One researcher interviewed in depth over fifty couples that regarded their marriage as happy. Through this interview process she identified 4 relationship styles and 9 essential psychological tasks to creating a happy relationship. As it turns out, from this astrologer’s perspective, what the researcher did was to peg down the 4 styles of interacting that directly relate to the elements and the developmental tasks of 9 of the ten planets.
Judith S. Wallerstein and Sandra Balkeslee have published a book entitled, “The Good Marriage: How and Why Love Lasts”.
The four types of marriages Judith S. Wallerstein identifies include the “romantic”, the “rescue”, the “companionate” and the “traditional”.
This typology suggests that there is not just one “right” type of relationship but also that multiple styles that are associated with longevity and happiness. However, it also suggests that relationships survive more satisfactorily if the partners’ philosophy concerning the type of relationship they have or want is similar.
Let’s take a look at the four relationship styles and see how they relate to the elements, fire, earth, air and water.
The “romantic”– in the “romantic” relationship a strong passionate, sexual component is the key ingredient. Each spouse possesses strong feelings of passion for the other. This feeling typically was present from the beginning of the relationship but also has been maintained in both active behavior and in memory.
Fire—Fire is the element of passion and inspiration. It is the element of adventure and fun. In a relationship that is marked with this element it is important to do things together as a couple. Connectedness is lost when partners pursue too many separate interests.
The “traditional”– In the “traditional” relationship, roles and responsibilities are clearly defined, with one partner’s being the primary wage earner and the other’s taking charge of the home and family. Although a feeling of love is important, romantic passion is not necessarily central to this type of relationship.
Earth—The Earth element is primarily concerned with the acquisition of material wealth and security. Earth shaking passion is not important as the building of a secure home base. Though those in an Earth relationship may pursue separate interests, their common goal holds them like super glue. Should one partner violate a traditional value, such as fidelity, the roots of the relationship are threatened but can be salvaged with a reaffirmation of common goals.
The “rescue”– In the “rescue” type of relationship, either one or both partners were severely traumatized prior to the relationship and were still suffering when the relationship was initiated. Therefore, at the core of the “rescue” relationship is an attempt at a healing process, where the relationship provides an opportunity to soothe psychological wounds and to grow.
Water—The element of water represents emotional responsiveness. The highest expression of this element comes through as emotional support for healing past wounds. The challenge of this type of relationship is to move past damage inflicted in the past so destructive behaviors don’t harm the current relationship. Connectedness is maintained through frequent expressions of love and appreciation for each other.
The “companionate”– in the “companionate” form, friendship and equality are at the core. Each partner attempts to balance psychological investment in career with psychological investment in the relationship and in the couple’s children.
Air—Air is the element of mental stimulation and friendship. This is a couple that needs to communicate with each other frequently during the day “just to say hello.” Connectedness is maintained through support of, though not necessarily through participation in, separate interests.
To check on how your relationship fits one of these four types, you would check a composite relationship chart. A composite chart calculates the midpoints between each of the planets of the two individuals along with the midpoints of the ascendant and the midheaven. Composite charts that has ascendant and midheaven agree in element will most closely describe the type of the relationship your partnership has formed. For instance a relationship that has Taurus on the Ascendant and Capricorn on the Midheaven will closely describe a “traditional” relationship. Those charts that do not agree will keep the element of the ascendant as the primary relationship style while incorporating the element of the Midheaven into the relationship. An analysis of the individual’s chart against the composite chart will show how his or her chart meshes with the composite chart and the style of the relationship.
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