EVALUATION OF SOCIO-CULTURAL VARIABLES AND ITS IMPACT ON MARITAL STABILITY AMONG COUPLES

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EVALUATION OF SOCIO-CULTURAL VARIABLES AND ITS IMPACT ON MARITAL STABILITY AMONG COUPLES

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

  1. Background of the study

Culture is often defined and acknowledged as people’s way of life, which includes, among other things, their material existence. Every grown man or woman aspires to have a secure and happy marriage life, to be compatible in love, values, academics, economics, and, of course, to be socially acceptable. This is consistent with Onyema’s (2018) contention that marriage is a social institution for the uniting of body and spirit. However, marriage stability might be altered by socio-cultural factors at times. The factors’ effect may be negative, resulting in uneasiness and dissatisfaction in marriage, or positive, resulting in a solid and happy partnership. These characteristics range from cultural variety (in case of interethnic marriage), to educational, social, economic and even religious background. Age difference is also included in these factors. For example, a lady once admitted that she will never marry an illiterate, no matter how wealthy he is, since one day he will inadvertently use his diploma as a toilet tissue. This candid confession implies incompatibility and class disparity in schooling, both of which may impair marriage stability. The current instability in some marriages in our culture is a result of social, economic, and cultural changes in people’s patterns of life. According to Amaonye (2016), these changes have occurred and continue to occur at such a quick pace that they have not yet been integrated into our ways of life.

Furthermore, compatibility in couples’ social life is a significant influence in marriage stability and longevity. When couples’ social lives diverge, it may signal a serious danger to marital stability, because it takes time to understand why some social trips and engagement are vital. However, recognizing the significant effect of these sociocultural determinants on marriage may be a beneficial moment in our culture today in terms of marriage stability. According to Almond (2020), it is thought that marriage provides the certainty of stability, love, and friendship. Adman (2018) supported this viewpoint by claiming that nature did not create humans to be alone. He went on to say that individuals who have never experienced the deep closeness and strong companionship of blissful mutual love have lost out on the greatest that life has to offer. Marriage is a social phenomenon that affects both immediate family members (couples) and other members of the society. A man and a woman are drawn to one other in marriage because they both believe that the partnership would meet a range of their requirements, such as love, values, financial support, social safety, and long-term friendship. Marriage, however, is not without its troubles and obstacles. Indeed, there appear to be several gaps between an individual’s relational ideal and final relational reality. As many research demonstrates, dysfunctional communication practices might contribute to relationship breakdown (Hottman, 2015).

 

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The objectives of material life cannot be attained without marital stability. Anyanwu’s (2020) perspective on marital stability focused on the contradiction between the couple’s desire for city occupations and their traditional duties, as well as the resulting uneasiness in marriage. Adults, according to the argument, leave the protection of their traditional homes to seek jobs in cities and towns. In addition to the hoped-for economic fulfillment, many couples are frequently presented with a variety of issues that may jeopardize the security of their marriage. As a result, there is a chance that they may be exposed to foreign methods of living that are completely different and in opposition with their own culture. According to Amanoye (2016), the current instability in some marriages is the consequence of educational, social, and economic changes that have occurred and continue to occur at such a quick pace that they have not yet been fully integrated into our way of life. In essence, marriage instability is caused by the ongoing movement of individuals from rural to urban areas, the entry of women into industry, the labor force, and business, as well as the changing economic positions of husbands. If the foundation is inadequate, it can sometimes cause problems later in life. For example, nowadays’s children and teenagers are frequently separated from their parents and relatives, who might guide them through the process of adjusting to future marriage life. According to Achuzie (2019), more than ever before, teenagers cry out for the services of guidance and counsellors to help them with their daily concerns, particularly the fight to establish a solid marriage. As a result, the focus on the need of early planning and equipment to nurture future marital stability, etc.

