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BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Marriage, an institution as old as man, it is a crucial and fundamental human relationship because it provides ten primary structure for establishing a family and rearing children. Biblically, it stared as soon as man was created and posted in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 4:1-3). The first human beings on earth; Adam and Eve desired themselves so much that they ended up in procreation and having a family. While marriage as a union of man and women, emerging literatures in present days, indicates that marital harmony is not easily achieved especially in recent times (Bruker & Kimberly, 1993). This suggests that a greater proportion of marriages are associated with uncertainty, instability and lack of trsut between the man and the woman. The danger of uncertainty associated with the problem of disharmony in marriage has therefore created serious challenges to marriage counsellors. To this end ;(Owuamanam and Osankinta, 2005) asserted that some marriage even breakdown before their first anniversaries. Marital harmony is a complex process that has over the period been thought to be influenced by many factors, including education, socio-economic status, love, commitment, marital communication, conflict, gender, length of marriage, the presence of children, sexual relations and the division of labour amongst other factors(Hendrick & Hendrick, 1992:194).
If marriage is healthy and stable, and the couples are satisfied and living in harmony the society in which the family is the bedrock would be strongly built. One of the major tasks of modern marriages is to achieve a state of marital harmony and have a high level of marital satisfaction in the home. Marital harmony therefore can be referred to as individual’s subjective experience of marriage in terms of when their needs are met, and when the individual’s expectations and desires are being satisfied. Factors which contribute to marital harmony include the way and manner of communication between couples at home, presence of children, influence of in-law, marriage relationship, satisfaction of sexual desires and occupational differences. Others are financial misunderstanding, physical violence, lack of love and moral commitment (Target, 1980). The phenomenon has also created psychological and social instabilities among public servants in babcock University staff which have resulted in lack of concentration in their work, absolutes break-up, rise in children’s anti-social behaviour, increase in adultery among married women and men and other irresponsible behaviour by both married men and women. Neff and Karney (2002) have it that when couples have children, there is a decrease in harmony regarding the division of household and who should do which or what. Marital disharmony is expected as the marriage progress, as disillusion causes the initial feelings and optimism and happiness to fade.
Marital harmony has for many become an instrument to measure the success and stability of a marriage and by extension, personal fulfillment and wellbeing. The ideal of marital harmony is so strong that many spouses deceive themselves about the extent to which their marriage meets their particular criterion for satisfaction (Fowers, 1998:521). Spouses engage in positive illusions about marriage by dramatically underestimating their chances of divorce and making unreasonably positive statements about their spouses. These illusions seem to help spouses to believe that their marriage approaches the ideals to which they aspire (Fowers, 1998:521).
STATEMENT OF THE GENERAL PROBLEM
Stability and harmony in a family is crucial and important to every society and national growth and development. The family experiences diverse issues of psychological distress, financial lack to care for the children, communication between parents and children and emotional problems and frustration; resulting in depression, health problem and unfulfilled marital life amongst other problems. Married couples also experience similar frustrating experiences such as social assault from in-laws, absence of children in marriage and homes that causes divorce, lack of proper communication between couples, and a breakdown in good marital relationship. In Nigeria poor marital relationship is on the increase especially among workers including Nigeria. All these constitute serious threat to social stability in the country. In babcock university, where staff are predominantly married men and women and the increasing conflict and crisis of related family issues extended to offices and working environment it becomes of essence to look on these issue and investigate possible ways to remedying the problem of marital disharmony. Hence, the core problem investigated in this study is to determine the factors influencing marital harmony among married couples in Babcock University community.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major aim of the study is to examine the factors that influence marital harmony among married couples in Babcock university community. Other specific objectives of the study include;
- To determine the importance of achieving marital harmony among married couples in Nigeria.
- To examine the impact of marital satisfaction on marital harmony among married couples in Nigeria.
- To examine the disadvantages of marital conflict in families in Nigeria.
- To recommend ways of improving marital harmony among married couples in Nigeria.
- What are the factors that affect marital harmony among married couples in Nigeria?
- What is the importance of achieving marital harmony among married couples in Nigeria?
- What is the impact of marital satisfaction on marital harmony among married couples in Nigeria?
- What are the disadvantages of marital conflict in families in Nigeria?
- What are the ways of improving marital harmony among married couples in Nigeria?
H0: Marital satisfaction does not improve marital harmony among married couples.
H1: Marital satisfaction improves marital harmony among married couples.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study would be of immense importance to married couples in Nigeria, marriage therapists/counselors and related stakeholders as it would reveal the factors that influence marital harmony among married couples in Nigeria. The study would also be of benefit to students, researchers and scholars who are interested in developing further study on the subject matter.
SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study is restricted to the factors influencing marital harmony among married couples in Babcock university community, Ogun state.
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
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