Psychological Self-Help

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depended upon, not dependent! According to this theory, women may
be economically dependent and mechanically (fix the car) dependent,
but they are trained to deny their needs and become the emotional
and interpersonal caretakers and controllers of the family. The entire
family depends on mother; she is the family organizer and therapist.
But, there is no one to take care of mother's emotional needs.
Certainly men aren't trained in our culture to attend to feelings and to
discuss emotional interactions at length. 
If we grow up in a nurturing, loving family which gives us self-
esteem and teaches us self-reliance, we are fortunate. However, if our
innate dependency needs were unmet as a child, we may grow up
yearning for the impossible--a soul mate who will love us constantly
and make us whole. Many wives provide this emotional support; many
husbands do not. Thus, self-sacrificing women look needy. And
bewildered men wonder, "What does she want?" According to
Eichenbaum and Orbach, much of the dependency problem in
marriage goes back to basic deficiencies in the mother-child
relationship. The push-pull in mother-daughter relationships is
especially strong; for the daughter it involves needed love and
unwanted control. Boys, starting at 4 or 5, can reject some of the
emotional involvement with mother as they identify with father; girls
don't have that way out of a consuming relationship with a powerful
person (mother). Sometimes the intimacy with a lover at age 20-25
revives in a woman the old dependent, push-pull struggles she had
with her mother. Sometimes intimacy with and dependency on a good
spouse is scary (reminding us of our need for mother), sometimes
dependency keeps us in a bad relationship. Sometimes we think we
are secure and independent but it is a childhood facade, the bravado
of a 9-year-old boy. We all need love, which is something our
hormones prove to us at 13 or 14 years of age. We can't escape our
biology; our "nature" helps explain our behavior but we can learn to
handle these needs and drives. 
Women are making progress
Partly because of the Women's Movement and partly due to
economic necessity and fewer children, substantial progress is being
made in the status of women (Sacks & Rubin, 1982). In 1970, 38% of
women had some college. In 1980, 63% have some college. In the
late 1980's, about half the BA's and MA's (in all areas) were earned by
women and 45% of the Ph.D.’s went to women. By 1995, 75% of BA's
in psychology went to women, 70% of MA's, and 60% of Ph.D.'s were
awarded to females. In 1970, 4 in 10 white women worked for wages;
in 1980, 5 in 10 did, and in 1990, 6 in 10. 20 years ago women earned
only 65 or 70 cents for what a man got a dollar for, but recent surveys
show that they now earn 85 to 95 cents for a dollar's worth of men's
work. Low paying service jobs are still dominated by women, however.
One third of the children under 6 had wage earning mothers in 1970;
in 1980, one half had wage earning mothers; in the 1990's about 70%
of these mothers worked outside the home. In 1970, one third of the
women between 20 and 24 were not married; in the 1980's, more
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