*Note* This scheduling program was not designed by folks who do a lot with APA Style and unfortunately it defaults to listing authors in alphabetical order. We cannot fix this for this online schedule, but the author orders are posted in the order submitted in the printed program available via pdf here.
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Saturday, March 7 • 10:45am - 12:00pm
The Phenomenological Investigation of Women’s Experiences in an Extramarital Affair

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Infidelity is a culturally sensitive topic often viewed with an overarching shadow of secrecy and shame for the individuals involved. Betrayal is estimated to be one of the most substantial threats to marriage in addition to being considered immensely complicated to treat in couples counseling (Atkins, Baucom, & Jacobson, 2001; Jeanfreau, Jurich, Mong, 2014; Leeker & Carlozzi, 2014; Mark, Janssen, & Milhausen, 2011). Statistically, a significant portion of society is affected by infidelity. Studies by Ciarocco, Echevarria, and Lewandowski (2012) and Sharpe, Walters, and Goren (2013) estimate 30%-60% of individuals will be unfaithful in their marriage. Furthermore, the statistics vary among genders. The number of men who reported being unfaithful was 33% to 75%; while women reported infidelity rates of 26% to 70% (Drigotas & Barta, 2001; Jeanfreau, et al., 2014; Orzeck & Lung, 2005; Sharpe, et al., 2013). The possible reasons for the wide statistical variability can be attributed to the secret nature of the relationships, the limited research due to the anonymity of “the other woman,” and the possible ramifications of discovery for all individuals involved. A taboo regarding this topic has existed throughout history resulting in insufficient examination of causes explaining why single women become involved with married men (Richardson, 1979; Tuch, 2002). This poster will provide the results of a phenomenological study of lived experiences of five women’s journey as “the other woman” in an extramarital affair. Utilizing Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (Smith, 2010) and building on a pilot study, I will seek to provide contextually rich and participant-focused information about ways women themselves understand their relational patterns. The goals of this presentation are to provide evidence as to the function and motivation an affair has in “the other woman’s” life, identify commonalities in meanings ascribed to these experiences, describe relationship lessons learned, and explain how the relationship may affect women’s sense of self. Additionally, exploration of the women’s identification and transformation from a Jungian perspective will be addressed throughout the course of the relationship as they describe it. The presentation will seek to give voice to women, present their experiences from their own perspective in order to offer clinically relevant information.

Saturday March 7, 2015 10:45am - 12:00pm PST