I like math and hate shopping – obviously, as a female I was betrayed by my genes long before my husband happened by. I remember vividly, the first time protractors were handed out in grade six math class…discovering all those angles and shapes that came along with geometry lessons made my heart beat a little bit faster. Who needed catalogue shopping anyway?
Oddly enough, early-on triangle concepts made me uncomfortable. It wasn’t so much about the sharp corners – but yes, ouch – they could hurt. Discovering strange relationship dynamics and skewed time parameters occurring within triangles caused me greater grief.
Three people in any intimate primary relationship is probably one person too many. I often wished someone had dared to share this insight with my parents early-on and then further explained how feelings and communication are best directed at the specific person involved.
Sometimes, especially if there is past history of withholding feelings and/or poor conflict resolution, a third person is introduced to reduce anxiety and/or decrease the intensity of feelings within a core relationship. Hey, we all need friends, buffers and social outlets. And for sure children or elderly parents make things complicated. But – note-to-self – if those extra outlets are a little too handy for avoiding conflict or halting growth …red flags need to start waving.
Triangulation in essence is two against one. It took me years to figure out this added third party could also be an addiction, a hobby or a sport. Husband and I drifted into spending more time talking about “the partner” or avoiding “the partner” to minimize our uncomfortable feelings and get through the day.
Trust and intimacy are the real building blocks in a healthy relationship – avoidance through triangulation merely feels safer. My motto these days? Cut the corners out and play it straight.