The Love Triangle

the-love-triangle

 

Triangulation is a devastating weapon in our arsenal. Whether we are triangulating you as our primary source with another potential love interest (real or imagined), you with family and friends in terms of loyalties and spending time together or even triangulating you with an object (our mobile ‘phone or our flash new car) you will always be triangulated when you entangle with our kind. Triangulation comes in many guises but has two broad categories. Firstly, there is the triangulation which is taking place but you do not even witness it. This is where we may be conducting an affair behind your back and you have no knowledge of it at all. This is still triangulation because we are involving three people in our intimate relationship but you do not witness it and the third party may not know about you either. The second category is where you witness the behaviour. For instance, we spend more time jabbing our mobile ‘phone and talking on it than spending time with you. We may make mention of a particular person (usually of the opposite sex) a lot of the time. We may even tell you that we have been carrying on with someone else because you do not show us enough admiration and appreciation. In such instances, you witness the triangulating behaviour but often you will not actually realise that it is taking place. This is hiding in plain sight. You dismiss it by trying to convince yourself that there is nothing to be concerned about or we may assuage your fears through our usual charm and persuasion. One thing that you can be assured of however is that you will be triangulated during your entanglement with us and it will not just happen the once.

This reliance on triangulation as part of our manipulations is because it is so effective at achieving many things for us. What then, does triangulation achieve?

–         It is often easy to implement, e.g. making mention of someone, spending our time playing video games, meeting someone frequently, perking up when a certain person calls round or telephones;

–         We gain fuel from two sources out of the same circumstances;

–         It underlines our notion of omnipotence since we are able to orchestrate the actions of two people so they compete with one another over us, we are the puppet master jerking the strings of two love rivals;

–          It creates uncertainty in one or more of the parties which makes it easier for us to exert control and harder for the party or parties to see clearly;

–         It causes the participants to focus on defeating one another in order to win us as the prize and thus they do not realise that we are really the problem;

–         It allows a discarded primary source to be smeared with ease;

–         It assists the maintenance of our façade.

Accordingly, the act of triangulation serves many purposes which accord with our malevolent agenda.

Why then is it so effective? Again, there are several reasons behind this.

–         The addictive quality of our seduction and the golden period is so powerful that it is truly regarded as a prize worth winning;

–         The fear of losing someone so (apparently) wonderful, loving and magnificent is too great to bear;

–         The fear that someone else might actually succeed with the relationship when you are trying to reach that point. You do not want someone to reap the reward of your hard work and instead you want to win the day, continue to deal with the hardships in order to restore the golden period;

–         You feel that you know us far better than the other person;

–         You feel that it is your right. You have given everything to the relationship and therefore it is only just and fair that you get to have the relationship. You may have borne our children, helped us through difficulties, lent us money, housed us, dealt with problems for us and you are damned if some Jane-Come-Lately is going to profit from all your hard work.

These are all valid factors as to why the act of triangulation is so powerful and an effective. Yet, let me provide you with another reason, one which is possibly just as powerful as the addictive quality of the golden period. That reason is conditioning.

You are conditioned to think that love triangles are not only fairly common and something that is part of life, but you have been conditioned to think that they are actually rather wonderful and special. This may seem somewhat perverted thinking when you consider the agony and anxiety you experienced or you are experiencing when you are being triangulated, especially with a love rival, but it is a fact. Why is the love triangle scenario seen as something wonderful?

–         It gives you the opportunity to prove you love us better and deeper than anybody else and with that comes a powerful sense of self and validation;

–         It accords with your belief in the maxim that love can conquer all. You are a love devotee and therefore you believe in and want to see love triumph. When your love sees off a rival, that is the power of true love.

–         The love rival is the enemy. This just isn’t you against her in order to win our hearts, it is light versus darkness, good against evil, love versus lust. You are a representative of the powers of light and goodness and you will overcome your dark nemesis. Of course, what you do not realise at the time is that the person you are fighting over is actually your nemesis and we are not going to remove that notion from you.

–         It is actually pretty damn hot and exciting. Your senses are alive, you are going to keep our heart/win it back, the tug-of-love although worrying at times also provides you with high-octane excitement, the rush of adrenaline when you score a victory, the elation at seeing us choose to spend time with you and not the other person. This back and forth, push and pull, is regarded as thrilling.

Why then are you conditioned to think and feel in the ways that I have described? Simple. You are surrounded by love triangles. They are throughout history, they are in film, in literature, you see them in the celebrity gossip sections of newspapers, they are commented on in internet forums, they feature on the news, you watch them unfold in soap operas on television and you bought the t-shirt supporting Team Jacob or Team Edward. Or was it Peeta or Gale? You cannot get through the day without seeing or hearing about some kind of love triangle and it is always portrayed in a salacious, exciting, mesmerising and romantic way. Who will triumph? How noble to fight over one person’s heart? However much you may not want to admit it, you know that the concept of a love triangle is alluring and fascinating. You do not often hear somebody declare,

“All three people need to take a long look at themselves, stay away from another and evaluate what is really going on before they continue to hurt themselves and others.”

Of course you don’t. Where is the excitement in that?

You have been fed a daily diet of triangulation throughout your life so you actually regard it as something to be expected and something that excites. In order to prove this point, I have compiled, off the top of my head, as many love triangles as I could think of in literature, film and real-life in just five minutes. Consider the following: –

Literature

 

Twelfth Night, Dr Zhivago, Dangerous Liaisons, Tale of Two Cities, Lolita, The Great Gatsby, Atonement, The Talented Mr Ripley, Don Quixote, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Age of Innocence, The Phantom of the Opera, The Twilight Saga, The Hunger Games Trilogy, Harry Potter and my favourite Wuthering Heights

 

Film

 

Gone With the Wind, Casablanca, His Girl Friday, The Graduate, Oklahoma! Damage, Titanic, Bridget Jones, Closer, Vanilla Sky, Sabrina, Grifters, She’s The Man (Twelfth Night), Indecent Proposal, Being John Malkovich, Fight Club (imagine being triangulated by an imaginary person created by yourself!)

 

Real Life

 

Cleopatra, Mark Antony and Julius Caesar (which actually went further as Mark Antony had two wives already)

Helen of Sparta, Menelaus and Paris of Troy 

Meg Ryan, Dennis Quaid and Russell Crowe

Bill Clinton, Hilary Clinton and Monica Lewinsky

Liz Taylor, Richard Burton and Eddie Fisher (Taylor and Burton met whilst filming Cleopatra – triangles within triangles!)

Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattison and Rubert Sanders (not only did Sanders also have a wife and kids but Stewart seemingly though her fictional triangulation was not enough and wanted a real-life version too!)

I would be interested to know if you think that any of our kind exist in those love triangles and who it is.

I am sure you can think of many others and please do make those suggestions. This is what I came up with in a short time and it does not end there. You are triangulated by products and advertisers – are you an Xbox player or PlayStation, red or brown sauce on your bacon sandwich, Pepsi or Coca-Cola – on it goes. With such a backdrop of triangulation across society, thrust in your face every day you are consequently conditioned in the way that I have described. You have no chance but to be affected in this way. Accordingly, when our kind comes along, the master practitioners of triangulation, you do not stand a chance.

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160 thoughts on “The Love Triangle”

  1. Trocadero

    Yes Yes Yes. I have just realized recently the link between my abused inner child and my ex. Both of my parents were abusive and that has shaped my life experiences and ultimately relationships. I have spent my entire life feeling unworthy and undeserving of love. I believe this has led me to staying with my ex at all costs. I was trying to fix him and get him to love me not realizing that could never happen with him.

    I have just started my journey with therapy but your comment validates what I am feeling inside.

