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The Lived Experience of Ambiguous Marital Separation: A Phenomenological Study.

Abstract

Researchers have long treated marital separation as a linear transition that inevitably leads to divorce. Popular sources suggest that some couples separate without clarity about how the separation will end, often to assess whether to divorce or stay married. However, to date, we could not locate any empirical research on this kind of ambiguous separation. With a sample of 20 currently separated persons from around the United States, this study employed a hermeneutic phenomenological design to inquire about the experience of separating from one's spouse when the separation was initiated without clarity about how it would end. Six essential themes emerged: (a) our relationship feels ambiguous, (b) separation is a private experience, (c) separation is a lonely experience, (d) benefits to separating, (e) separation is not sustainable, and (f) the outcome is unclear. The article concludes with a discussion of and implications for the study findings.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Boston University.University of Minnesota.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

31834642

Citation

Crabtree, Sarah A., and Steven M. Harris. "The Lived Experience of Ambiguous Marital Separation: a Phenomenological Study." Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 2019.
Crabtree SA, Harris SM. The Lived Experience of Ambiguous Marital Separation: A Phenomenological Study. J Marital Fam Ther. 2019.
Crabtree, S. A., & Harris, S. M. (2019). The Lived Experience of Ambiguous Marital Separation: A Phenomenological Study. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, doi:10.1111/jmft.12419.
Crabtree SA, Harris SM. The Lived Experience of Ambiguous Marital Separation: a Phenomenological Study. J Marital Fam Ther. 2019 Dec 13; PubMed PMID: 31834642.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - The Lived Experience of Ambiguous Marital Separation: A Phenomenological Study. AU - Crabtree,Sarah A, AU - Harris,Steven M, Y1 - 2019/12/13/ PY - 2019/12/14/entrez PY - 2019/12/14/pubmed PY - 2019/12/14/medline JF - Journal of marital and family therapy JO - J Marital Fam Ther N2 - Researchers have long treated marital separation as a linear transition that inevitably leads to divorce. Popular sources suggest that some couples separate without clarity about how the separation will end, often to assess whether to divorce or stay married. However, to date, we could not locate any empirical research on this kind of ambiguous separation. With a sample of 20 currently separated persons from around the United States, this study employed a hermeneutic phenomenological design to inquire about the experience of separating from one's spouse when the separation was initiated without clarity about how it would end. Six essential themes emerged: (a) our relationship feels ambiguous, (b) separation is a private experience, (c) separation is a lonely experience, (d) benefits to separating, (e) separation is not sustainable, and (f) the outcome is unclear. The article concludes with a discussion of and implications for the study findings. SN - 1752-0606 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/31834642/The_Lived_Experience_of_Ambiguous_Marital_Separation:_A_Phenomenological_Study L2 - https://doi.org/10.1111/jmft.12419 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -