Suzana Mohd Hoesni, Nor Ba'yah Abdul Kadir, Wan Shahrazad Wan Sulaiman, Sarah Waheeda Muhammad Hafidz


Love is an important psychological entity in relation to marital satisfaction. Therefore, this study aims to compare how married couples from three groups’ length of marriage (1-5 years, 6-18 years and 19 years) perceive love (intimacy, passion and commitment) and to compare marital satisfaction across three length of marriage. This study applied the survey research design using a combination of cluster and stratified sampling techniques. Questionnaires which were distributed consisted of questions related to personal background, marital background, love and marital satisfaction. Malay married individuals residing in Lembah Klang from eight different location who volunteered to participate in this study were given questionnaires to complete. 310 participants (155 males and 155 females) completed the questionnaires which later were collected for data analysis. Results showed that there were significant differences on how three groups length of marriage (1-5 years and 19 years above of marriage) perceive love (commitment and passion). However, there were no differences in marital satisfaction between the three groups length of marriage as suggested by previous research. Results indicated that love has an important psychological role at any stages of marriage. This research suggested that more research should explore the psychological aspects of love within marriage and its contribution to psychological wellbeing of married couples. 

Full Text:



Baum, M. 1971. Love, marriage and the division of labor. Sociological Inquiry 41(1): 107-117

Bergner R 2000. Love and barriers to love: An analysis for psychotherapists and others. American Journal of Psychotherapy 541(1): 1-17.

Bonds-Raacke, J. M., Bearden, E. S., Carriere, N. J., Anderson, E. M. & Nicks, S. D. 2001. Engaging distortions: Are we idealizing marriage? The Journal of Psychology 135(2): 179-184.

Cho, W. & Cross, S.E. (1995). Taiwanese Association with self esteem and relationship quality. Genetic, Social & General Psychology Monographs. 121, 283-310.

Compton, W. 2005.Love and Well Being in Introduction to Positive psychology, 86-107. Singapore: Thomson Learning.

Contreras, R. & Hendrick, S.S. (1996). Perspectives on Marital Love anmd Satisfaction in Mexican and Anglo American Couples. Journal of Counseling & Development, 74 (4): 408-416.

Curtin, M. E. 1973. Symposium on love. In Second – Order Structure Underlying the Hendrick-Hendrick Love Attitudes Scale, edited by Murthy, K. and Rotzien A. New York: Behavioral Publications

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. XX(X) 1–18

Dion, K. K. & Dion, K. L. 1996. Cultural perspectives on romantic love. Personal Relationships 3(1): 5-17.

Erci & Ergin 2005. Women’s satisfaction with their marriage in Turkey. Marriage and Family Review. 37(3): 117-133.

Elkins, G. R. & Smith, D. 1979. Meaning and measurement of love: A review of humanistic and behavioural approaches. Humanist Educator 18(1): 7-14

Fehr, B., 2006. A Prototype Approach to studying love. In R.J. Sternberg& K. Weis, (eds), The New Psychology of love (pp.225-246), New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Fehr, B. 1988. Prototype analysis of the concepts of love and commitment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 55(4): 557-579.

Ferlis B. Bullare @ Bahari & Rosnah Ismail (2005). Penilaian Psikometrik Kansas marital satisfaction Scale di kalangan sampel Ibu Etnik Iranun, Sabah. Jurnal Psikologi Malaysia 19(2): 33-41.

Gana, K., Saada, Y. & Untas, A. (2013). Effects of love styles on marital satisfaction in heterosexual couples: a dyadic approach. Marriage & Family Review, 49(8): 754-772.

Givertz, M., Segrin, C., & Hanzal, A. (2009). The Association between satisfaction and commitment differs across marital couple types. Communication Research, 36, 561 - 584.

Gonzaga, G.C., Turner, R.A. & Keltner, D. (2006). Romantic love and sexual desire in close relationships. Emotion, 6(2), 163-179.

Grote, N. K. & Frieze, I.H. (1998). “Remembrance of things past”: Perceptions of marital love from its beginnings to the present. Journal of Social & Personal Relationships, 15(1), 91-108.

Hatfield, E. 1965, The Effect of Self Esteem and Romantic Liking. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 1,184-197.

Hatfield, E., Brinton, C. & Cornelius, J. (1989). Passionate love and anxiety in young adolescents. Motivation and Emotion. 13(4): 271-289.

Hatfield, E. & Sprecher, S. 1986a. Measuring passionate love in intimate relations. Journal of Adolescence 9(4): 383-410.

Hendrick, C., & Hendrick, S. 1986. A theory and method of love. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 50(2): 392-402.

Hojjat, M. & Cramer, D. (ed.). 2013. Positive Psychology of Love. London; Oxford University Press.

Harlow, H. F. 1959. Love in infant monkeys. Scientific American 200(issue): 68-86.

Rosnah Ismail. 2004. Hubungan Kesulitan Ekonomi dengan Kefungsian Keluarga, Hubungan Perkahwinan dan Tingkah Laku Keibubapaan Etnik Rungus, Iranun dan Melayu. Kota Kinabalu: Universiti Malaysia Sabah.

