“Betrayal is … our chief instrument of maturation.”
If you study astrology much, you may be familiar with names like Robert Hand, Noel Tyl, or Dane Rudhyar. I personally get the most out of the writings of Liz Greene, a British-American astrologer who is perhaps the world’s foremost expert in psychological astrology. The fact that her first career was as a therapist makes her articles all the more practical, especially when she writes about relationships.
In her article The Eternal Triangle, she writes about all relationships in which a third party enters where there was only supposed to be two. Examples may include a situation where a spouse is jealous of the other person’s creative work or their pet, or rivalry between three friends, or a parent triangling a child into the spousal relationship.
But, in the most painful iteration of this universal pattern we see again and again in human life, it’s a romantic triangle, where a third party arrives to steal one beloved from another. The less we understand our love triangle, the more compulsive it is.
The painful situation of a relationship triangle, Greene writes, is supposed to transform us in some way, fueling emotional growth we need to achieve. Because we’re angry, hurt, and humiliated, it’s difficult to look for the reasons the triangle is happening, but it’s essential that we do so.
The triangle stays stable as long as the people in it can’t deal with their own emotional problems that are causing it; as soon as someone can, it breaks up.
In midlife, all people get visits from Saturn, Neptune, and Uranus over their birth chart. Often these mark times in the life where old child issues come up to be resolved. I’ll leave the astrological significators out of the following because they’re a little more complicated.
Liz Greene’s reasons triangles happen:
1.) The Vulnerablity Triangle: A person feels too insecure and feels afraid they will be left, and the third person is almost like an insurance policy.
2.) Repetition of a childhood dynamic of rivalry with your same-sex parent. Greene writes that often these people have trouble establishing friendships with members of the same sex, so they’re getting all their sense of acceptability from the opposite sex.
3.) A person in the triangle had the childhood experience of a parent being emotionally unavailable, so they keep seeking that out in a romantic partner over and over because they’re trying to master that experience.
4.) A parent of someone in the triangle was both loving and cruel when the person was small. When the person grows up, one lover is like the kind face of the parent and the other is like the parent’s cruel aspect.
5.) The parents of someone in a love triangle may have split up; this is often reflected in their natal chart. Or they simply didn’t get along and the child had divided loyalties, and this gets reflected in adult relationships later on.
6.) Sometimes the problem, instead of being unique to that individual, is a generational issue, an emotional problem many people in that family have handed down from parent to child over and over. Either way, it will probably come up in midlife to be resolved, and sometimes that involves problems in a marriage and an affair.
7.) The “Unlived Life” Triangle: A person is trying to find dimensions of themselves they haven’t been able to experience yet in this lifetime.
For example, a wife has become very weak and dependent on her husband to take care of everything in daily life, things most adults are able to do for themselves. To be healthy, she needs to take back her power to perform adult responsibilities. But she’s still unhealthy and afraid to do that.
So, her excessive dependency pushes her husband into finding a more equal partner and leaving her so that she will have to become stronger in her life. It’s a matter of necessary self-development the person hasn’t completed yet.
The Unlived Life triangle is very important, writes Greene, because it is always present as part of all the other ones. When none of the others applies, this one generally still does.
We attempt to make our marriages into a fantasy world that compensates for any pain we suffered in childhood. Finally, we have the “parent” who treats us the way we needed when we were little. Except: Our husband or wife is not our parent, and when they finally have an affair to escape parenting you, that’s when everybody discovers how to grow up.
And, if you look at the series of articles on this website about yods, you will see that dynamic playing out very specifically in our triangle, and our charts are telling us exactly what is happening and why.
Sounds incredible, doesn't it? I didn't believe it before myself, but I do now.
In a love triangle, writes Greene, all three positions in the triangle are more alike than they are different, because all three people are likely to suffer from the same unresolved parental dynamic. Triangles form because people need to change, but at the same time are scared or resistant to change.
Unconscious feelings are what fuel triangles, and they are what we need to concentrate on, even though on the surface the situation looks nothing like this and we’re overcome with feelings of guilt or betrayal.
Even though it’s hideously painful when an affair is exposed, it’s important to look beyond blame and see what’s really happening. When you don’t, the triangle continues, or it breaks up and a new one forms with someone else over the same issues.
“And nothing is quite so potent an activator of consciousness as a relationship triangle. The hard and painful lessons that come from these kinds of experiences are lessons about what is undeveloped in ourselves.”
- -Liz Greene.
I know a lot of people believe astrology is bunk, but the best marriage counselors I know of SAY EXACTLY THE SAME THING IN THIS SERIES OF VIDEOS.