Whereas women tend to have girlfriends in whom they confide and are usually closer with their parents, traditionally, men focus on work, but disregard their emotional needs and rely exclusively on their wife for support.
Yet, both men and women often neglect developing individual interests.
Money binds couples, too, especially in a bad economy.
The lack of autonomy not only makes separation difficult, it naturally also makes people more dependent upon their partner.
Denial of problems, including addiction, is another reason why people can get stuck in a relationship.
They may rationalized, minimize, or excuse their partner’s behavior and cling to hope or occasional “good times” or expressions of love. “if only” often, denying their own pain, which might motivate them to get help and change.
Autonomy doesn’t mean you don’t need others, but in fact allows you to experience healthy dependence on others without the fear of suffocation.
Examples of psychological autonomy include: Often, it’s this lack of autonomy that makes people unhappy in relationships or unable to commit. They’re afraid of even more dependence – of losing themselves completely.
One man was too afraid and guilt-ridden to leave his ill wife (11 years his senior).