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Emotional Dependency versus Love

Stuart Miles @ freedigitalphotos,net

Stuart Miles @ freedigitalphotos,net

Credit to graur razvan ionut @

Credit to graur razvan ionut @

Google offers 5,890,000 results for ‘emotional dependency’, and yet I am determined to add another one.

“There are realities we all share, regardless of our nationality, language, or individual tastes. As we need food, so do we need emotional nourishment: love, kindness, appreciation, and support from others. We need to understand our environment and our relationship to it. We need to fulfil certain inner hungers: the need for happiness, for peace of mind, for wisdom.” ~ J, Donald Walters.

Credit to Evgeni Dinev @

Credit to Evgeni Dinev @

Emotional dependency

Discussing in this hub emotional dependency on other people and not on on substances like drugs, jobs and hobbies, we will hear an outcry of denial - adults not admitting that they are emotional dependent.

Even some married couples will try to assure us that they don't need each other; children will try to assure us that they don't need their parents; people will try to assure us that they don't need friends.

They would say, "I would be happy on an island all by myself."


Then, all of a sudden their circumstances change and they are indeed alone for all to see how strong their emotional dependency really was. They might try alcohol, tranquillizers, part-time lovers, mind-blowing adventures, religion, pets, an extra job (responsibilities) - anything able to be an emotional crutch as good as the one they have lost.

Those who are successful are rewarded with a compliment: "Wow! S/he is like a cat - always lands on their feet."

Credit to Ambro @

Credit to Ambro @

Emotional independency

To clarify the meaning of the word dependency:

  • The state of relying on or being controlled by someone or something else;
  • Being abnormally tolerant to and dependent on something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming.

The state of relying on or being controlled by someone or something else –

This is an ego-smacker. Our pride will not allow us to admit we have relied on somebody to give us the emotional security we need to feel totally contented. Nor will it allow us to admit that we allowed somebody to control us. The truth, however, is we did exactly that. Because we are alive. Like all creatures on this planet we depend on other creatures and the sooner we accept our dependent nature, the sooner we will be our so-called independent self after the loss of an emotional crutch.

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Being abnormally tolerant to and dependent on something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming -

Now here some of us will firmly object to the words ‘abnormally tolerant to’, while we are in fact abnormally tolerant to any person that makes us feel good, even to them who is not at all good for us, like an unreasonable parent with bad habits, or a possessive friend, or an ungrateful child or abusive employer.

We will also query the word ‘habit-forming’, while a habit is in fact an established custom, though it could be bad or good. Having breakfast in the morning and not afternoon is a habit, kissing and hugging are habits, reading, writing, watching TV are nothing but habits. Personally I do not know of any action that could not be regarded as a good or a bad habit. We acquire it, practice it and/or quit it.

Credit to photostock @

Credit to photostock @

An uncompleted list of emotional needs -

  • To feel like a loved baby/child, we need a loving mother, or a substitute;
  • To feel like a save and protected child, we need a loving father, or a substitute;
  • To feel like a clever child able to achieve high goals, we need a loving teacher, or a substitute;
  • To feel like a meaningful person, we need loving relatives, friends and co-workers who appreciate our talents and contributions, or substitutes;
  • To feel like a man, we need the love and admiration of a woman, or a substitute;
  • To feel like a woman, we need the love and admiration of a man, or a substitute;
  • And so forth….

This brings us to Emotional Dependency versus Love. We need love, either from the real Mackay or its substitute in order to feel save, protected, meaningful, worthy and strong enough to handle life with all its ups and downs.

So why not just ADMIT that being human means being an emotional dependent?

We 'need’, therefore we are human.

Our weakness lies in our inability to find proper and healthy emotional crutches.

Credit to graur raszvan ionut @

Credit to graur raszvan ionut @

Emotional dependency versus emotional immaturity

There is a difference between emotional dependency and emotional immaturity. The emotional immature person tend to choose fragile and unreliable emotional crutches - things that bereave them from perennial peace and joy. The emotional matured will choose things that will increase their own strength and power.

The emotional mature person will say 'I love you', knowing the true meaning of their words - "I depend emotionally on you - I need to love you; I need to be loved by you."

Credit to photostock @

Credit to photostock @

Qualities of emotional matured people:

(Don’t confuse them with egoists and narcissists. Emotional matured people compel admiration, respect and trust.)

