Unforgiving motivations following infidelity: Should we make peace with our past?
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SourceJournal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 28, 10, (2009), pp. 1298-1325
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI SCP
Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology
SubjectBehaviour Change and Well-being
This research addresses the question of whether and when unforgiving motivations (i.e., revenge and avoidance) following infidelity are associated with positive and negative affect. We predicted that unforgiving motivations following infidelity are associated with less positive affect and more negative affect, but only when one is highly committed to the unfaithful partner. We tested this hypothesis in three internet samples of dating, cohabiting, and married couples who had experienced infidelity by their (ex-)partner, Study I showed that unforgiving motivations are associated with more negative affect and less positive affect, but that these associations are more pronounced among highly committed partners. Study 2 showed that unforgiving motivations are associated with more negative affect when the infidelity was committed by the current partner, but not when the infidelity was committed by an ex-partner. Study 3 supported our general prediction for positive and negative affect and further showed that high levels of unforgiving motivation regarding the current partner was associated with more negative affect and less positive affect than levels of affect in a no-infidelity comparison group.
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