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Marital Separation in Contemporary Ireland

Women’s Experiences

Lucy Hyland

This book is based on detailed interviews with a group of Irish women who have experienced marital separation. It links the women’s accounts with literature on the values and beliefs about marriage, women and family which were prevalent when they were growing up in Ireland in the 1950s and 1960s. The book chronicles their young adult years, the early stages of their marriages and the events and processes which led to their separations. It explores the women’s emotional reactions at the time of separating, the types of support which they found beneficial and the personal, social and financial consequences of having separated.
Although the book is written from a sociological perspective, the combination of theory and practical insights make it accessible to a wide variety of readers. It aims to generate discussion and deepen understanding of an area into which there has been minimal research in Ireland and which poses a range of important questions for future researchers, practitioners and policy-makers.
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Chapter 6: Events and Feelings at the Time of Separation


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Events and Feelings at the Time of Separation

This chapter presents and analyses data on the events and processes that occurred around the time of separation. (The data are summarised in Appendix 2.) Lengthy excerpts from all fourteen interviews are included because it was important for the women to outline in detail their reasons for initiating separation or the circumstances surrounding how they learned about their husbands’ infidelity. The chapter continues the focus on the second research question concerning the events and processes that lead to separation and also discusses the third question about the losses experienced while transitioning through separation.

Transition and Loss

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