Johnson, M.D. & Anderson, J.R.(2013). The Longitudinal Association of Marital Confidence, Time Spent Together, and Marital Satisfaction. Family Process, 52(2): 244-256.

Khalid Mahmood & Zara Najeeb 2013. Personality traits, Infidelity and Marital Satisfaction among Married men and women. International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, 4(12): 386-391.

Ng, K.M., Loy, J.T.C, MohdZain, Zaidy & Cheong, W. (2013). Gender, race, adult attachment and marital satisfaction among Malaysians. The Family Journal. 21(2):198-207.

Langdridge and Hagger-Johnson 2013. Introduction to Research Methods and Data Analysis in Psychology. Singapore: Pearson.

Landis, D. (2000). Cross cultural aspects of passionate love: An individual differences analysis. Journal of Cross Cultural psychology. 31(6), 752-777.

Low, S. M. & Stocker, C. 2005. Family functioning and children's adjustment: Associations among parents' depressed mood, marital hostility, parent-child hostility, and children's adjustment. Journal of Family Psychology 19(3): 394-403.

Merves-okin, L., Amidon, E. & Bernt, F. 1991. Perceptions of intimacy in marriage: A study of married couples. The American Journal of Family Therapy, 19 (2), 110 - 118

Medora, N.P., Larson, J.H., Hortacsu, N. & Dave, P. (2002). Perceived Attitudes Towards Romanticism: A cross-cultural study of American, Asian Indian, and Turkish young adults. Journal of Comparative Family Studies. 33 (2), 155-178.

Montgomery,M.J. & Sorell, G.T. 1997. Differences in love attitudes across family life stages. Family Relations, 46(1), 55-61.

Muraru, A. A. & Turliuc, M. N. 2013. Predictors of marital adjustment: Are there any differences between women and men? Europe’s Journal of Psychology. 9(3), 427-442.

Patrick, S., Sells, J. N., Giordano, F. G. & Tollerud, T. R. 2007. Intimacy, Differentiation, and Personality Variables as Predictors of Marital Satisfaction. The Family Journal, 15(4), 359-367.

Rumaya, J. (1997). Marital Quality As A Function Of Gender Role Egalitarianism Among The Malay-Muslim Student Couples In Midwest Region Of The United States Of America. Doctoral dissertation, Michigan State University.

Rosowsky, E. King, K.D., Coolidge, F.L., Rhoades, C.S. & Segal, D.L. (2012). Marital Satisfaction and Personality Traits in Long-Term Marriages: An Exploratory Study. Clinical Gerontologist, 35(2), 77-87.

Savulescu, J. & Sandberg, A. (2008). Neuroenhancement of love and marriage: The chemicals between us. Neuroethics 1(1): 31–44.

Shaver, P. R., Wu, S., & Schwartz, J. C. (1992). Cross-cultural similarities and differences in emotion and its representation: A prototype Approach. In M. S. Clark (Ed.), Emotion. (pp. 175-212). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Snyder, C.R., Lopez, S.J., Pedrotti, J.T. (2010). Positive Psychology: The scientific and practical explorations of human strengths. 2nd edition. London: Sage Publications.

Sprecher, S. & Hatfield, E. 2015. The importance of love as a basis of marriage: Revisiting Kephart (1967). Journal of Family Issues. In press.

Sternberg, R. J. 1986. A triangular theory of love. Psychological Review 93(2): 119-135.

Stones, C.R. & Philbrick, J.L. (1991). Attitudes toward love among members of small fundamentalist community in South Africa. Journal of Social Psychology. 131(2), 219-224.

Tennov, D. (1979). Love and limerance: The experience of being in love. New York: Stein and Day.

Riehl-Emde, A. Thomas, T. & Willi, J. (2003). Love: An Important Dimension in Marital Research and Therapy. Family Process. 42(2), 253-267.

Woodward, A. 2003. Mature passionate love–Not only possible but heavenly! Australian Journal of Psychology, Supplement 55: 233.

Yela, C. (1999). Temporal course of the basic components of love throughout relationships. Psychology in Spain, 2(1):76-84.

Wendort et al. (2011). Marital Satisfaction Across Three Cultures: Does The Number Of Children Have An Impact After Accounting For Other Marital Demographics? Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology. 42(3), 340-354.

Willi, J. 1997. The significance of romantic love for marriage. Clinical Research-Love and Marriage; Parrenting; Alcoholism 36(2): 171-182.


  • There are currently no refbacks.


The editors and publisher of Jurnal Psikologi Malaysia have made every possible effort to verify the accuracy of all information contained in this publication. Any opinions, discussions, views and recommendations expressed in the article are solely those of the authors and are not of Jurnal Psikologi Malaysia, its editors or its publisher. Jurnal Psikologi Malaysia, its editors and its publisher will not be liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, exemplary, or other damages arising therefrom.