I don't know.
I know that growing up I held the family-given motto of "Sister's Come First", meaning above boyfriends, cousins, parents, best friends . . . you took care of your sisters first. I was also extremely attached and dependent on my parents. But now I am married, and I slowly adjusted to my new motto, "Steven comes first." This takes on a lot of new meanings for me. It doesn't just mean that I take care of his needs before I would take care of my friends needs. It means I go to Steven for help before I go to my friends or parents or sisters for help. He is my first thought in any situation (or should be).
Today we talked about some big-worded psychological theory, that I will rename "The Airplane Theory" for this occasion. When you are on an airplane, they tell you if the oxygen masks drop down, adjust yours first. You cannot help your neighbor if you have passed out. So we were talking about how we have to look out for ourselves in order to look out for each other.
All of this sounds neat and all, but what if you can't help yourself? What if your spouse WON'T help you? Or what if they think you are being selfish by looking out for yourself? Then can you bypass those rules and ask other people for help? We didn't come to a conclusion really. But I would still say look out for yourself, and have the strength long enough to find someone qualified to help you do this. You wouldn't take driving lessons from someone who had their license revoked for reckless driving . . . not even to learn from their mistakes. You wouldn't take relationship advice from someone who was currently going through a divorce. You wouldn't take parenting advice from someone who had their kids taken away by DHS. But we so often vent to friends who (with the best of intentions) give us advice . . . but who are probably not qualified to guide us in that situation.
I have rambled for awhile. I guess I have just really learned to value the people out there who study and pay to become qualified to help others in their life's journey.
I hope to be one of these people in a couple of years.