What Lurks Beneath The Surface Of Your Relationship?

I had a consult with a gal, worried about what might be lurking beneath the surface in her marriage.  Her marriage was good and solid and had been long-lasting but she had these concerns.

In reality there are always things “lurking beneath the surface” when people interact.  It’s not necessarily bad.  People get together to work out their internal conflicts. Most people feels ambivalent about most things at some point.

Overreacting to such a normal process does not make sense.  Either does expecting a person to feel 100% positive about you, 100% of the time.

It’s easy to become focused on a tiny malfunction in a relationship, and blow it out of proportion. Yes, there may be a shark in the sea. But spending your life trying to locate each of them, hunt them down and kill them is not only not feasible. It also prevents you from enjoying a sunny day on the beach.

A lot of what lurks beneath the surface in a relationship, will work itself out if you give your partner, time and space.  As for when something should be addressed, the line for me is when the problem becomes defined. There has to be a distinct pattern that is destructive. If not, I’m going to let it go.

How good are you ate allowing people to work out their internal conflicts, when the internal conflicts they have may involve you? Where’s your Venus?

36 thoughts on “What Lurks Beneath The Surface Of Your Relationship?”

  1. You make a good point, Lynn. There is definitely a line, somewhere. I just think it’s unrealistic to think a person doesn’t need to shut down at times. Nothing personal to the client, by the way. I am speaking, generally.

    If you want 100% all the time, you’re bound to be disappointed. That’s pretty much what I’m trying to say.

  2. I’ve learned this because of my 8th house. Pluto sucks people in as it simultaneously repulses them. If my expectation is that no one feel ambivalent about me, I’m going to be in for a world of hurt.

    It’s important to keep an eye on the big picture. I strongly believe in 80/20, which means that your partner might hate being married to you, 20% of the time!

    Not thrilling for the ego, but if this can be accepted, it will open many doors.

  3. I would say I spent a long time in my marriage keeping the kids in their life jackets, teaching them to swim, keeping them safe, teaching them the ways of the lagoon with forays into the shark-infested ocean to learn to survive in the big surf. I thought my partner, who was a good swimmer, was right there with me. However, he had become involved with some shark whisperers. Unbeknownst to me they were chumming the waters so they could have their own close encounters with the beasts for cheap thrills. When it became evident that we were at cross purposes there was no solution but to split. No talk therapy or any amount of trying to work it out would have made a whit of difference, just prolonged the process and muddied the waters.
    Some people see what’s in front of them and some see way below the surface. I wouldn’t discount the person’s perception who sees far and deep. If they sense trouble, even if it looks like smooth sailing on the surface, they’re probably right, especially when it comes to a marriage. Especially when it comes to one person developing hyper-awareness. That shit happens for a reason. If it feels wrong, it is wrong.

  4. It reminds me of something I heard once about driving, that you are only actually on track a small percentage of the time. Most of the time is spent correcting your course as you drift back and forth, veering away from your destination.

  5. So in a relationship how much time is spent in perfect luminous bliss, connecting like soul mates? And how much time is spent wondering if it’s real, one or the other feeling engulfed or abandonded, pondering other options?
    It was really hard to be a Virgo, Libra rising, Venus in Leo, in a long time marriage to an Aquarius, Sag rising, Venus in Sag. I am really ready for my soul mate to appear, be done with the wondering and angst and drama, and enjoy the gift of someone who gets me, and who I get.
    I really had to laugh at the chapter in your book, Elsa, about the Aquarius, and how he was so detached physically, and my sex drive always made me seem whorish next to him. Story of my life!

      1. Yes, I often felt like I was in some real-life experiment of his making, whereby he examined the habits of normal humans by infiltrating them from the inside, but he never could quite get the behavior down.

    1. I don’t think life is monotone. You have to give people a chance to work out the problems they’re having with you, which are really problems they are having internally, often enough.

      1. This is an old post of yours, Elsa, but one that has really resonated with me. I left my boyfriend of 5 years (who I still miss despite breaking up a year ago) because he had lied to me about his mother, sisters, education and other childhood details. I had known this and been accommodating for 3 years. However, All these lies came out when his family came to see my family with the marriage proposal. Too bad! Cos I felt he let me down before my family. Sometimes with some decisions, even hindsight can’t convince you that you made the right decision!