    1. Broken Rainbow

      Interesting you say that, because I never felt that I was unworthy or undeserving. I just wondered why it was that I was stuck with these people who were unable to give it or show it to me. I have never felt what I perceive love to be though. That remains, so obviously I have just encountered all of the same kinds of people in my life (highly unlikely), my perception of what love is is incorrect or distorted, or I unconsciously shut off hope of finding it to spare myself the constant wonder.

      1. NA
        Sorry for the late response. I am still finding my way around the site.
        I really don’t know what love is. Both my parents were abusive and were unhappy with each other as well. Therefore my perception of love was already skewed by the time I reached adulthood. Throw in unhealthy relationships time after time varying in different traits of abuse. I realized recently that my mother has narcissistic traits but not enough for a diagnosis of NPD. However enough that she doesn’t seem to have a lot of compassion or empathy for her daughter.
        I don’t know your experiences NA with being new here but I truly hope you find out the true and healthy meaning of love.
        Take Care xo

  2. Hey folks! Am jumping in on this thread as it has been creating a lot of traffic. Need your help.

    A while ago, HG mentioned he started checking out the more female-centric boards on the net to see what advice others’ give. He states a lot was utterly misguided if not heartfelt. I did the same and am in total agreement.

    So…. I’ve now been actively posting on http://www.mumsnet/relationships

    I’m getting some traction already. I am wary of over contributing because it won’t be long before one of Mumsnet ‘royalty’ rocks up and accuses me of accusing everyone of being an N, so am only commenting on threads which are bleeding obvious.

    If anyone on here feels so moved, then please do come and keep the good battle going. I’m now getting PM’s wanting more info. I give it and direct them back here. A few have become HG addicts already.

    I’m renarde1975 on MN.

    These threads are especially intresting ATM;

    https://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/3343229-just-realised-hes-a-narcissist-35yrs-together?watched=1&msgid=80446476#80446476

    https://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/3341632-Trauma-bonding

    https://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/am_i_being_unreasonable/3341124-To-actually-begin-to-think-my-dh-gaslights-everyone-around-him-Everyone

    https://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/3342060-This-is-a-yukky-one-what-would-you-do

    Although TBH, you can take your pick on there! There are a lot of desperately unhappy women (and some men too) who need support. But above all; answers. Beware, there are quite a few N trolls. I haven’t been hit myself yet but it’s only a matter of time…

    Thank you in advance and sorry for the derailment HG.

    Ren
    x

  3. For humor and to answer the posted question, my favorite triangulation scene- there’s like a hundred triangles in here.
    And I endeavor to walk around wielding the initial reaction expression on Rose Byrne’s face even though she’s the main perpetrator.

  4. Just thinking of how my grandma told me she was triangulated with her elder sister who died in childhood. My grandmother (N-mother’s mother) grew up to be co-dep, and married an upper Lesser N. She was always a sensitive child, and was easily controlled by her mother with comparisons to her deceased ‘perfect’ sister.
    So grandma could never win, was an only child, buried under trowelled on guilt, and her father died when she was 14 yrs old. She became a nurse, and was a classic sitting target for handsome naval officer N-grandfather.

    1. Ohh yuch and yuch. How CAN a person do that to another? (Rhetorical). The title of ‘sensitive’ has been thrown at me waaaay too many times in my life.

      Being triangulated with a deceased, elder sibling is really fucking sick. But to be expected TBH.

      Really shaking my head. That kind of shit fucks you up for life.

  5. When I first read here about triangulation I thought it didn’t happen to me, that I didn’t let it get that far. (Thankfully, I didn’t allow it to last for years) I just never liked or understood why he had so many female friends.
    But, today I remembered that one day we were sitting in a restaurant, and he would contstantly look at the women sitting at a table behind him. He really had to turn around every time to do that. And when I started to frown, he said: “I’m a people watcher”.
    And at an art gallery, everytime I tried to stand close to him, he would step aside standing a little closer to another woman standing there. I thought that was very strange and rude behaviour.
    Does that count as triangulation? If yes, I think I’ve ticked nearly all the boxes.

  6. Hi Clarece this ones for you I hope you don’t mind me asking.
    I have been going through the archives , not back to work till end of week so have a bit of time lol.
    Anyhow I do notice there was a huge amount of interaction between HG and his followers before.In particular there are some with you and him and it’s amazing how he was answering you in such great detail ,wow.
    I wonder has he clamped down because of the following ,just an idea.
    Apart from being busy of course.
    A lot of us ladies here are wounded and struggling to overcome our situations.
    It is reasonable to say that some of us could get attached to HG in a fantasy type thing.In part not wanting to acknowledge what he is.
    I suppose like a wild tiger allowing you to pet if until .. there is an innate attraction there for us empaths.
    He being what he is may like that but it would only last so long as he would have to devalue in the end which would cause more upset for his followers.
    I could be completely wrong here .

    1. Hi Kiki! I’m happy to answer your question but can you clarify exactly what you want me to answer? Is it about my personal interaction with HG from the start? Or in general with his time constraints affecting his ability to have more conversational comments with readers now?
      A huge factor has been once his blog hit a high readership level and the demand for private consults increased, that altered the interaction here and also the articles HG circulates. For instance if you pull up articles from September 2015, those are more about his personal perspectives, sessions with the doctors, how he is affected by criticism, relationships with ex-girlfriends, etc, vs. now majority of articles are more educational based.
      I will say I was relentless when I found him asking question after question. The timing was perfect. I was so fresh and raw from JN’s worst, most hurtful stunt he pulled that made me feel beyond worthless and a month later, HG started the blog as part of his therapy which I stumbled on Googling misogyny in toxic relationships. Serendipity there. I wanted to absorb and soak up like a sponge any information I could extract from his brain. My therapist at the time was not helping. HG commented to me that for a few weeks he thought I was Dr. O undercover.
      So, yes, a rapport definitely got established.
      Plenty of readers have crushes from afar irregardless of the level of interaction because I think for anyone long suffering, he brought the lightning bolt realization their situation was not their fault and there is tremendous validation in that. With that comes quite a high.
      Do a search for the article and audio version of “Hush” and read all the comments each time it was posted. Lots of crushes happening is an understatement. Lol

    2. “I suppose like a wild tiger allowing you to pet if until .. there is an innate attraction there for us empaths”

      Oh he’s going to love that comment! 😆

  7. I was reading the blog obsessively for a few weeks now, after I have discovered it. It helped me figure out lots of things, but now I just want not to think about it any more, I want my mind to focus on other things, just replace all these negative emotions..I have the impression that by reading all the time about it, I don’t let myself doing or thinking things that make me happy…anyone else having the same feeling? And it’s so fuck*ng hard to keep the mind busy, sooner or later it gets back to the Narc, and then I start reading all over again. My therapist says that I should now work on problems leading to this addiction to a Narc..childhood issues that made me need confirm my identity through this relationship pattern. Anybody on the good way of fixing the issues leading to want this relationships in the first place?

    1. Trocadero
      Excellent question . I do the same. Say fuck it/her/then then my mind will wander back. I dont have an answer.

      1. I was also wondering if it’s easier for those who were not Dirty Empaths like myself to move on, since you have the chance to meet someone new and possibly relive these in-love emotions again (with sb who deserves them of course)..when you have been a Dirty Empath, and you know it’s the only time you let it happen, the only thing that remains is to get back to the source of the problem and handle your marriage issues accordingly…but you are aware that these strong in-love emotions are gone for good and you need to accept it..so damn hard..

    2. Yes! It may sound corny but I’ve been focusing on law of attraction and controlling my thoughts. I also listen to positive affirmations on YouTube. I listen to White Noise. And I work very hard at diverting my thoughts away from the topic. Most of my friends don’t want to hear about it anymore so I’ve stopped talking about it with them. And I realize there are many people that have gone through much worse events so I need to get my ass out of my depression about it and move forward… Because the narcissist sure is!

      I don’t believe that I am a damaged individual that needs to be hurt and abused and delve deep into my past To discover something. I had a pretty good and normal upbringing luckily. I was just hoping for a great relationship and I gave it my all. I had hope that this human could change but I did not realize that there truly are people that are just not fixable. Maybe some people are really codependent and super empathetic but I am not one of them. None of my previous relationships were ever anything like this one. I think coming face-to-face with this kind of pathology was just shocking to my psyche and I was fascinated-and Had blown up my life so I wanted to salvage something but I finally realized it was futile.… and the intermittent reinforcement and cognitive dissonance kept me hooked for too long.
      I also have a cat that loves me very much unconditionally. As long as I feed him… And I would love to have a dog but I’m not gonna go that far at this point. It’s almost been a year since it ended and I’m still in amazement at times but it doesn’t affect me emotionally like it used to. So time is also our ally .
      Good luck!
      Kathleen

    3. Trocadero, the great thing about this site is it is here when we need a reminder of what they are. It’s so easy for the narc to work his way back in. In my case my emotional thinking would take over and I would think I could handle the bad stuff just to get pieces of the good stuff. I’d go back and then the cycle would start over. I always relied on HGs site to remind me of what he is and then the logical side would take over.

      I also find that I can read the same article of HGs that I read 2 months ago and learn something new because I am able to apply it to a current situation or a thought . An example would be my first Ex. This is my children’s dad .He was a horrible liar. Back then I thought it was a disease or something. Fast forward to my current narc. I now have HGs site to read so I am gaining knowledge…all the weeks and months of reading this site I never put 2 and 2 together. My first Ex was a narc too. When HG said we are susceptible to narc relationships I blew it off and thought it didn’t apply to me. The answer was so clearly in front of my face but I didn’t see it until now.

      I absolutely agree. Sometimes you need a break from the darkness to focus on yourself. I feel a balance of knowledge, acceptance and self love is the key to finding an escape.

      Don’t beat yourself up if the only way to get through the day is to binge read the articles and comments. It’s less calories than binging on ice cream plus you’ll gain strength from it.

      1. Nunya- Exactly! I’m designing a tattoo for the top of my foot that is a rabbit hole, just as a reminder to watch were I step!

    4. Take my response with a giant grain of salt because I don’t know, but I think…
      Time. Patience with yourself, I have had a couple of bouts of strong defensiveness while reading this blog, but mostly not or I recover quickly. Understanding. I think it’s normal to be attracted to the good qualities of ANY person, narc or no. The problem isn’t your reaction to good qualities, the problem is your desire to control the outcome of it by fixing the person’s negatives when they pop up. That is also normal I think because of attachment and fear of losing someone you might care for, but still a problem in the case of a narc because it is unacheivable. They will never want what’s best for you, only what’s best for themselves which is actually a warped idea of “best” to begin with. We all know this since we are here, but still…acceptance.

      What I am trying to do is hold in my mind the picture of what a healthy loving relationship is to me. I can feel it, picture it, understand it. And moving forward I am using HG’s suggestions about what to watch out for and avoiding those people and simultaneously feeling with my heart the loving qualities of the people that I encounter. I want to connect with a genuine feeling in another person, not one used to trick me. That might require I look at people who aren’t going out of their way to connect to me through intensity and the things that I think are missing in my life- in other words, those who might look more boring on the surface or have qualities I should investigate or try to get to know better. Maybe try to do some visualizing about what kind of things you want to connect to and where those things are in yourself.

      1. Thanks nunya, I see what you mean and I’ll try to apply some of your examples. However, being forced to still communicate with him for work (remotely but still) makes it much more difficult. I find myself not being able to focus on my job itself for weeks..

      2. IdaNoe, I love that idea! I could use a reminder, maybe a tattoo in order.
        Hope MB sees alice comment in light of it was about giant grains of salt
        : )
        I keep getting comments out of order even though I was replying directly through my email notification.

  8. Excellent article! Thisnis one of my favorites. When I was entangled Inexperienced it a LOT. I didn’t know it’s formal name or the deeper pathology- but I knew it felt bad and yet I sacrificed my self worth and tried to ride it out/saw it as a game or challenge. My narc triangulated with her family, her neighbors and most tellingly- strangers! In restaurants, in stores, at museums, at her door selling things- the list goes on. Then it could also be some movie star on tv or in the paper. I also know she did it with her long term ex prior to me. It’s a fave for feeling powerful and keeping the primary source in check. Eff her! 😂 sad ..

    1. Triangulation’s. Yes. In my time I have been triangulated with;

      Crap mobile phones. Mine is far Superior than his was. Didn’t stop him.
      US Porn stars (The proverbial third wheel in the marriage)
      Ex wives and partners (most often)
      Imaginary female partners who are named after animals but are in fact, aspects of the facade itself. (This would take thousands of words to describe in detail but in point of fact; it was very funny. Especially because we both knew what he was up to.)
      Female friends who became more than friends allegedly but have no memory of the night of wonderful passion (Jesus; that takes some beating)
      My entire home town. That was a day of sheer joy!
      Buzz Lightyear and the film 2001
      A treadmill
      Maine Coons (See above. I am crying with laughter as I type at this one)
      Other men (he was bi)
      Video games (see mobile phone above)
      The USMC (I think I may have just created another foe here. Oh well!)
      Laptops/PC’s
      Porn in general
      Future partners who had been targeted as new sources (very frequent)
      Cars and motorbikes. Specifically a Harley, a VW Scirroco and a Landrover Defender.
      Barstaff (female) – all totally innocent.They didn’t give a fuck.

      I’m sure there are more but these are the few that spring to mind.

      1. Me, too, Nunya. But when I started to think about my list, it’s all inclusive. My exhusband loves to triangulate. I think it’s his favorite manipulation. Over the last 45 years, I think he’s triangulated me with about everything in our environment!

      2. You should! I would love to read it.

        Actually, I missed the one category off the list which is actually a massive boon for us; The Lieutenants. Many a time I have been able to spot them simply because of how frequently they are mentioned.

  9. This answer helps me in the struggle I’ve been having in understanding the source, fuel and redundancy of repeat. Triangulation is a greater source of fuel, like a fifth compared to a twelve oz. the more sources involved in the machinations the more fuel. *It’s finally clicking.* When the ale seems to get a bit watered down then one must aggressively reach for bourbon or whiskey.

  10. Dear HG,
    this is an extremely interesting question. The most salient product triangulation I ever experienced was concerning Microsoft and Apple computers. The media made it even bigger.
    Polygyny in the Islamic world also came to my mind. I think whether this can be a narcissistic triangulation depends on whether the relations are of a romantic kind. I understand there are many relations that are not romantic at all. (Islam doesn’t seem to be a suitable religion for somatic narcissists.)
    After watching Monica Lewinsky’s TED Talk (“The price of shame”) on YouTube I cannot think of her as a narcissist. I don’t have a clear opinion about the other two. There is a video of Hilary Clinton, too, talking about Monica Lewinsky, I didn’t watch it. Bill Clinton feels rather naive, merely a victim of his erotic desire.
    But I am completely at peace with people not being faithful. I think this is nature, not narcissism. This is another problem, rooted in the perverted narrative of the history of the sexes. But this will lead too far, just to express that I do not view triangles per se as a red flag of narcissism.
    There is a big difference between “Both of you are wonderful persons.” and “She is so much better than you. I will always prefer her to you.”

