Triangulation In Relationships: 5 Best Steps To Overcome It

What does triangulation in relationships mean?

If you find yourself entangled in the web of a complicated relationship or relying on third parties for validation and to navigate your conflicts, this post is for you. In this post, we will answer three of your most pressing questions, including:.

  • What are the signs of triangulation?
  • What does it mean when someone tries to triangulate you?
  • What does triangulation in relationships mean, etc.?

We will also explore the various forms triangulation and the impact it can have on our professional and personal relationships.

After reading this post, you will have learned how to recognize the signs of triangulation and address the underlying challenges. The good news is that ideas from this post will help you develop healthier communication patterns to strengthen and improve your mental well-being.

What Is Triangulation?


Triangulation refers to a dynamic where one person likes to involve third party during relationship dynamics, usually to control or manipulate the other. Triangulation in relationships involve couple, and it is not healthy for any couple.

This can come in many forms, such as seeking support or validation from someone outside of the relationship or using someone to make the partner feel jealous.

According to research by Dr. Murray Bowen, triangulation is common in a dysfunctional family system. In a study by Solomon and Knobloch, they found out that 80% of the people surveyed experienced triangulation in their romantic relationships

Another psychologist, Dr. Johnson, described it as a toxic game where people try to manage their anxiety by manipulating others.”

How Do You Know If You Are Being Triangulated?

1. You Look Like A Spectator In Your Relationship:

One thing Triangulation in marriage will do to you is to make you look like an outsider in your own marriage Feeling like a Spectator in your relationship can be a very painful experience.

That means you are no longer relevant in your own marriage, but a bystander. All you do is watch your partner unfold his drama and conflicts.

That also means that your needs, thoughts and feelings are minimized or ignored. It will make you feel like you are in a reality show where your relationship is the chief attraction and others are stars.

This can be stressful and emotionally draining, leaving you feeling helpless,  disconnected and confused of how to regain control again. To break free from this, you have to recognize the signs on time and dedicate your self to reclaiming it.

2. Consistent Conflicts And Always Mediated By Others:

Another red flag that your partner is triangulating you is when your partner constantly avoids direct confrontation or brings in third party to resolve your conflicts.

Whenever you discover that your partner always involves outsiders in your disagreements and won’t address issues directly with you, that’s a clear sign.

3. They Don’t Care About Your Boundaries:

Your triangulating partner doesn’t want to know about your boundaries or would disregard them. The worst is that they can involve people in your personal life without your permission.

When someone neglects your boundaries, they ignore your limits and do whatever they want without caring about your feelings. All these will make you feel powerless, disrespected, and as though you are losing control.

A good partner respects boundaries, but triangulation neglects them, just to make you feel unimportant. Remember that your boundaries are important, and it’s essential that you protect them and say “no” when anyone tries to overstep them.

4. They will always compare you with others.

Triangulation usually involves comparing someone to others. So if your partner derives joy from constantly comparing you with others, that’s a red flag.

This tactic is emotionally draining, and it fosters a sense of inadequacy and competition. Consistently comparing others makes them feel insecure and undermines their self-esteem.

It creates a type of dynamic where someone feels always judged and their autonomy is completely destroyed. Over time, trust can be destroyed, and resentment will set in because the victims of triangulation feel undervalued and sidelined.

5. They prefer indirect communication or communication through a third party.

You will also find out that your partner is avoiding having a direct interaction with you; instead, they will involve a third party like friends, family, or social media to convey their emotions or messages.

They’ll prefer to involve intermediaries to express themselves or address concerns, therefore creating complex relationships. This normally leads to misinterpretations, destruction of connections, and misunderstandings in a relationship, and it hinders conflict resolution.

6. Your Loyalty Is Questioned or Guilt-Ripped:

Another sign of triangulation in relationships is that it will make you feel guilty because you didn’t prioritize your partner’s needs, so you can question your own loyalty. 

Your partner will make you feel responsible for their emotions and well-being while your own needs are neglected. You may also be accused of being uncaring or selfish when you don’t comply with their expectations.

All these can make you have self-doubt and feel obligated. Recognizing this pattern is important for breaking free from the guilt trip and regaining your self-worth.

7. The emotional validation comes from outside the relationship:

One of the biggest signs of triangulation in relationships is seeking validation from outside. Your partner or you may constantly seek emotional validation from sources outside your marriage instead of directly addressing your concerns.

This behavior may come from a lack of communication or trust within your relationship, which leads them to seek validation or reassurance from outside.

