The Roles of Love and Happiness in Divorce Decision Making

Sarah A. Crabtree, Steven M Harris, Natasha K. Bell, Sarah Allen, Kelly M. Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Little is known about divorce decision making, the process of deciding whether to divorce when a marriage is distressed. The focus of this qualitative study was to explore the roles of love and happiness—two Western ideals that govern contemporary marital processes—in divorce decision making. Married participants (N = 30) with recent thoughts about divorce were interviewed about their conceptions of love and happiness in their decision-making processes. The resulting categories for love included: (a) importance of love, (b) change over time, and (c) marital love. The categories for happiness included: (a) fluidity of happiness and (b) balancing happiness. Implications of the findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)601-615
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Divorce and Remarriage
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 17 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © 2018 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Divorce
  • decision-making
  • marital happiness
  • marital love
  • marriage


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