How Will Mars Retrograde Affect Your Marriage? Here's What You're In For

You might have heard that Mars is in retrograde again for the first time in two years. But what does it actually mean? While I don't entirely buy into the idea that the planets and stars run our lives, many people I know credit (and blame) their horoscope for everything from their relationships to their careers. My astrological profile is surprisingly accurate, too, and when things get weird in my life chances are it's a full moon. So, how will Mars in retrograde affect your marriage? If you're a believer, there are a few things you should know.

According to NASA.gov, Mars in retrograde simply means that the planet Mars appears to move backwards in the night sky because of where it is during its orbit around the sun and in relationship to Earth. The planet isn't actually going anywhere, though — it's an optical illusion that only happens once every two years. According to Astrology.com, Mars is officially in retrograde from June 26 to Aug. 27, and astrologers believe Mars moving backwards can completely change your astrological outlook (depending on your sign of the zodiac, of course).

Because Mars is associated with war, assertiveness, and sex, Armand M. Diaz, Ph.D. of Integral Astrology, warns couples that it can impact your relationship, especially when it comes to your sex life or if you're just starting something new. So if you notice turbulent times in your marriage in the coming weeks, chances are you can go ahead and blame Mars.

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According to NASA.gov, because planets travel in oval-shaped orbits around the sun, every so often it will appear to people on Earth as though other planets — including Mercury, Jupiter, and Mars — are moving backwards in the night sky. This retrograde movement understandably freaked out ancient astronomers, who had no idea what was happening at the time. While today we know why this happens, some people believe this optical illusion can completely change your horoscope and mood, depending on a planet's movement in relationship to the stars.

According to astrology.com, some of us will notice when Mars is in retrograde more than others. The same site notes that people born under the signs Aquarius (Jan. 20 - Feb. 18) and Capricorn (Dec. 22 - Jan. 19) are likely to feel the greatest impact of Mars in retrograde in 2018, because of where Mars is located in relationship to those specific constellations

According to the same site, Mars's backward movement will impact different signs in different ways. Capricorns will be more likely to overspend in response to the overwhelming urge to make changes. Since finances can be a common source of marital strife, if you or your spouse is a Capricorn you might want to set some ground rules and a budget for spending during this time.

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Astrology.com also warns that Aquarians are likely to feel Mars in retrograde the most intensely. While normally comfortable with change, people born under this sign will likely crave some stability and normalcy. If you or your partner was born under the sign of Aquarius, it might be time to stay home and follow a comforting routine until Mars settles down, rather than trying to make too many changes.

If you aren't an Aquarius or Capricorn, Diaz warns that Mars in retrograde can still affect your relationship — specifically your sex life. As he writes on Integral Astology, "Astrologers often caution that activities signified by a planet are best avoided when the planet is retrograde." He does reassure couples that this doesn't mean avoiding sex altogether, it just means Mars in retrograde might not be the best time to start having sex with a new partner.

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If you and your partner have been together a while, Diaz adds that should expect your energy level to wane during the weeks that Mars is in retrograde, too, especially when it comes to things like sex, exercise, or a new job. Unfortunately, Diaz also adds that we have a tendency to seek out these things when Mars is in retrograde, and we won't be able to see them through. He advises that you resist the urge to start something new in your life or relationship until Mars is back to normal.