RELATIONSHIPS
What Is Triangulation In A Relationship?
By AMANDA CHATEL
Sometimes one partner in a couple doesn’t want to handle the relationship’s problems on their own and reaches out to a third party to get their insight on the issue. Third parties can be beneficial as long as they’re unbiased and, ideally, a trained professional; however, some partners opt to involve a close friend or family member; this is called triangulation.
According to PsychCentral, triangulation is when one partner brings a third person into a conflict within a relationship as a way to “remain in control.” In many cases, triangulation is a way for a narcissist to manipulate their relationship by playing both their partner and the third party against each other, and, unwittingly or not, is a form of abuse.
“[Bringing in a third party] is usually done to create emotional distance and space between the abuser and the person they would like to control or manipulate,” says marriage and family therapist Tameca Dove. If a couple is communicating, it shouldn’t be necessary to bring in someone else to “fix” their problems unless that person is a trained counselor or therapist.