Background: Addiction leads to numerous physical and mental problems for the addicted person and consequently major problems for the relatives.
Objectives: The current study aimed at investigating the psychodynamic characteristics of females with addicted husbands in Kerman, Iran.
Methods: In the current cross sectional study, 60 volunteer females with addicted husbands were compared with 60 wives of non-addict males. The thematic apperception (TAT) projective test along with the Ruben scoring system was used to evaluate the sample units. Data were collected from September 2015 to February 2016 and analyzed using t test and the Pearson chi-square test with SPSS software version 20.
Results: The mean age of the case group was 32.6 ± 2.4 years with more children, compared with the control group (P < 0.05). The current study results showed a significant relationship between the groups regarding main conflict (P < 0.001), defence mechanism (immature defence P < 0.003 and neurotic defence P < 0.001), adequacy of superego (P < 0.001), feelings such as anger (P < 0.001) and guilt-frustration (P < 0.048), and unfavorable outcomes (P < 0.001).
Conclusions: Understanding and perception of the nature of addiction, how to deal with it, and cope with the addict bring a deep challenge to the personality characteristics of the addict’s spouse. In consequence, such scenarios lead to conflicting communications among them and they turn to the frequent use of immature and neurotic defence mechanisms such as identification and cope with the problem in the interpersonal relationships. Identification of the characteristics of such females helps to employ better strategies to improve their quality of life.