Marriage Relationships – The Role Of Interpersonal Communication

Marriage Relationships – The Role Of Interpersonal Communication: A Study Of Selected Couples In Onitsha North Local Government Area Of Anambra State

Marriage Relationships – The Role Of Interpersonal Communication: A Study Of Selected Couples In Onitsha North Local Government Area Of Anambra State

In every human relationship such as marriage, communication is something that must go on communication can be regarded as the fourth basic need of man, apart from other basic needs which include: food, shelter and security.

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There is no how two or more persons can meet one another in the view of sharing ideas, opinions, suggestions and what have you without communication.

One can never really say “I know her completely”. Each of the partners keeps changing and this is one of the most interesting aspects of marriage. There is always a new thing to discover and learn about one’s spouse, this can only be done through effective communication.

Communication fails, when one wakes up one day to face a stranger and this stranger will be ones husband or wife. This happens because at a point the couple stopped communicating that is to say they stop talking to each other about what they feel, what they think and what they hope for each other.

Everyday, marriages are hitting the rocks, families are crumbling and the children are often left in a state of dilemma. Marriage which is supposed to be a life-long, Universal, sacred, Joyful and a union between a man and a woman, where both were meant to be one has become a term that evokes many traumatic experiences for husbands, wives and children.

Sociologist and scholars have a long list of the causes of family disorganization and instability but very few pay attention to or breakdown in communication as one of the major causes of family problems. Many marriages tear apart because couples who live side by side, who eat and sleep together could not really talk to each other. They do talk but not of the things that touch them deeply. They do not dare to speak openly of those things that make them feel alone, misunderstood and sad. The best strategy to employ is effective communication, which is not a monthly or weekly activity but a daily food of marriage.

Therefore, based on the above problems, the researcher has decided to carry out a study on the role of interpersonal communication in marriage relationships.

1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

Some marriage works while some do not. A lot of cases abound where couples live together, estranged from each other. Those who feel that they have had enough of the “rubbish stuff’ in marriage plunge into divorce straight away. The high rate of divorce and marital problems has become a problem in marriage relationships.

This problem prompted the researcher into this study, believing that at the end of the study, it will proffer solutions to them. Some marriages crumble because of lack of interpersonal communication. The question then is what role can interpersonal communications play in the maintenance of a stable marriage.

1.3 OBJECTIVES OF STUDY

1. The main objective of this study is to find out whether inadequate interpersonal communication contributes to the failure of marriage.

2. To know whether interpersonal communication builds trust in marriage relationships.

3. To find out how interpersonal communication can create understanding in marriage relationships.

4. To know the level of interpersonal communication in marriage relationships.

1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The emphasis on mass communication has resulted in little or no attention to other types of communication. Interpersonal communication takes place more often among people than mass communication. This is to say man’s interaction with man happens more often than man’s exposure to the mass media. In various situation of life: interpersonal communication has been destructively and constructively used.

This study will help in exposing some of the communication flaws in marriage relationships.

The study also intends to find out whether lack of inadequate interpersonal communication contributes to the failure of marriage relationship.

The study will help to know whether interpersonal communication builds trust in marriage relationship.

The finding will also help to find out how interpersonal communication creates understanding in marriage relationships.

Furthermore, it will help to know the level of interpersonal communication in marriage relationships

1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

i. Does insufficient interpersonal communication contributes to the failure of marriage relationships?

ii. Can interpersonal communication build trust in marriage relationships?

iii. Does interpersonal communication create understanding in marriage relationships?

iv. What is the level of interpersonal communication in marriage relationships?

1.6 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS

a. Ho: Interpersonal communication does not contribute to the failure of marriage relationships.

H1: Interpersonal communication contributes to the failure of marriage relationships.

b. Ho: Interpersonal communication does not build trust in marriage relationships.

H2: Interpersonal communication builds trust in marriage relationships.

c. Ho: Interpersonal communication does not create understanding in marriage relationships.

H3: Interpersonal communication creates understanding in marriage relationships.

d. Ho: There is low level of interpersonal communication in marriage relationships.

H4: There is high level of interpersonal communication in marriage relationships.

1.7 SCOPE/ DELIMITATION OF STUDY

For the purpose of this work, the research focuses on the role of interpersonal communication in marriage relationships. This study is essentially limited to selected couples in Ogbolieke Town, Umudei town and Obikporo town in Onitsha North Local government area of Anambra State. This work has been necessitated by the fact that there wouldn’t be enough time and fund to study all the towns in Onitsha North Local Government Area of Anambra State.

1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS

Some terms need definitions, the following definitions were based on the way the researcher applied them in this work.

ROLE

Conceptual: A function that a person or thing typically has or is expected to have.