    1. I feel the same way about being monogamous, I favor honesty (and privacy and freedom) over rules and restrictions as a shaming/silencing mechanism and also think that narcissistic thinking can make villain triangles using black and white thinking regarding social pressures on all kinds of sexuality variances and any other “societal norm” we can guilt people with. It’s just too easy.

    2. Just reminded of that line spoken by Rupert Everett in St Trinian’s 2:
      “Some are born to greatness,
      some achieve greatness,
      and some have greatness thrust upon them…
      like Monica Lewinsky”.

    3. DF, my ex is Muslim. While, I used to think that his behavior was a societal norm, I also know other men (who are friends of his, and from the same place) who dont view women in this way. Who want one, real love, just as the rest of us do. My ex would triangulate A LOT! It caused me a lot of jealousy, and I dont like the person that made me. Or how it made me feel inside. His whole viewpoint, was that he LOVED me, and felt that casual sex with others was like “masturbating, but with a love person.” He always wanted me to participate in threesomes, which I absolutely would not. It’s a mess….but they arent all programmed this way. I tried to understand. But, ultimately, my self-worth and moral standpoints are not up for negotiation. I never want to feel that way again in my life. It’s so degrading. And emotionally and mentally taxing.

    4. Well the person I was emotionally (not physically) tangled with for several years and couldn’t seem to undo was doing a lot of subtle “I will always prefer her to you” talk (along with other projections), unnecessarily in my mind, that I kept thinking I could let go and ignore because I feel like a strong person and jealousy and competition wasn’t entirely how I felt, but I kept getting attached anyway.
      Meanwhile I’d had an actual ongoing physical relationship with someone kind-hearted who was with someone else and never made anyone feel like that. I never had that sinking stomach feeling that he was projecting some idea on me and trying to turn me into someone that I wasn’t. I need to know that someone wants for me to be my best self and doesn’t focus on the worst parts of people.

      This exact same damaging hatefulness can be done, say, by a parent focusing on two siblings. So to me it isn’t the idea of romantic entanglement at all, that’s just the context. A mother telling a child that she is taking the side of a sibling is saying the exact same thing really and my real problem with that is that it implies the person should be jealous of the sibling and greedy of the mother. There is no appreciation for the fact that we can have good in us and not feel that way, it shows objectification and disregard for truth embedded in it in ways that are for me the most painful things to experience. Especially because if already attached and you want to get off the sinking ship then you accept that the person you love is lost and will never see you. They will always turn you into human flaw embodied. I feel nothing but loss.

  11. Pingback: The Love Triangle – Narctopia
  12. Reminds me of another triangulation moment. The narc asks me to go to lunch and to the Edgar Cayce foundation in Virginia Beach. So we go to the Edgar Cayce us empaths like stuff like that. Then after he takes me to the fast food drive thru. I ordered something and he threw it on my lap. And he said ” you can eat this when you get home.” I gotta take my son to a baseball game. Drove me home and dropped me off with my fast food bag.

  13. Astute observation of how we are societally conditioned.
    Completely agree with you. Hollywood and Disney have a lot to answer for. Personally, it’s dangerous the messages children receive about love, romantic love, from all the crap they are exposed to. Mainstream/ popular culture is so toxic. I wouldn’t let my children watch Disney as small kids… didn’t want my daughter to subconsciously absorb the whole princess story at such a young and undiscerning age.

  14. You have to add Debbie Reynolds into that real life example with Liz Taylor and Eddie Fisher. Those people were making like a parallelogram or something.

  15. Would it be inappropriate to ask if you think that there are some addiction issues within the narcissist? To me, it seems as though the narcissist is addicted to the reactions, like an addict of other things, always looking for that golden period or the high / drunk. Is this a possibility? Would it be ignorant to ask if narcissist are also addicts?

      1. You’re an addict for fuel. You resent people because you need them for that fuel and emotion to feel important. You feel superior yet this addiction is also your weakness. Does that inner conflict contribute to the simmering fury you carry st all times in your core?

      2. HG When Narcissist and Co-Dependent are in a relationship aren’t they two sides of same coin

      3. Any narcissist-empath entanglement is essentially two sides of the same coin.

      4. Do expand HG if you have the time.

        “Any narcissist-empath entanglement is essentially two sides of the same coin.”

      5. I can add my 2p if you like?

        I always thought of the N-E bond as a line – a spectrum. Ns on the one side, Es on the other. But actually, it’s HG himself who points out in the radio interview at the top of the page that it’s more like a clock. With the Es being between 11 and 12, the Ns between 1 and 2 with all the normals between. I prefer this analogy.

        There are far more similarities between us than divide us. You see, it’s extremely unhelpful for our healing to perceive that the Es are being hunted. Of course, we are; all the time but the playing field has never been a level one. So whilst both Ns and Es at some point tumble to the conclusion of what they are, the key difference is that the Es do not understand, for many reasons, that we are being manipulated until it is too late. Awareness of who and what we are prevents the abuse in the first place. This is why Es so often pick up multiple Ns. If we perceive that we are always being hunted then we don’t take responsibility for who we are. Hence we are always vulnerable and can fall into ‘victim mentality’ which serves no one.

        That is where weaponsisation comes in. Or a I like to say. Ns and Es have been at war since Homo Sapiens became sentient. Trouble is, the Es have very rarely clocked it and are unaware of the fact that we ARE at war. As BOTH Ns and Es are utterly entranced with each other, it does beg the question, could a N and an E, fully self-aware, ever enter into a relationship and deliver each others’ needs? It would require extreme tolerance from the Es (coupled with iron-clad boundaries) and a curtailing of some of the Ns most toxic behaviours. I think there is a middle ground to be had. If that was to happen, I think it could be mind-blowing.

        I have a GEN ‘friend’ and this is a conversation we have. He thinks it’s possible depending on the individuals and so do I. Apart from him (as a platonic friend), I have never put this into practise, although it is getting very close with another GEN.

        He cannot resist me and nor me him either. But presently, we are at stalemate as we cannot agree on the T&C. He obviously wants Hoover fuel. He is not stupid and knows he is not going to get it. Yet still he persists. I do not chase him. I do however, allow benign Hoovers in if I am in the mood to so allow. The interactions I then have with him are the best I have ever known with another human.

        If I am being really honest. I don’t think a situation like this can develop between a couple who are not both self-aware. Otherwise, it would become utterly toxic.

        As I write this, I am very much minded for some reason of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. Not sure why but I think maybe, they were trying to achieve this? But there was something lacking. Awareness, very possibly. On his deathbed, Burton said about Taylor, ‘She fascinates me still’.

        That N-E bond had never been severed. His death did that. Personally, I think that is the closest you will ever get to a N saying he loves an E.

      6. Renarde
        I found your premise interesting. I think my exhusband and I have a relationship much like you suggest. We both know what we are. I do have strong boundaries (now) and he does care about me as much as he is able. We both are very tolerant of the other. But we could never live together. That would push both our tolerances past the breaking point.

        We also could never have a sexual relationship again. I could never have sex again with someone who doesn’t care what I want or how I feel. No matter how hard you try or how much you want to have a relationship with them, they will never have empathy. They will never care if you are hurt or frightened. They will never comfort you when you are sad. They will never be happy when you are successful. Bottom line: they just don’t care.

        Sure they can have cognitive empathy and realize somewhat how you feel, but they don’t feel it too. And just like they are holding back on being abusive, the empath has to hold back on wanting emotions/empathy from them.

        I guess what I’m trying to say is, yes a self aware narc and empath can have a lasting, caring relationship, but it’s a true compromise. Both give up much and no one really gets what they want.

