This was drafted as a result of several questions on threads, why am I being isolated etc and my attempt to understand Mustardseeds Post above on organisational threats. The truth is when protecting ourselves, I resist the words defending or retaliating, forewarned is forearmed. Keep cards close to chest, good L and breeze block, every day breeze block, boring old "don't bother I am so uninterested and uninteresting" tactic. Then ride it out, the cheater or abusers shows their true colours anyway.
Triangulation-The use of a third party in abuse or cheating
A dynamic of communication and behaviours involving more than two people that are unhealthy and unwholesome. The trademarks of triangulation are covert operation, deceit and abuse together with complicity. This is a triangle of three types of parties.
In an in an A sitch this can be WS the OP and the cheated S. In other sitches it's the Abuser an Organisation or Person and the Target. In some both. Note this isn't about an A and the deceit involved although it is about behaviours around it.
The simple definition of triangulation is: one individual attacking, discrediting (smearing) or/ and abusing another person with the use of third-party people or institutions. This has much wider implications.
There are three traditional parts of the ‘triangle’. These are
1) The Abuser, cheater, WW or WH
2) The Rescuer, cheat partner (as long as they are aware they are in an A), scuzzy
3) The Target or cheated spouse
We can recognise how we may have contributed to fuelling the triangulation by identifying our role in it. ---------------------------------
The triangulation process begins when the abuse starts or the affair starts, the target or cheated spouse reacts, and is then classified as ‘the enemy’.
The abuser or cheater behaves in an attacking manner in order to survive, to get rid of the perceived threat (which may not even be real) and to regain control, to get the upper hand and disable the target or cheated spouse.
Naturally people who model humanity as love, dedication and loyalty are devastated when they are ‘adored’ then ‘abhorred’ alternately ‘How can you treat me like this?’
The abuser or cheater feels powerless and the loss of control or their A with severe panic, pain and rage. The Target or Cheated Partner is accused of things that they don’t have the capacity to think about let alone execute. This reaction is because there is no awareness of the fact that the reaction of criticism or anger was triggered as a result of being abused or cheated on. The abuser or cheat is like a terrified child in an aggressive adult’s body doing anything to stop the imagined assaults they believe are inevitable, and that they are powerless to defend alone.
Hence the urgent and frenetic need to recruit allies and rally people or systems as reinforcements to completely discredit and cripple before there is a response.
Triangulation is a tactic That has generally been mastered at a very early age. Virtually every abuser and cheat does it, and it is one of the absolute trademarks of abuse.
------------------------------------------------------------- The Abuser or Cheater role in Triangulation
This role comes naturally and the irony is the abuser or cheater believes completely that they are a victim (not a target, victim mentality). Regardless of however mentally high functioning they appear to be, they have the emotional intelligence of an angry, irrational young child or adolescent. There is such disintegration they behave very badly without responsibility or accountability. Any faults are projected onto the person targeted thus the abuser believes the target is the pathological person acting out atrocious attacks and tries to destroy the parts that are despised – the parts that have been projected on to the target.
This is the irony of abuse or infidelity – the abuser or cheater acts out (behaves) and abuses and then blames the target for these acts and seeks to punish and totally oblivious that the rage is self-hatred. The target just happen to be the container for the damaged parts.
The abuser or cheat is extremely capable of pathological lying, and often fully believes their own lies (setting this in the subconscious) or will have righteous justifications for telling the lies. They are also brilliant actors and have perfected the craft of acting out emotions in order to manipulate.
Using an Organisation or Person to 'Rescue' the Abuser or WS
The deception required to recruit an organisation (police, courts, child services etc) or another person comes easily to the Abuser or Cheater as the end justifies the means. Organisations often have no option other than to get involved with the lies, because it’s their job to investigate claims of child-abuse, criminal activity, fraud, tax-evasion, violence etc. Although there can be consequences occasionally to this tactic.
Triangulation may include an organisation at the top left of the triangle, or a fictitious character, or a fabricated statement using third-party ally statements (real or fabricated).
An example is “I spoke to X who agrees that you xxxxxxxx”
Or of course, this could be a family member or friend playing a rescuing role convinced that the abuser or cheat is the good person, they are also being used and a target of abuse. Others watch along bewildered without intervening and in due course may come forward disclosing to warn the targets or cheated spouses. This can be a spell breaker.