Operational: The way in which someone or something is involved in an activity or situation and how much influence they have on it.

COMMUNICATION

Conceptual: It is an interaction process through which persons or groups relate to each other and share information, experiences and opinions.

Operational: It is a process of transmitting messages from a source to the audience through different channels.

MARRIAGE

Conceptual: Marriage is a union of a man and a woman who agree to live together as husband and wife. This union is usually sanctioned and potentially enduring beyond the birth of offspring.

Operational: It is a legally accepted relationship between a man and a woman in which they live together a husband and wife.

RELATIONSHIP

Conceptual: It is a friendship and strong emotional connection between people.

Operational: It is an interaction between two things or persons in which they are related or connected.

Interpersonal

Conceptual: It is a communication that goes on between people mostly on a face-to-face situation.

Operational: It is a relationship between two people in a face-to-face situation. Such situation makes it possible for feedback to be immediate in interpersonal communication. Here. Feed back is given in form of both verbal and non-verbal sues because the persons participating in the face-to-face communication can utilize words as well as gestures and other non-verbal areas to indicate that messages are being clearly received and understood.

REFERENCES

Fiske, John (1990), Introduction to Communication Studies (2nd Edition) London: Routledge.

Ike S. Ndolo, (2006), Interpersonal Communication-Selected Readings in Relationships; Enugu, Nigeria.

Okunna, C. S. Introduction to Mass Communication (2nd Edition). Enugu: New Generation Books.

Okunna, C. S. Teaching Mass Communication: A multi-Dimensional Approach, Enugu/ Abuja: New Generations Books.

 

2.1 LITERATURE REVIEW

Marriage is a life long, universal, sacred and highly solemnized human institution. Marriage is social status defining the heights and duties of persons of opposite sex living in a more or less durable union” Albert (1997:163). It is a relationship between a man and a woman. Marriage is a union of man and woman who agree to live together as husband and wife, this union involve the keeping of a happy home through mutual love, tolerance, persuasion and dialogue. Marriage is a union between a man and a woman, where both of them literally become one (Ndolo, 2006).

According to lead, (1968:107-108) marriage established the legal father of a woman’s children, establishes the legal mother of a man’s children, gives the husband monopoly of wife’s sexuality and equally gives the wife a monopoly of the husband’s sexuality. Marriage also gives both husband and wife partial or monopolistic rights to each others domestic and other labour services respectively. It gives both husband and wife partial or total rights over ones property or belonging, establishes a joint fund property for the benefit of the children of the marriage.

Marriage differs from other forms of relationship because of the public commitment that the two individuals make. Marital commitment is more than a promise to fulfill some contractual obligation. Kresten and Kersten (1988:216) said that marital commitment goes beyond this to the sharing of lives, expression of needs, resolution of conflicts and provision of emotional support.

Marital stability does not necessarily indicate marital happiness or satisfaction. There appears to be many couples who stay together even though there is lack of affection and companionship. It is possible that such marriage could improve if the partners become more open with each other.

Kersten and Kresten went on to list the misconceptions people have about marriage which include the following:

a. Happily married couples never disagree

b. One must not unload one’s personal problem on ones spouse, one must keep them to oneself and

c. Married couples should never discuss their marital difficulties with other couples.

These three have their roles on breaking up of homes. That two people are happily married does not mean that they never disagree; the root of their happiness is that they know how to handle and settle their disagreement. For the second step, if married couples fail to seek sympathy and support from each other, to whom can they turn to? The last step, succeed only in depriving couple of all kinds to mutual support and help they can give each other.

Apart from monogamy. Polygamy and polyandry which are the common types of marriage, Kresten and Kersten (1988: 205-206) identify other types of marriage to include traditional marriage, extrinsic marriage, empty shell marriage, pseudo-intimate marriage and the intimate marriage. The classification of these marriage types is based primarily on power, conflict, handling, intimacy, reward and commitment.

Traditional marriage has male dominance and female subordination.

Major decisions in the family are taken by the man. The man does most of the talking.

The partners in an extrinsic marriage mostly focus on things and activities outside the marriage. They always look for happiness in the accumulation of material things. This kind of marriage is not strictly emotionally demanding. “The couple does not take the time that would be necessary to develop intimacy.” They are always “running always on the go.” Kersten and Kresten (1988:233). Communication in this type of marriage suffers a lot. Even when the partners talk, they do not talk of things that touch them personally.

An empty-shell marriage is one which lacks fun and emotional closeness the partner shares a few common interests. This type of marriage is the type that comes about as a result of infatuation.

