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Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00434

Unforgiveness Motivations in Romantic Relationships Experiencing Infidelity: Negative Affect and Anxious Attachment to the Partner as Predictors

  • 1University of Granada, Spain
  • 2Mind, Brain and Behavioral Research Center, University of Granada, Spain

Infidelity is considered an unforgivable betrayal. However, not all behaviours considered unfaithful affect the person who suffers them in the same way. Therefore, to have a better understanding of unforgiveness according to different extradyadic behaviours, two studies were designed. Study 1 (N = 240) explored which extradyadic behaviours are considered as more indicative of infidelity. The results revealed that sexual behaviours were considered more unfaithful when compared with technological, emotional/affective, and solitary behaviours. Study 2 (N = 378) examined the influence of experienced extradyadic behaviours on unforgiveness, negative affect, and anxious attachment to the partner. The results showed that (a) sexual and technological behaviours were less frequently forgiven and promoted a more intense negative affect, (b) anxious attachment was predictive of unforgiveness for sexual and technological behaviours, and (c) negative affect mediated the relationship between anxious attachment and unforgiveness for sexual and technological behaviours. These findings and their possible implications for romantic relationships are discussed.

Keywords: anxious attachment, Infidelity, negative affect, romantic relationships, unforgiveness

Received: 10 Dec 2018; Accepted: 13 Feb 2019.

Edited by:

Alfonso Osorio, University of Navarra, Spain

Reviewed by:

Carlos Chiclana, CEU San Pablo University, Spain
David L. Rodrigues, Centro de Investigação e de Intervenção Social (CIS-IUL), Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, Portugal  

Copyright: © 2019 Beltrán-Morillas, Valor-Segura and Expósito. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Miss. Ana M. Beltrán-Morillas, University of Granada, Granada, Spain,