        It will never be enough in itself. I have to have people in my life who have empathy for me and he has to have people he can manipulate and torment for fuel. We can never meet all of the others needs. But then, maybe that’s really true with all couples.

      7. There is lots in your comment that I resonate with. Absolutely. Especially on compromisation.

        I guess it comes down to, what do we feel about the concept of love itself.

        But as to the sex thing. I deliberately ‘tested’ this very premise this summer with a UMSN. It worked. As long as I could keep my cool and remain at an emotional distance. This was important for me. I do not wish to become a hermit.

        But to love? I have pretty much accepted that I will never have this ever again with another male. For the reasons I’ve outlined above. The men who I wish to fall in love with will need to be strong, intelligent, alpha males. Then we are back to Ns again.

        No matter. I will do my own thing and they can pant all they want.

      8. Renarde, thank you so much for your explanation. Do keep us abreast of any new developments between you and the non-platonic GEN. Interesting research.

      9. Oh he’s been at it again tonight. Needling me about a very specific (sexual) thing. He’s not going to get me contacting him so I’m guessing it’s more about me keeping him in ‘sphere 6’.

        I do love him but he can be a daft twat at times. Yes, it’s working but at some point, you just move on. He’s not yet grasping that this might happen. And all the energy he’s putting in will, ultimately, have been wasted.

      10. Have been really pondering that type of interaction, Renarde. I find for myself a zillion other complications, so 1/1,000,000 for me. Thanks for the description and I’d not heard the clock analogy but I like it. I’d noticed similarities too that prevent the spectrum analogy. I do instinctual things sometimes. I have also been a sitting duck, fish in a barrel, etc.. due to just lack of understanding what the fundamental difference is. Offering myself on a platter. Um….more metaphors…
        Awareness helps in many areas for me and isn’t even necessarily a difficulty for an N talking to me, possibly even a benefit.
        Fully agree on responsibility, it’s what I’ve been really focused on intuitively since I figured out where I stand on things.
        I don’t know though, I’ve gotten on pretty well with men who have solid empath traits, love feelings and all.

      11. Yeah the clock is good, isn’t it? And yes; the fish in a barrel thing, I totally get.

        I must caution you though on those men with solid empathic qualities. Be really sure that they who they say they are. I’ve found (more than) a few Ns trying to sneak in that way.

      12. How does alcohol replace this fuel addiction? Not in your case of course, but you’ve spoken elsewhere that alcohol acts as a fuel replacement. Does alcohol make narcs feel powerful as in the same way fuel does? Since alcohol is an inhibitor would it not contribute to lack of control over supressing the creature – and therefore reduce the feeling of power?

      13. It does have a comparable effect to the sensation of power. It may, with certain narcissists result in a lack of control as you suggest, yes. Depends on the narcissist and the amount consumed.

      14. Please ignore that. Slip o’ fingers…and I’m not currently consuming alcohol.

      15. What I meant to ask is: if the instances where it produces a sensation of power – would that be in social drinking situations – or would it still apply if the narcissist is drinking alone?

        Thank-you.

      16. Just a tidbit-my ex could drink quite a bit and maintain but there were quite a few occasions where she Way over did it. There were incidents of falling and slurring of words and falling asleep. I was always passive and mostly ignored it. I didn’t ever criticize out right. OnlyOne time I stated calmly that I found it upsetting that she was drinking too much. And that it concerns me. I hinted that I am available to talk anytime about it. All she could say was “yeah I don’t know why I do that. “
        Another case of nothing ever getting resolved. No accountability no desire to introspect.

      17. Whocares
        Alcohol caused StepNarc huge loss of control (not that as an uneducated and unaware Lesser he had much to begin with), but he would then blame any resulting behaviours on the effects of the alcohol to avoid all responsibility (he didn’t remember, someone kept filling his glass etc). He used it as a shield for his cowardice. The morning after a particularly awful and violent night he was hung over and on the couch. The house eerily quiet as was always the case after an incident. I brought him his breakfast as I was trained to do. He looked ashamed but defiant and daring anyone to raise the subject. I had had enough of pretending the next day that things never happened and walking on eggshells so I confronted him (without showing any emotion, although that was normal for me and I did not know about that approach until being educated here). I asked him why he drank when he knew that it would “change” him. He replied after a long minute: because then I can say things that I cant usually say. I said: when you act like that no one wants to hear them or you. Now you are aware that when you drink you hurt us (I wanted to add more than usual but I didnt), so when you drink from now on, I will know that you planned to hurt us. And then I walked away. 0f course he continued to drink.

      18. NarcAngel,

        I only witnessed violence in my mother once – as a result of a combination of alcohol and me asserting some boundaries. It confused and shocked me…afterwards I was recounting what had happened to her sister (my favourite aunt) and my aunt had an odd expression wash over her face (like she was looking back at memories inwardly) and said: “She can be like that..”
        Now I’m aware that it wasn’t just about my mom being an alcoholic but that she is a narc.

        I’m sorry that kind of abuse was a regular occurrence in your past NA, but I bet it truly was sobering for you to have that moment of lucidity from your StepNarc. Too bad he did not sober up…

        Thank-you for sharing.

      19. Renarde, Windstorm e.o. thanks for sharing your thoughts, I like these conversations. My mind is very occupied with these kind of thoughts. Sometimes I even regret I divorced my husband and wonder if I should have stayed with him now I know what he is. Somehow I need the N/E dynamic. I wonder if I could ever be with a ‘normal’, I find them all so boring and so normal ;). But then I divorced because I knew my husband never loved me and I wanted to find real love with someone. Now I just think I will be alone for the rest of my life, because it will not work out either way, needing the narc dynamic and wanting real love. How is that supposed to happen?

      20. @Blank, the key is to get to the source of the problem, e.g. work on childhood traumas that led you to want these dynamics that are basically very bad for you. It takes a lot of time and work, I got (after 1 year of therapy) to the level where I can understand (cognitively) how dynamics with my abusive mother in my early childhood has shaped my adult behaviors and cravings..I know that I am unconsciously searching for the same dynamics with the partner where I need to prove all the time that I am worthy of his love (point is, deep down, I don’t believe that I am – due to the “life scenario” recorded in the early childhood). If nothing to prove, I also have the feeling of ” boredom” – but the problem is in me. So, how to change that life scenario, and start “feeling” (not only understanding logically) that we ARE worthy without having to prove it to anyone – work on the cause. I am in a group therapy where we are reviving all these childhood events / traumas / feelings from the perspective of an adult – in order to start “recording” a new image of ourselves. It’s a very slow and painful process but worth every step. In addition to that, I strongly recommend the book “I’m OK-You’re OK” Thomas Harris where you will understand how your inner child still rules your personality. This blog is the great place to understand the Narc behavior mechanisms, but the root cause of our involvement with them is a whole other story – its has to be worked on individually. I am still long way to go, but at least I am aware of the WHY…and working on these childhood traumas in parallel with insights given on this blog. Hope it helped

      21. Trocadero – A BIG HOORAY FOR YOU! That is an awesome post and should help many people! You are very correct in that you must know about the inner traumatize child and be able to identify when its driving the bus! And more than likely wrecking us ( inner child and adult empath) right into a narcissist! All because of unresolved trauma, needs and pain as a child. So you replay the same scenarios over and over subconsciously trying to get a resolution for that child. Like now, I know my “adult” logical person is typing this, but I have posted things at times when I was triggered by HG’s words and the child was in complete control and posting questions. Thank you for your awesome insights .