  • They love themselves in spite of their failures and shortcomings. They don’t need the approval, attention and recognition of others in order to feel worthy and meaningful.
  • They know and trust their own feelings.
  • They are not afraid of rejection. They know their own capacity; they know that they are not gods doing miracles as far as they go.
  • They are not afraid to be alone, never feel empty or bored; they don’t have anxiety disorders.
  • They are not jealous, possessive and don’t become victims of such people.
  • They don’t feel offended when others ignore them or their advice.
  • They don’t get angry when others criticize them; they use critic to improve themselves, or they ignore what comes from ignorant fools. "Eagles don't catch flies', is their motto.
  • They feel comfortable in the presence of other people.
  • When negative feelings like sadness, frustration and anger rise in them, they don’t blame others - they know the demons in their own soul.
  • They don’t expect from others to protect, lead, entertain, respect or love them. They CAN depend on more reliable crutches.
  • They know what they need and choose crutches that can make them stronger, healthier and wiser.

© Martie Coetser

Copyright :: All Rights Reserved
Registered :: 2013-06-08 16:54:20
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Category :: Article Hub
Fingerprint :: 803730a401a195d6feadc4ac1722e47e984ec253f79a1d8f7032108e87b60e8f

  • Published on 6 May 2011
  • Updated on 8 June 2013


“Each makes this cosmos and its construction the pivot of his emotional life, in order to find in this way peace and security which he can not find in the narrow whirlpool of personal experience. ~ Albert Einstein

“The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical.” ~ Julius Erving

© Martie Coetser (Groot Marico River, South Africa)

© Martie Coetser (Groot Marico River, South Africa)


Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on October 09, 2014:

Thank you, John......

Johnf160 on October 09, 2014:

Good writeup, I am normal visitor of ones blog, maintain up the excellent operate, and It's going to be a regular visitor for a lengthy time. bdegeabcfedd

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on June 20, 2013:

diadarnself - I agree all the way with Jessica Baker. Effective and sufficient male companions/spouses is also desired by white women. Another proof that women are women regardless of their race and culture. Thanks for your visit and link :)

Birdie on June 20, 2013:

This is my response ....

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on February 08, 2013:

Sanxuary, thank you for your lovely comment. I do agree with you. Perhaps love and emotional dependency are synonyms. Why will we love anybody who does not fulfill one, some of, or even all of our emotional needs? Of course there are many kinds of love - it surely could be categorized in accordance with the satisfying of our various needs. Thanks again for enhancing my hub with a profound comment. Take care!

Sanxuary on February 07, 2013:

Not all the things you listed may in every case be an emotional dependency. For example a career Military person is going to have some OCD issues and it has nothing to do with emotions. People have a tendency to read something like this and judge other people. On the other hand being non-dependant can make your life just as difficult. Friends by benefits is the number one reason people are together today. We have become consumers even in our relationships. If you do not have something to sell then people are not buying into their relationships. In fact the lack of any ability to create emotional crutches in the relationship is unlikely to get you a second date. I guess we have to pick healthy crutches over the bad ones. I prefer not to use any crutches at all but found that most people need to feel needed and that they need to believe that you need them for something. Other wise they will treat you as if you do not exist. I hate to need anything but I guess I can be mature by the fact that I pick what makes others special and tell them I wish I had such talent. This keeps me from being seen by others and not eliminated from their lives completely.

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on October 16, 2012:

idigwebsites, thank you for sharing your positive and most encouraging opinion of emotional dependency versus love. It is so much easier to face the world and to cope with life when we have a supportive lover and friends willing to comfort us when we are emotionally weak and tired. But the strength of our character and our emotional maturity will certainly be tested in the world of solitude. I can clearly see that you will pass the test with distinction :))

idigwebsites from United States on October 16, 2012:

I know that I feel love and not emotionally independent when the person I love is away from me for good. I know I should never need him but I still love him very, very much and I wish for his happiness. You are right in saying that mature people are never afraid to be alone. I am alone, but I am bravely facing this new world of solitude. I still miss my loved one, and he's always here in my heart -- but I know that there are better things planned for me.

Thanks for writing this wonderful hub. Voted up and beautiful.

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on October 11, 2012:

Hi Alecia, what a perfect perspective: "It all is a lifelong process of figuring out what you truly need instead of seeing something and longing after it."