Pseudo-intimate marriage is a union between two insecure and weak partners. The partners replace genuine intimacy and emotional closeness with togetherness. Crosby in Kersten and Kresten (1988:235) has this to say about this type of marriage. “Disagreement and conflict are explained away, down played or denied. In short, there is self-deception on the part of each mate whereby each tries to convince himself or herself that: yes, we are really compatible couple”.

Therefore, it is a marriage in which honest self-disclosure is lack as each partner appears in mask for fear of being rejected. Some partner tends to keep a “couple front” in order to project an idyllic mage for the children.

Another type of marriage is the negative-exchange marriage. Partners who find negative exchange rewarding often thrive on constant conflicts and fightings. During such conflict and fighting’s, individuals express anger and bitterness that is built-up inside over the years. The structure of marriage and family institution which places men in superior locus over women makes men to sometimes take their wives as their own property which can be handled any how they like. The marriage institution has so tied the women to the men that the personality of the women is seen through the men. Flora Nwakpa (1996).

Marriage conflicts are not easy to resolve in this type of marriage as each partner is busy trying to “win” and “blame” instead of dealing effectively with the issues at hand, the partners end up barking and screening at each other.

The intimate marriage is one in which both partners have a secure sense of themselves. According to Arlene (1979:165), intimate marriage is first of all a basic outlook. It is a couple orientations towards mutuality and their acceptance of the proposition that shared experiences are generally preferable to solo experiences. It is based on a desire to remain “in love” and “to maintain a place in the center of the partner’s heart”. Intimacy can be achieved only if the partners have adequate information. It cannot be achieved without a determination to be transparent, to share one’s private world of thoughts and feelings with the partners.

Intimate partners never assume where they stand. Both partners devote time, energy and effort into building emotional closeness. In this type of marriage conflict is face head-on. Each partner is willing to communicate his or her real positions. This marriage is one between equals who help wherever and whenever is needed.

Nwobi (1997:21-25) identifies the following as destructive elements in marriage; peer groups, in-laws, step-mother and step children, communication breakdown, role enactment, childlessness an over possessiveness.

Effective communication seems to be the only life line that can save any of the destructive elements mentioned above.

2.2 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

For the purpose of this work, social relationships theory is used. As outlined by Brittner (1989) “This theory talk about interaction between different members of a society. In these interactions, inter-personal communication in a face-to-face situation takes place. It is in this process that different members of the social group are able to influence one another”.

Looking at this theory, the reason for social relationships is interaction. It is because of these interactions that warrants to communication. Therefore, in marriage relationships, there must be a kind of interaction between the couple, so that interpersonal communication in a face-to-face situation will take place.

It is through interaction that husband and wife communicates effectively. When couples communicate effectively, it will help them build a stable marriage relationship and also it will enhance their marriage.

2.3 TYPES OF COMMUNICATION

According to Madu, et al (2000:126) communication may be written oral or transmitted by body language. Written communication may take any form such as letters, Memos etc. Oral communication may take place through face-to-face instructions. Body communication consists of posture, facial expressions, gestures, mannerism and many other physical signs.

Intrapersonal communication is the communication that goes on within ourselves. Bittner 1989:8) refers to it as the basis of all other forms of human communication. Without an effective system of intra-personal communication, an organism is unable to function in its environment or to be open to external forms of communication. Okunna (1999:13) “intrapersonal communication is the communication that goes on within or inside an individual, involving the message which the individual sends to herself’’ lntrapersonal communication is the basis of all other forms of human communication.

Supporting okunna, onwe (2006) further explain that intrapersonal communication involves an individual talking to herself, soliquising and thinking aloud. Maurus (1997:33-36) observes that once one has a poor concept of self or maintains a negative image of self and stops trying to be more loving, one is plunged into an environment that is totally unsatisfactory. He attributes misunderstanding among persons to be caused by people’s inability to know what they need for the moment or being confused about their feelings. Interpersonal communication involves an interaction between two or more individual in a face-to-face situation Okunna (1999:15) identifies three types of interpersonal communication namely, dyadic communication, micro-group communication. Dyadic communication is one between two persons, micro-group communication involves a small group like board meeting or a round table discussion and a macro-group communication is one in which there is a large group as in an evangelical crusade or a political rally. In all these types of interpersonal communication, feedback is immediate.

According to Bittner(1989:10) ”interpersonal communication is a communication in a face-to-face situation, important to understanding interpersonal communication is to recognize that each of us possesses what one communication researcher, Wilbur Schramm called a field of experience. “Our background, knowledge, beliefs and virtually anything about us make up our fields of experience. When we engage in interpersonal communication with another person, our fields of experience begin to overlap” Going through this definition, it means that a communicator will have at the back of his mind some factors which Wilbur Schramm called field of experience. Looking at these factors like, the background, beliefs etc will direct the communicator to know the appropriate message to be used. D” Abreo also called this field of experience a ‘ Cohesive bond” and says that it is the basis of every interpersonal communication.

