Title

Black Marriages Matter: Wisdom and Advice From Happily Married Black Couples

Keywords

black couples, marriage expectations, marital experiences

Abstract

Objective

This study used in-depth interviews with Black and African American couples in happy, long-term marriages to capture advice that can serve to convey the hurdles and expectations of marriage in the African American community.

Background

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that only 29% of African Americans are married. However, the majority of African Americans still desire marriage themselves. Therefore, the advice and experiences of enduring African American couples could be beneficial to those younger couples hoping to one day marry.

Method

Interviews and a semistructured interview protocol were used to gather data on marital experiences and counsel from 35 happily married African American couples. Data were analyzed using qualitative methods consistent with Marks (2015) Numeric Content Analysis.

Results

Three emergent themes related to forming and strengthening African American marriages are discussed: (a) Communication Keeps Small Issues From Becoming Big Barriers; (b) Share Roles, Share Responsibilities; and (c) Manage Your Money to Manage Your Marriage.

Conclusion

Key aspects of strong African American marriages include the ability to maintain open lines of communication, to adjust spousal roles with emerging stressors, and to agree on the management of income and assets.

Implications

This study informs young African American couples, family life educators, and marriage therapists on the common experiences and perspectives in long-lasting African American marriages. Using this information, young African Americans and those engaging African Americans can work to build stronger families and communities.

Original Publication Citation

Skipper, A. D., Marks, L. D., & *Moore, T. J., & Dollahite, D. C. (2021). Black marriages matter: Wisdom and advice from happily married Black couples. Family Relations, 70, 1369-1383. https://doi.org/10.1111/fare.12565

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2021-06-22

Publisher

Family Relations

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor

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