Psychology of Marriage:  What Do Couples Say
               Are the Reasons for Why Their Marriages Lasted?

Some marriages may have relationship problems and end in several years.  
Other marriages may last for more than fifty years.  How can we explain why
some marriages may last for a long time?
 Lauer and Lauer (1985) conducted a survey with 351 couples.  The couples
had been married for  15 years or longer.  They were asked about why their
marriages had lasted.  The most common answer for men and women was
perceiving one's spouse as a best friend.  The second most frequent answer for
both men and women was liking one's spouse as a person.  Viewing marriage as
a long-term commitment was the third most frequent response for both men and
women.  The fourth most common answer for both men and women was seeing
marriage as sacred.  It is interesting that laughter was also important.  Laughing
together was the ninth most frequent answer for men, and the eighth most
frequent answer for women.
In short, these findings suggests that couples perceive close friendship and
commitment as two essential elements of an enduring marriage.  However, we
cannot make causal conclusions from these findings.  We do not know whether
the reasons that the couples provided are the true reasons for enduring marriages.


Lauer, J., & Lauer, R.  (1985, June).  Marriages made to last. Psychology
, 22-26.