Variations on a Theme of Self-Sabotage, Act 4

Hi Julie, My relationship quandry…my husband has just been diagnosed with diabetes and I do not want to deal with it. What is the matter with me? He seems happy to always have to be at the doctor’s or taking more medications and I become very rude to him when he starts discussing it. I feel he can best help himself by eating right and trying to get away from all those prescriptions. He is now up to a dozen a day. Am I being completely cold in this relationship? Should I try harder? Thank you.

Hi T,

First, I don’t think it’s unreasonable for you to balk at taking on your husband’s health burdens, and it seems specifically that you may feel this way because he appears to glory in the ritual, routine, and attention that comes with a chronic health condition. There are two things to look at here: why does your husband seem to need this particular kind of attention so much? and, what underlies your reaction to his situation?

When we look at your husband’s chart, we see recent transits that likely brought this health condition forward (T Saturn conjunct natal Mercury, ruler of the 6th of health), and we also see that he has been under quite a bit of stress emotionally (T Pluto recently contacted natal Chiron, and is now square his Moon). His natal Moon is in Aries, a position that naturally calls for him to be the center of attention on the emotional front, and a Pluto transit to first Chiron, unearthing hurt at a primal level, then the Moon, bringing an intense effect that may have felt to him like obliteration, could have triggered (or at least, greatly exacerbated) the natal emotional requirement to put ‘Me First.’

Your uncharacteristically unempathetic response shows in recent transits to your own chart, transits that likely have left you feeling much less of a need to engage deeply with others if that engagement was draining to you in some way, especially emotionally. Transiting Saturn has been over your Vesta, suppressing your feeling of commitment to the home front and the sexual partner, and perhaps lessening the idea that one must uphold those sacred institutions (like marriage) that you are normally a strong supporter of; and transiting Neptune is conjunct Juno in the 5th, obscuring from your view your natural means of empowerment, one venue of which is through the romantic relationship. So, the coolness you’re feeling right now is not surprising, nor does it indicate a cold heart or indifference–it’s just the way the wind’s blowing for you, currently.  And, with ruler of the 7th posited in the 2nd natally, the state of your significant other feels like it relates directly to your Self-worth and Self-image–so an ill partner may read as something to get away from, rather than coddle, support, or indulge.

And it does feel like indulgence to you that your husband is engaged in–and here’s where we must lay it all out. His behavior is undoubtedly too involved in relishing his own illness, but this seems to be an indication of his Moon’s needs, and right now, this illness which has shaken him to his core (whether this shows or not) needs to be acknowledged as a ‘Big Thing.’ Irritating as it may be, he truly needs to put all his energy and attention into dealing with this illness, as at present the illness defines him emotionally–and if the illness gets taken care of, then he’s taken care of, nurtured, loved, too.

For you, though your reaction is totally understandable and one with which many will sympathize, if you love your husband, you need to take a step back and get a slightly more objective view of things. You seem to be reacting out of your own need to separate your sense of yourself from your partner, and this is certainly fine, but ultimately Self- and relationship-sabotaging, as love and relationship require that we see and acknowledge the needs of our partner, and right now he needs you. The Moon rules his 7th, so every emotional assault he suffers tends to make him turn to you for support. There is also the matter of you judging him; though the amount of attention he needs may seem over-the-top to you, variation in need must be recognized (of course, there’s the matter of, if you’d known when you got together how needy he was, you may not have gotten together–but don’t we always have knowledge of the depths of our partners all along, whether we admit it or not? And so we must see that we choose them both because of and in spite of their qualities).

I think if you give your husband’s emotional needs all the ‘Me First’ attention and support they require, you will find within your husband, not the emotional black hole I believe you anticipate, but instead a renewed confidence and Self-assurance that was probably a big draw for you initially in the relationship in the first place. Approaching his needs with a non-judgmental attitude and a willingness to fill the bucket indefinitely will, conversely, shorten the time during which you must deal with his exaggerated need, so, though it may be contra-intuitive for you, I would suggest you give him the ego and emotional support he needs, especially because, we should note, Mars is a prominent part of the equation, and he may feel that his manhood is threatened along with his health–your job is to let him know it’s not.

My best to you both,