The Relationship between Marital Satisfaction and Alexithymia
Authors: Sudabeh Darjazini, Maryam Moradkhani
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Background and Purpose: Expressing feelings and emotions not only has an important effect on intimacy growth, but it is also an important factor in distinguishing satisfied couples from the dis-satisfied ones. Thus, the present study aims at investigating the relationship between marital satisfaction and feelings identification and expression among women. Methods: The present study was a descriptive-correlational study with a single-subject design conducted cross-sectionally. In the present study, as many as 325 married women participated (from four health medical centers that had the highest number of referrals). In the present study, ENRICH Marital Satisfaction Scale as well as 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) was used. For determining the significance of the relationship existing between background variables, marital satisfaction, and alexithymia, the researchers applied independent t-test, Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), and the Pearson correlation coefficient were respectively used. Findings: With respect to the marital satisfaction and women’s alexithymia, the results of one-way analysis of variance indicated no significant statistical difference in women’s mean marital satisfaction; (F = 1.381, P = 0.249) and (F = 1.836, P = 0.140) in terms of different ages, (F = 0.481, P = 0.696) and (F = 2.309, P = 0.076) in terms of different ages of their spouses, (F = 0.423, P = 0.655) in terms of different durations of marital life, (F = 0.612, P = 0.608) and (F = 1.94, P = 0.122) in terms of different number of children, and (F = 0.61, P = 0.603) and (F = 0.557, P = 0.644) as for women who lived with either parents or relatives (either theirs or those of their husbands). Independent t-test indicated that the there is no significant statistical difference between marital satisfaction (t = 0.185, df = 321, and p = 0.853) and alexithymia (t = 0.776, df = 321, and p = 0.444) at different age groups. The results of one-way analysis of variance indicated that there is a significant statistical difference in the mean of marital satisfaction in the groups with different educational levels (F = 5.8, P = 0.003) and different economic statuses (F = 11.209, P = 0.003). Scheffe’s Test indicated that this statistical difference has to do with women who have a higher level of education than that of their husbands. Moreover, Scheffe’s Test indicated that this difference has also to do with women enjoying a proper economic status. The results of one-way analysis of variance indicated a significant statistical difference in women’s mean alexithymia in groups with different educational levels (F=4.369, P = 0.013) and different economic statuses (F = 4.369, P = 0.005). Scheffe’s Test indicated that this statistical difference has to do with women who have a higher level of education than that of their husbands. Moreover, Scheffe’s Test indicated that this difference has also to do with women enjoying a proper economic status. Discussion and Conclusion: The findings of the present study indicate that if alexithymia is solved, one can expect improved marital satisfaction. Moreover, the different educational levels and economic statuses are likely to affect marital satisfaction and alexithymia.