Imagine, if you will, a teacher and the parents speaking via counselor; divorcing spouses venting to their children; and one man torn between his wife and his mother. These are all instances of triangulation, a perilous tool.
Sometimes it’s useful to have an external mediator in a situation fraught with potential conflict. For example, as a counselor, I was often the “third wheel” between parents and their children’s teachers. I facilitated a healthy, affirming dialogue centered on the needs of the child.
But I have often seen, in my own life and in the lives of people around me, that triangulation can be misused and even weaponized. In the wrong hands, triangulation can become a source of drama and infighting between a parent and their children, wounded in-law relationships, or even long-lasting emotional trauma for a child unwittingly turned surrogate spouse.
In this episode, I’ll discuss the good and the bad of triangulation. In addition, I’ll discuss some of the means at your disposal to combat emerging patterns of triangulation and overcome your trauma with an abundance of love. And overcome it you must, for your own sake as well as for the sake of your children.
As always, the key to healing is compassion, understanding, and that abundance of love. Learning to love yourself and forgive your parents is half the battle. Above all, know that you don’t have to continue the cycle of triangulation in your adult relationships. That is true freedom!
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