Anger And Balance In Relationships

Astrologer, CF Perez, made an interesting statement about inequity in relationships.

She said, when one person in a relationship gave far more than the other, the person who was indebted, filled in with anger.  Such a simple and interesting observation. I think she may be correct.

For example, take the alcoholic / codependent relationship. The codependent gives and gives and does the alcoholic appreciate it? Hell no! The alcoholic grows to loathe the person doing the caretaking. The more they receive (that they will never be able to reciprocate) the angrier they get.

The more you give, the more they hate you? This is a compelling argument against giving too much.

Have you ever been part of a relationship out of whack like this? How did it wind up?

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Anger And Balance In Relationships — 61 Comments

  1. Yes…if he was angry about it, he drank those feelings away too, but I can definitely see the point being made. I think in some cases they may see it as a way of being controlled, being “forced” to accept when they can’t/won’t give back.

  2. This reminds me of my parents. My mom enduring all the BS with a smile on her face for so many years and my dad just taking advantage of her and loathing her “I’m gonna be the bigger person” ways. I think (and I always told her this!) that my dad just wanted her to show some cojones and put her foot down and refuse to take his crap. When she finally did this (after about 25 years!) he eventually came around and started treating her right.

  3. i agree with ‘the other kat’ that ‘overgiving’ is a way of controlling, learned that from sad experience. alcoholic ex-husband. 🙁 so, elsa, what do you do if your chart points to overgiving? venus leo in the 6th. i THINK i’m being this wonderful, generous, giving person but in reality, am either alienating loved ones or wind up feeling taken advantage of.

  4. Married 22 years to an alcoholic, I tried to make as normal a family life as I could for my children. Still, I slowly became very isolated from all my family and friends. Funny, though, as soon as I decided I couldn’t face the isolation any more and started going places without him, he found another woman and divorced me. As it turned out, she really didn’t want his crap either and he died sadly alone about a year later when his liver gave out at 42.

    He did appreciate the things I did for him – after we were divorced and he discovered nobody else was willing to do for him like I was. It was sort of cold comfort to be recognized too little too late – and I wouldn’t take him back, which I think was his plan.

    I agree – if you give too much the other person, they will either feel you are manipulating them or buying them and they will resent it, not appreciate it. I try to keep things balanced now, although it is hard for me to resist smothering my SO.

  5. i’ve both been in these relationships (not recently-thank god!) and seen them. absolutely, the “reciever” ends up resenting the “giver” without exception. because what the reciever hears, quite accurately, is that you’re not okay as you are. regardless of issues, who wants to be a fixer-upper project?

    but i think the giver is frequently motivated by insecurities and feeling like they’re not good enough themselves. instead of dealing with that, they can find someone else less stable to project on and try to “buy” their love through service. having someone “nobody else would want” becomes an insurance policy against being alone.

    because what’s really happening? giver doesn’t feel worthy of love, so they hook up with wounded reciever. giver says, “i’m really a good person-see how i try to help this other person who doesn’t really appreciate me?” read: I deserve love, and I prove it by loving someone else who doesn’t deserve it. at a deeper level, however, it leaves them feeling less lovable than before and further entrenching the insecurities, since the receiver simply comes to resent them more and more. and they’re left to play the wounded party.

    always a bad idea to date a person’s potential instead of a person.

  6. (((Kathy))) That’s so tough. I’m glad you’ve survived!

    I never realized it until you wrote this Elsa, but yes, I have been in a relationship like this. It’s now over. It seems to me the other person was living in a world of pain, and the closer I got (the more caring I became) the more sudden and irrational the reactions to my efforts.

  7. always a bad idea to date a person’s potential instead of a person

    I agree with goddess on this 100%. Been there, done that, and NEVER AGAIN!! For all of you who posted on this experience, you have my heartfelt sympathies. I see the impulse to go on “rescue missions” in my chart as Moon conjunct Neptune in Libra.

