The purpose of the present study was to learn about the self-perception of women who live with alcohol-addicted partners. It was hoped that avoiding to label the women in advance as codependent would facilitate a better understanding of their lives and self-perceptions. The qualitative naturalist methodology used was based on a feminist framework. In-depth interviews with 10 women living with alcoholic partners were conducted and analyzed. The findings revealed 3 central dialogues around which the women's self-perceptions evolved - with deviance, with strength, and with self-fulfillment. Findings are discussed relative to the ongoing discourse between the codependency approach and other social, psychological, and gender conceptions in this domain. Clinical implications and directions for future research are offered.
- Wives of alcoholics