Similarly, Onwe (2006) defined Interpersonal Communication as “an aspect of communication that is between two persons. It involves how one deals with others. However, by mere looking at this definition of interpersonal communication, the definition is saying that interpersonal communication is between two. Nevertheless, in other way round, interpersonal communication can still exist within a group not between two persons only.

Again, Onwe showed that Interpersonal Communication deals with others. There will be no interpersonal communication if only one person is involved. So, the ability to talk to others or to one another highlights the emergence of interpersonal communication.

Bittner (1991:11) defines mass communication as “messages communicated through a mass medium to a large number of people”. The use of mass medium such as newspapers, magazines, films, radio, television, books or a combination of these is one of the things that makes mass communication district from other types of communication.

According to D’Abreo, in mass communication, individual’s identities are lost as they are considered statistically. To support the view Maurus (1997:83) says, “Mass communication is oriented to a vast number of persons who are not contacted personally. Maurus (1997:84) also went on to identify the functions of mass communication in five basic ways: as watchman, a forum, as teacher, as entertainer and as a salesman. These functions bring to light the different uses of the mass media in news dissemination, education, propaganda, instruction, advertising and publicity to mention but a few.

2.4 THE NEED FOR COMMUNICATION

Maurus (1997:10) is of the opinion that as a social being, man needs to relate. Man in himself is incomplete and inorder to complete himself he must share what he has with his fellowmen. Man needs share his emotional needs, his joy and sorrow his love and hate with others.

Zimmerman (1977:7) observes that this sharing is dependence. He adds that interdependence among human beings require that they corporate with one another and corporation depend on the quality of relationship they establish through communication. According to Maurus (1997:11) “Communication is the fabric of life”.

In his analysis of why human beings communicate, Zimmerman (1997:7) identifies two functions of communication, content function and relationships functions. Human beings communicate to accomplish tasks that are important to fulfil their needs, to fed and clothe themselves, to satisfy their curiosity about the environment and to enjoy being alive. Again, they communicate to establish and maintain relationships with others.

D.A Taylor and .I. Altman in Rellof and Miller (1987:257) affirm that communication helps in developing and maintaining interpersonal relationships. This means that communication is an important factor to be considered for any meaningful interpersonal relationships.

2.5 COMMUNICATION AND MARRIAGE

Marriage as has been said earlier is a union between a man and woman. This union is one that has love as it’s foundation-love is something that grows and develops.

Communication is the first way in which love can grow and blossom love needs to communicate and if it does not communicate, it dies, the day loves stops talking, it dies. It flows to stop communication is for love and blood is for our body. We all know how our blood is really the main stream of life in us. If the blood is attacked by a disease or if is weakened in some way. It is our whole self that suffers. In the way, if there is no communication, no coming together and sharing, the love between two people becomes weaker. Communication opens the channels of understanding and makes possible to apply all human resources in resolving family conflicts, couples who communicate effectively stay together.

Unfortunately, some intimates do not even know how to communicate. Communication is done through words, gestures or silence. Learning to communicate is the first step towards making marriage click. If a marriage is to succeed with any measure of true happiness, a couple must learn to express themselves and share their innermost thoughts and feelings, their likes, as well as their dislikes.

Kresten and Kersten (1988:25) “Communication in intimate relationships such as marriage is more personal than in non-intimates. Most times what intimates share is not common-knowledge but deep eye contacts touches, pet-names, private jokes and personal language are examples of communication between a husband and wife.

Undoubtedly, there could be an extensive amount of actual communication between partners. But it may be mostly negative and destructive. Some couples, “honest”, “self disclosure”, and “open communication” are often coated with double massages, insults, nagging and fault findings. So, instead of self-disclosure achieving the desired goal, that is brining about closeness between the partners, it tears them further apart from each other.

One way to achieve effective communication in marriage relationships is to identify and eliminate those things that act as barriers to effective communication.

2.6 BARRIERS TO EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION IN MARRIAGE RELATIONSHIPS

Human communication is complex and this type of complexity needs to be handled with tact. Communication becomes very difficult in marriage when couples fail to understand a few things that act as barriers to their coming close to each other.

Kersten and Kresten (1988:258-268) call these barriers, “destructive communication” and identify them as “double message”, putting the other on the defensive and absolute statements, mind reading, put downs and fault finding.

