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Forgiveness and marital infidelity

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  1. Introduction
  2. Methodology.
  3. Measures.
  4. Treatment providers.
  5. Procedures.
  6. Results.
  7. Discussion.

Forgiveness has become an important topic in the counseling profession in recent years, prompting research among many different populations, with many implications for further research and application in counseling settings (Hebl and Enright, 1993; Subkoviak et al., 1995). Models of forgiveness have been developed and verified with research on populations from children to the elderly, but much research remains to be conducted (Enright et al., 1989; Hebl and Enright, 1993). Forgiveness is an important research topic in terms of religious and secular counseling simply because it is an expansion of options for those suffering from mental anguish, and more specifically, those who have been victimized in any way.

[...] Results supported the hypotheses that understanding of forgiveness increases with age, and also showed high correlations between justice and forgiveness, and forgiveness and religiosity. No gender differences were found (Enright, Santos, & Al-Mabuk, 1989). Enright's forgiveness inventory was compared with two happiness measures in a study done in the U.K. with students as subjects (Maltbey et al., 2005). The study sought to find a correlation between forgiveness and two types of happiness: hedonic and eudaimonic, or short-term and more global, respectively. [...]

[...] A study between marital partners and the effects of forgiveness was conducted to explore the relationship between forgiveness and martial satisfaction in relation to marital stability. Researchers hypothesized that forgiveness levels would be higher for first married adults than for remarried adults, that there would be a significant difference between first married and remarried couples on marital satisfaction, and that a significant positive correlation between forgiveness and marital satisfaction would exist (Orathinkal and Vansteenwegen, 2006). A total of 787 respondents from Belgium first married and 363 remarried adults completed the Enright Forgiveness Inventory, and the Maudsley Marital Questionnaire. [...]

[...] With a different type of motivation present, and a different type of marital relationship, these couples were omitted to prevent a potential confound variable. Having therapy with both spouses could also have changed the results, instead of just working with the spouse who had been betrayed, as having input from both spouses and even the presence of the offender could change the direction of the therapy sessions. The sample in the current study included both religious and non-religious people. Religion often affects one's view of marriage and adultery, and the likelihood of working through problems instead of divorcing. [...]

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