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Marital satisfaction and happiness refer to subjective evaluations of positive effect in the marital relationship by one or both spouses. For most married people in modern societies, the quality of their marriages strongly affects their happiness. Nevertheless, societal norms suggest that the quality of marriage significantly impacts women’s happiness than that of men. Spouses’ different characteristics, traditional family behaviors, decision making, division of household labor, equality in family relations, and so on are parameters related to women’s and men’s views of marital quality and marital happiness This study investigates the general attitudes of spouses by gender toward traditional family behavior, non-marital sex, marital disagreement, decision making, and fairness to measure the effect of these parameters on marital happiness. Participants comprised married employees in Ankara, Turkey. Sample size was determined by random sampling method (n = 305). More than half (59.7%) of the sample were men; 40.3% were women. The average age of the men was 40.3 (SD = 8.05) and that of women was 37.2 (SD = 7.39). Questionnaires assessed participants’ attitudes toward family life, marital quality, and marital happiness using scales drawn from previous studies related to marital quality and marital happiness. According to the results, women reported more marital disagreement, a more unilateral view of decision making, and higher risk of dissolution than men. The highest levels of marital happiness were experienced with briefer length of marriage, beginning and contracting life stages, more progressive attitudes about non-marital sex, less disagreement and more fairness, and low chance of dissolution.

Gender roles, marital disagreement, fairness, marital quality, marital happiness

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