Kersten and Kresten describe double messages as different models of communication sending different messages at the same time. They use the examples of a wife who communicates her feelings in non-verbal communication in such a way that her spoken words contradict with her non spoken action. Verbally, a wife may tell her husband, “It’s O K with me if you go out with the boys tonight”. But her non-verbal behaviour (long face, sighing with eyes rolling upwards) is saying, “I” m displeased with you spending another night with the boys”. (P.258) a sensitive husband will respond to the non- verbal message instead of to the verbal message. This is where the saying “Action Speaks louder than words” Comes to play.

Individual receiving double messages may not know which one to respond on and this brings about problems in communication. When a speaker or listener fails to create a supportive atmosphere for conversation, defensiveness occurs in the listener/speaker.

Fault finding also cripples communication in marriage. Kersten and Kresten (1988:263) Say that people involve themselves in fault finding because of their inability to distinguish between what is important and what is not important. A continuous complaint about trivial matters will only make a listener avoid the fault finder or completely ignore what he or she has to say.

Summarily, marriage is an intimate relationship that cannot do without effective communication. Many authors believe that communication is the bedrock on which marriage relationships are established. Interpersonal communication in marriage involves verbal and non-verbal communication. But must be understood and effectively used if marriage is to succeed. However, a few things act as stumbling blocks to effective communication in marriage. Every couple must discover the obstacles they have in their interaction and make haste to remove it for effective communication in their marital relationship.

REFERENCES

Abreo, D.A (1994): The Mass Media and you Bombay: Better Yourself Books.

Albert, .E. and Alber (1985): The Encyclopedia of Sexual Behaviour. New York: Hawthorn Book, Inc. Publishers.

Arlene, S.K (1979): The Intimate Environment: Exploring Marriage and Family. Boston Brown and Company.

Bittner, J.R (1989/1991): Mass Communication: An Introduction (5th edition) New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Ike, S. Ndolo, (2006): Interpersonal communication: Selected Readings in Relationships: Enugu, Nigeria.

Kersten, K.K. and Kresten, K.L, (1988): Marriage and the family: Studying Close relationships. New York: Harper and Row.

Madu C.M, Uzoeshi, F. C, Agu, C.N, and Kanu,

I.N (2000): Introduction to Modern Business, Nigeria, Springfield Publishers.

Maurus, Y. (1997): It’s Human Relations that count. Bombay: Better Yourself Books.

Nwobi, P.C. (1997): Marriage and Family Counseling. Enugu: Pan-Africa.

Okunna, C.S. (1999): Introduction to Mass Communication (2nd edition) Enugu: New Generation Books.

Onwe, Chike (2006): “Meaning of Interpersonal Communication” Unpublished lecture Note, Department of Mass Communication, EBSU.

Page, G.C. (2001): Becoming a Woman of Passion Lagos: Elojoe Publishers.

Rellof, M.E. and Miller, G.R (Eds) (1987): Interpersonal processes: New Directions in Communication Research: Beverly Hills London: Sage Publications.

Zimmerman, G.I., Own, J.L and Seibert,

D.R (1977): Speech Communication: A Contemporary Introduction. New York: West Publishing Company.

3.1 RESEARCH METHOD

The survey method of social science research is favoured in this study because of its acclaimed efficiency in exploratory, descriptive and experimental research that involves the sampling of opinions and attitudes of people.

According to Aliede (2000:230) “The choice of research method for any research undertaking is usually guided by the Nature of the research problem and objectives as it is the case in this study.

Nwodu (2006:67) “Survey research method, focuses on a representative sample derived from the entire population of study”. However, through a careful sampling and construction of a standardized questionnaire, it becomes possible to gather data from a group of respondents whose characteristics may be taken as being representatives of those of the larger population.

Furthermore, Nanyelugo Okoro (2001) explains that “Survey is a process of gathering data from a target population through the questionnaire or interviews.

3.2 DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH POPULATION

The population of this study will be on selected couples in Onitsha North Local Government Area of Anambra State

3.3 SAMPLE AND SAMPLING TECHNIQUE

Inorder to select a manageable sample, random sampling technique was adopted from the selected couples Umudei Town, Obikporo Town and Ogbolieke Town.

3.4 INSTRUMENT OF DATA COLLECTION

For easy collection of relevant data for the study, questionnaire method was used. This decision is informed by the fact that questionnaire option is more convenient and most suitable for the purpose of a survey research. It has to do with drawing a set of questions based on the objectives and research questions of the study.

One hundred and fifty copies of the questionnaire was distributed to selected couples from areas of Onitsha town namely: Umudei town, Obikporo town and Ogbolieke town.

3.5 TECHNIQUE OF DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS

Chi-square and frequency distribution statistical techniques were adopted in this study.

REFERENCES

Aliede, J (2004): “Public Relations, Nigerian’s Democratic Culture and Conflict Management” in Nwosu and Wilson. (ed) Communication, media and conflicts management in Nigeria, Enugu, Prime Targets limited.

