Communication, marital satisfaction and religious orientation in interfaith marriages

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Purpose

The purpose of the research was to establish whether people with interfaith marriages have more chances of facing difficulties compared to those who share the same faith. It was also purposed to determine whether interfaith marriages are less stable than same-faith marriages. Lastly, the article explores how different or similar lifestyles of couples in interfaith marriages compared to their counterparts in the same faith marriages (Hughes & Dickson, 2005).

This has been attributed to various factors including the religious orientation theory which explains that constant church attendance among the couples leads to high marital satisfaction. Religion is also attributed to its impact on way couple handle problems relating to them. Religion also provides social network composition and social support in an interfaith marriage (Hughes & Dickson, 2005).

Method

The research involved about 87 married couples who were interfaith couples mostly from the large cities. The couples had different features regarding age, income, and church attendance. The procedure involved in the collection of data through questionnaires. To ensure there was a constant partnership with the participants, they were often contacted through the research period. They were also given an opportunity to have their view (Wilmoth, Blaney, & Smith, 2015).

Various methods of assessing the measurement included Age Universal I-E scale for religion origin, Spanier’s method for marital satisfaction and Communication patterns Questionnaire for factors relating to conflicts. Data were then analyzed using Pearson correlation formula.

Results

The results showed that there is a relationship between marriage and religion. It is clear that religion had a direct impact on how the marriages are and how couples behave.  This proved that interfaith marriages are associated with divorce due to several factors.This included less communication between the couples, lack of support and lack of satisfaction in marriage.  On the other hand, couples with the same faith were found to be having more social support, satisfied and had efficient communication with each other. Furthermore, they had better skills in solving their marital problems which arose (Hughes & Dickson, 2005).

The results also indicated that couples who had proper communication especially during the conflicts and difficulties had more chances of marriage satisfaction. However, most of the interfaith couples lacked this attribute, and that was the main reason for the continued cases of divorce and instability in such marriages (Wilmoth et al., 2015).

Conclusion

The findings had several drawbacks which must be considered.  One of the drawbacks is that the accuracy of the information submitted by the participants cannot be fully complied. This is because most of them did not provide actual frequencies of activities such how they often discussed problems facing their marriage. This drawback could be addressed by being more specific on the questions being directed to the participants of the research. Another drawback was on the data obtained in the research was that the data was not compared to the data obtained from the same faith couples.

Point to note about the findings in the research is that the fact that interfaith marriages face many difficulties does not mean that they should have to share the same denomination. However, they should practice having similar interest, and this will be a source of happiness to them. Furthermore, the research shows that communication process during times of conflicts and social issues has been proved to result in a stable relationship which is not the case in in interfaith marriages.

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  1. Hughes, P. C., & Dickson, F. C. (2005). Communication, marital satisfaction, and religious orientation in interfaith marriages. The Journal of Family Communication, 5(1), 25–41.
  2. Wilmoth, J. D., Blaney, A. D., & Smith, J. R. (2015). Marital satisfaction, negative interaction, and religiosity: A comparison of three age groups. Journal of Religion, Spirituality & Aging, 27(2–3), 222–240.
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