Matrignosis: A Blog About Inner Wisdom

Think Pyschologically; Live Spiritually

The Shadow King and Queen in Relationships November 27, 2012

If we haven’t developed the self-confidence, personal authority and sense of moral responsibility of the Sovereign it’s because we’re still unconsciously stuck in one-sidedness of some kind.  This not only impacts our leadership abilities but also contributes to problems with our partners and peers. Here’s an example of a couple that embodies negative extremes in their relationship.

Tina is stuck in the mind-set of an obsessive King.  Her husband Jay is stuck in his undeveloped Queen.  Tina and her sisters had a very authoritarian father and a timid, submissive mother. Consciously, the girls sided with their mother and rebelled against their father, but unconsciously, they grudgingly admired him for the power and respect he had in the community and felt sorry for their mother who seemed weak in comparison.

Too long under her father’s thumb, Tina overcompensates by being overly dominant in her own home, while Jay, who disliked his authoritarian step-father and identified with his gentle and sacrificial mother, is overly passive and accommodating.  If one of their children has a problem, they go to Jay because they know he will sympathize, whereas experience has taught them that Tina will be insensitive and quick to criticize.

Tina is so convinced of the rightness of her opinions and so defensive when Jay challenges her that he doesn’t speak up when he feels she’s being overbearing.  Instead, he goes to the children when she’s not around and offers them treats and sympathy.  Tina knows this and gets furious at his betrayal of her. Jay gets angry at her stubborn self-righteousness, but he hates conflict so he stuffs his feelings inside until they erupt in occasional uncontrollable outbursts.

Tina’s need for control combined with Jay’s subtle resentment and undermining of her has caused the children to side with him and rebel against her.  Although Tina and Jay have switched gender roles from those of their parents, they haven’t changed the dynamics they observed in their parental models.  One parent is an overly authoritarian Shadow King, the other, an overly sacrificial and submissive Shadow Queen.  Unless Tina and Jay recognize and heal their shadows, their children will inherit them.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

This scenario is extremely common because the one-sided paradigm of the dominant King still has a strong hold on our psyches even as we envision reciprocal partnerships between our masculine and feminine sides. Both intuition and experience tell us that this new paradigm will birth creative solutions in everyone’s best interest. Yet with comparatively few models of healthy Kings and Queens to emulate, we’re struggling mightily to subdue him and understand and respect her.

It won’t be easy for Tina and Jay to change habitual patterns of behavior. They may never even try. Both secretly yearn for more self-respect and better relationships with each other and their children, but so far they’ve resisted stirring up this hornet’s nest. Changing Woman and her companions, Conflict and Chaos, guard the threshold to our noble inheritance and inspire fear and apathy in every traveler. Yet they alone hold the keys to our noble birthright.

This is as true for society as it is for individuals.  Our world family is suffering through painful change.  The one-sided Kings of many countries are learning difficult lessons about softening their rigid positions and listening, compromising, and relating.  Repressed Queens everywhere are trying to find their voices and defend their truths without creating undue conflict or causing others pain. But one thing we can be assured of:  with every step we take toward healing our own Kings and Queens, we will empower the Sovereign that’s struggling to be born in us, our relationships, and the next generation.

My new book, Healing the Sacred Divide, can be found at this Amazon link or


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