Nwodu L.C (2006): “Research in Communication and other Behavioural Sciences”: Principles, Methods and Issues. Enugu, Rhyce Kerex Publishers.

Okoro, N. (2001): Mass Communication Research Issues and Methodology, Nsukka, AP Express Publishers.

PRESENTATION AND INTERPRETATION OF DATA

4.1 INTRODUCTION

This chapter deals with the analysis of data collected, which will help the researcher in the interpretation of data, information gathering during the study.

The researcher will adopt the use of tables, frequency count, percentages and the chi-square which is stated below.

This will help to know the Role of interpersonal communication in marriage relationships (A study of selected couples in Onitsha North Local Government Area of Anambra State)

Questionnaires were used to collect data for this study. The distributed questionnaires were 150 copies. But only 120 copies were analyzed. While the remaining got missed and some were not properly filled.

Therefore, the calculation of the response rate for this study will be based on the number of returned copies of the questionnaires which is 120 copies.

4.2 DESCRIPTION AND ANALYSIS OF RELEVANT DATA

TABLE I

SEX OF RESPONDENTS

Sex Frequency Percentage

Male 45 37..5

Female 75 62..5

Total 120 100

The findings of this study shows that male respondents constitutes 45, representing a percentage of 37.5%, while the female respondents are 75 which represent 62.5% of the sample.

TABLE 2

AGE OF RESPONDENTS

Age Frequency Percentage

20-30 45 37..5

31-40 40 33..3

41-50 35 29..2

Total 120 100

From the findings, it shows that many of the sampled respondents were in the age bracket of 20-30 years; this age category is 45 representing 37.5% of the total respondent. While the age bracket of 31-40years had the total of 40 representing 33.3%. The age group of 41-50years followed up with a total of 35 respondents representing 29.2 percentages of the sample respondents.

TABLE 3

EDUCATIONAL QUALIFICATION

Educational Frequency Percentage

GCE/SSCE 20 16.6

NCE/OND 35 29.2

First degree 55 45.8

Illiterates 10 8.4

Total 120 100

This indicates that majority of the respondents were educated, GCE/SSCE/ respondents are 20 representing a percentage of 16.6%. While NCE/OND categorized 35 respondents representing 29.2%. This is followed up by the highest number of respondents of first degree which is 55 respondents representing 45.8 percentage. And also, the number of illiterates which constitute 10 respondents representing 8.4% of the sample.

TABLE 4

DURATION OF MARRIAGE OF RESPONDENTS

Duration Frequency Percentage

5-10 60 50

11-20 25 20.8

21-30 20 16.7

31 and above 15 12.5

Total 120 100

The findings reveal that 60 respondents have been married from 5-10 years representing the sample of 50%.

This is followed by those who are married from 11-20years with the total number of 25 respondents representing 20.8% of the sample size, the duration of 21-30years category is 20 representing 16.7% and from 31years and above duration category has 15 respondents representing 12.5% of the sample size.

SECTION B

TABLE 5

RESEARCH QUESTION 1

Does interpersonal communication contributes to the failure of marriage relationships?

Response Frequency Percentage

Yes 105 87.5

No 15 12.5

Total 120 100

From the findings in this study it is observed that most of the respondents agree that communication contributes to the failure of marriage relationships with a total number of 105 representing 87.5% of the respondents while only 15 representing 12.5% of the sample does not agree that communication contributes to the failure of marriage relationships.

 

TABLE 6

RESEARCH QUESTION 2

Do you trust your partner?

Response Frequency Percentage

Yes 115 95.8

No 5 4.2

Total 120 100

The table indicates that majority of the respondents with 115, representing 95.8% of the sample trust their partners while 5 respondents with a percentage of 4.2% do not trust their partner at all.

TABLE 7

RESEARCH QUESTION 3

Do you understand your partner?

Response Frequency Percentage

Yes 108 90

No 12 10

Total 120 100

The findings of this study shows that 108 respondents understands their partner which constitutes 90% of the sample size while 12 respondents which represents 10% do not understand their partners.

TABLE 8

RESEARCH QUESTION 4

How does your level of communication affect your relationships?

Response Frequency Percentage

Positively 100 83.3

Negatively 20 16.7

Total 120 100

The findings states that majority of the audience were affected positively through communication, a total of 100 respondents representing 83.3% of the sample are in this category, while those affected negatively take up 20 respondents representing 16.7% of the total sample.

 

4.3 DESCRIPTION AND ANALYSIS OF DATA TO RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS.

HYPOTHESIS 1

H0: Interpersonal communication does not contribute to the failure of marriage relationships.

H1: Interpersonal communication contributes to the failure of marriage relationships.