The older we get, the less we tend to dependent emotionally on others. But only to a certain point. In old-age most people are all over children again, truly in need of care, love and support. Thank you for your great comment :)

Alecia Murphy from Wilmington, North Carolina on October 10, 2012:

I realize I'm more emotionally independent than I thought. But at times, I also feel I push people away to not get so entangled in the lives of others. It all is a lifelong process of figuring out what you truly need instead of seeing something and longing after it. This is a great hub and I'm glad I found it!

saddlerider1 on June 16, 2011:

My sweet Nellieanna, words do not at present come easily to me as before, I am immersed deeply with sorrow for my son who means so much to me and aches my heart terribly. I thank you sincerely for the kind gesture and offer, but like you I am not much into entering anything but into the depths of my sons soul to help him heal and shy away from the dark forces that encumber his spirit.

I stand strong and will fight the good fight to save him. Until then I lay my Quill at rest and come now and then to comment in my dearest friends Hubs. I hope to again pick up where I left off, until then my Muse lingers in the shadows appearing occasionally with hope and then recedes back to the shadows knowing it's not my time.

Peace to you my sweet poet and my blessings to you always with sincere big Hugs, I hold your heart close for comfort.

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on June 16, 2011:

Ken - hugs to you and my deepest concern for your son. You must do what you must and accept it as it flows.

Someone mentioned a poetry contest to me. I am not much into entering anything but wonder if you would be interested in entering some of your marvelous verse? Might be a good impetus to take up quill again, too. If you feel any inclination - I can forward you the info.

Hugs, dear friend. . .

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on June 15, 2011:

*** saddlerider1 – my dear brother in Hubland, I can clearly sense your emotions and thoughts, as if I am right there with you, handcuffed and captured in a horrible situation. We live through our children. We rise and fall with them. We can hold them while they are small, but once their wings are strong enough, they change into butterflies – very difficult to catch. Of course we can’t keep them captured in a net, or pinned to a display board. They are butterflies with the instinctive urge to taste all kinds of nectars – the sweet, the bitter and the toxic. (Although I’m sure real butterflies are too clever to drink a drop of the toxic.) I wish you all the wisdom, patience and tolerance you need to support your son, Saddle, and I wish your son all the wisdom and strength he needs to rise far above his current circumstances.

Ref your feeling of not depending emotionally on anyone. Now that is a typical macho feeling, you know, firmly established in the Y chromosome. This is what makes men protectors of women and children, and nothing less. You must be able to fight and kill enemies – etcetera.... Any ‘feelings’ of dependency will change you into cowards. But hey, you’ve got an X chromosome as well :)))), and that one really needs (emotional) crutches... call it whatever you want :)) You are indeed an emotional, sensitive and caring creature, Saddle. Your poems are the living proof. Just a thought for you to ponder: We are to others what we believe others should be for us. Our unhappiness and frustrations are born in our defeated expectations.

Thanks so much for honoring me with this lovely comment of yours. I’m sure I may thank you on behalf of Nellieanna too. You are very dear to us – one of the family. I’m watching you in the ring with that giant of a wrestler called Depression, and I’m cheering you. I just know you are going to knock him out, just don’t know when.... I’m sending you lots of hugs – one every morning with coffee :))))

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on June 15, 2011:

*** Nellieanna – I’ve read this lovely comment of yours (and Saddlerider’s) hours ago and mulled over it while exploiting my sources of income, frustrated because I don’t have more time on my hands to share my thoughts with you... and to write hubs, and short stories, and poems, and play the piano, and... and... and.... I enjoy my work, but I enjoy philosophizing about life and all that it entails with people like you so much more. Alas, work always comes before play.

Yes, I was indeed very much occupied with my lovelife, Nellieanna – I had only 7 weeks to make the best of the opportunity to enjoy in real life the company of a man who honestly impressed me out of my shoes. (Ha-ha, metaphorically and literally.) Due to the realities of our circumstances we are once again thousands of miles apart, making the best of all the wonderful opportunities to keep in touch until we have the opportunity to touch each other in real life again. Since 14 February (Valentine’s day) until now I’ve lived an entire lifetime, and I can now so much identify with the grass widows of soldiers.

Anyway, I have so many irons in the fire – also a new one (job) that demands an extra two hours of my time per day - but eight hours of intensive focus – so I just don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. Stuffing my time on this planet with much too much LIVING, is actually a not-so-good habit I’ve acquired ages ago.

Anyway, I don’t think I was wrong when I came to the conclusion quite a while ago and once again while I read this comment of you, that you are just like me.... or should I say I am just like you? Fact is, I know you know and understand me, as I know and understand you.