      22. I get this and have zero answers. I really don’t. I just accept that this is probably the way it needs to be for me.

      23. Blank, You do not have to make a choice between boring love and the narc dynamic. Hell, you are engaging and exciting but not a narc!! I have more to say on this but I won’t bore you. Do figure out what qualities you want and stand your ground. You won’t be alone forever. You are just still addicted to your narc ex.

      24. Renarde,
        Thank you for your 2p! That clock analogy is great!
        I just spent all yesterday and last night trying to figure out how to grow out of being a codependent and all traits that come with it (yes, HG, I remember the last discussion on this and am still disappointed). I am realizing my strength in handling my emotions tied to the last narcissist is only coming from external (therapy and reading this blog) and not internal. I have already rejected two people who are crossing lines but again all tied to the strength of the external. If only I could become 5 o’clock. LOL
        Your concept is very interesting! I know I have been intrigued by windstorm’s ability to talk to her ex and have that kind of open discussion recognizing he is a narcissist and she an empath. Very hopeful concept!

      25. Lovfely, you cannot stop being an E any more than an N can stop being an N.

        No, with the greatest of respect, why be ‘normal’ when you are an Empath! That’s fucking fabulous! Sometimes though, I do wish I was like Data out of Star Trek. Just disconnect the emotion implant. As an SE I can do that to a certain extent but the blow back is phenomenal unless handled with care.

        The world needs more Es. We just need a tighter grip on what we are.

        Do be careful on the negotiating with an N. I think it must be very rare, although I do not doubt that others’ can do it.

        You’re doing really well though! Well done!

      26. @trocadero,
        thanks for your comment. You are absolutely correct, we need to know where we come from. And I did, I have figured it all out, I was in therapy 3 times in my life, last time was last year. I know where I come from. My mother is a narc, her whole family almost is (and believe me, they were/ still are very dominantly present all through my life). There is something about my father as well, maybe he’s a narc as well, but probably Asperger, he certainly lacks empathy and certain emotions.
        Still, although I know the theory of it all now, my feelings don’t change with the knowledge. I do hope though that one day I will meet this ‘normal’ that sets my heart on fire 😉

      27. Well,that’s the first step,to understand where it comes from 😉 I am in the same place as you are, knowledge still didn’t help me get rid of the feeling,but I am also aware that sth ‘recorded’ for more than 35 years can’t be overwritten in 1-2 years of therapy. I am doing a combination of individual and group therapy (psychodrama) where I am reviving important events from my childhood by making other people play each important role,and me looking from aside and trying to experience them once again,this time using my inner adult. Eventually I will be able to really feel all these insights,but it takes a lot of effort too. We all have inner resistance to change,and especially to ‘unknown groud’. So as crazy as it might seem,we feel more secure in leaving the things as they are (even bad for us) cause that bad is familiar. I’ve realized each time my life worked like a clock I wasn’t in my shoes, like I was unconscionsly searching the familiar dynamics…anyway, I wont give up on the therapy..as long as it takes. That’s the only way to go!

      28. Yes Renarde! They can get in by zeroing in on empathic expressions I’ve experienced that, that is true. And that really is getting to the point of the problem with me. That is why I get involved, both in romantic interactions and in female platonic situations I have had a couple of times (my longstanding female friends will be more empathic). At least I have ideas what to look at now, I had a woman destroy a small group over the course of two years.
        In the right circumstance I can see an N sexual relationship work ok as long as I have some distance, like you say. I just want to avoid tendency to vindictiveness that crosses social or legal boundaries.

        Good comment Trocadero! For myself recently, in case anyone might have anything to gain or add to it:
        I suspect that I have some aspects of borderline, but I don’t think I am borderline, meaning I cover my boundaries ok in most areas by somewhat keeping to myself, etc… but I do have some addiction issues and some mood regulation issues under stress in reaction to my childhood. I am never actively vindictive, rarely manipulative, and naturally also pretty mellow and easy to get along with. What I think the real thing with relationships with me is revolves around the concept of “attachment”. I know that I can often AVOID intimate attachment and have some fear of it. Something about some N’s can negotiate this for me (I am not drawn to all N’s, some of them cause me to block immediately). I think I desire both the attachment and simultaneously as you say, the desire to prove myself because it oddly makes me both more and less fearful.
        So “love” with a male is hard, I think I have only been able to freely consider it if he is able to be empathic but also willing to navigate my attachment issues by giving me space and taking a very long term, slow approach to getting to know me and being a person of integrity and friendship and patience. Finding that combination is very hard, they almost don’t exist.

      29. Renard, I have to apologize to you! I don’t know where my mind is and thought your response to me was to someone else (I liked what you wrote a lot but haven’t done the sign up to actually “like” posts). I noticed this morning that you use “Lovely” in other responses and realized my mistake. Thank you for your response! You have given me a lot to think about. I’m sorry again about my mistake!

  16. I totally agree HG Tudor the construction of the love triangle narrative is pervasive and disempowering. We need to look upon this social construct with a critical eye, and if we are entangled in one, we need to listen to our inner voice and reflect on how it is serving us. Like all narcissistic manipulations it’s not serving us, it’s serving the narcissist.

  17. Hi Ladies ,just an observation .Does anyone think HG has the most mesmerising soothing stunning voice.
    What a voice you have HG .Maybe I’m Irish and our accent is different but still , he sounds almost hypnotic such a beautiful deep male timbre I have ever heard , he makes you want to listen to him and it makes it easier to do what he suggests to help ourselves.

    1. Kiki
      I agree. His voice makes you want to do yourself. Er………do something for yourself. What you said.

    2. Yes Kiki, I find HG’s voice to be very alluring to listen to being so deep and manly. Soothing in the sense as he has given me great advice and calmed me down with concerns over the Narc who brought me here. So I associate his voice now as a sort of safety refuge. I can easily see for the people interacting in his real life, if he is in seduction mode, how absolutely intoxicating that voice can get.

      1. Hi Clarece
        I’m fairly new here but have been reading through archives and comments and really like your comments.
        I suppose we are all in similar boats and for me anyways latching onto HGs beautiful voice in someways dilutes the power of the narc I was involved with.Somehow it has taken his sheen off a little.
        I know that makes me sound like I need serious therapy.

      2. Hi Kiki! I think that’s great you’ve had some time to read portions of the archives. There is a lot of insight in the comments when HG had more time to interact and smaller batch of readers back then. I’m glad you found me relatable.
        I don’t think being drawn to HG’s voice means you need therapy. Lol You now associate that voice with the aha moment about your narc and where you shifted the dynamic with your Narc to your benefit.
        It’s ok!

      3. Hi Kiki, I believe many of us here have felt the same about HGs voice at one time or another! At times for me it has been very calming, especially when I was or at times still am in an emotional state! His voice has also made the other narcissists in my life seem not so in control, or perhaps it is that I finally feel as if I have someone on my side that can give me the answers that I need to make them go away forever! 🌻

    3. HG has a bit of the Prof Brian Cox northern flavour going on. He writes and reads well, and speaks with authority and confidence.

      HG, in history there are people who are clearly born at just the right time. Born for this moment. This is definitely your time. You are the total package.

      1. HG certainly does have a bit of the Northern flavour in his writing.

        BTW; Cox is a cock. Ex-H GEN told me how loathed he is at his place of employment. Better to stick to Jim Al-Khalili (All hail Jim). A true bastion of ‘proper’ Physics education. Or as I would say to the students; why should I teach with Prof Jim can do it better? With pictures and videos and shit. His videos on Electricity and especially the concept of Entropy are absolutely above and beyond.

        (P.S I did teach but let ‘Big Jim’ out when I wanted to treat them. Carrot and stick et al. Plus, I was probably busy sexting at the time. JOKE!)

