Pascale’s triangles

Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option. Maya Angelou

I have mentioned narcissistic triangulation a few times but so far, I have never dedicated a post to it. Today I want to write about it because out of all the manipulation techniques that he used to undermine and control me, it was the most disconcerting and hurtful. Hurtful because it made me feel as if everyone else in his life was more important than me and disconcerting because he claimed I was the most important person in his life and nobody else mattered.

Triangulation was often accompanied by the silent treatment and disappearing act to make it more efficient and rend me totally powerless to confront him and demand explanations for his behaviour. He also added a heavy dose of gaslighting to make me feel as if I was the one acting irrationally.

First there were all his exes whom he kept texting and kept sending crumbs of attention to, in order to keep them hooked and let me know that he was in demand. I always had to fight for attention, while he was giving it freely to them. He pretended that they were just friend but was almost always conducting his texting while locked in the toilet, which made me think that there was more to it than what he claimed.

Now and then, as he was showing me a video on his mobile, a text would pop up, accompanied by hearts and messages of undying love. To this day, I am not sure if he knew that they would text at that particular time. The only other possibility is, that they were so often in touch that a message was bound to pop up. One day, as he was sleeping and had left his phone on my desk, one of his exes texted that she had found a new App that they could use to chat to each other without me being none the wiser. When I confronted him, he claimed that he knew nothing about it.

At the height of devaluation, he would start relating to me what they had said to him. I was jealous and controlling and that he would be much better off with them. “Marta says that you’re controlling and that I should get back with her. “I was extremely puzzled by that comment especially since he had told me that the reason he did not like her was that she was controlling!

Additionally, there were all his new prospects. Mainly his colleagues or clients. He would discuss our relationship with them but always refuse to discuss it with me. Whenever I wanted to talk about the issues we were facing, he always dodged the bullet, pretending he was too busy or too upset to talk about it. However, he made a great show of telling me how understanding they were and how they would tell him that my anxiety was ruining our relationship. He would come home at all hours, telling me that he was late because he had been talking to a colleague as he was trying to save our relationship by talking to other people as he needed to figure out what was wrong.

Finally, another of his triangulation tactics was to constantly ignore any pieces of advice I gave him while taking the same advice from a third party. “My friend told me that it would be a good idea if I did A&B.” I would react in anger because I had told him exactly the same a few days earlier and he had completely ignored me. That made me feel as if I was always talking to the wind, which with hindsight I realised was exactly what I was doing.

In the relationship triangle, also known as the drama triangle, we usually alternatively take on the roles of Victim, persecutor or rescuer. In the narcissistic relationship triangle, the narcissists always see themselves as the victim and his partners alternate between being persecutor or rescuers, depending on what the narcissist wants and what stage of the Narcissistic Abuse Cycle their victims currently are. They never see themselves as persecutors, although they are most of the time.

I could go on and on, giving examples of his triangulation. What I am writing about in this post is only the tip of the iceberg. There were many more incidents, some that I have forgotten and some that I will remember forever. For anybody who has never been involved with a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, triangulation may seem trivial. Just a little game to spice up a relationship by creating competition. However, if you have ever had the unfortunate bad luck of being involved with one, you must know how emotionally destructive triangulation is.

No Contact was the only way for me to escape triangulation. There was never a moment of respite from it as long as we were still in touch. It was a relentless attack on my self-esteem and sanity. I deserved better than being a pawn in someone’s tug of war game.

I feel sorry for the people he triangulated me with as they were mainly unaware of his acts. He used me to hurt them and he used them to hurt me. They thought they were being faithful and loyal  friends.

I am out of the game. I hope that one day they will realise the part they unwittingly played in my abuse and that they will get out of the game too.


  1. The feeling that everyone else is more important than you is quite horrid. Towards the ultimate discard, the narc would treat all sorts of friends and acquaintances to diners and lunches but would only have time to meet me for a quick coffee somewhere at a train station. And then you realize that while you were still thinking you were trying to salvage the once so perfect relationship, he was already telling everyone how he feels sorry for you because you struggle with the break-up so much. Hmmmm, poor you, you believed him when he was manipulating you that you were the love of his life, oh gosh, he feels so sorry for you. But you know what, you were always unstable and kind of crazy, right?

