Married Couples: the Significance of Psychological Wellbeing and Subjective Loneliness for Feelings of Love



Married couples are attracting attention of psychologists. Generally, feelings of love are studied as a predictor, and psychological wellbeing as an effect of relationship satisfaction. Since feelings of love change in time, the purpose of this research is to study gender and age differences and identify predictors of love for spouse. Although relationship satisfaction probably is the strongest predictor of love, the psychological wellbeing and subjective loneliness also matters. 387 couples with marriage duration from six months to 50 years were studied. Methods: Rubin’s love and liking scale; Psychological wellbeing scale (Ryff), Loneliness scale (Russell et al.); self-report of relationship satisfaction with cognitive (satisfaction, desire to maintain marriage, divorce) and emotional (negative feelings, tension, fear of parting) issues. Dispersion, correlation, factorial and regression analysis were used. Results: Men’s love is stronger than women’s one and more stable throughout marriage. The lowest relationship satisfaction and the most pronounced love were found in 3–7 years of marriage. Common predictors of love for a partner are relationship satisfaction and the partner’s psychological wellbeing; a specific predictor for men is a low level of subjective loneliness, and for women it is the husband’s love for her, his subjective loneliness and her fear of parting. Spouses who express a desire to divorce are characterized by weak love for a partner, men are not satisfied with the relationship and both spouses have a reduced level of psychological wellbeing: women are not competent enough, men have difficulty setting life goals, and both partners have low self-acceptance.

General Information

Keywords: marriage, romantic love, relationship satisfaction, psychological wellbeing, subjective loneliness, fear of parting

Journal rubric: Empirical and Experimental Research

Article type: scientific article


Received: 01.09.2023


For citation: Troshikhina E.G. Married Couples: the Significance of Psychological Wellbeing and Subjective Loneliness for Feelings of Love. Vestnik of Saint Petersburg University. Psychology, 2024. Vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 113–127. DOI: 10.21638/spbu16.2024.107. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


Psychological reports,

Information About the Authors

Evgenia G. Troshikhina, PhD in Psychology, Docent, Associate Professor, Faculty of Psychology, Developmental and Differential Psychology Department, St.Petersburg State University, St.Petersburg, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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