Psychological Self-Help

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949
and, consequently, seek an immature male to mother--that's a "giver."
Several other recent books describe many fears--fear of rejection, fear
of intimacy, fear of losing one's own identity, fear of independence--
that influence our love lives (Carter & Sokol, 1993; Dowling, 1982;
Marshall, 1984; Paul & Paul, 1983; Russianoff, 1982). Don't forget,
chapters 8 and 9 deal with dependency and sex roles and how both
are intricately related to love and marriage. If you are seeking insight
into a vast, complex morass, like love, be sure to read a lot and look
upon many writers' biased opinions with an open, skeptical mind. 
Our anxieties about our love relationships (women buy most of the
books in this area) make us prime targets for publishers and writers
who sell sensationalistic, poorly documented, repackaged ordinary
common sense or insubstantial fluff. Check the credentials of the
writer! Has he/she done publishable research in the area, not just
interviewed a few people to get some juicy case studies to sell the
book? Has he/she counseled a wide variety of people with this
problem? Does he/she have advanced training and degrees in
psychology, social work, or psychiatry? Has he/she published in this
area before (but not the same content using another "hot topic" title)?
Remember, just because a book is highly advertised, has a catchy
title, and is a proven best-seller does not mean it will give you
practical, sound, effective advice. Far more junk is published than
wisdom. Don't read junk. 
 
Is happiness getting as much as you put into a relationship?
On one hand, many of us would say that the benefits of marriage
should be equally divided between two equal partners. On the other
hand, another viewpoint (called equity theory) is that a married
person will be happy if his/her benefits-to-inputs ratio is about the
same as his/her partner's. Inputs and benefits include such things as
physical attractiveness of one's partner; love, devotion, and sex from
the partner; help with housework, child care, and decision-making;
friendship, social life, and intellectual exchange; financial help;
understanding and appreciation; and so on. Thus, you may put less
into your marriage than your partner and get less than he or she out
of it...and both of you might still be happy, you've gotten what you've
earned. You may feel dissatisfied, however, if you put in less than your
partner and get as much ("over benefited") or certainly if you put in as
much and get far less in return ("under benefited"). The idea is to
keep the relationship proportional: 
Your benefits = Your partner's benefits
Your inputs
Your partner's inputs 
There are two cautions: (1) if actual changes can not be negotiated
to make the relationship proportional or fair, some insecure people use
psychological distortion in order to justify (to themselves) the inequity.
Examples: a person may convince him/herself that the partner
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