    Your friend, cf Perez is right on the money with this observation! 🙂

  8. Yeah, my last relationship was like this…

    I am not a born nurturer by nature, at all, but the last ex had NO IDEA how to be an adult. God knows he didn’t learn it in school (dropout) and his parents also had no idea how to be adults. I kind of stumbled into the whole thing without knowing the extent of it, committed too fast, and then being a fixed-axis person, was all, “well, I’m stuck now, I guess I’ll just try to nudge him into improvement.”

    Eventually he snapped and realized that he was never going to live up to my high standards of him wanting to move out of his parents’ house and hold down a job for longer than six months without getting canned from it, and he broke up with me. And he’d whine about how I should be a SAHM (never mind that I had no interest in staying home even without children) and he should be the manly breadwinner… and I would sit there thinking, “Yeah, well, given how you blow your entire paycheck within 12 hours of getting it, how’s THAT going to happen?”

    I refuse to attempt rescue ever again.

  9. a healer friend of mine drew this symbol on my hand 10 years ago with a bic pen over lunch. I think he saved my life it was this:

    Saviour
    . .
    . .
    . .
    . .
    . .
    . .
    Victim . . . . . Martyr

    He told me that me “saving” was a subtle form of egotism, which I understood.
    He said, the victim, would either remain a victim to get your free service, of bite your hand because noone likes people being “better” than them or they would “run away” from a bill that could never be paid back.

    Then he said, I would become a Martyr…I would say “Oh, I spent 10 years of my life, blah blah..
    And then he said, well around the triangle I would go…AND WOULD THEN BECOME A VICTIM MYSELF..
    And would need someone to SAVE ME!!!

    Round and round the triangle…ugh..

    Well, it sunk in. I wish it wasn’t only with a bic and that he would have actually tatooed it to my hand.

  10. yes.
    debts don’t work well in friendships or relationships, and this is why. they poison both sides. there needs to be a balance of exchanges to keep a connection healthy, in my opinion.

    which is something someone on the virgo/pisces axis really needs to drill into her head on a regular basis. debts of service definitely count.

  11. Oh, this is a good one. My SO thinks he saved me from a life of financial poverty (he has 8th H Sun, Venus, Merc and Saturn which in itself is a marker for such a set up) and I am aware of what he thinks…so does that negate the whole saviour/victim/martyr syndrome? Or is only one of us being aware of this dynamic not enough to balance the situation?

  12. Do ya know how sometimes you kinda slam around in the dark looking for a bit of light? Thanks Elsa and everyone for a good perspective on finding it.

  13. I can see how a person’s attentions (and giving) can provoke anger in the recipient – but I don’t think the paradigm your friend offered is a hard and fast rule.

  14. I think there needs to be a “give-and-take” balance in a relationship, or you end up with guilt / anger / negativity under the surface on both sides. I kind of see it this way:

    If both people are consistently “givers” — they replenish one another, both giving to each other.

    If one consistently “gives” and the other consistently “takes” — neither person ends up feeling good because one is glutted and the other starved.

    If both people are always “takers” — well….they deserve each other. 😉

  15. neith – amen, brother!

    koheli- that’s a very powerful observation your friend shared. wow.

    wydling – “debts of service count “- thank you! this never conciously occurred to me and it’s important, since i’m a great, big bundle of vigro-pisces.

    satori- worshipped the DEVIL? oh my god! sounds like an utter nutbucket!

    i’ve really enjoyed reading the comments on this one. 🙂

  16. Hey Carielle, wouldn’t it be great if Life worked like that. I, more often than not, observe the Giver/Taker dynamic playing out.

    Why is it that two Givers’ don’t hook up more often? There must be some kind of pay-off the Givers’ get from the Takers’ as you see this partnership SO often.

    I define it more as ‘healthy’ people vs ‘toxic’ people. I find that the ‘toxic’ people i’ve tried to help often turn round and burn me. I still try to help people BUT I have stricter boundaries around how far I’m willing to go.

    Nothing as funny as folk…..