    4. This makes me smile. I have had a phone conversation with him a week or so back and it’s almost unbelievable how beautiful his voice sounds. I’ve only ever heard maybe two other men with voices even approaching that (both Ns). It’s not just the voice though, it’s the intelligence behind it.

    5. Kiki yes it’s very soothing.
      I listened to his Youtube videos for 6 months after NC and I would fall asleep every night to them and wake up stronger the next day!

      It’s another reason I haven’t consulted yet!

  18. It shouldn’t surprise me that my N-Mother was a master triangulator, and N-sister is too.
    My family has been perfecting these skills and inflicting them on the next generation for, well who knows how long?
    Recently learned of my Plantagenet family, Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine are my 26x great grandparents. She promoted the culture of courtly love, Henry was renowned for his rages, and his lieutenants killed Thomas Becket. Her favourite son was Richard, and she famously triangulated her children with each other and with her husband. Henry had her locked up finally because she wouldn’t let him control her. She was a medieval super empath. I love her.

    William Marshall is another ancestor, and he was held hostage. The captors tried to triangulate him with his dad. William was six years old. His dad basically said “who cares? Kill him if you like, I can make another child”.

    Further back is William the Conqueror and Matilda of Flanders. Her firstborn Robert was her favourite child and Matilda took his side against his dad which infuriated William. Robert triangulated his parents constantly because he wanted some power and land. Henry I (the youngest son) captured Robert and imprisoned him, triangulating him with England and Normandy effectively.

    There’s plenty more…

      1. Indeed, “will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?” is open to interpretation and carries with it plausible deniability.

  19. HG perhaps I am overthinking here but is there any significance to whom the narc chooses to triangulate us with? For example, is it someone else who is on his mind at the current moment? Is it someone extra important to him? Family or a close friend? Is it someone he once liked but now cannot tolerate? Someone he is having sex with on the side? All or some of the above? Or is it random? And also….can the same people be triangulate with you over and over with no additions or deletions to the mix? Basically I am wondering if there is a pattern, whether it be deliberate or unintentional?

    I ask because I found the same 3 people mentioned over and over.
    One was always mentioned positively, the second was mentioned positively and then negatively and the last one was positive but then negative (but the negative was at being the victim at the hands of the 2nd person while they were being discussed negatively)

      1. I guess this makes sense as he often told me that no one could know about me. Yet he negated that by confiding in that coworker about me and then telling me that he did so and continue to talk about her.

        My trips to see my own best friend were always planned around a visit to see him (hence his best friend always being discussed). He also hated the fact that my best friend knew about him. (yet his coworker was allowed to know about me)

        I cannot link the connection between him always mentioning his sister though. I wonder what fuel, if any, he was getting from that. It was all about him having an “ally” in her and then suddenly she was a victim at the hands of the former coworker and the coworker’s “alcoholism, partying all night, and random hookups”.

        The only way I was triangulated with his wife was via social media and not being allowed to like or comment on pictures (yet has has 1600 FB friends).

      2. Wow wonderful answer thank you HG! This makes so much sense. I was triangulated with an ignorant , uneducated stripper/escort and I am highly educated (PhD, with a very successful career). I’m obviously not a prostitute or escort. I was infuriated and beyond confused when I discovered the (unbeknownst to him) the seemingly bizarre triangulation choice by someone who repeatedly professed to be turned off by and would never even think about getting serious with a so called “uneducated slut” (his words not mine). Thank you for clarifying this.

      3. Leigh, my ex also picked someone he knew would bother me. Someone younger, breast implants (as he knew it was/is an insecurity of mine). I quickly left the situation and refused to participate. Out 25 days now. For the guy who said he “hates fake anything…”

      4. Caroline, yes. I get eyelash extensions, and he said he didnt even like those, because they are “fake.” But then made a point to tell me about this new girl, and let me know she has implants. But he hates “fake” so much, right? Funny thing is, I found out she has a boyfriend and has been wed with him for 8 years and they are trying to get pregnant! So, my ex is really the joke. Small town. Glad it only bothered me for a couple of days. Wasnt even worth those 2 days.

      5. HG that makes complete sense to me. The ex triangulated me constantly with the person I was with when I met him. (he knew how much I hated it). He also attempted to triangulate me (I did not know what it was called at the time) with other ex’s he had along with some family members. It did not work as much so it was less frequent. Thank you HG.

  20. My MRN always triangulated me with the same 3 people…his sister, his (former) coworker and his best friend.

    His sister was “a good person” who understood him and was the only person that never gave him the cold shoulder when his prior affair (the girl before me) was exposed because she also had an affair too and she “understood” him so they had a special bond of sorts. (eye roll) Then later on she was mentioned again as she was caught up in an affair again and he was worried about her. It then became an excuse as to why he could not see me as much. He said that his mom had found out about his sister’s affair and she was “ultra suspicious” of everyone in the family so he had to be “extra careful” around me. (again eye roll)

    His (former) coworker used to hate him until she warmed up to him and they became friends. She confided in him too, so he said, as she also had numerous affairs too. Again, a “bond” they shared. (eye roll). Later on, she was put down to me though. She was a bad influence on his sister with her behavior (they all work together) and she was an alcoholic.

    Keep in mind I have never even MET these people (I am a IPSS/DLS) so why would he even smear them to me?

    His best friend was always painted in a positive light. Always. He would share fond memories of him and often repeat the same stories to me. One time he even said “you know my best friend right?” and I said “Yeah, A. What about him?” Him: “Oh nothing. I just wanted to hear you say his name.”

    So fucking weird. All of it.

    1. Fuel on the Shelf – YES!!! My MLV narc has an ex-coworker and he is either telling me that they met up in a store and chatted to what a drunk she is in the next breath. However, he has one male friend who is NEVER spoken badly about and always spoken highly of, who seems to do no wrong. This friend is rich and bestows gifts on the narc..all the same, the relationship is WEIRD!

      1. Geyser Empath (I still love that screen name)…
        I replied to HG above about the significance of the coworker, sister and best friend. The coworker link makes sense as he always told me that no one could know about me. Yet suddenly she knew about me. I think he later on used his sister to smear the coworker to me. The coworker was an alcoholic who hooked up with everyone AND was a bad influence on his poor sweet sister. But yeah never a bad word about the best friend. He loved hearing me “say his name” even when he had nothing to say about him. LOL.

        I know I always say this but there really is a handbook isn’t there?

      1. haha thanks 🙂 I am becoming a master at this \o/ Great teachings.
        Yeah!!!

  21. HG, what kind of narc triangulates with two people who are both friends with each other? Acting as friend to one and more to the other? I don’t think he had a primary source at the time.

  22. This was really eye opening when I first read about it. I had no idea what triangulation was. Maybe I have been lucky or it’s the sort I normally pick but no one ever tried it in my face until narc came along. When he dumped it on me (IPPS + other woman – we hadn’t seen each other for five months but he had strung me along the whole time) I said, ‘I don’t compete with other women.’ He asked me what I meant. Ha. I left.

    Fast forward and I accepted the role of IPSS, fully aware of IPPS (no one else because I would have killed him had I found out). I thought, well, I don’t have to worry about that now. But because he could not triangulate me with other women, he triangulated me with everything else. Mostly with work/busy (meetings, conference calls, planes to catch) but also with his kids. He even triangulated me with myself at one point.

