Rich Ebeh - Students
1.0 INTRODUCTION 1.1 Background to the Study Marital Satisfaction is sought or expected by most married individuals. Unfortunately, the U.S. bureau of census in 1992 reported that 52% marriages end up in divorce indicating its absence (Forwers, Montel, & Olson, 1996). This fact, alongside others, has caused an increase in research on factors influencing marital satisfaction. Marital satisfaction is often characterized by strong free-flowing communication abilities and visibly deep satisfaction as per affection, sexuality, shared time and finances (Fowers, Montel & Olson, 1996). Since the Igbos of Nigeria are mainly patriarchal, marriage is deemed an indispensable factor for the continuation of the family and line of descent. Children occupy the centre stage in Igbo marriages. Thus the first and foremost consideration is the fertility of the couple (Obi, 1970). The absence of children or a child in an Igbo family indicates a fearful end of the family or generation and as such a weak, faint or sometimes a total lack of marital satisfaction. Again, research has shown that retirement may contribute to marital satisfaction by reducing other commitments, role conflicts, and time constraints and by increasing opportunity for companionship. At this point, the level of affection for one another is also highest in older marriage (Carstensen, Gottman, & Levenson, 1995). Hence, work demands and loads when improperly managed, kick against marital satisfaction. It is evident in Nigeria that men and women have different concepts of marital satisfaction and the social support that is exchanged in the marriage. For instance, in Nigeria, males generally view marriage as an institution of lordship over the opposite sex who ought to be seen and not heard. Here, a typical Igbo married man believes that his wife is subject to his authority irrespective of her belief, opinions, feelings, and even academic background (Unamba, 2010).
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