Dear Vicki: I’m hoping you can help me sort things out with my husband, Weston. Our oldest daughter divorced last year and moved back home bringing her active two-year-old son. Fortunately, we were able to turn Weston’s basement study into an apartment for Stacy and Jimmy, and things have worked out well. At least I think so. But since they’ve been with us, Weston has really changed. I thought this would be a great year for our family with Stacy back home managing a restaurant and Weston’s promotion (he’s a hydraulic engineer and now manages a team of people). It seemed so perfect! But it isn’t. My previously optimistic, go with the flow husband has become a gloomy cynic who ignores Stacy, picks on Jimmy, and eats potato chips like there’s no tomorrow. He’s gained 30 pounds! I’m pretty sure Weston is a Water/Metal, I know I’m an Earth. What can I do? Signed: Worried for Weston
Dear Worried for Weston: I suspect you are correct that Weston is a Water. But he’s a Water at low ebb these days. When someone’s Water is in a deficient state, they can feel disconnected from things around them and become pessimistic, cynical, and yes, gloomy. They can also crave salt, which explains the potato chips. Let’s look at the events of the past year and see what might be causing him to be so out of balance.
For you as an Earth, your daughter and grandson moving back home would be cause for celebration. Earths love having family around them. But as much as Weston surely loves Stacy and Jimmy, as a Water he needs solitude. Think back to before Stacy returned home. Weston probably spent a good amount of time alone in his basement study reading, writing, and pondering things the way Waters love to ponder. With Stacy back, Weston has lost his retreat area and thus his easy access to time alone. This will decrease his Water energy.
Weston’s promotion at work is probably also affecting his Water. As an engineer, he might have worked independently on selected projects. But now as a manager, he will be forced to oversee a group of people, which also cuts into his solitude. It probably also requires attending more meetings than before, and Waters usually hate meetings. This means that life at work these days is also probably depleting Weston’s Water.
A final aspect contributing to Weston’s depleted Water could be the dynamics in your home. First, you are an Earth, which means you relate to Weston on the Control Cycle. Your Earth controls Weston’s Water. With the addition of a daughter and grandson to the house, your Earth energy has probably increased as you enjoy the additional regular access to connection and family. More Earth energy coming at Weston from you would control, and therefore possibly deplete, his Water. Second, I’m guessing here, but if Stacy is managing a restaurant, she could be a Wood. Water feeds Wood, so having her in the house could draw on Weston’s Water, also depleting it. This might be why Weston appears to be ignoring Stacy; he can sense she depletes him. Third, a rambunctious toddler in the house might feel fiery to Weston. Since it is Water’s job to control Fire, if Weston perceives Jimmy as out of control, he might automatically step forward and try to control him, also depleting his Water. The fact that he seems to be picking on your grandson supports this possibility.
Finally, a managerial position requires structure, so Weston has probably stepped more firmly into his secondary Metal. To survive at work, he’s probably building and holding a focus on his Metal, which could mean he is flowing less energy from his Metal to his Water.
In summary, what’s happening is that almost everything in Weston’s life and environment right now is conspiring to deplete his Water. But there’s a lot you and your family can do to help him build it back. First and foremost, arrange for Weston to have time alone. Take Stacy and Jimmy to the movies, on a picnic, whatever you want and don’t require Weston to go with you. Manage your Earth energy around him. This means don’t structure too much about your family life right now (remember, Waters need space to flow), and support any Watery activity he wants, from painting to boating to discussing philosophy. If he has a favorite place near water like a lake, river, or the ocean, plan a trip there and give him space and time to recharge his Water energy.
Finally, you can encourage Weston to wear blue, which will build his Water. And you might see if it’s possible to paint his workspace blue, or place a small fountain or a painting of water nearby. Left to their own devices, Waters will automatically gravitate toward activities that feed them, so make sure you allow that. If you can follow this guidance, I’m sure it won’t be long before Weston is back to his optimistic, go with the flow, self.