Mars Square Venus: “The Bitch In The House”

vivian gornickHere’s a good bit for Mars (anger) square Venus (love):

At 65 years old, feminist writer and activist, Vivian Gornick writes in an essay titled, “What Independence Has Come to Mean to Me: The Pain of Solitude. The Pleasure of Self-Knowledge”

“… much of my loneliness was self-inflicted, having more to do with my angry, self-divided personality that with sexism. The reality was that I was not alone because of my politics but because I did not know how to live in a decent way with another human being. In the name of equality I tormented every man who’d ever loved me until he left me: I called them on everything, never let anything go, held them up to accountability in ways that wearied us both. There was, of course, more than a grain of truth in everything I said, but those grains no matter how numerous, need not have become the sandpile that crushed the life out of love.”

This essay is part of a compilation of essays, The Bitch in the House: 26 Women Tell the Truth About Sex, Solitude, Work, Motherhood, and Marriage

What do you think?

40 thoughts on “Mars Square Venus: “The Bitch In The House””

  1. I tormented every man who’d ever loved me until he left me: I called them on everything, never let anything go, held them up to accountability in ways that wearied us both.

    What do you think?

    She doesn’t look familiar, but boy, it sure seems like I dated her.

    [‘This comment is all my fault.’]

  2. Ouch!

    I have a natal Venus/Mars square and a lot of what she said resonated with me.

    I’m hard on my men……I thought it was because i wanted a partner who was my intellectual, spiritual and emotional equal but, maybe, just maybe I embody this energy…this spirit of criticism??

    I’ll ponder it a bit more…..

    1. I feel this hard. Deep down. Always overly critical of lovers until they can’t take anymore. Then I’m alone and wonder why.

  3. Yeah, I have Mars square Venus as well. More evidence to the fact that the lonely life is the life for me. Get thee to a nunnery?

  4. I love what she wrote. So honest and courageous. Takes courage to admit when we have been strangling love.

    Carrie- I am married to someone with a natal Mars-Venus square and I can’t say he’s ever been a lonely man. As long as you choose where to fight your battles with some degree of wisdom, and aren’t completely closed to compromise then you’re going to be just fine.

  5. when i was younger, i met a lot of girls with natal venus square mars… and i am so glad i do not have that in my chart. maybe it was a product of being young and growing into self, but it was like one drama after another with them.

  6. I love Vivian Gornick! She’s one of my former writing teachers and, man, was she TOUGH. But a great unappreciated writer and, actually, extremely engaging and appealing in person, fierce as she is (and I do mean she’s FIERCE). Please read all her books, people. She’s really wonderful and as tough as she was on her men, she’s tough on herself as a person and as a writer. I’m sure it was brutal to live with, both as a partner and as herself.

  7. This is a beautiful story about personal growth.
    It reminded me of a theory by CG Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist: All of us posess unconscious counterparts. A womans inner man is called Animus, a mans inner woman is called Anima. Realisation of these counterparts makes us complete. As long as we don’t use the energy, it manifests in a negative way.

    For example: A man out of touch with his Anima doesn’t acknowlegde his emotions, yet whines and behaves like a baby in personal matters.
    A woman becomes angry and domineering, while feeling helpless and divided.

    Men who’s Anima becomes conscious don’t mind to show their feelings and are compassionate. Women become more comfortable in their strength and use their authority without hurting others.

  8. ahh, with age comes wisdom! I’m thankful for that as I’m in my birthday week here, hoping some of it will rub off on me.

  9. I also think it’s equally harmful to a relationship to go too far in the other direction and let your partner off the hook too easily. This is how some people turn a blind eye to their abusive or cheating spouse, after all. Balance is the hardest thing to achieve in a relationship.

  10. My husband has this square in his natal chart, and he expresses it in the opposite direction — a complete negation of direct aggression in his interpersonal relationships. We’ve had lots of problems due to his passive aggression and submissive tendencies.

