Want to be strong and independent?  Well, lean on someone else.  That was the conclusion of a study of 115 couples carried out by Californian psychologist  Brooke Feeney.  She showed the greater the support they provided for each other the more independent they were. Safe in the knowledge that their partner would give them the back up they needed, individuals became braver and more willing to go it alone.
‘The support from a loving partner is like an insurance policy’, she explains.  ‘Just as a person driving a car without insurance may be reluctant to drive long distances or to take unnecessary risks’, she explains ‘so too are individuals reluctant to take independent excursions away from a partner who does not provide good cover in an emergency.’


If you have to shore up the home base all the time, then you have no time to develop your interests and becoming self confident.  Mature relationships are a triumph of interdependency.  Knowing somebody is there for you is a real gift.     


We get the same message from studies of child development.  A child who grows up safe in the knowledge that they are loved, supported and encouraged will be able to leave home and explore their world. Children of insecure parents,  over-concerned  with their own worries, may become boomerang kids who never really feel confident for very long by themselves, or suffer chronic anxiety, ill health and difficulties with their own relationships. 


The greatest gift that any parent can give their children is the confidence to take them for granted.   So why in adult relationships, do many women accuse men of taking them for granted?  Why do some need to be cherished and adored so much, that they will make their partners feel insecure by flirting or rationing their affection?  It certainly isn’t about love; it’s more about insecurity and acquisition of power.  The partner who can make the other feel jealous or inadequate holds the power.  Adoring husbands often tend to be castrated and impotent.  Love affairs are nearly always about security and power and will invariably weaken one or both partners. 


In love as in life, happiness and well being is achieved through trying to enable each other become the confident and interesting person you are.  Bring out the best in others and you will feel good.