  17. “I define it more as ‘healthy’ people vs ‘toxic’ people.” but remember, what’s toxic to you may be healthy for someone else and vice versa. some people are toxic to most everyone, granted, but even in the overgive/overtake dichotomy, both are getting something out of it. you can argue what they’re getting doesn’t serve long-term and you may be right, but it’s their choice what energy they want to chase.

  18. I think victims find saviors all the time – and they are smart enough to manipulate the situation to keep being the receiver! lol

    Perhaps the overgiver needs to learn how to receive…and the overtaker how to give and that’s why they keep meeting up? Perhaps that IS the purpose: both people push on each others’ weak points, stretch each other’s boundaries, and each person becomes more balanced. You can’t intellectualize your way out of it – you have to experience the thing finally working out to completion, then you are free of it. Maybe that’s why we keep finding the same damn thing attractive again and again, even when we know better.

    Giver’s learn over time where to draw the line and stop giving (hopefully), but what do takers do? What happens when all the givers finally leave and the taker is identified and avoided? Are they finally forced to learn how to give? Or do they just stew in resentment over the loss of the giver, cut off all their needs, and pretend all is fine so that they don’t have to grow up and give?

  19. Shell – same here, my parents too. Seems like the taker/alcoholic WANTS someone who loves them enough to actually get angry and do something already! They provoke anger only in those who really need to learn how to get angry. Maybe the giver doesn’t know how to assert themself – and the taker actually does them a favor by challenging them to stand up for themself. The person who’s actively angry and can’t give/share tends to attract the person who can’t admit they’re angry and gives too much to compensate.

    I used to think anger came in 2 flavors: destructive explosions and doing nothing. It took me all my life to figure out that I can get angry and use it constructively, that no one has to get hurt, and that I will still be loved afterwards.

    Funny, I used to wonder why takers kept trying to provoke me to get mad (and I would suppress it)…and now I realize that I was supposed to learn HOW to get angry, lol. They were giving me practice getting in touch with my mars. And I’m a triple Aries dammit – I’m supposed to know how to use my mars!

  20. Anger rarely comes out of me in a destructive way, if it has ever done anything for me it has motivated me to push myself to do better. Anger can be good in small doses I think.

  21. goddess…I think that way, too. Timing is everything. I remember relationships where I was the needy/annoying/unaware person who someone ‘non-toxic’ would call toxic.
    I’m really thankful for the people in my life who acted like guiding lights when I was down. Now I get to reap the benefits of being called ‘non-toxic’ and so the circle continues

  22. I have never been in a relationship that was whack.

    I’ve also got a great deal on a beautiful bridge in the Sahara Desert. If you’re interested, let me know.

  23. Yes, this makes me reconsider…maybe my co-dependency was worst then his substance abuse because I became the loathing one. Loathing and fed up. Did not know how to receive properly back then.

    I searched “Familiarity Breeds Contempt” and found one version “With base and sordid natures familiarity breeds contempt” as well as a psyblog article on how it’s true…

    It makes me curious about composites. Would composites show relationships susceptible to such dynamics? Like a heavily tenanted 6th or 12th house & its aspects? Is a controlling savior identifiable in composites, if genders are even assignable to the luminaries (in hetero comps.)?

  24. My Mother raised us in a Home with an Alcoholic, though my Father worked he did nothing else. She provided EVERYTHING and did nothing about his addiction, ya she bitched about it but he was always so angry at her, never appreciated a damn thing about her. A very Unbalanced relationship, by her example and not even realizing it, I did the same thing in my first relationship, his addiction was porn and sex and I learned within one grueling year that I CAN’T do this(give,give,give and get nothing but his anger), and I haven’t since.

  25. Wonder what the dynamics are in your experience, guys, where one party is utterly dependent for health reasons? Should the carer expect to be targeted with anger? I can see the addict/spouse dynamic,but sometimes there actually is no alternative but to have an imbalance. A dear friend of ours is such a giver, runs a busy health practice, raises funds for the community and her husband is for the last year, paralysed. What choice do they have, and do you ultimately believe there will be anger?