  11. If I were to generalize, I would say that the majority of women blame men for their unhappiness. Whether they have a man or want a man, in their minds, it’s the man’s fault or lack of the man that causes their problems. I’m not saying that men don’t have half of the responsibility. I’m just saying they shouldn’t have it all. It goes back to the knight in shining armor dream of little girls. Wake up. It’s your life. Enjoy it and allow the knight with mustard on his shirt to sweep you off of your feet 🙂

  12. Well….I don’t think the writer should blame all the problems on her ‘divided personality’. I mean…don’t we all have divided personalities. If you’re meant to have this dynamic / energy in your relationships you will. And whether they last forever or not I personally don’t connect to that. We can all find examples of vitriolic shrews who are in long-term marriages and will stay married and then we can find examples of nice, compromising, relationship-oriented women who are left by men (perhaps so they can go hump the leg of the vitriolic shrew). I think the fates are determining more about relationships than we give it (them?) credit for.

  13. “If I were to generalize, I would say that the majority of women blame men for their unhappiness.”

    Unless you are like me and have Sun square Saturn…then you blame yourself for everything, LOL!

  14. “There was, of course, more than a grain of truth in everything I said, but those grains no matter how numerous, need not have become the sandpile that crushed the life out of love.”

    That is BEAUTIFUL.

  15. Hey Karin – another name for these ‘unconscious counterparts’ is ‘blindspots’. We all have aspects of our personality which we don’t acknowlege.

    t-carat – I’m so with you. Sometimes ‘nice’ girls finish last. I honestly think it depends on the kind of man you’re dealing with but a vast majority of men almost welcome that ‘shrew’ energy. It gives them something to ‘bitch’ about with the boys at the bar……

  16. I wonder if her Saturn and Uranus are in close contact too… or maybe squaring her Venus? Her chosen title is intriguing.

  17. I have this in my chart and I’m confused. I’m just learning this now, how I could never let love grow; yet, when I think about what Eme Kah said, I was definitely with some tough men and always had to defend myself. Sometimes I blame myself for not being more open and loving and other times I count my lucky stars 😉 that I got out of there alive!

  18. How funny – I have that book but don’t remember the essay. I don’t have mars squ venus (mine semi-sextile) but I know I’ve acted that way, I know that I can crush. It’s awful, an awful thing to do, esp if you feel you can’t stop. Seriously destructive behavior. Never happens with women friends, only romantically. Wonder if that’s moon pluto energy along the 1st/7th axis. It is my mission to do better.

  19. Avatar

    This post and these comments are teaching me concepts and ways to look at my relationships, my female friends and myself differently. THANK YOU so much, everyone.

  20. i subconsciously chose people i didn’t like very much after hurting a couple of wonderful people pretty badly. didn’t want to do that again.
    of course, it was counterproductive. made it easy for the aquarius moon to just wash her hands and walk away when it became obvious it was pointless, though.
    didn’t give me much practice in maintaining a relationship, though.

    i’ve had too many good friends who were male to blame men in general. i just avoided dating those men. reminded me too much of the men in the family. though i finally realized that might not be a bad thing.

  21. I too have Venus squared Mars and I can relate. After many years of short term relationships I realized that I was also human and I coudn’t even live up to my high standards,lol. I had to come down to earth and figure out that we(including me) have faults and made an internal list of stuff that was totally unacceptable to me(ex. abuse of any kind,etc). The rest was negotiable, it took me a while to finally figure out what I was doing.

    Like moonpluto this was only with men never female friendships.

  22. Hey Elsa,

    Powerful quote. I’m going to order this book now. I too am a feminist and am working on the fine line between empowering myself(calling my man on his bullshit) and emasculating him. The bottom line is too pick your battles. The astrology moon conjunct pluto in 7th house.

  23. My Venus Retrograde (conjunct Mercury) doesn’t get along with anything in my chart; including Mars. Most of my life, relationships often mirrored my inner battles and outer evolutions.

    At this period, not quite at my second Saturn return, I live with my cat, who sometimes bites people. My lover lives 9 blocks away when he isn’t out of town. My former husband (we lived together nearly 20 years) is now my business partner. My son’s father (first marriage) remains a long distant friend with whom I share a conversation or meal, now and then.

    Uranus on my descendant square Venus/Mercury in Aries, Saturn/Neptune in Libra, opp. Ascendant/Chiron in Cap. keeps men and women (my relationships) moving along – no one has to die!

