Journal of Qualitative Research in Health Sciences


1 Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Letters and Humanities, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran

2 MA in Counseling Family, Shahid Bahonar University, Kerman, Iran


Introduction: Due to the negative consequences of divorce, evaluation of the reasons inducing this phenomenon, is of great importance for therapists and researchers. The aim of this study was to examine the role of pre-marital events (dating, engagement, and marriage) in marital conflicts leading to divorce.
Method: This qualitative study was conducted using a phenomenological approach. The population of the study included all the people who had applied for divorce in 2016 and were referred by the family court to counseling centers across the city of Kerman. The sample consisted of 23 people who were selected using purposive sampling. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews, and analyzed using Moustakas method.
Results: Analysis of the interviews indicated that in pre-marital period, there were significant antecedents for divorce. These antecedents were classified into two main codes including underlying causes of conflicts and causes increasing conflicts.
Conclusion: The findings of this study can be useful for couples, therapists, and family counselors and should be considered in providing premarital counseling.


1. Bradbury TN, Fincham FD, Beach SR. Research on the nature and determinants of marital satisfaction: A decade in review. J Marriage Fam 2000; 62(4): 964-80. 2. Thornton A, Young‐DeMarco L. Four decades of trends in attitudes toward family issues in the United States: The 1960s through the 1990s. J Marriage Fam 2001; 63(4): 1009-37. 3. Quinn WH, Odell M. Predictors of marital adjustment during the first two years. Marriage & Family Review 1998; 27(1-2): 113-30. 4. Clarke-Stewart A, Brentano C. A Review of “divorce: causes and consequences”. Am J Fam Ther 2009; 37(5): 444-6. 5. Goldenberg H, Goldenberg I. Family Therapy: An Overview. 8th ed. USA: Cengage Learning; 2012. 6. Hajiloo N, Alizadehe Goradel J, Ghotbi M, Delavarghavam S. Comparison of love dimensions based on marriage duration between men and women married. Journal of Family Counseling and Psychotherapy 2013; 4(1): 48-63. [In Persian]. 7. Carr A. Evidence‐based practice in family therapy and systemic consultation II. J Fam Ther 2000; 22(3): 273-95. 8. Helms SW, Sullivan TN, Corona R, Taylor KA. Adolescents’ recognition of potential positive and negative outcomes in risky dating situations. J Interpers Violence 2013; 28(15): 3084-106. 9. Knobloch-Fedders LM, Knudson RM. Marital ideals of the newly-married: A longitudinal analysis. J Soc Pers Relat 2009; 26(2-3): 249-71. 10. Straus MA. Prevalence and effects of mutuality in physical and psychological aggression against dating partners by university students in 32 nations. Family Aggression Conference; 2008 Mar 18-19; Preston: University of Central Lancashire; 2008. 11. Arriaga XB, Foshee VA. Adolescent dating violence do adolescents follow in their friends’, or their parents’, footsteps? J Interpers Violence 2004; 19(2): 162-84. 12. Esmaeily M, Dehdast K. Expression of a conceptual pattern from the relations of the engaging period conflicts (before marriage) by marital satisfaction (after marriage). Journal of Family Counseling and Psychotherapy 2014; 4(3): 405-45. [In Persian]. 13. Patton MQ. Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methods. 4th ed. USA: SAGE; 2014. 14. Janesick VJ. “Stretching" Exercises for Qualitative Researchers. USA: SAGE; 2011. 15. Litzinger S, Gordon KC. Exploring relationships among communication, sexual satisfaction, and marital satisfaction. J Sex Marital Ther 2005; 31(5): 409-24. 16. Leavitt JP. Common Dilemmas in Couple Therapy. USA: Routledge; 2010. 17. Bader E, Pearson PT, Schwartz J. Tell Me No Lies: How to Face the Truth and Build a Loving Marriage. Golden Books Adult Publishing; 2000. 18. Dean LR, Carroll JS, Yang C. Materialism, perceived financial problems, and marital satisfaction. Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal 2007;35(3):260-81. 19. Moghadam VM. Economic restructuring and the gender contract. In: Marchand MH, Runyan AS. Gender and Global Restructuring. London, New York: Taylor and Francis Group; 2000. 20. Jensen R, Thornton R. Early female marriage in the developing world. Gender & Development 2003; 11(2): 9-19. 21. Liu H. Marital dissolution and self-rated health: age trajectories and birth cohort variations. Social Science & Medicine 2012; 74(7): 1107-16. 22. Carr D, Springer KW. Advances in families and health research in the 21st century. J Marriage Fam 2010; 72(3): 743-61. 23. Lee-Rife SM. Women’s empowerment and reproductive experiences over the lifecourse. Soc Sci Med 2010; 71(3): 634-42. 24. Moustakas C. Phenomenological Research Methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage; 1994. 25. Brown-Smith N. Family secrets. Journal of Family Issues. 1998; 19(1): 20-42. 26. Adams PJ. Fragmented Intimacy. New York: Springer; 2008. 27. Cross M, Papadopoulos L. Becoming a Therapist: a Manual for Personal and Professional Development. New York: Taylor and Francis; 2001. 28. Carter B, Mc Goldrick M. The expanded family life cycle. Individual, Family and Social Perspectives. Needham: Allyn and Bacon; 1999. 29. Datta P, Poortinga YH, Marcoen A. Parent care by Indian and Belgian caregivers in their roles of daughter/daughter-in-law. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 2003; 34(6): 736-49. 30. Ghasmi S, Etemadi O, Ahmadi A. The effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral group therapy on reduction of negative emotions towards family in law and marital satisfaction. Journal of Family Counseling and Psychotherapy 2013; 2(4): 485-500. [In Persian]. 31. Prins KS, Buunk BP, Van Yperen NW. Equity, normative disapproval and extramarital relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 1993; 10(1): 39-53. 32. Allen ES, Atkins DC, Baucom DH, Snyder DK, Gordon KC, Glass SP. Intrapersonal, interpersonal, and contextual factors in engaging in and responding to extramarital involvement. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice 2005; 12(2): 101-30. 33. Amato PR. Reconciling divergent perspectives: Judith Wallerstein, quantitative family research, and children of divorce. Family Relations. 2003; 52(4):332-9.. 34. Johnson SM. The Practice of Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy: Creating Connection. 2th ed. New York: Routledge; 2012. 35. Buss DM, Shackelford TK. Susceptibility to infidelity in the first year of marriage. Journal of Research in Personality 1997; 31(2):193-221. 36. Gladding ST. Family Therapy: History, Theory, and Practice. 6th ed. London: Pearson; 2014. 37. Agnew CR, Loving TJ, Drigotas SM. Substituting the forest for the trees: social networks and the prediction of romantic relationship state and fate. J Pers Soc Psychol 2001; 81(6): 1042-57. 38. University of Virginia, Institute for American Values. The State of Our :union:s: Marriage in 2012. USA: National Marriage Project, Institute for American Values; 2012. 39. Mahoney A, Knudson-Martin C, Knudson-Martin C, Mahoney A. Couples, gender, and power: Creating change in intimate relationships. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Co; 2009. 40. Erber R, Erber M. Intimate relationships: Issues, theories, and research. Psychology Press; 2017. 41. Gottman JM. What predicts divorce? The relationship between marital processes and marital outcomes. Psychology Press; 2014.