Men's experience of infidelity in hetrosexual commited relationships : an interpretative phonomenological analysis

Pieluzek, Aleksandra Anna (2014) Men's experience of infidelity in hetrosexual commited relationships : an interpretative phonomenological analysis. Doctoral thesis, London Metropolitan University.

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Abstract / Description

Although the prevalent attitude towards infidelity in British society is that it is wrong, 50-65% of couples enter therapy due to problems with infidelity. Past research studies tend to focus on predictors of infidelity to help identify the offending partner’s risk factors. Despite the prevalence of infidelity, and a vast amount of popular literature on the subject, there is a dearth of quantitative research exploring consequences of infidelity for the injured partner. There is only one qualitative study exploring the injured partners’ emotional process following disclosure of infidelity, which is focused predominately on women.

In this study, semi-structured interviews were employed to explore the experience of six heterosexual men who were the injured partner in the context of committed relationships. The researcher was particularly interested in the ways these men experienced their partner’s infidelity and the ways they coped with the disclosure of infidelity. An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis method was employed in order to analyse the participants’ responses. Based on the analysis of the participants’ account three superordinate themes were identified: The Trauma of Disclosure; Trying to Cope; and Moving Forward.

The findings revealed immediate consequences of infidelity for the injured partners such as the emotional impact of the disclosure and insight into the injured partners’ coping behaviours. The study further revealed long-term consequences of infidelity for the injured partners and their future relationships. All participants expressed stigma and feelings of shame associated with seeking professional help. The implications for counselling psychologists’ practice are discussed and suggestions for improving access to psychological therapies. Implications for further research are also discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information:
Uncontrolled Keywords: infidelity; adultery; counseling psychology; masculinity (psychology); man-woman relationships; sex role (psychological aspects)
Subjects: 300 Social sciences
Department: School of Social Sciences (to June 2021)
School of Social Sciences and Professions
Depositing User: Mary Burslem
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2016 15:35
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2021 16:03


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