Water and Wood: Does it Mean Life in a Swamp?

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?

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