  26. Elsa,
    Thanks for republishing this post. I am there with my relationship now. The ‘anger and balance’ description is right out of The 12-Step Program that saved my life a long time ago. The lessons don’t magically ‘cure’ and I’m constantly reminded that wisdom has no shelf life … you gotta use it or lose it.

    Born into the ‘grave digger’ role filled with alcoholism, the patterns get so ingrained I don’t see or cipher them until something like this post dislodges me from the fog. I’ve reread the old comments and relate to many. I’ve been both the care-giver and the reciever; and seen/felt and given the anger.

    These are life-long patterns (Saturn ruled chart)so I deal with them one at a time or in clusters and start again with the re-newed perspective.

  27. Yes, with my mother, who doesn’t understand why when she gives and gives and gives, nobody gives back.

    Also to my last ex to some degree. Though it was more like, he could never support himself and then he’d bitch and whine when I had to spend the money on him. Uh, whose fault is that?

  28. Great post. I think overhelping breeds humiliation and humans just do not recover well from humiliation. A lot of the time being supportive is not helping.

  29. You have just described my two longstanding marriages..the first lasted 17 years and the latest one lasted 23 years. Both ended in divorce. Profuse thanks for this much needed insight. It confirms totally my own recent ‘aha’ of what part I played in their attitudes toward me before I finally threw in the towel. When I was a kid, my Dad told me I have such a great personality that I could get along with anyone. He was wrong.

  30. Describes my relationship with my mother. She is the most passive person I’ve ever known She gives with no thought for her own needs so it’s not really giving – it’s actually “giving up.” And what kind of message does that send to your kid? She honestly believes I’m supposed to take whatever I can get – that I’m not good enough to fight for what I truly want. I was a spoiled miserable brat – miserable because kids know the difference between love and neglect. When you shove everything at a kid but REFUSE to respect them on a basic human level, all the crap in the world won’t make up for it.

    I felt like a terrible person because I was angry instead of grateful. I’ve since learned to accept my mom’s failings – but I keep her at arm’s length. She’s very passive-aggressive – shuts out all chance of honest communication so she can go on and do whatever the EFF she wants, even if it’s self-destructive.

  31. Rereading my post, I realize it makes no logical sense and contradicts itself. Anyway there ya have it. I generally trust the good nature of people, but I’m very suspicious around anyone more generous than usual – it’s like they’re buttering you up before they tell you the terms of a deal you didn’t know you signed up for.

  32. AS a Cancerian with Mars in Pisces, I tend to be over sympathetic and caring and yes, often get anger and resentment in return. I could never figure that out. It took me along time to own my own anger at feeling so used…and to understand the shadow aspect of giving too much. I think that is one of the key lessons in being born under my sign. (Pisces has similar lessons)

    On the other hand…I have been in situations where my giving nature has been rewarded with deep appreciation. For instance: I cared for an elderly man several years ago … and he left me enough money in his will to do my Masters degree. I believe we had a karmic bond which brought us together.

    I think every situation is unique and its important to listen to that inner voice that tells you whether it right or not to extend yourself in any given situation. Sometimes there are karmic debts to be paid… sometimes one just has to get the hell outta there.

  33. “I cared for an elderly man several years ago … and he left me enough money in his will to do my Masters degree. I believe we had a karmic bond which brought us together.”

    That’s really interesting. I totally believe in karmic relationships.

  34. Contrary to popular belief, the person with the lowest energy wins, everytime! Be careful what you fish for…

    the higher energy person has 3 choices:
    1) always giving
    2) hope the low energy person ramps up their energy
    3) leave

  35. Oh, yes.

    I’m going to suggest that on a very deep level, the giver-person is controlling the relationship and that can be part of the receiver’s anger.

    How do I know? Been the giver many times. With all my Scorpio, I instinctively want to control the relationship(s). If I give, I set the tone– it’s all about me in a very underhanded way, and if taker-person doesn’t appreciate it, they’re in the bad guy role. There’s no room for the other person or what they want in the relationship.

