Psychology Today publishes blogs from its readers. In the April 2013 edition (see page 24), “Relationship Reality Check: Stealth Problems Can Chip Away at Even the Strongest Unions”, bloggers comment on subtle problems that can chip away at a relationship over time. Glenn Alperin (author of Face Off) states, “There is a big difference between ‘being needed’ (healthy) and ‘being needy’ (unhealthy). If your partner is constantly in need of your attention, you will eventually get burnt out or begin to harbor resentment . While it is true that a relationship is more than the sum of its parts, each part must be fully functional on its own.”
Glenn is correct. It takes two mature, whole people who are able to function independently, to make a great marriage. While they each will have different strengths that a smart couple will leverage, one partner doesn’t function in a particular role instead of the other. For instance, one may be more aware of and better at expressing his emotions, but he shouldn’t do this for both himself and his girlfriend/wife. She must learn to do this for herself so that both partners will have a voice in the relationship.