I wrote the content below in January 2014. A year and a half into our relationship, when things first started to go to shit because of the same girl (the one I refer to as his obsession). I actually forgot about this until I was going through my old emails. I was scared to publish blogs during my relationship since I was made to feel crazy about my feelings in general. This woman was used as a form of manipulation called triangulation. Triangulation is when a toxic or manipulative person, often a person with strong narcissistic traits, brings a third person into their relationship in order to remain in control. There will be limited or no communication between the two triangulated individuals except through the manipulator. It may appear in different forms, but all are about divide and conquer, or playing people against each other. According to Psychology today, people who have narcissistic personality disorder frequently use triangulation to enhance their feelings of superiority, raise their self-esteem, devalue other people, and keep potential competitors off-balance.
I stayed for another FIVE AND A HALF YEARS after this. I was often, and am still often asked why I stayed for so long. I was in a trauma bond ( https://fiercelyanya.com/2020/08/27/trauma-bonding-why-you-cant-cut-the-cord/) , always trying to please him and make myself feel good enough in his eyes. I didn’t know that was never going to happen. The signs were all there- in writing but it wasn’t enough for me to leave. Please don’t victim blame when men or women don’t leave their abusers. There is psychological evidence that “quitting” a narcissist is harder than kicking heroin. Just be there to pick up the pieces when the victim finally has the courage to leave. It took a brain tumor for me- every person has their own breaking point. I am blessed to be where I am now, I am blessed that we didn’t actually get married. I am blessed to be free. I am blessed to be helping other victims. I am blessed to now have the best man by my side every day. I broke the cycle and so should you.
Since the beginning of the relationship “she” has been there, lingering as a part of our lives. Initially I only know her as a name, and then eventually as a face and a personality. Although his reputation wasn’t the best, I trusted him because he made me feel as though I should.
I overlooked issues that came up throughout the relationship including finding out he’s been intimate with a few people in his friendship circle that have been in my home (sometimes more than one at a time), he had an affair with a female neighbor (and thought nothing of having her husband make them dinner before inviting her over to give him a blow job) and he has a general love for women.
But after time, “she” becomes more frequent in his life. A friend for 20 years who grew apart from her husband and closer to my future husband. She goes shopping with him, meets him for coffees, lunches, dinners. A friend who calls him on her way home from work, texts him often and relies on him for everything.
I tell him that it’s starting to make me uncomfortable and that I would appreciate more boundaries. He tells me that I’m crazy and there is nothing strange about their friendship. Even when his family and friends ask me how I feel about their friendship and how I feel about her always being around, it’s not supposed to be alarming. They all see how he looks at her and what he is willing to do for her. I know I want to trust him, even though I see an emotional bond that makes me feel like an outsider. I try to become friends with her but it’s hard to relate to her at times and she doesn’t always respond. I try again and make a little bit of progress but it’s a surface friendship because we are completely different people.
I finally ask him the question that is always on a girl’s mind when her man has a female friend, “Has anything ever happened between you?” He tells me no, and I believe him but my next question is, well would you? His response “Well yeah I would fuck her but she wouldn’t let that happen.” Well, isn’t that comforting? He even admits that he wanted a relationship with her at one time (years prior) but she said no.
I remind myself that she’s married and that he’s trustworthy. Things keep moving along. And then, bam, she’s getting divorced because her husband is no longer invested in the marriage (what a surprise). And I know immediately, that she will now be calling more, texting more, around more and need much more. It happens before I can even finish the thought. She needs help with moving, she needs a shoulder to cry on, she needs advice and so on. I understand that she doesn’t have many people in her circle, so I try to back off, but as every day passes, I realize that it’s only going to get worse. Even when she doesn’t show up to things for him, doesn’t reciprocate the friendship, does or says things that make him angry, he never falters on the friendship. She can do no wrong. He makes excuses for her -she had a tough upbringing, she has no support system, and so on and so forth, so she’s excused from having to be more than what she is willing to be.
In the meantime, I survived years of hell and abuse that he will never know or understand but yet I’m criticized for everything I do. My parenting, cleaning skills, desire to “save the world” is too much, my cleavage shows too much, my ass is too big and any other thing that may need to be critiqued on a daily basis to make me feel like I am never good enough. But I don’t get the same excuses that “she” does. I am held to a higher standard.
And no matter how many times I voice my disgust with the level of this friendship and how many times everything I predict will happen, happens, he tells me that I’m crazy. He says she is like his sister. I remind him that he wouldn’t fuck his sister but that doesn’t seem to strike a chord with him.
As I try to process this in my mind and am sitting at my kitchen counter, a picture pops up on a phone that shares a line with his (our business cell). It’s a selfie of “her” with a sad face and her dog. I’m not quite sure how it got to that phone but I had to look and wonder, why is she sending him a picture?
Now their texting begins. Do I look? Do I tell him? Do I turn off the phone? Curiosity got the best of me and I had to see what this was really about. They ask each other what they are doing and because I see where the texting is going, I haven’t been very nice in my texts to him so he tells her that we are fighting, but fails to mention it’s because of her. She of course, needs to be protected, enabled and coddled from the truth that could hurt her- the same things he criticizes me for, saying that I do that to my children. As soon as she hears that he’s upset with me, she invites him to come over. To come over to her new space, a house she is in alone and asks him what time he’s working until the next day. Although the texting is “harmless”, it is inappropriate in my eyes for any woman and man to be at this level when they are “just friends”. They clearly still have no boundaries.
I told him weeks ago, that her divorce was going to be the death of us as a couple, but he continues to disregard that. When confronted, he refuses to acknowledge that there is any issue and instead, I am an asshole because I looked at the texts from her after seeing her face pop up on a phone that was sitting in front of my face.
He is LIVID with me. I broke HIS trust. I violated him. I am crazy and psycho. And says that now I should evaluate if I still want to marry him, if he’s “worth it”. This is his final response. He simply cannot see the wedge that she has put into our relationship or more importantly the wedge that HE has put into our relationship because of the way this has been handled.
So, what do I do?
Do I trust him?
I think so
Do I think he loves me?
Do I think this is fair to me?
Do I think he would have a sexual relationship with her?
If she allowed it.
Does he have an emotional relationship with her that could compromise our relationship?
So, the question is, can I accept it, will he ever understand or be willing to change anything and….IS HE WORTH IT?
*The screenshot is from January 2017 when I saw a cover photo on her facebook page of her dog, and on the nightstand behind the dog was a framed photo ot the two of them with his arm around her. She was a neverending source of triangulation.
Definition of Triangulation https://www.psychcentral.com/blog/psychology-self/2019/10/triangulation-and-narcissism#3