Dear Vicki: Cal and I met when we were in law school. He was smart, funny, and very outgoing. I was more serious but somehow, we clicked. We married right out of law school and life was fast-paced and passionate. We worked hard, but I could always count on Cal’s teasing and humor to keep us connected. He went into trial law and I took the corporate route. But two years ago, right after our daughter was born, Cal won a high visibility, important case and things changed. He worked longer hours, played harder, and has been around less and less. I’ve left my firm and am trying to make a good home for the three of us, but he’s hardly ever here, which isn’t the right way to run a marriage. And when he is home, we fight and there’s no passion left. I finally confronted him last month and he admitted that there’s someone else who, as he puts it, is more fun than I am. I still love him and want Alma to have a full-time father. Can you help? Signed: Jilted in Jersey
Dear Jilted: This is a complicated situation, as you no doubt know. I do think there are actions you can take that will make a difference, but first, it’s important for you to understand the dynamics in your marriage. This will help you build on your relationship’s inherent strengths and hopefully avoid some of the more likely pitfalls.
The way you describe Cal in law school, it sounds like he was manifesting the primary elemental personality of a Fire. Fire people are outgoing, funny, and love living life large. They also love connecting with new people, even if just for a short time. But Fire people lack the structure usually required to succeed in law school, so Cal has to have a strong secondary elemental personality that helps him out in the structure department. The most structured of the elemental personalities are Wood or Metal, and given his choice of trial law, I suspect his secondary personality is Wood. Wood people like being visible.
That means getting ahead, defending the underdog, and winning (and winning and winning) will all matter greatly to him. And now that he’s become very successful, it will matter even more. So while he may be a primary Fire personality, it’s likely that he’s stepped more into the Wood part of his personality these days. And as you’ve seen, the Fire/Wood personality combination can make for an excellent, and usually extremely successful, trail attorney.Continue reading