I’ve been watching the new HBO show “Tell Me You Love Me” which is a dream for anyone interested in analyzing relationships. The show details the intimate emotions and sexuality of three young couples in various stages of marriage and it’s the kind of drama that makes you wince because it’s so real.

The first couple, Jamie and Hugo, are in their 20s and in the first episode we find them planning their wedding. Jamie is younger, perhaps 25, and Hugo is in his late 20s and very likely in his Saturn return. We overhear him talking to friends that Jamie is the one he wants “right now” – Jamie overhears this also and is carried away by her insecurity to the point that she can’t have a conversation with him without bringing this up again and again. Hugo prizes honesty above all else and doesn’t want any secrets in their relationship but Jamie just can’t handle it.

Venus is in Scorpio in my chart and squares Pluto, a dynamic that brings with it a terror of rejection and I remember well the fear that I see in her character. The Venus/Pluto square has healed and become better integrated and I no longer experience the jealousy and dark desire for drama that used to drive me, but its imprint remains behind to remind me of what lies just on the other side of my current mental health.

The second couple, Palek and Carolyn, are both in their 30s. They have survived their Saturn returns and are now successful professionals leading an upscale urban lifestyle. Carolyn is having difficulty becoming pregnant and deals with this in the way she does everything in her life: with Capricornian zeal and determination. Her single-minded focus is driving Palek away as he feels he is losing their relationship for the sake of bearing a child. Palek is perhaps a Libra, he has tried to accommodate Carolyn’s needs in order to preserve the relationship, but the relationship is in danger of becoming a sacrifice to the goal of achieving pregnancy.

This couple is probably in their Pluto square, the cycle that occurs when transiting Pluto makes a square to Pluto in our birthcharts. This is a powerful time where we are often forced to let go of people or dreams or illusions that will not serve as us as we evolve. Because of Pluto’s elliptical orbit, the Pluto square occured in my generation in the mid-40s but is now affecting those in their mid-30s. This is a 3-5 year cycle and can be powerfully intense. Many astrologers dismiss this transit as being “generational” and therefore not affecting us as individuals but I have not found this to be the case. The Pluto square can be quite intense, particularly if we don’t voluntarily let go of what needs to end during this time.

The third couple, David and Katie, are in their 40s with two young children, and there has been no sex in their marriage for a year. David is a dutiful husband and father, attending sporting events, behaving lovingly towards his wife; still, we see that he is overwhelmed by his responsibilities and the show notes reveal that he has shut down his emotional world as a result. Katie is similarly overwhelmed by the responsibilities of life and family and feels she has become lost to herself. David has Taurus qualities – finding comfort in the security of his life and valuing stability above all things. Katie has Pisces/Neptune qualities; she has a bottomless well of love for her family but has lost herself in the process of giving everything to them.

These two are very likely experiencing the Uranus opposition that occurs at age 40-42 and begins breaking down the structures that we have used to protect ourselves from our own dreams. When Uranus begins rattling the cages of our psyche all hell can break loose, and this is particularly difficult for security-oriented people like David who are afraid of change. Katie is beginning to look for herself as an individual and that threatens him, but in the end it will breathe the air into their marriage that is desperately needed.

Then there are the elders: Dr. May Foster, the therapist that is treating two of the couples, and her husband Arthur. Both are in their 60s and have been married for 43 years, surviving the ups and downs of life and love. Their relationship is healthy and it is obvious that they both love and respect each other, offering the space for each to grow free from blame. Still, there are hints of an ongoing struggle in the navigation of the polarity between “who am I” and “who am I in my primary relationship.” This axis is represented in the birthchart by the ascendant/descendant axis and the first and seventh houses which, like all polarities, requires constant rebalancing and integration in order to be fully functional.

This is a hard show to watch, but it’s a fascinating show for those (like me) with a psychological eye.

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