Public perception of skills that enhances healthy relationship in marriage and habits that hinder healthy relationship: Implication for social work practice

  • Christy N. Obi-Keguna
  • Chinwe U. Nnama-Okechukwu
  • Uzoma O. Okoye


There is an increasing rate of divorce in both developed and developing countries. This situation is often attributed to unhealthy relationship in most marriages. Marriage is a challenging relationship and sometimes, little time and effort is put into developing the relationship skills needed to maintain stable marriage and family. Developing marital and family stability is however not easily achieved as it requires commitment from both partners in the area of promoting healthy relationship skills and avoiding unhealthy relationship habits. This is a qualitative study that is based on fieldwork experience in marriage counseling. The study through In-depth Interview (IDI) explored the experience of 10 married couples who have been in a relationship for over 20 years. Findings revel that skills such as communication skill, money management skill and the likes are the bedrock of a healthy relationship in marriage. Habits such as poor communication, infidelity, and inability to filter information gotten on social media mar healthy relationships. Social workers in both public and private family welfare agencies therefore need to be actively engaged in family counseling services. This is to promote family life education and healthy relationships that will lead to marital and family stability.