The concept of marital satisfaction is an important area of research in the context of marriage and family relationships. This has not been previously examined in Pakistan, a conservative patriarchal Islamic country, where studies examining psychiatric morbidity have shown marital problems as contributing to Common Mental Disorders (CMDs). Young married women under the age of 35 years appear to have a higher prevalence of CMDs than older married women. In this pilot study, using both a quantitative and a qualitative approach, we examined the construct of marital satisfaction and tested the applicability of marital satisfaction scales developed in the West for use in Pakistan. The results indicate that, contrary to cultural beliefs regarding marriage, most women expressed the need to be satisfied within marriage. The fear of hurting or annoying their parents prevented many women from openly expressing their opinion in the choice of husband or unhappiness in their marriage. Pakistani women tend to see marriage as a social and familial obligation requiring them to be prepared to adjust as the man seldom does. The construct of marital satisfaction is a viable concept for study and research in Pakistan, and there is need for further research in this area.
- Common Mental Disorders (CMDs)
- Marital satisfaction