CHI-SQUARE COMPUTATION

DECISION RULE

a. If x2c> X2t -Reject Null hypothesis/accept Alternative hypothesis

b. If X2t < X2t –Accept Null hypothesis and reject alternative hypothesis.

USING TABLE 5

Does interpersonal communication contributes to the failure of marriage relationships?

Response Frequency Percentage

Yes 105 87.5

No 15 12.5

Total 120 100

Level of significance = 0.05 d/f = difference of freedom

df= (n-1) (n-1)

Where, n= variables

1= Constant

X2c = Chi-square calculated

X2t = Chi-square tabulated

fe= Expected value

fo= Observed value

d/f= (2-1)(2-1)

= 1×1=1

:. X2t = 3.84

X2t=

 

a.

b.

 

 

 

 

 

 

105 60 45 2025 33.75

15 60 -45 2025

 

:. X2t > X2t ie., 67.5>3.84

Therefore, we reject the Null hypothesis and accept the alternative hypothesis. Hence, we say that a large number of selected couples in Onitsha North Local Government Area of Anambra State accepted that interpersonal communication contributes to the failure of marriage relationships.

HYPOTHESIS 2.

H0: Interpersonal communication does not builds trust in marriage relationships.

H1: Interpersonal communication builds trust marriage relationships.

Using Table 6

Response Frequency Percentage

Yes 115 95.8

No 5 4.2

Total 120 100

df= (n-1) (n-1)

= (2-1) (2-1)

= 1×1= 1

:. X2t= 3.84

Where,

Level of significance =0.05

 

 

a.

b.

 

 

 

 

 

 

115 60 55 3025 50.4

5 60 -55 3025 50.4

100.8

:. X2t= >X2t ie, 100.8> 3.84

Hence, we reject the Null hypothesis and accept the alternative hypothesis. Therefore, we can say that most of the selected couples in Onitsha North Local Government Area of Anambra State trust their partners.

HYPOTHESIS 3

H0: Interpersonal communication does not create understanding in marriage relationships.

H1: Interpersonal communication creates understanding in marriage relationships.

Using table 7

Do you understand your partners?

Response Frequency Percentage

Yes 108 90

No 12 10

Total 120 100

df= (n-1) (n-1)

= (2-1) (2-1)

= 1×1=1

:. X2t= 3.84

 

Where

Level of significance = 0.05

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

108 60 48 2304 38.4

12 60 -48 2304 38.4

76.8

i.e.

Hence, we reject null hypothesis and accept the alternative hypothesis. We thereby concluded by saying that almost all the selected couples in Onitsha North Local Government Area of Anambra State understands their partners.

 

HYPOTHESIS 4:

H0: There is low level of interpersonal communication in marriage relationships.

H0: There is high level of interpersonal communication in marriage relationships.

Using table 8

How does your level of communication affect your relationships?

Response Frequency Percentage

Positively 100 83.3

Negatively 20 16.7

Total 120 100

df= (n-1) (n-1)

= (2-1) (2-1)

= 1×1=1

:. X2t= 3.84

Where

Level of significance = 0.05

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

100 60 40 1600 26.7

20 60 -40 1600 36.7

53.4

i.e.

Therefore, we reject null hypothesis and accept the alternative hypothesis. It can be concluded that communication affects them positively.

REFERENCE

Anyinwe, M. A., Ideahosa, D. O. Ibeh, S. E., (2006): Basic Research Methods in Social Sciences, Abuja: Ama Resources Nigeria ltd.

Nwordu, Levi Chinaka (2006): Research in Communication and other behavioural Sciences. Enugu: Rhyce Kerex Publishers.

SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

5.1 SUMMARY

Basically, this study examined the role of interpersonal communication in marriage relationships. A study of selected couples in Onitsha North Local Government Area of Anambra State. From the analysis of the data in chapter four, it was discovered that majority of the married couples in Onitsha North trusts and understands their partner. It was also observed that majority of the selected couples in Onitsha North lacks communication in their marriage relationship. Cases abound where a partner continues to tell the other partner that everything is alright while the marriage is tearing apart.

Interpersonal communication can to an extent, help salvage and build such marriage relationship. Intimates discover their likes, dislikes, dreams. Joy and pains when they open up to each other. Understanding of each other leads to a better and happier union.

Unfortunately, some couples make opening up very difficult and also fail to understand or trust their partners. They do so by not creating a conducive atmosphere for their partners during conversations.

The survey research method was employed and the population of study is base on selected couples in Onitsha North Local Government Area of Anambra State. A sample size of 150 was selected for the study.

