Dear Vicki: I recently realized I am a Water/Earth and feel wonderfully at home with this knowledge. I love having my own space and the ability to flow with my own process. I think my husband is a Wood. Sam’s a successful actor who travels a lot for his work and lately, when Sam comes home from a trip, I feel wary, threatened, and afraid of losing my independence. When he came home last week, I pulled away, which understandably hurt Sam. He is logical and defensive, and confronted me with angry questions about what was going on. As usual, I retreated with nothing to say, which frustrated him further. Since this encounter, there’s a great deal of tension between us. Honestly, I’m concerned that we’re losing our connection and understanding of one another. Can you help? Signed, Worried and Watery
Dear Worried and Watery: First, let’s look at what might be going on for you personally before addressing the relationship. Your signature, “Worried and Watery,” is all about your primary and secondary elements. Worry sits in Earth and usually indicates an imbalance in that element. “Watery” usually means a state of too much Water. That you find yourself feeling “wary, threatened, and afraid” when Sam returns supports this because these are out of balance Water responses. So, it seems likely that you’re experiencing a deficiency in Earth making it hard for your Earth to keep your Water in check (Earth controls Water).
Looking at Sam, he probably is a Wood (or is in a very Wood place these days) given his response of anger and frustration when you pulled away. Your characterization of him as logical and defensive also fits with a Wood. However, as an actor, he will have to have some Fire in order to enjoy the attention that acting engenders. Woods need to be acknowledged; the joy of ongoing attention usually sits in Fire.
So if Sam is a Wood/Fire and you are a Water/Earth, what does that mean for your relationship? Your primary Water relates to Sam’s primary Wood on the Nurturing Cycle, so it should be a comfortable relationship: Your Water feeds his Wood. Your desire to have your own space and time should work well for Sam because Woods also need time to pursue their own projects. For the two of you, that means the time Sam needs to travel as an actor should give you the alone time you want and need at home. So, what’s going wrong?
The challenge is that you and Sam have two Controlling Cycle relationships involving your secondary elements. His Wood will control your Earth and your Water will control his Fire. Both of these can be a blessing, or a problem. For Sam as an actor, his Fire will want attention. If his own Wood has built his Fire to excess, your primary Water can help cool the flames. But you need to be careful of that because, while Fires don’t like to crash and burn, they also don’t like people raining on their parade. And for you, too much Wood coming from Sam will deplete your Earth making it harder to keep your Water balanced. And I think this speaks to the crux of your current situation.
Given the dynamics in your relationship, it will be especially important to keep both of your primary elements from going into excess. That means you need to keep your Water balanced and Sam needs to keep his Wood balanced. The particularly important cycle is between your Water, Sam’s Wood, and your Earth. If this cycle isn’t managed, it can create a never-ending loop that spells trouble between the two of you. Specifically, if Sam’s Wood over controls your Earth, your Earth will not be available to keep your Water in check thus making you more Watery. Too much of your Water will feed Sam’s Wood making more Wood available to over control your Earth, which will then not be available to control your Water, etc. The bottom line is that if you can keep your Water balanced (out of excess), you, Sam, and your relationship should be fine.
So here’s what I’d like to suggest. Let your Water have free reign while Sam is gone; revel in the wonderful feeling of being at home in your Water and going wherever the flow takes you. But then step into your secondary Earth when he comes home. This will do two things. First, your Earth will reach out to connect with him and that connection will actually build your Earth. It will also make Sam feel good about being home. Second, the increased presence of your Earth will help keep your Water in check so that it doesn’t feed Sam’s Wood. That will mean less Wood to over control your Earth. If you can do this, you should be able to have the best of both worlds. You can create a stable, loving relationship while Sam is home, but enjoy the Watery freedom you love when he is away.
Also, as a bit of security, you might try adding the following to your environment:
- Include a few metal sculptures or other metal elements in your home. This will help insure that Sam’s Wood stays in line (Metal controls Wood) and doesn’t over control your Earth.
- Surround yourself with yellow. Wear yellow clothing, place yellow in your environment, or wear citrine, tigers eye, or rose quartz jewelry (these stones all balance Earth). This will help make sure that your Earth doesn’t get depleted.
- Keeping your Earth built up will automatically help make sure your Water doesn’t go into excess. But you can also drink ginseng tea to keep your Water balanced. Avoiding blue or an excess of watery places while Sam is home will also help.
I truly believe that if you follow the suggestions outlined here, you will be able to balance your personal and relationship dynamics quickly. Once they improve, you will no longer be faced with the prospect of life in an overgrown swamp of Water and Wood. Blessings to you!