Dear Vicki: My husband loves working in his firm’s Human Resources department, and they love him. In fact, they have asked him to head the whole department. He’s excited about the promotion (and the hefty raise that goes with it), but I’m not excited at all because it means we have to move to California. We dreamed of moving there when we were first married and started our jobs (I worked as a secretary for 5 years), but now we have two small children (ages 3 and 5 years) and I don’t think it’s fair to disrupt their lives with such a huge move. It also means selling our house and leaving our friends and families. I’ve asked him to be reasonable, but all he says is that this is his chance to move up in the world and he doesn’t want to miss the opportunity. We’ve always seen eye to eye on most things, but not this. How can I convince him that he should stop being so selfish and pushy and just stay put? Signed: Happy Here
Dear Happy Here: Change is never easy, but it’s easier for some people than others. In the Five Elements model, the Wood elemental personality is the one most likely to embrace forward-moving change, especially if it relates to personal accomplishment. Moving forward is what Wood people are wired to do. The Earth elemental personality is often the least likely elemental personality to embrace change, especially if the change involves relocating. Earth people are wired to care deeply about family, friends, and home, and leaving them behind is often unbearably hard. I suspect that you are an Earth personality and your husband is a Wood personality, so let’s see what we can do to help address the situation.
First, let me say that there is no perfect fix for your dilemma. Wood personalities will always be happiest moving forward and Earth personalities will always be happiest with a settled home life. But I hope that if you can better understand what is going on around this issue, you might be able to work with your husband to make these difficult decisions together. Also, it’s also important to acknowledge that in the Five Elements model, you and your husband relate on the Controlling Cycle with Wood controlling Earth. That means that there will be times when your husband’s enthusiasm for something will seem to threaten the security that matters so deeply to you. That fact that you find him “pushy” on this issue suggests that this is probably one of those times.
Anyone with a lot of Earth energy in their personality will never voluntarily choose to leave their home and friends. These things are the bedrock of who they are and what matters most to them. However, there are other things that also matter deeply to Earth personalities, including taking care of others, providing important people with the best life has to offer, and supporting the people who matter most. I suspect you already know that about yourself; your concern for relocating your children illustrates this well.
But I encourage you to step back and look at what your husband is really proposing. He is asking for the opportunity to better himself and, by extension, you and your family. He is offering you the fulfillment of the dream of moving to California. He is asking you to stand by him and support him as he moves forward in his career, something that is very important to Wood personalities. In exchange, he will be able to help you create a family home and life that has the very likely possibility of improving opportunities for you and your children. I’d like to suggest that if it didn’t entail moving out of state, your Earth personality would completely embrace what he is offering; these are some of the very things that matter most to Earth people. And while moving out of state is never easy, I wonder if you are reacting to the fact that his Wood energy feels threatening, possibly even competitive, to you.
Part of the problem here could be that you and your husband are energetically very similar. He is clearly a primary Wood personality, but the fact that he loves Human Resources work suggests that he probably has a secondary Earth personality because Human Resources involves taking care of people. And your work as a secretary would likely have involved a great deal of planning and managing, which speaks to the possibility that you could have a secondary Wood personality. Two Earth people together will create a very tight and loving relationship. Two Wood people together will compete with each other at times. I encourage you to check in with yourself and see if one reason you are opposed to this move is that it would mean he has won and you have lost in the battle for what each of you wants.
As the sole breadwinner in your household, your husband should have the opportunity to provide as best he can for his family. If he needs to move to do this, now is the perfect time given the ages of your children. They are both under 6 years, so have not started elementary school and thus have not formed deep friendships. Children their ages are usually very resilient and handle changes like this well if their parents handle the changes well. As a primary Earth personality, this will be your challenge. It does mean you will be leaving friends and family behind, but perhaps the hefty increase in salary the new job entails can be used to visit them regularly. And trust me, many of them will be thrilled to come visit you in California!
I know a move like this will not be easy; your Earth energy will not want to leave your house and family behind. But if you can focus on what this will mean for your children and husband – and step gently around the idea that moving means your husband has “won” this one – I do believe your Earth personality will see the rightness of it because it will mean so much to the very people who are most important to you. Many blessings to you and your family!