Emotional and Psychological Dimensions of Childhood Trauma in Men and Women who have Marital Infidelity

Document Type : Qualitative


1 Department of Counseling, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Ardakan University, Ardakan, Iran

2 Department of Psychology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Ardakan University, Ardakan, Iran


There are many causes for marital infidelity, one of which can be childhood traumas. The purpose of this study was to determine the emotional and psychological dimensions of childhood trauma in men and women who have marital infidelity. This study was a qualitative study using semi-structured in-depth interviews with 12 individuals (7 females and 5 males) who have marital infidelity. The participants had referred to the counseling centers of Larestan city, Fars province, in 2018 due to marital infidelity. The infidelity lasted for at least six months and had been approved by the participants and the counselor. The subjects were selected by purposive sampling and the sampling continued until participants' responses were saturated. Analysis of the present data from the interviews was also conducted using the qualitative theory of the underlying theory. Interview analysis results showed that individuals who have marital infidelity had serious emotional and psychological damage in their childhood, including deprivation, helplessness, emotional breakdown, intergenerational divide, and centralized parenting. The results of this study showed that these disorders cause problems for people in childhood and adulthood and different fields of life (educational, economic, social, adolescent, occupational, and marital life). These findings, as well as their paradigm shift, can be used to identify as well as prevent the damage that can potentially lead to infidelity in the family.


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