Men and women have a need for both closeness and independence. These two needs are essentially contradictory. You need closeness, which requires that you be able to be vulnerable and share your deepest feelings. On the other hand, you need the independence to develop your own personality and talents. Both men and women hold two major fears: a) marriage to a bossy, dictatorial type who destroys their sense of self-worth, or b) marriage to a clingy, depressive type whose needs are so great that their own growth is stifled. The best way to avoid being overly needy or overly dictatorial is to build yourself up in your own eyes and the eyes of your spouse. Talk about your successes. After all, if you keep putting yourself down, you are implying that your spouse made a poor decision in deciding to marry you. Tell each other about your difficult acts of self-discipline how you went to work even though you were tired, controlled the urge to eat junk food or said a firm No, to the demands of a difficult person.