Date of Award

Fall 12-17-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Jennifer Patico PhD.

Second Advisor

Kathryn Kazaitis PhD.

Third Advisor

Cassandra White PhD.


Research on international relationships is plentiful but research on the roles of social contacts in international relationships has not been forthcoming. Additionally, recent research on companionate marriages suggests that couples who have relationships that mimic companionate marriages have weak ties to their community. This research uses participant narratives to understand the social network of internationally married couples and divorced individuals in an effort to understand the roles that social contacts may play in international marriages. The research findings challenge pre-existing arguments about the companionate model of marriage and suggest that simplistic marriage models are inadequate frameworks used to understand complex marriages.