So let’s ride the waves, Nellieanna, and enjoy the breaks in Hubland. Hugs galore especially for you!

saddlerider1 on June 14, 2011:

Very interesting hub indeed. I have been an emotional creature of habit most my life, however never felt a dependency on or from anyone. I most definitely am a romantic at heart and can shed a tear in a moment's notice. I may be considered Macho, yet I am a sensitive, caring one.

I want to let you and Nellieanna know that I have not forgotten or abandoned you. Both of you I have followed diligently and rarely missed a hub. Of late I have had to spend a lot of time with my young son of 17 who has gotten himself involved with the wrong crowd.

He has and still is struggling with substance abuse, so my days and nights have been spent in worry and concern. He volunteered to go into rehab for an assessment and we are taking it one day at a time.

My mind wants to write, my Muse constantly pushes me to sit and scribe, however I am held back by some unknown force, feeling often drained of mental aptitude. I feel a constant loss for words and I pray that my scribes return. I sit at my desk often with a blank mind and quill and paper at the ready waiting for my words to return me.

Please be patient ladies with me, I promise to return to your abode. You are two of my favorite writers and poets. I miss the exchange of comments. I will be back......Hugs and kisses from me to you with warmest affection. And Martie that new photo of you is stunning and I know your beau has brightened your soul and horizons. Peace

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on June 14, 2011:

Hugs. Tuck, tuck.

Actually, I'm hardly all over the hubs. I'm TERRIBLY behind commenting on 'em. A number of reasons, though I've tried to watch for postings by those I've followed most assiduously, and still have fallen behind there, anyway.

I'm a bit of a creature of the present tense, so most apt to notice what's apparent in it and I've honestly been thinking that you've been very elsewise occupied with your lovelife. (have those weeks already flown by? - I have trouble at times keeping up with my own time-frame!)

It's really hot here and I'm trying to get sweat-generating things done earlier in the days, even sometimes to the point of delaying eating till afterwards, not a really smart thing when one is generating sweat! Adding another factor: seems that, being my own caregiver, I'm always in a position of reminding myself what I should do and/or how I should do it. Meanwhile, stuff happens - incessantly. ho-hum. But 'If it is to be, it is up to me' is my little constant mantra. It would be easy to feel guilty about what doesn't get done, since there is a-plenty, but I'm not going there. So I revel in the present and its good stuff, do the best I can, manage to escape doctors and smile frequently.

No neglect of you involved - certainly not intentionally. Or, if there is - it's rampant throughout my days in all directions. I do love you very much and appreciate your caring. I've missed you, too - but felt so happy for you that I didn't fret.


Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on June 12, 2011:

Nellieanna – Your comment is certainly an essential and valuable contribution to this hub of mine. My emotional dependency on you since the very beginning is a perfect example of emotional dependency cum emotional maturity, and our relationship is a true example of interdependence or as they also call it, co-dependence.

I’ve missed you in my corner for the past how-many-days, my dearest Mamma Hubber, and I felt neglected because you were all over the Hubs except here with me. I need your comments in order to feel completely satisfied and happy with myself. I’m your baby, you’ve got to tuck me in. Lol!

Fortunately I am mature enough to wait until you eventually arrive, and even mature enough to accept your total absence for whatever reason. I will not go to pieces with the idea you don’t love me anymore, and I will not even send you via e-mail an invitation to one of my hubs :)))) I will just wait patiently and strong until I see you again.

Oh, Nellieanna, you have no idea how much I love and admire you. I agree with every word of yours. It strengthens and embellishes my own, as always. Thanks a lot!

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on June 12, 2011:

JayeWisdom – I enjoy your profound comments on my hubs, and I agree all the way wholeheartedly with everything you write. I too, am a student of psychology, in particularly behavior of normal people, and sociology. Ubuntu, which mean: "I am what I am because of who we all are," is an African concept I firmly believe in. I’m sure you’ll find this interesting. I must do a hub about this, although I will not be surprise if my fellow-South African, Tonymac, already covered it in one of his hubs.

I don’t need many emotional crutches, but the few I need and have, inter alia my children, mother and siblings are vital for my well-being. I will surely die without their love and respect. I’m the eldest of five, and will not do anything that might force my younger siblings to forget about me. I was crippled by the death of my father twenty-two years ago and struggled for a long time before I was able to be my old strong self again, and I don’t even anticipate life without my mother. Even though I see her but only 3-4 times per year, the mere knowledge that she is just a phone call away keeps me happy and strong. Anyway, considering my emotional dependency on my relatives, I am a baby. And of course they don’t know this; they think I am totally independent and as strong as a lion.

