An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis Exploring the Experience of Marital Tension for Jordanians Residing in the United Kingdom

Prof Doc Thesis

Ibrahim Eid Naouri, T. 2022. An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis Exploring the Experience of Marital Tension for Jordanians Residing in the United Kingdom. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsIbrahim Eid Naouri, T.
TypeProf Doc Thesis

Marital tension is a covert and insidious form of conflict, that often occurs in almost all marriages. Its subtle occurrence may often result in it being overlooked, however its repercussions can have a long-term impact on marital quality, stability and satisfaction, as well as the wellbeing of the spouses. Some of the negative emotions associated with marital tension may include resentment, irritation and frustration, which may vary in frequency and intensity. These may arise due to disagreements, disappointment, and irritations in the marriage. Similar to its insidious and overlooked nature, the literature depicting marital tension is scarce worldwide and more specifically, is almost non-existent within a Jordanian context. Therefore, this doctoral research, aims to address this gap through exploring the lived experience of marital tension for Jordanians residing in the UK.

For this research, a homogeneous sample of eight participants were recruited, and data from the semi-structured interviews were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Findings revealed three themes overarching ten subthemes. The emerging themes were as follows: ‘Facing initial challenges of marital tension’, Engaging with marital tension’ and ‘Actively attempting to resolve the tension’. The analysis revealed unique insights into the experience of marital tension, whilst highlighting cultural facets present within the experience. Participants described the transitional shifts experienced as part of marital tension, and the new dynamics introduced within the marital relationship. Participants also shared a sense of feeling stuck in enduring various challenges, whilst experiencing ongoing marital tension. In spite of that, all participants seemed to have a shared motivation to resolve martial tension.

This study contributes to enriching the knowledge base and practice within the field of Counselling Psychology, by offering novel insights into the lived experience of marital tension, as well as addressing cultural sensitivity and autonomy to an ethnic minority group.

Keywordsmarital tension; Jordanian marriage; marital distress; coping with marital tension
PublisherUniversity of East London
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
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Publication dates
Online10 Aug 2023
Publication process dates
Completed10 Nov 2022
Deposited10 Aug 2023
Copyright holder© 2022, The Author
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