Expectations of Marriage Before & After the First Year of Marriage Among Maltese Catholic Couples

Prof Doc Thesis

Azzopardi, Charlie 2007. Expectations of Marriage Before & After the First Year of Marriage Among Maltese Catholic Couples. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsAzzopardi, Charlie
TypeProf Doc Thesis

This thesis explores expectations of marriage before marriage, their origin, and their
development in the first year of marriage among Maltese Catholic couples marrying in
the Church.
Nine couples were purposely selected from a sample of marriage preparation course
participants to attend two semi-structured interviews; one before marrying and another
one approximately one year into marriage. The first interviews consisted of questions
around the origin of expectations of marriage and on expectations of marriage before
marriage. The second interviews focused on the development of expectations within the
first year of marriage. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was used to analyse the
The various themes that emerged are highly indicative of the shifting constructions about
the family and the transitory nature of gender roles in Malta with current couples finding
themselves ensnared between traditional and post-traditional constructions. Expectations
before marriage continue to persist into the first year of marriage as do various tensions
between partners. While women generally expressed expectations concerning
togetherness, connectedness, and increased emotional intimacy, men generally expressed
expectations regarding independence and separateness. Women were also generally more
inclined to voice expectations of romanticism than their male counterparts. In spite of the
relatively long courtship and high level of perceived romanticism before the wedding,
disappointed expectations, particularly of the romantic expectations held by women, were
immediately experienced after the wedding as partners realise that the map is not the
territory. Marriage invokes a psychological shift which needs to be further explored.
All the emerging themes are embraced within an over-arching theme of an evolving
relationship narrative, involving the co-construction of a collaborative dance between
individuality and relatedness within a rapidly changing context.

Publication dates
PrintMar 2007
Publication process dates
Deposited09 Jun 2014
Additional information

This thesis supplied via ROAR to UEL-registered users is protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights, and duplication of any part of the material is not permitted, except for your personal use for the purposes of non-commercial research and private study in electronic or print form. You must obtain permission from the copyright-holder for any other use. Electronic or print copies may not be offered, for sale or otherwise, to anyone. No quotation from the thesis may be published without proper acknowledgement.

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