Re your colossal missteps in spite of your knowledge – the desires of our hearts will always overpower our knowledge. It will organize it in such a way that we will walk straight into a desert of misery, believing we have the power to change it into a heaven on earth.

Thanks for the lovely conversations here and elsewhere today.

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on June 12, 2011:

I love this, Martie - it's one of your best ever! (and your photo is lovely too!)

Yes - humans are very much social animals who thrive on our interactions together. We do need each other's emotional nourishing, feedback - even validation. The needs for happiness, peace of mind and wisdom definitely involve those interactions with others.

Yet there is a difference as you describe as difference between emotional dependency and emotional immaturity. I'd tend to break them down a being the difference having the full freedom of enjoying each other, being able to rely on each other, sharing, having each other's "back" (and ear), loving and living together harmoniously as couples, families, friends, countries, earthlings - - - and a distorted state of being burdensome to each other and stymied as a person, mutually smothering. It often goes-with not really respecting either oneself and/or the other person as being a whole person deserving to become all he or she can be & become.

Sometimes folks seem to confuse healthy interdependence with a kind of pathological needy possessiveness which stifles and hurts both people and whatever the relationship is. Some become emotionally dependent to the extent that neither person can grow as individuals, becoming fixed to a common spot, most often unpleasantly, and stymied from discovering all that is to be, both within themselves individually and among others beyond the relationship.

And as you point out, the first person one needs to cultivate - to enjoy, rely upon, protect and hear, love and live with harmoniously- is oneself. Only then can we truly share those healthy interactions with others and avoid being stifling.

Jaye Denman from Deep South, USA on June 12, 2011:

This hub reminds me of the Barbra Streisand recording, "People Who Need People (are the luckiest people in the world)"--a longtime favorite of mine because the lyrics are so true.

Of course, we all need someone or many someones. It's a much-noted fact that the elderly who no longer have (or never did have) spouses or partners need family and friends for emotional support. Everyone needs that support. Even longevity hinges on it. People who try to live without others don't often fare well in this world or stay in it for a long haul.

The time required to reach emotional maturity varies among individuals, particularly with regard to how each responds to life events. Some people never need a "crutch" because they have learned good coping mechanisms early enough in life to help them through the dips encountered. Others struggle with multiple crutches and may never reach the point of true emotional maturity. My heart hurts for the latter.

I've been an informal student of psychology for most of my life, which hasn't, unfortunately, prevented me from making some colossal missteps of my own.

I'm going to enjoy working my way through your hubs.


Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on June 12, 2011:

epigramman – lol! You are too adorable for your shirt :))))

epigramman on June 12, 2011: your writing, as always, love your new profile picture - if it doesn't work out with your fine fine gentleman with all due respect - you know where to find me - I will leave a candle in the window .....just for you!

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on June 11, 2011:

shygirl2 – So nice to see you in my corner. With the new changes in HubPages I can (also) see all your activities on my home page. I intended to read your latest hub before the end of this weekend, and here you’ve stolen the march on me. Glad to know you like my views on emotional independency and maturity. Yes, I’ve gained it (again), but having it is pretty much like living in a balloon that can easily burst during a collision with other balloons. Nothing in this life has a permanent nature. We can loose everything we obtained in a second. I’m on my way to you.

shygirl2 on June 11, 2011:

I like your concept when you say...'emotional dependancy is not a weakness, but a normal condition'. When you also quote Genesis 1:26-27. Plus I like the fact that you state, 'the emotional matured do not need substitutes'. 'The emotional mature-compel admiration, respect and trust'. All which seems you have gained here through the many comments from this hub. : ) Great job...I really liked this one!

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on June 11, 2011:

*** skye2day – What a beautiful eye you’ve got for an avatar now. I hope it is yours, for it reveals some deep-deep thoughts. Skye, let me rather say the most of us - because many will swear they are emotional independent and fully matured until they loose an emotional crutch or two – really never graduate on this road. Because it is not meant to be. Just look at all the hermits on this planet – if they are not depending on pets to give them a purpose to live, or on children or grandchildren or any other dependents, they are keeping themselves drugged with whatever can kill thoughts and emotions. If we say we are only depending on God, we are not acknowledging the rest of his creation. I must say, my friend, even with God in our hearts our minds are the devil’s workshop. We have to control our thoughts and actions constantly by reminding ourselves to obey His laws so perfectly summarized by Christ – ... love Him with all your heart and your fellowman as you love yourself....