    Not saying my past partners were angels– they were mostly takers of the kind that it doesn’t even occur to them to give back– but I don’t really hesitate to let Saturn in Libra dig out the answers about myself. I’m forcing myself to take it slow with relationships now, to root out this behavior and really get to know people instead of projecting on them and then starting this cycle over.

  36. i totally agree – and i think the reason for the anger and resentment is not because they are unable to reciprocate, but rather because they are in some way unhappy with the relationship. it makes it more difficult to walk away when your other half is constantly doing nice things for you. so guilt and resentment builds because the person feels stuck.

    i’ve seen this in a couple of friends who are very unhappily married. one of them actually agreed to the marriage because his girlfriend was “so nice” and she seemed “so sad” that he didn’t want to marry her. nobody wins in those situations.

  37. I was never married or in a relationship with anyone addicted to a substance however husband 2.0 was addicted to guns and still is. He owns a rather large arsenal of guns the ammo that each one takes and now according to our daughter reloads his own ammunition. He receives the highest amount of compensation for P.T.S.D. one can get without having been a Medic (Vietnam) so he is just a bit on the crazy side if yanno what I mean. It is quite the experience. I left him once at the 7 year mark and he begged me to come back and though I knew I should have said NO that I should never have done that. I did! It took another 12 years and me going being deployed via the OK National Guard to the first gulf war to finally put an end to the misery of our marriage. The first 7 years was almost like a fairy tale marriage when it went to shit it was like a steam roller.

    I bear no ill will towards the man and wish him the very best. He calls me and talks to me from time to time and truly has apologised and I have forgiven him but I would never take him back again. Our daughter thinks he is cookoo for coco puffs plain out and out nuts. They have the absolute worst relationship in this world she loves him but only as long as he stays away from her. She calls him and makes him cry intentionally it is terrible. He deserves every bit of this treatment from her. I told him the relationship he had with the children was all on him my son he helped raise from age 18 months old the only father he knew won’t even give him the time of day. My X has not idea of where he is or anything about his life.

  38. People who give and give and give can become equally frustrated and angry in the long run. Not every taker becomes upset about taking (or being taken care of). Some take from others and benefit from it, maybe not in the long-run but in the short-term they do.

    Me, I don’t do relationships if they’re not fair. I don’t waste time, whether anyone here believes it or not. And I’ve got a hell of a lot to show for it.

  39. Yep I have and it took 21 years to realise my love for this man had almost crossed the line to hate, very thin line. So i divorced him and released myself from my anger, it took a while, but i got there! He unfortunately 10years later is coming from the same place of hatred for me that showed when i divorced him and he was no longer in control. I am very grateful for my libra moon/asc helping restructure the balance and i hope someday he will be free of it too. Ya know all fair, win/win thats just me:)

  40. Give a little, pull back, give to your own life.. wait for the other person to dance back, pick a strong person with a set of values. Give in small ways and keep a sense of humor. If someone transgresses your boundaries, let them know in no uncertain terms that you have no patience for this kind of thing and designate them to the back-burner.

  41. I give give give to a co-dependant, it almost costs me everything. Now I know there are boundaries to be set, so that both me & the relationship can remain healthy,
    Angie

  42. It’s all about healthy boundaries. The challenge is allowing things to fall apart when you stop carrying the heavy side of the load. In my head I take it to the worst scenario, admit it might not be that bad, and let go. It’s tougher when you’re a control freak!

  43. yes, very enlightening. and for me, so pointed- it is what i have been dealing with for the past 2 years. it is ‘the issue’ if you will. i wish i could explain the astrology of this… a couple comments hit me- our composite chart is pisces asc…. but i am not dealing with this issue only within my relationship- ‘we’ as a couple are dealing with this in all aspects within the family. there is a lot of capricorn in this family- saturn- but being in mutual recp. with pluto made this problem very easy to identify… now the hard part… how to fix this situation. giving/taking- taking/giving where is the line. ugly side of cap- ugly side of scorp- mixing, instead of healing.
    thanks everybody for this fantastic post!

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