship between marriage satisfaction and job satisfaction. In a sample of women who rate their marriages as happy, 44% say they are happy with their work, and only 14% say they are “not happy with their work at all” or “not happy with it rather than happy with it”.
G. Navaitis ‘ observations have shown that men have quite complex relationships between success at work and family relationships: the instability of the latter appears both in their professional (and, accordingly, financial) failures, and in a sharp improvement in their financial condition (Navaitis G., 1999).
There is a certain relationship between satisfaction with marriage and the division of domestic labor. In cases where a woman performs household duties entirely or completely, only 59% of marriages are rated as happy and satisfactory, in cases where the husband helps the wife, this figure reaches 88%, and when both spouses bear the same burden – 94% (Yurkevich N. G., 1970).
In a recent study of problems of young mothers, mainly related to the distribution of responsibilities in the family, two groups were identified – with the implementation of household chores on the egalitarian and traditional type (based on women’s responses about the real situation in the family). In those families that were classified as traditional, wives performed from 72% of tasks (working) to 80% (Housewives), together – 25 and 19% of household duties, exclusively by husbands — 3% of all tasks (if the wife is working) and 1 % (if the wife is not working). In families with a relatively egalitarian distribution of roles, wives without husbands perform 33% of household tasks (working) and 39% (non-working), husbands 9 and 0%, but together the spouses perform 58% and 61% of all duties. In families with egalitarian roles (in which the husband helped the wife), women’s relationship satisfaction is higher than in families with traditional relationships.
And most satisfied with marriage Housewives in egalitarian relationships, and the minimum satisfaction – for Housewives in traditional families. Women from families with traditional relationships were also more dissatisfied with the role of hostess than from families with egalitarian relationships (Andreeva T. V., Kononova A.V., 2002). Thus, satisfaction with marriage is also related to the distribution of responsibilities between the spouses.
The relationship between satisfaction with marriage and motives for marriage was found: in happy marriages, the main motive for marriage in 75% of women and marriage in 63% of men was love, in 14% and 18% of men – sympathy; one of the motives for marriage was also the desire to get rid of loneliness (Matskovsky M. S., Kharchev A. G., 1978). Some researchers also associate marital satisfaction with the duration of pre-marital courtship. So, G. Navaitis points to problematic marriage unions that were formed both during a short acquaintance and during a long one (about five years) (Navaitis G., 1999).
S. I. Golod indicates the relationship between satisfaction with marriage and the measure of sexual satisfaction of spouses: among the spouses who noted indifference or dissatisfaction with sexual relations, only 8.2% were most satisfied with marriage (Golod S. I., 1990).