David is safely back in England – just like me refreshed and refilled with unflagging zeal to be healthy and happy. I’ll probably need a holiday again in a year’s time - with him it will surely be another highly satisfying trip. He is really the nicest guy I’ve ever met, even while he is in a bad mood. I’ll see you soon in your corner, Skye. God bless!

*** CASE1WORKER – I know exactly what you mean. Was there, done that. If it was not for my church and all its occupants, I would not have been able to be for 20 years the loyal and submissive wife of an extremely insensitive and bombastic narcissist, nor a relatively successful mother for our two children. Unfortunately my ‘brothers and sisters’ – my emotional crutches – turned out (20 years ago) to be pure jelly when I needed them in my (successful) efforts to escape from my destructive marriage, just to teach me never-ever to rely on people – not even on those you are depending on - but on God alone. He always provides exactly what en who we need to do exactly what He wants us to do. We’ll never be able to understand Him and His ways, and I’m so glad I’ve reached (about ten years ago) the stage where I trust Him with all my heart. He is the ruler of the universe and we are merely creatures living for approximately 70 years on this beautiful planet Earth. Thanks for coming by, dear Case1worker. You know God blesses you – and all of us - daily even when no-one ask him to do it.

CASE1WORKER from UNITED KINGDOM on June 10, 2011:

I did enjoy your discussion in this hub- for me my dependancy is church- it is a small church with the friendliest people ever and I know that whenpeople say great to see you- they mean it!

skye2day from Rocky Mountains on June 10, 2011:

Martie Hello my sista. I have thought of you often. I pray all is well with you. It sounds like all is well. Praise God precious one. We never do graduate on this road we hopefully grow in wisdom and understanding It does not come easy it gets better because with God all things are possible. Without God our mind is the devils workshop. Love you girl. So how is the new guy friend. You happy??

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on June 10, 2011:

SilverGenes – I guess most mothers tend to exist on ‘islands’ with their sprouts, painting and even plastering them with everything they have in stock. Unfortunately, or fortunately, some sprouts react viciously on some of the applications :)))) There were some blood on my bedroom floor too, and also on my daughter’s. Oh well, a mother is a mother is a mother.... :))

SilverGenes on June 10, 2011:

Hahahahaha oh, Martie that was great! Your blood and tears to paint the trees... if you need more, you could always borrow some from my poor mom who always saw hers (along with her sweat) all over my 'teen years' bedroom floor! I love that description of us as a collection of stars, each part of a larger galaxy. Lovely!

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on June 10, 2011:

SilverGenes – I remember that hub of yours. I wanted to link it but could not find it. I’m also not sure if we may link hubs in this new Google-Panda-HubPages phase we are in. I always appreciate your profound comments. Somewhere in here is a poem I’ve written about our connection with others. I’ve used a galaxy as a metaphor - we are a collection of stars/suns, each in our own galaxy but also (as planets) part of the galaxies of our fellowman.

Now where am I going to get paint when I go 'island happy'? I will have to paint the trees with my blood and tears.... Oh my, and that’s not even all I have in stock to use. Lol! Thanks for the visit!

SilverGenes on June 10, 2011:

Very interesting hub, Martie. I did one on co-dependency recently (it is elsewhere now) because it is an issue I dealt with for many years before recognizing it for what it was. Yes, the baby needs love to grow into the child who needs assurance to flourish into the adult who needs friendship to know they are not alone. One day we find that we are perfectly okay alone for awhile. Yes, if left there too long on an isolated island we can go 'island happy' and start painting the trees for something to do. But for me, no matter where I find myself, I am connected to others in many ways and like being part of the great 'whole'. Awesome and up my dear!

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on June 09, 2011:

Hi BobbiRant, in solitary confinement, voluntarily or compelled, one gradually becomes physically and mentally ill. We always want more, whether it is of the healthy or the unhealthy. I believe we should find our most beneficial balance in life as soon as possible, and stick to it. Thanks for the visit.

BobbiRant from New York on June 09, 2011:

I agree people need one another, otherwise solitary confinement would not be a punishment. I think each of us have to decide on healthy or unhealthy, each person being different. Great hub.

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on June 09, 2011:

Nell Rose – Your hubs are the living proof of your emotional maturity, but I bet there are a couple of people and things you just need in order to feel happy and contented in your state of maturity. I regard myself also as pretty mature, though I’m still sensitive under attack by bullies. Being a born fighter I tend to think I’m ‘big’ enough to fight them – on the behalf of others and myself - but unfortunately I just don’t have the heart to apply their brutish techniques. So I normally end up in ‘emergency’ where I depend emotionally on my children and close friends/relatives to sooth and encourage me until my wounds are healed. I believe in a state of full maturity and emotional independency one will be totally apathetic. Thanks for coming by, Nell.

