Original Paper

Contemporary Family Therapy

, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 327-332

First online:

Risk Factors Associated with Women’s Marital Infidelity

  • Michelle M. JeanfreauAffiliated withDepartment of Child and Family Studies, The University of Southern Mississippi Email author 
  • , Anthony P. JurichAffiliated withKansas State University
  • , Michael D. MongAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, The University of Southern Mississippi

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This study used a qualitative approach to explore the complexity of marital infidelity and understand issues within the marriage that could increase the risk of having a marital affair. Semi-structured interviews were used to explore women’s participation in an extramarital affair(s). The information gathered was audio taped, transcribed, and analyzed using the transcendental phenomenological model (Moustakas in Phenomenological research methods, Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA, 1994). All four of the women described a lack of quality time, inability to resolve conflict, and a lack of attention within the marriage as predisposing factors to the affair(s). Clinical and research implications are discussed.


Extramarital affair Infidelity Marital infidelity Marriage