Understanding and treating marital infidelity: A multidimensional model

  • Bagarozzi D
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Marital infidelity is a multifaceted problem that frequently causes couples to enter marital therapy. In this article, seven broad cate- gories of extramarital relationships are reviewed. Certain person- ality factors are identified that must be taken into consideration when evaluating whether the problematic behavior is symptomatic of an axis II personality disorder, reflects less severe characterologi- cal weaknesses, or is due to other considerations. Marital dynamics, especiallyhowspouses perceive the voluntary/non-voluntary nature of their marriage, is shown to be another important factor in deter- mining the course, goals and outcome of therapy when infidelity is the presenting problem. An additional group of factors, e.g., mar- ital disaffection, trust, desire to improve the marriage, willingness to reconcile, and the capacity to give and receive forgiveness is also important to take into account when gauging a couples’ motivation for treatment.

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  • Dennis A. Bagarozzi

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