    Regarding the nudges given again and again and again by this cardinal grand cross, I’ve learned to be softer with myself and others; much less explosive. This translates to more time with myself and no time for those who suck my oxygen (this in response to Elsa’s “Saturn in VIrgo” writing – let’s lose those trolls)! This also means I notice when I’m the one sucking somebody’s oxygen or wasting my own breath. That’s what grand crosses ultimately teach – move to your center.

    The only “bitch” left in the house is me – and I can live with her.

  24. venus square mars here:
    “… much of my loneliness was self-inflicted, having more to do with my angry, self-divided personality that with sexism. The reality was that I was not alone because of my politics but because I did not know how to live in a decent way with another human being.”
    It’s scary how this talks about me.
    “men are just not sensitive enough”
    “if the relationship is not good I will not take any compromise, I ll just stay alone” (sun-saturn conjunct)
    “I’m too good (leo venus) and too demanding (first house)to be attractive to the other sex”
    “men just want to sleep with me”(scorpio mars)

    being alone made me focus on my art work a lot, and that fills all my time and energy now,…

    …then I see a lot of working couple, …the same men I dismissed are not different,
    but the woman they are with do get the best out of them.
    Does anyone have tutorials for how to focus on the beauty of relationship? lol:-)

  25. I have a different take on Venus square Mars in a woman’s chart, based on the societal expectation a woman’s Mars should be given to her mate, that is by projection but not in ownership.

    In other words, my Mars in Aries refuses to be a doormat, to pretend to not really be angry, or to be harnessed like a race horse. It is this type of expected holding back which really pisses me off when relating to men in serious relationships.

    It is as if I am expected to tone it done now and bury that part of my character and personality. We women with strong Mar’s are told to learn how to be assertive — essentially being forced to operate in an unnatural arrested aggression.

    My Venus in Gemini in 8th house is not a so-called normal Venus anyway, so putting a strangle-hold on Mars in Aries, Juno in Leo (on IC) simulates that volcanic explosion when enough is just enough, dagnabit!

    There is a world of character/personality differences between a Mars in Aries (Fire) and a Mars in Virgo (Earth), Libra (Air), Scorpio (Water) and whether the aspects are cardinal, mutable, or fixed, etcetera. The mixed elements and modes are in themselves paradoxical energies (Gemini-Aries), so any square is inherently a mixed bag of psychological tricks and treats.

    Having said that, how do astrologers make complimentary or blend energies in a synastry conjunction of say Ascendant in 00Scorpio44′, Moon in 00Aquarius (Natal 4th House) and Pluto in 00Virgo (Natal 11th House). That I would really like to read!!!

    1. I hope you found your answers since this was posted, but in case you haven’t, here are my two cents worth: Mars is how we exert ourselves, go after what we want, whether male or female. In females, this describes the kind of man likely to turn us on. Aspects to, house placement and dignities do modify this expression…occasionally by a lot.

      In your chart, it is the combination of Venus in Gemini, a wordy Venus, squaring Mars in Aries, the most action-oriented of Mars, that causes the projectile vomit of criticisms. Excuse me for being so graphic, but that springs to mind.

      I believe that the most challenging aspects and charts are potentially the most productive ones. Sometimes you find an outlet in an easier Natal aspect to the combo, or if pairing, and evolved enough, an easy aspect in synastry.

      I too have Juno on the IC (mine is in Aqua) and how this has manifested, in combination with a Sun Jupiter conjunction in Cancer and Uranus on the AC is utter devotion to family. Sure, family is weird, and that weirdness is something I wear like a badge, or a forehead tattoo, but it’s one I wear easily. Hope the same is true of you too.

  26. The anger and self division is caused by sexism. A lot of the emotional issues women face are caused by this. Along with assumption that we “need” men, we can get a sense of belonging from friendships. We are also not encouraged to learn wholeness by doing things to challenge and respect ourselves. We are not taught self love. We’re not taught to live decently with human beings. There are women who are asexual and/or aromantic, they are treated as freaks still. Just because she analyzes it this way doesn’t mean sexism isn’t a problem.

  27. I think a sun with a lot of harsh aspects can cause a “self divided personality.” Venus Mars squares are sort of tough, for sure.

  28. Sexual objectification does not make the lives of young women with Venus/Saturn squares any easier. It takes us time to own our feminine nature. Not to speak of loving ourselves and having a firm foundation

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