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How to spot and dissolve relationship triangles. (Ignore this post however, if you like drama).


Honestly I’d never liked relationship triangles because they scream drama. Thankfully, I’d never been stuck in triangular personal relationships. Thus far, in the few times that I’d been caught in relationship triangles, it’s business/corporate.

But what I’m extremely irritated by is this: Usually, because I’m the youngest and least experienced, I had to write off bad debts for a couple of times due to my unwitting involvement.

So I’d learnt.

What are relationship triangles?

In any triangular relationship, there are three parties: Victim, prosecutor and rescuer. Note that these roles may or may not be fixed, and also note that one person can at one time play two roles. Two or ALL of the three parties have conflicts of interest.

It is not necessarily true that whenever there are three parties involved, there is always a relationship triangle. If all the three parties have aligned interests, that it is called a TRIO.

Okay, okay, I deviate. 

This is a brief note on the power structure of triangular relationships, based on my own experiences and what I’d come across in my research on weddings.

  1. Always test if the triangular structure is stable.

Assume that you’re the third-party to a couple’s stable marriage. With your participation, the relationship becomes triangular. After a while of this going on, you should ask yourself if the man–for the sake of illustration, let’s not go into gender-stereotypes– is going to divorce, even though he says he is going to.

If he is not going to divorce, then the triangular relationship is stable. If he is says he is going to divorce and is in the process of divorcing, then the relationship is unstable.

If the triangular relationship is stable, then you should ask yourself if you are OK with it being stable, since emotionally and legally you will never be on equal terms with the wife/husband. If it is unstable, then you have to be prepared to deal with the possible backlash.

2. If there is money involved in the triangular relationship, follow the money.

Following the money is the best way to get everyone out of trouble. Following the money is also the best way to tell who has the most power in the triangular relationship, and hence, who the fight is truly between. (aka. the two without the most power)

3. If the triangular relationship is unstable, then it is very dangerous for all parties involved.

Plan your end goals in advance, and make sure you audio-record/get important (financial) agreements down in black and white when you talk to each of the other two parties separately. I’d do this if I was the one being “cheated” on.

A note on usage of evidence: Remember that you should never “show-hand” all evidence at one go. This is just common sense in negotiation! Just present what is asked for. For “juicier” evidence, delay as much as possible and never let the other two parties know what evidence you have that is not yet revealed.

This is in case of lawsuits, when all forms of prior communication had broken down.

But the problem is this: Usually if a case does get to court, it is the weak/ poor who is suing the strong/ rich. Because the stronger party just needs to threaten. Just bear this in mind. 

There are also usually two courts involved in life: One, the legal court, and two, the court of public opinion. SO you don’t usually have to sue in order to get what you want–you can always use the court of public opinion to force all situations to lose-lose, or win-lose.

Both can however, backfire if you don’t plan it well.

For messy situations that cannot be settled in court, feel free to approach Singapore divorce lawyers.

How to resolve relationship triangles.

  1. Identification is key. Whenever possible, AVOID.
  2. Whenever you find yourself in a relationship triangle–DANGER IS AHEAD. So always tread with caution.
  3. Even if one party hates the other, don’t get involved in their drama. Always treat each party with calmness, consideration and dignity. And try to end/reframe the relationship triangle ASAP because nothing is going to come out good of it!
  4. How to reframe: Either compromise, or keep each party focused on a common interest. Try to find a common ground.

Okay, the end. I felt that I had to get these thoughts out of my system.


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