To address this dynamic, you must be open in your communication and restore your trust so your partner can turn to you for emotional support.

What Type of Person Uses Triangulation in Relationships?

People who use triangulation in relationships or elsewhere often manifest different traits. I will mention and explain most of those characteristics here. However, keep in mind that this may not be present for every individual.

It is important that you recognize these characteristics so you can navigate complex relationships and set clear boundaries in your relationship.

  • The people who are manipulative love to use shame, obligation, and guilt to control their victims.
  • Narcissistic: These are people who see themselves as superior to others. They prioritize their desires and needs over those of other people.
  • Emotional Unavailable People: These are people who struggle with genuine connection or intimacy.
  • Those with low self-esteem and insecurity: They don’t have faith in themselves, so they use triangulation to validate themselves.
  • They Lack Empathy: They are the ones that do not care about anybody’s feelings or needs.
  • Passive-Aggressive Behavior: They prefer to use indirect methods to express their frustrations or anger.
  • Power Dynamics: They love to use triangulation to have superiority and gain control in relationships.

Once you see these lifestyles in them and know they are 100% triangulation partners, then set your boundaries immediately so you can overcome them.

How to Deal With Triangulation in Relationships:

1. Through open and honest communication:

Encouraging open and honest communication will help you tackle triangulation in relationships. This is all about creating a safe environment where both of you can express your feelings and concerns without being afraid or judged.

Each of you should be encouraged to express their needs and boundaries clearly and be an active listener without interrupting or dismissing the other perspective.

It is also important to avoid taking sides or playing the role of mediator; instead, focus on finding solutions that will benefit both of you. By fostering mutual respect and understanding, it will be easy for you to navigate your issues constructively and improve your relationship bond.

2. Set clear boundaries:

Another way to approach triangulation in relationships is to clearly set your boundaries. This involves establishing guidelines for behavior and communication that will promote healthy interaction in your relationship.

Your boundaries can look like this: avoiding gossip, avoiding third parties during conflicts, and respecting each other’s privacy.

It is pertinent that both of you make your dessert your boundaries and then respect them. As you define your boundaries and enforce them, you reduce the likelihood of triangulation and build healthier dynamics overall.

3. Concentrate on self-reflection and personal growth.

You can also tackle triangulation in your relationship by improving yourself. This includes taking responsibility for your thoughts, feelings and actions. Always examine your roles in perpetuating triangulation dynamics.

It also involves identifying the underlying fears, past experiences, and insecurities that are contributing to those behaviors and taking steps to resolve them.

By cultivating emotional intelligence and self-awareness, you can develop your communication skills and healthier coping mechanisms. This will, in turn, lead to a more authentic and fulfilling relationship.

Also, seeking counseling and therapy can provide you with valuable support and guidance in this process of self-discovery and growth.

4. Foster A Sense Of Independence And Autonomy:

Another way to navigate in relationships is to foster a sense of autonomy and independence within yourselves. This is all about pursuing your personal hobbies, independence, and goals outside of your relationship.

By nurturing your individual fulfillment and self-esteem, you can reduce the urge to seek validation or support from third parties. Moreover, having a strong sense of self gives you opportunity to communicate your needs and boundaries clearly to reduce triangulation

Cultivating a healthy balance between autonomy and togetherness will lead both of you to more harmonious and resilient relationship dynamics.

5. Practice Understanding And Empathy:

The next valuable strategy for navigating Triangulation in relationships is to practice empathy and understanding your partner. Before you take any action, always put yourself in your partner’s shoes to understand their emotions and motivations.

By empathizing with your partner’s feelings and experiences, you can build compassion and connection that enable you to easily resolve your conflicts.

Moreover, empathy helps to validate your spouses experiences and emotions and reduce the needs for Triangulation as a way of seeking support.

Cultivating empathy requires empathy, active listening and willingness to first understand your partner than being right. That will strengthen your relationship bonds.


Triangulation in relationships mean involving third parties to manipulate or control your partner. The signs includes constant conflicts Mediated by third party, feeling like outsider, disrespecting boundaries, etc.

To deal with Triangulation in romantic relationships, you have to talk openly, set boundaries, reflect on yourself, understand your partner and be independent.

Read this post carefully to understand how to navigate this horrible behavior.

See you at the top. Your in-house counselor, Murphyaik,.

Aik: AIK UCHEGBU is a writer and an authority in anything that matters about marriage and how to build it successfully. His followers have been greatly enhanced by his findings. You will not be disappointed by coming to this site.