Nell Rose from England on June 08, 2011:

Hi, Martie after reading this, I was surprised to find that, after reading your list, I am actually pretty emotionally mature! Wow! I do still have my 'clingy' things sometimes, but I am better emotionally than I thought! lol thanks nell

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on June 07, 2011:

Chatkath – it is indeed a fine line. We realize how fine when we are suddenly without the person we thought we don’t need. Thanks for your visit.

Kathy from California on June 07, 2011:

Couldn't agree more Martie, written so well! I guess we all have dependencies of some sort, I am not sure where they cross the line and become unhealthy - it is a fine line that's for sure....Very thought provoking! Thanks for sharing.

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on June 06, 2011:

*** Marcella Glenn – Yes, short and sweet, just like that, believe it or not. {Smiles} Thanks for the visit.

*** Amy Becherer – Thanks for you relevant input, my mirror. I can always see myself in you. I like to compare people with drugs, which include medicine and vitamins. We have to take some of them in order to stay strong and healthy. Some of them, however, have horrible and even fatal contra indications, while others, highly addictive, send us on trips. After quitting we will experience withdrawal symptoms, and there are always replacements.

Amy, you are a shocking pink tablet, and I’m totally addicted to you because you warms my heart :))))

*** Erin LeFey – Shared dependency has a specific name in psychology: Co-dependency. It is actually only a word that helps us to distinguish between good and bad dependencies. We hubbers, families and friends are co-dependents. We need each other. But even co-dependents can be a disastrous affair, i.e. the sadist and the masochis. Thanks so much for your input, Erin.

Erin LeFey from Maryland on June 06, 2011:

Very interesting hub Martie! I agree with you about emotional dependency, but I also believe that in love we agree to a certain amount of shared dependency that is not altogether bad. Loving and the emotional and mature relationships we have now that we have become so *smart* after our years of independence - are choices - to blend our two worlds and let go of some of that independence in the hope that love and life together does make things more fun, adventurous, and easier! I think that wide-open choice of mutual dependence (not total dependence, but two people who know how to be independent but choose to give up some of that iron will and some tearing down of the "I could care less what you or anyone else thinks" attitude can lead to a beautiful, honest, caring and loving relationship.) I'm not there yet, but these are my ideas. Wonderful hub and excellent discernment of two very different ideas that often are misconstrued. Take care my friend!

Amy Becherer from St. Louis, MO on June 06, 2011:

We do need each other. Even my solitary writing here or at AMS, I depend on you, Martie, and other friends to let me know what they think. It is extremely important to me. And, I don't think there is anything abnormal about that dependency. I can honestly say I would not write without a readership.

When I got divorced, it was I that initiated both. Both men thought I'd find out how much I needed them. Wrong! Yeah, the financial security helped, although I always contributed equally in that realm. There well may be something wrong with me, but I do not miss the "relationship". It was controlling and obnoxious. I am not eager to begin another relationship. I like living alone. I do not feel lonely or that I am missing out on anything. My idea of excitement is the fact that my only limitations now are me.

I find your concept of abnormal tolerance very intriguing. I used to tolerate everything handed to be or pushed on me without question. Down the line, I felt resentment that progressed to hatred. Now, I am extremely intolerant of anything I feel a personally as a violation. I bristle, think about it and rebel. I never let anything go unsaid. I feel I have every right to respectfully state my case. I do and it feels wonderful. Recently, I protested a "red light camera ticket". It was so much fun! I had a great outcome, with the judge and me both grinning from ear to ear. He invited me back to visit anytime!! Your piece came at a perfect time for me, Martie, and I thank you. I was beginning to wonder what was wrong with me. Why have I changed so diametrically opposite from where I was? I still have issues in dealing with my daughter, but I feel there are extenuating circumstances that prohibit her from seeing things clearly. I have decided this is beyond my control as she is an adult and I must decide and do what I must to preserve my sanity. I will no longer feel guilty if I can't or won't meet her needs. I don't think its abnormal to take a lifetime in becoming who we are. We are always changing. That is the one constant in life. Brilliant piece, Martie!

Marcella Glenn from PA on June 06, 2011:

A single cell is dependent on other cells/human body. All other human life follows and dependent. Great hub. Smiles.