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 1.2  Statement of the Problem

One of life’s most agonizing experiences is marital insecurity. Every married man and woman wishes to spend their lives together, joyously, until death separates them. However, this is not always the case since, at some point in their lives, frictions occur, leading to the marriage’s near or entire collapse. And this is one of the unavoidable difficulties that come with marriage. Socio-cultural factors such as religious, age, socioeconomic status, social class, educational background, personality, traditional values, and so on influence the marital stability of couples are very important variables in marital stability, but the relevance of these factors is not recognized by many couples, which is why there are breakages in many homes as a result of no love, lack of understanding, lack of compatibility, disparity in age, education, and religion, and so on. According to Nduka (2019), many people have failed to recognize that when couples of different cultures marry (inter-ethnic marriage), there is a need to appreciate each other’s culture since this translates to appreciating the person you married and subsequent marital stability.

Unfortunately, marriages nowadays fail due to a lack of tolerance, mutual trust, patience, non-child bearing, a lack of efficient communication, a lack of healthy marital attitudes, similarities between spouses, a lack of maturity, and a low socioeconomic standing.

This Ekpenyong (2018 demonstrated that when couples are not from the same socio-cultural background, and do not share the same value system and standards, they tend to differ in understanding of themselves, and this, without a doubt, generates friction and instability in marital union. Although there is a wealth of research on marriage distress and instability, few have recently addressed the variables that ensure marriage success in Uyo local government, Akwaibom state. The study intends to assess socio-cultural factors and their influence on marital stability among couples based on this concept.

1.3  OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

The major purpose of this study is to evaluate socio-cultural variables and its impact on marital stability among couples. Other objectives of this study include to:

  1. To investigate whether  religion has an impact on and marital stability among couples.
  2. To find out whether ethnicity sigificantly influences marital success among couples.
  • To determine whether communication significantlyinfluences  marital stability.
  1. To investigate whether socio-economic status has an impact on couples’ marital success.

1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

The following research hypotheses were formulated for testing in this study:

HO1: There is no significant influence of socio-economic variable on couples’ marital stability.

 HO2: There is no significant influence of ethnicity on couples’ marital stability.

HO3: There is no significant influence of religion on couples’ marital stability.

HO4: There is no significant influence of communication on couples’ marital stability.

1.5 Significance of the Study

Finding of this study will be helpful to couples and counselors and families. Marriage should be contracted through a careful planning and accidental marriage (that is marriages that are not planned but are forced on couples to save the family or families from embarrassment) should be avoided like a plague. Before a man weds his wife, both of them should reach the age of maturity. They should mature socially, economically, temperamentally, financially etc. For a happy marriage, they should maintain a feeling of love and affection. The wife must experience a feeling of being wanted and a sense of belonging, care and security. The husband too needs love and affection to ensure him of a stable marriage. Marriage partners should avoid cognitive error that is, they should not expect the other person to see it. Therefore, if the husband wants the wife to behave in a certain way, he should inform her about his wishes, the same is true of the wife to her husband. Sexual compatibility tends to foster marital stability, marital oneness to large extent depends on sex. In fact, sex is a form of communication and probably, the most legitimate in which two persons (husband and wife) express oneness of mind and feeling. Therefore, partners in marriage should be socially compatible. Child-bearing is a factor that foster marriage may not be her fault.  To avoid unnecessary doubts, both husband and wife should go for a medical checkup to rectify or correct the problem of childessness. For marriage to work out well, couples should not entertain the interference of in-laws or the third party syndrome. They should avoid washing their dirty lining in the public. They should be of one religious sect, joint account, mind the same thing, maintain peace in the home and allow love and affection to rule their world.  Empirically, the study will add to the general body of knowledge and serve as a reference material to student and scholars who wish to conduct further studies in related field.

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1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The scope of this study borders on evaluation of socio-cultural variables and its impact on marital stability among couples. The study is however delimited to married couple and counsellor in Uyo local government in Akwaibom State.

1.7  LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. The significant constraint was the scanty literature on the subject owing that it is a new discourse thus the researcher incurred more financial expenses and much time was required in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size covering only marital couple in Uyo, Akwa ibom State. However, this study cannot present all the marital problems exhibited by all the couples in Lagos State considering the scope the generalizability of the findings can only be applicable to the other couples in similar conditions. Additionally, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work will impede maximum devotion to the research. Howbeit, despite the constraint encountered during the  research, all factors were downplayed in other to give the best and make the research successful.