Relationship Triangles

I’ve realised that me and my boyfriend are currently playing the roles of “rescuer” and “victim” – then both “persecutor” at times – we are totally following the Karpman’s triangle/relationship triangle to a tee –

It is hugely eye-opening for me that my whole life, all of my relationships, I’ve attracted men that might “look after me” and have automatically fallen into the “victim” role – without realising… then they get fed up with their role, or I do, and it goes wrong and ends – I had no idea.  Recognising that pattern is very insightful but * at the same time.  I feel ashamed, embarrassed, guilty, weak…. Stupid.

I was looking for stuff in my boyfriends that no adult can give me – unconditional love – protection – safety of never being abandoned etc.  I have basically been searching for a mother/father role haven’t I?  In boyfriends?

I need to learn not to try and seek that stuff from boyfriends…. I need to not expect or want my boyfriend to mind-read or fix me when I am down.  I guess I need to deal with my counselling stuff with T and not bring that home – it clearly doesn’t help the dynamic.

Being “looked after” is a parent/child thing – not a relationship thing.  Perhaps that is why the sex life took a tumble…. I mean, who wants to have sex with their child!! Perhaps that also explains the lack of romance and the lack of effort in keeping the “relationship” alive… because the relationship has turned into purely rescuer/victim stuff……. There hasn’t been room for romance? Isn’t that sad? I feel very upset about that.

I feel stupid really because I thought I had finally found a relationship that was entirely different. I thought it was just the men that I was picking that were wrong for me, I hadn’t realised it wasn’t that I was just picking the wrong men – I’ve been entering into this triangle thing every time, even with my boyfriend . I thought boyfriend was the “hero” that came along and made it all better – and that is entirely the problem.

I feel scared that now this has come out into the open that we won’t be able to tolerate it. What if we can’t fix it? What if boyfriend is put off completely and can’t see me any differently after “seeing” it?

I feel ashamed that I’ve done this – that I’ve let this happen. What if I do lose him … is our love strong enough for us to climb out of this triangle together and still be okay? I’ve spent the last 3 years feeling so sure I have finally found “the one”. Someone that I feel safe with, secure with, someone I don’t worry about cheating on me or leaving me – someone that “gets me”, encourages me and supports me. Having someone that understands all that I do in my counselling and can be there for me when I am going through tough times without judgment..  and now I realise we’ve been in these roles, does that mean none of it was real?

He said a while ago, “God, being the rescuer is tiring.  Can I be vulnerable for a while?” and I feel panic all over me that he has admitted he is tired of his role … he was resenting me and I didn’t even know. How blind have I been?

How do we turn this around? I know the fact we’ve been able to identify our roles in this is a great start… but now what happens? How do you change the only dynamic you’ve ever known in each other.. in the relationship… how do I stop that need of mine to be looked after and protected when its clearly been automatic and unconscious desire all this time? My entire life? How do I get that need met elsewhere – or put it to bed… to stop it ruining another relationship. It wouldn’t have mattered who I met if I had that need, I guess………

I assume that I met boyfriend and he was attracted to my vulnerability because it was less threatening to him than his ex wife was… he didn’t feel needed or loved or appreciated by his ex-wife and he met me and I was sending out signals left, right and centre that I needed him and I would be grateful – that was the pull. He sent me signals that he would be caring, stable and give me unconditional love and that was my pull… our roles in the triangle were born there and then. We just had no idea. I remember reading this article a long while ago and being too afraid to show him. I was afraid that if he read it, realised it was true that he would leave. And now he has read it, I feel the same.

I know logically it isn’t just my fault. It is both of our issues that have allowed for it to happen and I know that I am working on myself in counselling so I am doing the best I can do, but I do feel extremely worried and upset right now that maybe now we’ve realised, it can’t ever be hidden again. I can’t bear to think that we might not be “real”.

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2 thoughts on “Relationship Triangles

  1. It can definitely be worked with with commitment from you both. And the things is, in every relationship we all move around the triangle, it only becomes unhealthy when it’s really out of balance, when people get stuck in the same position. Really it’s just about both of you learning a new way of communicating your needs and both meeting each others needs and well as your own.

    Liked by 1 person

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