“There are no happy endings. Only stories that haven’t finished yet.”
Have you ever been in what could be described as a ‘toxic relationship’? At the core of these types of relationships we discover a common denominator: lack of trust. The key to resolving toxicity and making this type of relationship work is to resolve the trust issues. In order to do that, both parties have to be willing to do the work. Where both parties are willing to do the work, there is potential for the toxic couple to flourish into an unbeatable duo who pull their strong wills together and use their passion for each other to take on the world instead of trying to destroy the other person.
I affectionately refer to this spread as the Smith & Wesson, partially because the inspiration came from the film Mr & Mrs Smith and because it was at gun point they realised how much they loved each other and called a truce. I intuitively laid the cards out in a W shape. It was only when I began reading the cards that I realised the connection between the gun point allegory and the W for Wesson. It made me smile
1a+1b. Trust issues within the self of partners A and B respectively that have carried over into this relationship from the past (childhood trauma, previous abusive relationships etc)
2a+2b. How A holds B ‘at gunpoint’ and vice versa
3a+3b. Why A feels she can’t trust B (something B does) and vice versa
4. Higher reason for both parties coming together
5. What it would take for both parties to drop their guns and call a truce
6. Most likely outcome provided this advice is heeded
1a. Past issues for partner A – Maker 9 (9 of Pentacles) Root and Blossom: This person was not able to put roots down in the early years. It is possible that A moved around a lot and went to a few different schools. A still struggles with being self-sufficient and to provide for their own physical needs to some degree. She also suffers from feelings of low self-worth, as if she doesn’t deserve all the good that life has to offer.
1b. Past issues for B – Warrior 4 (4 of Wands) Foundations Blessed: A blighted, unsupportive and aggressive (lots of beatings) home environment during childhood and adolescense makes it difficult for B to trust people in general. He has suffered from long periods of homelessness and moving like a hobo from place to place.
2a. How A holds B at gunpoint – V The Elder: She tries to change B by ‘teaching’ him how things are done. She often sounds and comes across as having more knowledge, and she uses this to bludgeon her partner into submission.
2b. How B holds A at gunpoint – Judgement: B is very critical of A. He picks on things and likes to hold onto past grudges. He also has a tendency to see things as either black or white, forcing a fiery finale when things don’t go his way.
3a. Why A doesn’t feel she can trust B – Dancer Five (5 of Cups) Where Loss Resides: She feels abandoned by B (he literally did leave her at a time when she was vulnerable and in need of support) and it triggers old abandonment issues within herself. This in turn, makes her lose the ability to detach. She goes into reactive mode and lashes out.
3b. Why B doesn’t feel he can trust A – Maker Seven (7 of Pentacles) Effort Sustained: He feels that A lacks patience and that she rapidly tears down everything he tries so laboriously to build for the two of them. Sometimes it is he who is destructive but he usually manages to find a way of blaming the destruction on her even if it means dragging something up that happened quite a long time ago (see 2b Judgement)
4. Higher reason for coming together – Maker Five (5 of Pentacles) Winter’s Bite: From the perspective of the Higher Self, these two souls have chosen to get together under conditions of hardship and loss to see if they can learn and grow together. Quite synchronistically, their dramatic split happened during the winter months, shortly after the loss of their baby. They could have turned to each other for comfort but instead they turned on each other.
5. What it would take for both people to drop their guns and call a truce – Warrior Nine (9 of Wands) Guardian: They need to learn to respect their own and each other’s boundaries. Learning to respect Self is always the first step. This will take a lot of work for these two souls who both lacked role models for respect growing up. A mistakes ‘instruction’ with being helpful (makes B feel belittled) and B mistakes ‘withholding’ with keeping the peace (makes A feel abandoned).
6. Most likely outcome – Warrior Eight (8 of Wands) Dragonflight: This would continue to be a passionate, even combustible, relationship but if they can make all the arrows fly the same way… There is a lot of power and potential here! If respect can be maintained the attraction would never fade.