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on June 06, 2011:

*** always exploring – Amen! It is actually not so hard to practice them all. I really don’t know why it took me so long to learn how? I guess I sat too long in the corner with my face in my hands, feeling sorry for myself and mad because nothing was done my way, or my way, but unsuccessful..... Poor me, I really had to learn all Life’s lessons the hard way. And I wonder what I still have to learn? But lalala, with friends like you, Ruby, who is always positive in spite of many reasons to be negative, I will pass all future lessons with distinction.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on June 06, 2011:

Martie, Great hub. To me the most important aspect to happiness is to learn to love yourself, forget mistakes made in the past, respect others, know that you are not always correct and be willing to admit it. drbj said it well, laughter is the best medicine in the world, surround yourself with people who love to laugh, be willing to help those in need, smile, when i pass by someone who smiles at me, i smile back, and i pass it on. Thank's Martie.


Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on June 06, 2011:

*** Micky Dee – Halloooo! So nice to see you passing by again. God bless you too! (Waving-waving-waving :)))

*** Hyphenbird – We hear all the time that we should not rely on others to make us feel loved (whole), we must ‘grow up’ and ‘get over’ whatever issues we have. We are encouraged to be emotional independent. When our behavior proves that we are not, we get stoned with all kinds of critic and lists of unachievable goals. This provokes in us feelings of guilt and inadequacy – inferior complexes, galore.

Fact is, people are people through people, we make and break each other daily. In fact we are born with the responsibility to love each other the way we love ourselves, we are born to depend emotionally on each other, we SHOULD support each other in all ways. We who are strong should help those who are not strong. So let those snobs who think they are completely emotional mature fall off their thrones and become humans.

Thanks for your input, Hypjenbird!

*** drbj – You’ve given the best advice in the book! It took me ages before I realize that this is the secret of happiness: Every day is a challenge. Whatever it offers, we should grab and enjoy it.

If it is a bull, fight the damn creature!

If it is a kitten, cuddle the cuty!

If it is a baby, kiss and hug and love it with all your heart!

If it is a sexy, handsome Welshman, enjoy him with all your senses... :)))))

Life, coming to us as Days and Nights, is the provider of so many wonderful challenges. Just think how bored we would have been if it provided only the Good and Easy and never any Bad and Difficult? All games require skills we have to learn and practice. Only the clever have a chance to win.

Oh, I know this comment has nothing to do with emotional independency, but so what, for some reason it flew out of the tips of my fingers.

Now let me admit, drbj, you’ve became one of a few emotional crutches in my life, and I thank you for being you. If you dare crack under me, I’ll... I’ll... I’ll cry for three days and start looking for another you.

Take care of yourself, my dearest friend. You are a great crutch for many! You know this as well as I, don’t you? Hugs-hugs-hugs!

drbj and sherry from south Florida on June 06, 2011:

You have done an exceptional job of navigating these "murky waters," Martie, dear. My own personal philosophy is rather simple: Love and live every moment of every single day. Let those you love know that you love them. Find the funny side of life and relish it. Never grow up - entirely. After all, she who laughs ... lasts!

Rated all the way up.

Brenda Barnes from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on June 06, 2011:

This is a very important Hub. So many people wander through the world seeking that one person who will make them whole. You give a lot of introspection to the subject and I believe it will help those who find it. a great job here!

Micky Dee on June 06, 2011:

Nicely done Martie. God bless you dear one.

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on June 05, 2011:

*** Minnetonka Twin – I agree with the concept co-dependency – love it - and did consider referring to it in the hub, but finally decided not to, because it would ‘cancelled’ the punch. Thanks, Twin, I always appreciate your inputs.

*** A.A. Zavala – Thanks for the welcome note. I wonder if I will ever be 100% emotionally mature? I also wonder if we have much to do with the growing-UP process, except digesting what Life feed us? I mean a two-year old can’t make himself ten years old.... :) Sometimes I just fake maturity. “Fake it till you make it” is sometimes all we can do.... as in practice makes perfect. Have an awesome day!

Augustine A Zavala from Texas on June 05, 2011:

Martie, welcome back. This is an insightful hub, as I've finally become emotionally secure and mature. But it wasn't easy. AWesome hub!

Linda Rogers from Minnesota on June 05, 2011:

Hi Martie-I love your newest profile pic. Just beautiful:) Regarding the whole dependency issue. There has always been so much debate on the line between healthy dependency versus unhealthy. When I was studying for my Master's degree, the big thing was "co-dependency" and it drove me nuts. According to me, if you need love and interact with others well, you are healthy. Great article my friend:)

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