Determinants of Marital Satisfaction from Married Individuals’ Perspectives in Addis Ababa: A Qualitative Study


  • Shimelis Wondimu School of Psychology, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
  • Tamirie Andualem School of Psychology, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia



Determinant, Marital, Satisfaction, Qualitative Study


Studies have identified various factors that determine marital satisfaction. However, there is still a scarcity of studies that focus on the factors influencing marital satisfaction. Most previous studies have focused on deficit factors rather than strengthening factors, indicating a knowledge gap regarding factors that positively contribute to marital satisfaction. This study aimed to identify the factors influencing marital satisfaction from the perspective of married individuals in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions (FGDs) were used as data collection techniques. The data was collected from 15 participants. The study uncovered key factors that contribute to marital satisfaction. The findings include views about marriage, readiness for marriage, caring behavior, integrity, patience, and religiousness. Marriage practitioners, policymakers, and social workers could benefit from this study. The limitations and future directions were also discussed.


Abdol Rahimi, S., Shakarbigi, A. R., & Naderi, G. (2012). Phenomena Effects of Divorce on Families and Society. Journal of Basic and Applied Scientific Research, 2(5), 4639–4647.

Abdul Azeez, E. P. (2013). Employed women and marital satisfaction: A study among female nurses. International Journal of Management and Social Sciences Research, 2(11), 17–26.

Abreu-Afonso, J., Ramos, M. M., Queiroz-Garcia, I., & Leal, I. (2021). How couple’s relationship lasts over time? A model for marital satisfaction. Psychological Reports, 1–27.

Aman, J., Abbas, J., Nurunnabi, M., & Bano, S. (2019). The relationship of religiosity and marital satisfaction: The role of religious commitment and practices on marital satisfaction among Pakistani respondents. Behavioral Sciences, 9(30), 1–13.

Aydogan, D., & Dincer, D. (2020). Creating resilient marriage relationships: Self-pruning and the mediation role sacrifice with satisfaction. Current Psychology, 39(1), 500–510.

Aydogan, D., & Kizildag, S. (2017). Examination of relational resilience with couple burnout and spousal support in families with a disabled child. The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families, 25(4), 407–413.

Bradley, J. M., & Hojjat, M. (2016). A model of resilience and marital satisfaction. The Journal of Social Psychology. 157 (5), 588-601.

Braithwaite, S. R., Selby, E. A., & Fincham, F. D. (2011). Forgiveness and relationship satisfaction: Mediating mechanisms. Journal of Family Psychology, 25(4), 551.

Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2022). Conceptual and design thinking for thematic analysis. Qualitative Psychology, 9(1), 3–26.

Chapman, B., & Guven, C. (2016). Revisiting the relationship between marriage and wellbeing: Does marriage quality matter? Journal of Happiness Studies, 17(2), 533–551.

Collins, W. L., & Perry, A. R. (2015). Black men’s perspectives on the role of the black Church in healthy relationship promotion and family stability. Social Work & Christianity, 42(4).

David, P., & Stafford, L. (2013). A relational approach to religion and spirituality in marriage: The role of couples ’ religious communication in marital satisfaction. Journal of Family Issues, 1 –18.

Fincham, F. D., Ajayi, C., & Beach, S. R. H. (2011). Spirituality and marital satisfaction in African American couples. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 3(4), 259–268.

Fincham, F. D., & Beach, S. R. H. (2010). Marriage in the new millennium: A decade in review. Journal of Marriage and Family, 72(3), 630–649.

Hatami, H., Habi, M. B., & Akbari, A. (2009). Assessing the impact of religiosity on marital satisfaction. J Military Psychology, 1(1), 13–22.

Heshmati, H., Behnampour, N., Arabameri, S., Khajavi, S., & Kohan, N. (2016). Marital satisfaction in refereed women to Gorgan health ‎ centers. Iran J Psychiatry, 11(3), 198–200.

Holden, C. L., Rollins, P., & Gonzalez, M. (2023). Health-promoting behaviors, relationship satisfaction, and resilience among a community sample. Contemporary Family Therapy: An International Journal, 45(2), 146–156.

Ismail, Z., & Diah, N. A. A. B. A. (2020). Relationship between financial well-being, self-esteem and readiness for marriage among final year students in university Putra Malaysia (UPM). Malaysian Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, 5(6), 19–24.

John, N. A., Edmeades, J., Murithi, L., & Barre, I. (2019). Child marriage and relationship quality in Ethiopia Child marriage and relationship quality in Ethiopia. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 21(8), 853–866.

Karney, B. R., & Bradbury, T. N. (2020). Research on marital satisfaction and stability in the 2010s: Challenging conventional wisdom. J Marriage Fam., 82(1), 100–116.

Karunia, N. E., & Rahaju, S. (2019). Marriage readiness of emerging adulthood. GUIDENA: Jurnal Ilmu Pendidikan, Psikologi, Bimbingan Dan Konseling, 9(1), 29–34.

Kashirskaya, I. K. (2015). Psychological readiness for marriage as personal formation. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 6(6), 452–463.