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Yes, triangulation is only the tip of the iceberg. I’m still trying to figure out how I fell for it all! Let’s talk about that here. How (forget about the who, what, when, where). Please let’s talk about HOW we got into such a relationship in the first place. Look inward, so as not to let it happen again. We must have been desperate for attention and love (whatever love means). I’ve lost my focal point. Why did I enter that relationship in the first place? We fell for a trick. It’s a trick (trap). It’s a trick, it’s a trap. It’s a trap, trap, trap! I thought I was smarter than that. Not so. Pride comes before the fall.

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  3. I was just remembering my sister’s 40th birthday party, 16 years ago. We drove an hour, brought roses and a gift, and she blatantly ignored me and talked to her “friend” the entire time we were there. I am out of the game as well. I lost my entire family-a brother, sister and nieces and nephews. It hurt, it sucked, it was traumatizing-but well worth the life I live now. You fly high, sister.

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  4. It hurts so much. My narc ghosted me and after him ghosting all his secrets and lies came out, all the games he played… I was so crushed, horrible months… I still did not know what I was dealing with and I still tried to get in touch with him… my healing journey started the day I went no contact… All these times he told me I am crazy when I had a feeling that something is wrong. They drive you crazy with all the lies and things going on behind your back. But now 1,5 years I actually think that it was one of the best things which happened to me. If I wasn’t no contact I should actually write him a thank you note. This all started my healing journey from codependency and it changed my life in such a positive way. I still struggle with things, but I am living my life now…:))) we can turn that sour bitter lemon in a sweet lemonade so let’s do that…;) xo

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  5. Striking the head of the nail… deciding if we are the ones on the cross or them… Sometimes I feel as though I am screaming into a canyon… with only my echo to respond… people are ignorant… we either except it or let it drive us crazy… is it okay?… no… will it changes… haha… that is the shit driving me insane… hang on… you’re not crazy…. we are just few and far between…. sadly…

    Great piece… logical sense… a luxury we shouldn’t waste…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You are so right about triangulation! Mine pulled the same stunt. He got a text from a member of the harem while he was asleep. He’s lucky I didn’t text her back. I used to just think the harem were stupid. I mean I was trapped and wanted out.It was still hard though when I had eventually realised the whole relationship had been fake. Mine constantly triangulated me with work colleagues, his boss and his mother. He would answer the phone, no matter what we were doing and go along with virtually anything which was requested. I saw Sam Vaknin brilliantly demonstrate how it works on You Tube. He had the entire audience at his beck and call, simply because he had ignored them for a few minutes.

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  7. I would be constantly told everybody else’s sob stories. I told him to pretend I was one of the women who constantly seemed to feel able to pour out their problems to them. He would just laugh but it did stop me becoming involved in other people’s nonsense.
    I will never forget the day when the man who could barely get out of bed when I was in full blown labour, whom I had to have to beg to help me out when I had to deal with a sick child, jumped joyfully up to help a neighbor who wanted to get some medicine. It was not an emergency and she had plenty of relatives to help her, while I had nobody.
    It is even more devastating when they triangulate their own children.

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  8. Flirting often looks dumb when you see it from the outside doesn’t it? Some woman put on this ridiculous false laugh. I think he liked to keep as many women as possible dangling but he had no real interest in a relationship. He wanted mother figures.

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  9. I shared your determination not to become part of any harem. I think he sensed that about me, which is probably why I was his primary supply for so long. I realise now I had been in a relationship with a narc before. This guy had even shown me how he could manipulate women into doing stuff for him. He was a relatively healthy narc who I believe used running to help keep himself in check. I actually think running can give them a thrill somewhat similar to narcissistic supply. This guy had a harem but did not seem to display the openly abusive behaviour.

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  10. IThe other narc gave me demonstration of his manipulative ability. It was hilarious to watch. I think this was actually a blessing.However I viewed these stunts as a joke. I never dreamed that I had been falling for that kind of nonsense for probably my entire life.

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