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It specifically means, among other things, soothing your own bad feelings without the help of another, pursuing your own goals, and standing on your own two feet. But Schnarch finds that marriage can't succeed unless we claim our sense of self .

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"We've eliminated from marriage those things that fuel our essential drives for autonomy and freedom," says Schnarch.

"It becomes a trap that actually prevents us from growing up.

"But passionate marriage requires that you become an adult."And this, Schnarch admits, is a challenge.

Becoming an authentic adult means going against the whole drift of the culture.

If you can stand your ground with your partner, who means so much to you, you can defend your turf at the office and maintain your principles when pressured.

Claiming adulthood is an evolutionary mandate, Schnarch insists; "1.2 million years ago the human cranium evolved to maintain a sense of selfhood.

The path to differentiation runs straight through sex. Schnarch came of professional age as a sex therapist in the 1970s, at the height of the Masters and Johnson era.

For William Masters and Virginia Johnson, intimacy was largely a matter of mechanics.

Interdependence allows partners who are each capable of handling their own emotional lives to focus on meeting their own and each other's ever-evolving goals and agendas in response to shifting circumstances, rather than on keeping one another from falling apart.

It is marked by flexibility and focuses on strengths.

There is lust, there is romantic love, there is attachment.

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