Contemporary Family Therapy

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 105–121 | Cite as

Ties that Bind: A Qualitative Study of Happy Long-Term Marriages

  • Leslie L. Bachand
  • Sandra L. Caron


An abundance of literature exists concerning the marital relationship. While most research focuses on divorce and the social consequences of this phenomenon, more recently social scientists have focused on the marriages that remain intact. The purpose of this study was to gain insight into what factors make marriages last. This study used qualitative methodology to gain further insight into long-term marriages. Interviews were conducted with 15 heterosexual couples who had been married for at least 35 years and who identified their marriage as happy. Results indicate that for each couple the factors contributing to the longevity of their happy marriage were numerous and unique. While the most commonly mentioned factors included friendship, love, and similar backgrounds or interests, a wide range of responses were elicited.

long-term marriage couples happiness 


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leslie L. Bachand
    • 1
  • Sandra L. Caron
    • 2
  1. 1.IDCFramingham
  2. 2.Family RelationsUniversity of MaineOrono

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