Khojasteh Mehr, R., Datli Bagi, M., & Abbaspour, Z. (2018). Examining the tolerance model with islamic approach in the context of marital life. Journal of Family Psychology, 5(1), 57–70.

Khojasteh Mehr, R., Kariminejad, K., Rajabi, G., & O’Neill, D. (2022). The Study of the Lived Experience of Tolerance for Differences in Satisfied Marriages: A Phenomenological Study. International Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 16(1), 55–60.

Kuo, J. C.-L., & Raley, R. K. (2016). Diverging patterns of union transition among cohabiters by race-ethnicity and education: Trends and marital intentions. Demography, 53(4), 921–935.

Lavner, J. A., Karney, B. R., & Bradbury, T. N. (2016). Does couples’ communication predict marital satisfaction, or does marital satisfaction predict communication? Journal of Marriage and Family, 78(3), 680–694.

Leavitt, C. E., Hendricks, J. J., Clarke, R. W., Marks, L. D., Dollahite, D. C., & Rose, A. H. (2023). Integrity and fidelity in highly religious marriages. Family Relations.

Lenger, K. A., Gordon, C. L., & Nguyen, S. P. (2016). Intra-individual and cross-partner associations between the five facets of mindfulness and relationship satisfaction. Mindfulness.

Mekonnen, Y., Kassa, K., & Ayalew, M. (2019). Prevalence, causes and consequences of divorce in Bahir Dar City, Ethiopia. African Journal of Social Work, 9(1), 73–78.

Ningrum, D. N. F., Latifah, M., & Krisnatuti, D. (2021). Marital readiness : Exploring the key factors among university students. Humanitas Indonesian Psychological Journal, 18(1), 65–74.

Odilavadze, M., Panjikidze, M., Martskvishvili, K., Mestvirishvili, M., & Kvitsiani, M. (2020). The role of personality and love style in marital satisfaction: Does similarity matter? Current Issues in Personality Psychology, 7(4), 1–10.

Patel, K. K., & Dhar, M. (2018). Marital happiness among newly married individuals in a rural district in marital happiness among newly married individuals in a rural district in India. Social Science Spectrum, 4(2), 76–85.

Plooy, K. Du. (2018). Effective interactions : Communication and high levels of marital satisfaction. Journal of Psychology in Africa, 28(2), 161–167.

Robles, T. F. (2014). Marital quality and health: Implications for marriage in the 21st century. Curr Dir Psychol Sci, 23(6), 427–432.

Røsand, G.-M. B., Slinning, K., Røysamb, E., & Tambs, K. (2014). Relationship dissatisfaction and other risk factors for future relationship dissolution: a population-based study of 18,523 couples. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 49, 109–119.

Shafer, K., Jensen, T. M., & Larson, J. H. (2014). Relationship effort , satisfaction , and stability: Differences across union type. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 40(2), 212–232.

Skogrand, L., Chaney, C., & Gahagan, K. (2016). Marital expectations in strong African American marriages. Fam Proc, 1–17.

Solomon, D. H., & Brisini, K. S. C. (2018). Relational uncertainty and interdependence processes in marriage : A test of relational turbulence theory. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 1–21.

Steve, B., & Marie, C. (2014). Positive psychology. Pearson Education India.

Tavakol, Z., Nasrabadi, A. N., Moghadam, Z. B., Salehiniya, H., Rezaei, E., & Faculty, M. (2017). A review of the factors associated with marital satisfaction. 6(3), 197–207.

Timothy-springer, R., & Johnson, E. J. (2018). Qualitative study on the experiences of married couples. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 1–14.

Tsania, N., Sunarti, E., & Krisnatutii, D. (2015). Family characteristics , marital readiness of wife , and development of children aged 3-5 years abstract. Jur. Ilm. Kel. & Kons, 8(1), 28–37.

Vaterlaus, J. M., Skogrand, L., Chaney, C., & Gahagan, K. (2017). Marital expectations in strong African American marriages. Family Process, 56(4), 883–899.

Willoughby, B. J. (2014). The Role of Marital Beliefs as a Component of Positive Relationship Functioning. Journal of Adult Development, 22(2), 76–89.

Willoughby, B. J., & Belt, D. (2016). Marital orientation and relationship well-being among cohabiting couples. Journal of Family Psychology, 30(2), 181–192.

Wilson, S. J., & Novak, J. R. (2022). The implications of being “In it together”: Relationship satisfaction and joint health behaviors predict better health and stronger concordance between partners. Ann. Behav. Med., 1014–1025.

Zaheri, F., Dolatian, M., Shariati, M., Simbar, M., & Ebadi, A. (2020). The concept and aspects of a successful marriage as stated by successful Iranian couples and experts : A qualitative study. Crescent Journal of Medical and Biological Sciences, 7(2), 159–169.

Zimmermann, T., de Zwaan, M., & Heinrichs, N. (2019). The German version of the quality of marriage index : Psychometric properties in a representative sample and population-based norms. PLOSONE, 14(2), 1–11.



How to Cite

Wondimu, S. ., & Andualem, T. . . (2024). Determinants of Marital Satisfaction from Married Individuals’ Perspectives in Addis Ababa: A Qualitative Study. International Journal of Qualitative Research, 3(3), 278-287.