The Role of Respecting Communication Privacy in the Work Environment in the Quality of Interspousal Relationships of Working Women: A Grounded Theory Study

Document Type : Original Article


1 Master of Counseling, Allameh Tabataba’i University

2 Full Professor of Counseling, Allameh Tabataba’i. University

3 Assistant Professor of Counseling, Allameh Tabataba’i. University


Respecting communication privacy in the work environment is closely related to the quality of interspousal relationships of working women and affects different aspects of life. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role respecting communication privacy in the work environment in the quality of interspousal relationships of working women. This qualitative study was carried out with the participation of 15 women working in rehabilitation centers in Najafabad, Iran.  Purposive sampling and in-depth semi-structured interviews were continued until theoretical saturation was achieved. The collected data were analyzed using the Grounded Theory. The results led to the identification of four selected codes, ten axial codes and 36 open codes. The two main themes are marital stability which includes the subthemes strengthening interspousal relationships and meeting the emotional needs of the spouse and family-work balance which includes the subthemes separation of job roles from family roles and the diminishing of the impact of job problems on marital relationship. Ultimately, the pattern of the impact of respecting communication privacy in the work environment on the interspousal relationships of working women was revealed. The findings show that respecting communication privacy in the work environment improves the quality of interspousal relationships of working women. Consequently, the quality of marital life affects respecting or not respecting privacy in the work environment, and a two-way relationship is established between them. Not respecting communication privacy in the work environment causes marital problems and reduces the quality of interspousal relationships, and individuals adopt the three adaptive, unadaptive and moral strategies. The working women who do not respect communication privacy experience many mental preoccupations and worries such as fear and anxiety, aggression and conflict with their husbands. Violation of privacy in the workplace causes harms such as concealment, lying, annoyance, negative comparison of the spouse, pessimism, suspicion and mistrust, increased control, retaliation and revenge, breach of contract, divorce and ultimately the reduction of the mental health of the couple. The harms caused by not respecting communication privacy in the work environment are not just related to the relationship with the spouse, and sometimes they are related to the individual’s job and have consequences such as quitting the job. Respecting communication privacy also promotes marital stability, work-family balance and mental health.


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