Triangulation means never having to say you’re sorry.
Do you ever wonder why we don’t just jump into a post? Why do we need to have this little prelude to the good stuff? Is this some sort of literary foreplay before the pounding intercourse of the real writing? Nah. We do this to help us set up a premise. It is our way of setting the parameters and tone of the post. Like boundaries with words. When you write as a team, you can get a little muddled and your point can get lost in the different perspectives. So what’s the Don’ts of Relationship today?
Lee says: Back in April, we wrote a post called ‘Foul: Too many men on the field’. Recently a quote from the same post was used in an featured article done on CoupleDumb that has been syndicated nationally (yeah, I had to mention that because it’s so amazing and I can only say THANK YOU!) The quote was ‘Whatever happened to old fashioned fucking? Seriously people! You aren’t getting scored by an international judge…’ This post discussed the raising of the bar sexually and how when you bring someone else into the bedroom it can mess up your relationship. But the point of the exasperation wasn’t necessarily because of what it could do to your sex life. Thus bringing us to our fourth rule:
Don’t bring in a third person.
This is not referring solely to sexual exploits but to any relationship. For example, you and your spouse are angry with one another and your husband mentions that your mother never liked him. All of a sudden, you are defending your mother and the focus is off the relationship issue. Or, you are angry with your wife and you go out with your friends and talk shit about her. Or, it has been a while since you have spent quality time with your spouse and you are concerned that things are falling apart so you spend the day playing with the kids. Or worse yet, you tell your child that their mother/father is cheating on you thus involving them in your relationship.
This is called triangulation. We create this triangle to relieve the stress of the relationship. Instead of a line between me and you, we can now deflect our feelings through a third source. By doing this, couples, parents, and friends can avoid dealing with their feelings and maintain a relationship on a strange parasitic life support. As children, we know what it was like to have our parents use us as buffers or messengers. We know they played us against the other. It could have been totally subtle or it may have been overt but it happened. Perhaps you were blessed with perfect parents who never told you to ‘ask your father/mother’. Most likely, they did do these things because actually caring about the emotional scarring of a child didn’t really start gaining popularity until about 20 years ago.
As a couple, Paul and I know that we need to be of one mind and a unitfied front when it comes to the world. Triangulation isn’t only an activity that occurs when a pair brings in a third. Sometimes, you will have people try to violate your boundaries and muscle into your world. Like the parents who need to give you their two cents on when, where and how you should have kids. Perhaps it’s a ‘friend’ who needs to be around you and has no boundaries and wouldn’t be opposed to some intimacy from either of you. For some that sounds hot but ultimately it will be the end of your relationship. The rift that is created through triangulation is filled with all the words unsaid and the hurt that we keep to ourselves.
Paul and I have policies and procedures in place for this sort of incursion. The intruder is given a warning shot usually in the form of a gentle nudge or in the case of our kids a loving ‘butt out!’. The next step is to sit a person down and tell them that your relationship with your spouse is off limits. In the case of your Mom and Dad it goes something like this, ‘Mom, Dad, I love you but this is my relationship and although I respect your opinion, my spouse and I will make our own decisions’. If that doesn’t work then we resort to more drastic methods and we may use the tried and true ‘Back the fuck up, parental units. We’ll do whatever we want!’.
Paul says: I’m a big fan of moving without telling anyone. That works well with friends, parents and children.