Does Forgiveness Affect Marital Satisfaction?

Author/s: Birsen Şahan


Year: 2021 Vol: 6 Number: 3


This study determines married couples’ experiences that negatively affected their lives and their relationships and that they have had difficulty forgiving, what they did to overcome these incidents, and how they have reacted to each other. The study also examines the variables predicting spouses’ marital satisfaction. The study employs a nested mixed methods design in which 289 married individuals living in Turkey participated. Of the participants, 97 stated having had an experience with their spouses that they could not forgive. These data were analyzed using content analysis. The Marital Life Scale was administered to determine participants’ marital satisfaction. Stepwise regression analysis was used to determine the variables that predict the participants’ marital satisfaction. The participants’ experiences with their spouses that were difficult to forgive involved neglect and abuse, communication problems and quarrels, problems related to in-laws, distrust and infidelity, economic problems, addictions such as alcohol and gambling, and problems related to sharing household chores. The participants used different methods to solve the problems they have with their spouses. The study has identified having an unforgivable experience and reacting to problems experienced by being cross as the predictive variables of marital satisfaction. Some incidents in married life resulted in marital bonds weakening.

Forgiveness, Marital Satisfaction, Couple Relations, Family Relations

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