Close relationships have been described as the crucible in which powerful emotions are formed; to date, however, there have been relatively few studies in this important area. The aim of this paper is to discuss the results of my research program on laypeople’s experiences of, and theories about, betrayal and forgiveness in close relationships. Drawing on a social-evolutionary-psychological approach to emotion I will focus, in particular, on the role of emotions like anger, hate, guilt, and shame, and so-called “emotional intelligence” in close relationship betrayal and forgiveness. The roles of empathy, revenge, and remorse in relationship repair will also be addressed, along with various individual difference variables including narcissism, emotional intelligence, guilt- proneness, shame-proneness, and attachment style. The importance of humiliation and powerlessness as important elicitors of hate, and of dispositional shame-proneness as an impediment both to “forgiving and forgetting” a partner’s offence, will be discussed. Finally, I will explore the implications of this research program for enriching our theoretical understanding of the role of emotions in relationship breakdown and repair, and for enhancing the potential effectiveness of relationship counselling and therapy.
|Number of pages||2|
|Journal||Australian Journal of Psychology|
|Issue number||Suppl. 1|
|Publication status||Published - 2006|
|Event||Annual Conference of the APS Psychology of Relationships Interest Group (6th : 2006) - Melbourne|
Duration: 11 Nov 2006 → 12 Nov 2006