  6. If I didn’t know any better I would think that you had been speaking as though it had been me you were referring to me in your relay about the consult. This is me; this is one of the particularly difficult lessons I have had to learn over the past few years. The lesson was and still is so profoundly hard to absorb that there are times when I take on a day by day basis.

    But damn you are so right; and that was me, the absolute best and most feared shark hunter in all the land, always thinking there was one lurking around every corner. I made myself and my relationship and my partner miserable sometimes, and made it so that I could never “enjoy my day at the beach”. Gemini/Scorpio, 12th house Pluto, Venus in Leo (just to name a few aspects that I think contribute to my jealousies, rage, suspicion, mistrust, misguided psychologies, colored logic).

    But I have tried so hard, you have no idea…in a way I have come so far and yet not far enough. But I am trying…I love the beach and don’t want to have to “work” every time I go, you know? When I read your 80/20 rule, it made sense. I like that.

    Thank you so much for this post. You always seem to know what to say.

  7. I’ve been really fussy lately about what’s wrong in my relationship. I think I’ve been blowing things out of proportion as you say. Thank you. I needed this.

  8. l so agree with this, l used to focus on little things and wanting them solved right then and there. The moment l let go things did solve themselves in time, especially because they were not all that big in the first place. l think being together for a while does help in being able to let go, patience with each other and give the space needed. Men are better at this then women though. l am happy l got better at it too, not so much to worry about anymore 🙂

    1. Ha, I agree with what oanney wrote – one of the things I’ve learned through conversations with men is how to let small quirky moments pass without saying anything. One generous man went out on a limb, took that chance to share with me that most men do this. He was happily married, and had discerned that this was something that I’d want to add to my understanding. I suspect my 7th house Mercury (opposite 1st house Neptune) was one of the reasons he offered his insights – besides the obvious, that he was happy in his marriage and wished similar happiness to others. There’s an 8th house facet to sharing insights like this, I think, too. And I suspect that some of the people who’ve gifted me by sharing keys to more happily getting along with others were briefly benefiting from my 8th house Sun. I mean, sometimes the other person has an unoccupied (nonbusy) 8th house, but when we interact, they feel more confident to exchange in 8th house ways, or about 8th house matters.

      Thanks for this topic, Elsa. Funny, it dovetails neatly with the conversations in my home this evening.

  9. Very good subject – one of those things that suddenly appear out of the shadows & make you think!

    Have trouble answering the question, though.

    I don’t often think that I’m part of someone’s internal conflicts, because usually I try to stay out of the way & not cause trouble. Also I have tried to help some people with their internal conflicts, that clearly did not involve me.

    Could be that I’m blind. Now that I think of it, I probably messed up some things precisely by avoidance.

    Great food for thought!

  10. I have Aquarius Mars so I need to talk, I have a packed 2nd with Scorpio. I believe in freedom and people to be free but when their shit keeps impacting me to the point of neglect and where my gut, Pisces moon, keeps being ignored in favour of the status quo I let go. There are one offs and then there are patterns.

    I let the Sadge go because his pattern of walls, distance, I have to work and therefore have no free time but I’ll still hang around my ex because we work together and ‘she’s my best friend’ TM and I’ll call her more than I call you and I’ll be lazy and send messages instead of calling but I won’t let you in got exhausting.

    I’m free to love and at almost 28 next month having Saturn in my 2nd my self esteem has got better to love. Not everything under the radar of a relationship is negative some can be inherently positive but there are some people who can’t grow, won’t grow and don’t want to grow. So they can stay there and quit wasting my time.

  11. Ab-So-Lutely! I have to guard against this because my nature is to fix every little thing. Not only is it exhausting, it stirs up a lot of dust that needn’t be disturbed.

  12. I have to say something because I’m going through this right now. My spouse of 21 years has kept me in a cloud of sex, drugs & alcohol throughout our marriage. I finally decided to get clean & sober. Our relationship has suffered because I want to be this way.I’ve been asking him please let’s stop this since the new year. He tells me he’ll stop but then changes his mind. So I stopped by myself a month ago. I still have a glass of wine Sunday night when we go out to dinner but that’s it, I’ve conquered my demons. I have no desire to go back to my lost weekends. My poor son had to witness this for years, but he’s strong & young still thank God. So now I work on weekends 5 hours a day to help me through what he would want me to do. I can’t change him that’s up to him. But I told him he’s bad for me, & I’m working only to get away from him & that lifestyle.I feel horrible leaving my son with him, he’s a functioning pot head thank God he doesn’t drink & drive, he has a driver bring him home from after work activities. That seems to be the only time he indulges in alcohol heavily,though, I’m not happy about it. So I stopped the sex, but I’m not screaming at him, nor giving him an ultimatum. But I’m wishing I had someone else to protect & comfort me. He’s unhappy or he wouldn’t be like this, right? I know I’m unhappy, I’m wishing to meet someone else. I love him, even though he’s bad for me. I’m financially dependent on him but I’m trying hard to change. This marriage is over, and I want to leave, but I’m scared, terrified of being alone actually.