To get the required data, questionnaire method was employed as the research instrument of the study. However, 150 copies of questionnaire were distributed to elected couples from Areas of Onitsha town namely: Umudei Town, Obikporo town and Ogbolieke town. Out of the 150 copies of the questionnaire, only 120 copies were analyzed, while the remaining 30 copies got missed and some were not properly filled.

5.2 CONCLUSION

In marriage relationships interpersonal communication is an informal interaction with self and one’s partner. It’s effectiveness is fundamental to the understanding of self and to the development and maintenance of one’s relationship with one’s partner. Good communication involves more than just talking to each other. It requires openness, understanding and trust.

This study indicates that majority of the selected couples in Onitsha North Local Government Area of Anambra State agree that lack of communication contributes to the failure of marriage relationships and also believe that communication affects them positively while few were affected negatively. Adequate research has been carried out to determine the number of couples in Onitsha North Local Government Area of Anambra State that trusts, understands and communicates very well with their partners not just pretending that they do, while they don’t.

Finally, with good communication, understanding and trust, couples are able to support and stick to each other. Without good communication, they tend to drift far apart. This states that a positive relationship between marital adjustment and a couples capacity to communicate. Distressed marriages have been found to be deficient in good communication while happy marriages have been found to have sufficient communication.

5.3 RECOMMENDATIONS

After the research on the role of Interpersonal communication in marriage relationships. A study of selected couples in North Local Government Area of Anambra State, I have decided to make the following recommendations inorder to enhance market relationships among couples in Onitsha North Local Government Area of Anambra State. I believe that the recommendations will be of great advantage to married couples:

a. Couples should identify their feelings and learn to express themselves to each other. This can be done non-verbally. Non-verbal communication is very important and partners should be able to make a positive use of it.

b. Married couples must learn how to communicate with their partners positively. Communication in marriage relationships is enhanced and promoted if couples communicate positively. Inorder words, show respect to each other, provide support, show self esteem or self worth and build self-confidence to one another. All these create good climate for communication among married couples.

c. Also, couples should learn how to be open rather then hidden or closed, it is only when this atmosphere is created can intimates disclose more of their plans to each other, they should learn how to disclose their feelings more, listen more to their partner, bring home their conversations to center on themselves instead of on family matters and business.

d. Married couples should learn how to trust their partners. Most often couples feel jealous when they felt their partner mis-behaves. As a result, they find it difficult to belief their partner, in other words they loose trust on them.

e. Finally, to avoid frustrations in marriage relationship, couples should identify themselves an learn how to understand each other. Most often, they fail to understand each other. They hardly know when they feel depressed, puzzled, frightened or ashamed. As a result they find it difficult to understand one another. Married couples, who have attained all these, will not find an difficulty in their marriage relationships.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

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Journal/Article

Page, G. C. (2001): Becoming a Woman of Passion, Lagos: Elojoe Publishers.

Unpublished Works

Onwe, Chike (2006): “Meaning of Interpersonal Communication” Unpublished Lecture Note, Department of Mass Communication, Ebonyi State University.

QUESTIONNAIRE

Tick in the appropriate box and write in your response where necessary.

1. Sex (a) male (b) Female

2. Age bracket (a) 20-30 (b) 31-40

(c) 41-50

3. Educational qualification (a) GCE/SSCE

(b) NCE/OND (c) Undergraduates (d) First degree (e) illiterate

4. For how long have you been married? (a) 5-10 Yeas (b) 11-20years (c) 21-30years

(d) 31years and above

5. Do you trust your partner? (a) Yes (b) No

6. Do you chat/talk with your partner? (a) Yes

(b) No

7. Do you understand him/her when he/she speaks?

(a) Yes (b) No

8. Do you tell him/her your plans? (a) Yes (b) No

9. Do you express your feelings to him/her? (a) Yes (b) No

10 How? (a) Word (b) Touch (c) Facial expression (d) All of the above

11. Do you feel attacked by the way he/she responds to you? (a) Yes (b) No

12. Does communication contributes to the failure of your marriage relationship? (a) Yes (b) No

13. Have you ever praise him/her for doing something well? (a) Yes (b) No

14. Do you maintain eye contact when you talk? (a) Yes

(b) No

15. Do tell him/her your negative feelings about him/her? (a) Yes (b) No

16. Have you ever wished you were not married to him/her? (a) Yes (b) No

17. What do you talk most of the time? (a) Business

(b) Family matter (c) Yourselves

18. Have you ever contemplated divorce? (a) Yes (b) No

19. Are you satisfy with your level of communication?

(a) Yes (b) No

20. How does your level of communication affect your relationship with your partner? (a) Positively

(b) Negatively

Marriage Relationships – The Role Of Interpersonal Communication: A Study Of Selected Couples In Onitsha North Local Government Area Of Anambra State

 

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