Reaction to the Infidelity in Iranian couples: A Phenomenological Study


1 M. Sc. in Family Therapy, Family Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Family Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University


Introduction: Infidelity can have devastating effects on the couple and other important people in couple's life. So many researches are dedicated to examine the predictors of infidelity, however reaction to the infidelity is still an unknown issue; although it has important roles in couple's interaction following discovery, psychological and physiological wellbeing of the person, husband and children. Hence, this study was conducted with the purpose of examining people's reaction to the infidelity in Iranian couples.Methods: Present study was a qualitative research with the approach of phenomenology. People with the experience of spouse's infidelity were invited to participate in a psychological research through public notice. Purposive sampling continued till the saturation of data was achieved. Through this procedure 16 people were interviewed. The in-depth semi structured interview was used to explore participant's reactions to the infidelity.Results: In this research, the Colaizzi's method was used to analyze the data. After transcribing the interviews, formulated meanings were extracted. Within analyzing process, these formulated meanings were classified in 12 theme clusters. Finally 5 major themes emerged: Reactions to oneself, reactions to spouse, reactions to spouse's family of origin, reactions to third person, and reactions to others (own family, children and friends).Conclusions: Findings were consistent with theories which conceptualize reaction to the infidelity as the traumatic response. But the clusters of reactions to spouse family of origin and physiological reactions are the specific outcomes of this research.


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