The same does not apply to the OP who is addicted and has issues of their own. Healthy people do not get involved, or seek the truth for themselves, so by the very definition individuals who involve themselves are unhealthy psychologically. People who are not hooked may believe the lies, offer sympathy and even suggest solutions or support but are unlikely to take on attacking the target or cheated spouse as their own personal crusade.
The abuser has no qualms about dragging others in, lying to them, getting them involved in chaos, or putting them at risk – even criminally, if they chose to engage at that level. Others are objects and may be discarded when their usefulness is complete, and then may be re-recruited by the narcissist when the next triangulation opportunity presents. The abuser may go as far as to incite others (sometimes called flying monkeys) to do the dirty work, exit the scene and let them take the fall.
The other may be trying to win approval due to struggling to generate their own self-worth and self-value buys the narcissist’s lies about ‘how special they are to the narcissist’.
They may have been lied to feign promises leading to some ‘hope’ for the future that this person believes is necessary from the narcissist – such as ‘love’, ‘approval’ ‘repayment’ of ‘making amends’ or ‘security’. They may know this is a problem but will still act anyway.
Business associates (suffering from lack of self-capability) who believes there is a ticket to security and wealth may delude themselves and combine forces against the target or abused spouse.
Friends who suffer from lack of self-worth and self-esteem, who get the payoff of emotional approval and favours, or who are hooked and manipulated with guilt, may also be easy recruitment targets. This is especially likely if this person acts out ‘righteousness’ as a result of projecting their own disowned inner wounding,
Affair Partners and New Partners and Cheated Spouses
Affair partners are different to new partners as they are part of the cheating dynamic and will likely be "me and you against the world" anyway, they will like as not act as one with the cheater, speak with one voice.
New partners are not involved in cheating they arrive after the primary R is over and are often easily triangulated against ex partners. The new partner wants to believe the fairy tale, and the façade the abuser presents as ‘the dream partner who is the answer to all previous loneliness / emotional pain / security. ‘ They are at the start of the sweet cycle and do not want to investigate the ex-partner(s) evidence, does not want to question ‘the dream’ and easily believe the intoxication of ‘perfect love’ in the love-bombing period.The new partner would rather ignore the truth and believe the lies.
Down the track, ex-partners, who were once at the bottom of the triangle being smeared and discredited to third parties, can be re-recruited to rescuer status when things turn sour with the new partner. This is called hoovering, when this is the A partner the cheated spouse often relishes this turn of events to inflict punishment and revenge on the OP.
The ex-partner or cheated spouse, if still hooked and not recovered from the previous cheating or abuse, is highly susceptible to be used for sex, attention, sympathy, becoming an object of revenge, energy, resources and anything else the abuser or cheater feels entitled to at. The ex-partner may also take a stand against the new partner or OP in a futile attempt to convince the abuser that they are worth loving and committing to again.
The abuser or cheater can be totally charming, appear remorseful and even adoring and ex-partner naturally wants to believe the lies. This person despite previous abuse doesn’t want to imagine the narcissist is very capable of demoting him or her again, and is likely to be playing out multiple games of smearing and demonising different sexual partners to each other (behind their backs) and creating them as the rescuer (in person) simultaneously.
The End Result
This, of course, sets the OP and the S, the Rescuer and the Target up against each other.
The different parties completely distrust each other and don’t believe each other’s versions. They also choose to believe the abuser or cheat is so repulsed that there is no way the cheater would go near the OP let alone heaven forbid have sex with them. Despite the numerous warning bells, red flags, inconsistencies and gnawing horrible feeling that something unsavoury is taking place. Once an OP is repelled from the triangle a vacancy is created and lo, another OP. If the cheated spouse withdraws their cake and will not resume another OP appears in addition to the first. There is nothing to be done but ride it out, the truth emerges in time. In the meanwhile there can be substantial damage. Protect, protect, protect!
The blind spots without ourselves cause us to miss the blind spots in others.
This post is cribbed from several sources and the last portion from an article by Mel Evans. It has been adapted for use with abuse as opposed to narcissism.
Freedom is just another word for nothing left to loose. V 64, WAW