    1. You have obviously made a decision somewhere deep and you can’t go back even if you wanted to. Well done, really, you will find yourself thrilling to the freedom, listen to that voice. Keep us in the loop. Rooting for you here!

      1. Thank you so much for the words of encouragement. I’m going to go through with it, just don’t know when is right.

    2. Very courageous thing to do and I understand it is scary, but I think you are saving your own life! (And perhaps that of your son?)

      I wish you the best on this endeavor.

      If you get down & out, come to this site. Some people here have gone through very difficult times of all sorts. You can find help and encouragement.

      1. My son is the love of my life. Everything I do is for him. His dad is good to him 90% of the time. But I need to do this for both of us. Saving my paychecks to get out. I want this to work.Thank you for the encouragement, I need it.

  13. I never accused,if I felt hurt I was a clam, ya know mouth shut tight
    My problem is I let so much go ,was a stranger ,a prisoner at the end,but for me it was the only way because of his evilness my Venus in Aquarius

  14. My Venus is in Scorpio 4th house, Mars Scorpio 5th very close to Neptune. I desire the depths! and it gets me whacky in relationship. Also that 4th house is not only house of home, it is the subconscious and the roots of things – GAWDESS! I am all up in the psychology of my partner.

    I really appreciated this read. Of course, we’re going to hate the other person at times. This satisfies my Scorpio planets. 🙂 <3

    1. … and I am very inspired (Neptune) to allow partner to just do what he needs to do. Also, for myself now, apart from him.

  15. I like this topic a lot… It’s nice to hear that there are always these conflicts..

    I don’t think things just work themselves out with space. Would be nice if they did. I think synastry is synastry and people keep crashing into each other like stars until they don’t. I do think people need space to work their issues out for themselves rather than as a couple..sure. I always see people as square pegs trying to fit into round holes. I know that me constantly pointing out differences and irritation and not being flexible comes at the end of a relationship… But me letting a lot of things I don’t like slide and pretending to be ok with stuff isn’t good either and stretches my patience and makes me bear grudges that hit the guy unawares.

    Relationships tend to winnow out my serious flaws. Sometimes I straight up wonder what’s wrong with me. This kid I dated with Jupiter in libra was fine crashing out at people’s couches and staying with them for days. I tended to think fish and visitors stink in three days and my friends and I drive each other crazy if we chill for longer.. he asked well how can you live with someone or be married when you’re like this? Idk.

    Lately I seem to run toward connection then detach preternaturally early and become a lizard. Then slink away feeling like I shouldn’t disturb anyone with my connection needs. After I checked out or failed the friendship. Just running around it seems.. forcing people to assuage my needs or loneliness then backing away when they do it too much. I have serious emotional and social problems.

  16. TO me, I wonder if looking for stuff beneath the surface of another can be a reflection of a lower self esteem than there needed to be or not enough trust that it probably has nothing to do with you
    I definitely have worked on this with a good amount of success. I give space and let it go. If it results in an ending then it does…
    However, it also serves as an opportunity to look at something about myself that I haven’t seen or admitted to.
    It came in the form of an experience recently that I had and regretted and have a feeling will have long term sad results for me.
    Yes… a last time veering off the road and hitting those shoulder grooves that serve to wake up this sleepy traveler that keeps dozing off. I woke up finally and am determined not to veer off again but it had to sadly and painfully happen for me to learn at last I think.

  17. Ha! The 80/20 made me laugh! Because I was in a relationship once with someone who “preached” that 80/20 line. She said exactly what you said: if we had 80%, we should consider ourselves lucky. But we were night and day. From her perspective, she considered she had 80/20. From mine, I considered I had 20/80. I bailed.

  18. Dorothea, Do not give up! I had a 5 year plan to escape my marriage, get an education for a new career and get out with my son. Once you know your path, nothing will deter you! For me, I knew I wanted my son to have a mother he could admire. Kept me strong in my path! Good luck, and have faith!

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