Document Type

Honors Project


This study examines the effect of marriage on friendship and the way individuals balance their relationships with their spouses and their friends. Data were collected from in-depth interviews with eleven adults from their mid-20s to mid-60s. Analysis revealed that marriage shapes the kinds of friendships people form, but has a less significant effect on friendships that predate marriage. Married people form mutual, activity-based friendships with other couples and maintain the emotionally close, same-gender friendships that they formed before marriage. Data supported the dominant American ideal of spouse as best friend. While marriage did have some influence on friendship patterns, work and child responsibilities were more influential.



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