Exploring Expressions of Marital Love Prototype among Married Urban Malays

S. M. Hoesni, I. H. M. Hashim, W. M. H. Sarah


The aim of this study is to explore the prototype for expressions of marital love among urban Malays. This study applies the process for developing prototypes of love which was adapted by Fehr (1988). Questionnaire consisting of questions relating to personal background, relationship background and list of expressions of marital love were presented to 600 working married urban Malays. Data were analyzed using Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and found that the list for prototype expressions of marital love were fit using the three component definition as suggested by Sternberg (1986), specifically, intimacy to intimate-sharing expressions, commitment to commitment-faith expressions and passion to romantic-physical expressions. Results showed that expressions for marital love which involve intimate-sharing expressions (e.g. listening to spouse’s emotional outpourings, encouraging spouse, solving problems with spouse) were most desirable compared to romantic-physical expressions which were less desirable (e.g. holding spouse’s waist, giving spouse a massage, caressing spouse). Findings suggest future studies on love within marriage should consider cultural aspects and application of implicit theory as suggested by Fehr (1988).

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5539/ass.v9n2p245

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