    Here is how that worked (might be instructive for someone else): when I was deciding whether to return to the FR, we saw each other once. It was nice but I was on the fence. After we saw each other, I said I was fine (I was) but I wasn’t decided. He love bombed over 10 days and at one point I invited him over. Not only did he triangulate with his kids (‘my kids want me to meet them for dinner’ – instead of, ‘I am having dinner with my kids’ – pay attention to subtleties in language, people – there is a difference between ‘my kids WANT me’ and ‘I WANT my kids’). He also asked, ‘Are you sure you are alright?.’ ‘I am fine,’ I said.’ ‘Are you sure?’ he asked again. I said to myself, why does he keep asking if I am alright when I told him that I am? It was as if he had created two of me – one who said she was fine and one that he could pretend wasn’t fine so that he could set us up against each other. He triangulated me with me!! Anything for some fuel, right HG? That’s basically when I decided not to return to the FR.

    Just as a side note: if he felt I was triangulating him, which I never did deliberately, he would do anything to get my attention. So, for instance, if I had visitors, he would get frustrated and look for a small opening. He once asked when my own kid was leaving! The first time I dumped him was within weeks of meeting him because he came over one afternoon when we really had not agreed to it. I had two friends staying with me. He pressured the hell out of me to find a small window when both would be gone. But if I had days and days free, he would be unavailable.

    As I read up on triangulation, I realized that my mother used to triangulate all of us kids with each other. I think as one of several middle children I learned to just bow out and not try to be the centre of attention (I would also act out, but out of sight). That is probably why I won’t stay in a relationship with another woman in the picture (affairs that I agree to excluded, of course, but even that was weird to me – kind of yucky).

    1. that was interesting about “triangulating with me” thank you for sharing. Maybe also “triangulating with yourself” is kinda gaslighting. He is trying to convince you, you are someone else.
      Thansk for sharing your experience. very educational

      1. Hi Amanda, Yes, something like that. Why did I have to convince him that I was fine? It wasn’t because he cared. It was because he was trying to get fuel and the only way he could do it at that point – because I had not re-engaged – was to turn me against myself! Ingenious! Maybe it is gaslighting – I was never certain what that term meant.

  23. HG, I get the triangulation thing I understand it but I don’t understand why he picked me since we haven’t even been together for sseven years and I could care less who hes with I never would take the bait I think that pissed him off I guess because I didn’t understand what he was trying to doI at first I just noticed he was kind of mean at me I didn’t pay no mind I just knew he was sleeping with somebody I could care less I didn’t get it why he wanted me to be jealous I don’t get it because we weren’t together we were just friends and it worked out so much better but this time he didn’t try to bait me he went straight for the jugular and has not let up funny part is that me and her have been talking back and forth and we could be really great friends so he really screwed this up he should have picked two girls that actually want to sleep with him or fake one with her and left me the fuck out of it because it makes no sense whatsoever all he did was lose our friendship which is kind of sucky and he was like the only family I really kind of had sorta . He should I played a little smarter kept me as an LA he’d still be living here she could have probably moved in and I have my rent paid an extra money because they have to pay almost double now wouldn’the’d I’m sure he’d been a little too worried about the fact that I know way too much about it then I should he know shit about me except for ugly stuff. so seriously why did he pick me why would he be so freaking stupid the bottom of the barrel narcissist that he’s a fucking his he’s an idiot he shouldhe should have kept me out of it it’ll be a lot smarter he wouldn’t be living with his mom with his poor girl now she know she doesn’t realize that she can’t leave his mom’s going to tell her that she left at 11 when after you went to work but come over here and sit with me. when he does come over with he brings her and says you got to be nice to my girlfriend while we just play the game with him he’s an idiot he has no idea where is in there talking I’ve been fucking flat out telling him he’s so stupid. I’ve known me this way too long and I apologize but tell me why did he pick me why is he this freaking dumb I wouldn’t have played it this way out of kept me as an ally I’m not move back in with my mom made my life a living hell cuz he wrecked her car cuz he fell asleep cuz he never goes to sleep from partying too much and now she knows all about it it’s a big drama but now I’m a rap because I told him that he needs some help because he’s way out of control and he’s back on his drugs and it’s a fucking nightmare but that’s a whole nother story so now I’m a rat but whatever I could care less so if I’m a rat oh well still doesn’t change the fact that you need to see a therapistoh you have issues anyway hope to hear from you soon HG could really use your inside on that but this triangulation column is really opened up a little different for me so I totally get it even more so thank you for that I love your blogs I think they’re awesome she likes him too but it pissed him off cuz he saw the one about the birthday which is he exactly what he fucking did to me offer to take me out to dinner for my 50th birthday knowing I have no family and then flat said I have no obligation to take you anywhere I just looked at him I go well honey the promises the obligation but that’s fine I’ll take myself I don’t need to be seen with your ugly ass anyway have a nice day faggot thanks

  24. So bill Clinton seems to be a narc. Was Hillary a narc too? She does not seem like an empath. maybe dependent?

      1. wow. thank you. I will analyze more Hillary clinton now thinking she is a narc. It will be interesting to look back at her behavior. It’s pretty eye opening once you identify what they are. Great writing.

  25. What happens to the narc when you remove yourself from the triangulation? So instead of fighting for his love when he brings a 3rd person in, you get out and stop engaging?

    I did that with a guy I suspect is a greater. He was completely unbalanced; super depressed. That was a major injury>?

    Great writing and you are right. Society has conditioned us to think that we need to fight for our love at all costs! passionate love! I think it comes from pagan rituals where to reach heave you need to die a passionate life.
    Christian love is one that does not need triangulation. It brings peace.

    1. I did remove myself. Three weeks later he contacted me on a dating site!!! His profile said something about looking for someone to spend his life with. I freaked out because he said he was reconciling with IPPS and he had just told me about another CIPSS or CIPPS. Obviously they didn’t matter. Neither did I because I had removed myself yet he chased me down. Maybe I unbalanced him but now I realize that the only thing that mattered was the fuel – not the individuals. I told him he was psycho, took screenshots and left the site. But two months later, when all of this had calmed down, he convinced me to be IPSS and on and on it went.

      1. thanks for the input. the guy is a major politician. So he was in the news media later. in those photos he did look (at least to me) super sad and depressed. i think that not reacting to narc causes them injury. he had set me up perfect in this event (he orquestrated so i would feel hprrible with the trainagulation.) So i thought that the energy he spent in it and then not getting fuel hurt him very deeply

    2. On the major injury thing – if he was a Greater than probably not. He would just have been even more spurred into action as it would be perceived as a challenge.

      I must admit that I did have a chuckle at Christian love not needing triangulation. Father, Son and Holy Spirit? I’m a pagan Priestess and we don’t go to heaven when we die. We transform into something else by the way. I respect your views on your faith but personally, I believe all the Abrahamic religions are ways to control others. They have done a very fine job of it too.

      Christianity leaves a bad taste in my mouth. The Sundays I lost as a child when the two Ns took me to the Sunday service. Even today, I can still recite the creed. Or what about Sunday school with the curate who could not take his eyes of my 9 year old legs? The hypocrisy, especially of self aware PatriNarc, taking the communion when he knew what he was doing and how he was hurting people.

      The current scandal in the Catholic Church (boy are they mind fuckers par excellence) maybe? Men of God? Really? The Pope leans on his golden cross and prays for the poor children of this world? I could go on.

      Or even a few weeks ago when I was talking to the unstoppable GEN. I visited a church in Spain and it had an awful vibe to it. Fucker tried to convince me (gently) that I might be possessed with a demonic force because I couldn’t look at some of the shrines. I stopped myself popping out, ‘No darling; I’m only possessed by you.’

  26. Team Jacob! I wanna be a wolf! Big hairy and scary with the added bonus of I FINALLY GET A TAIL! IVE ALWAYS WANTED A TAIL!

    Movie: Two Moon Junction

  27. Is it correct to say that in cases where a woman will end the relationship when a narcissistic male tries to triangulate by giving the impression of possible interest in another woman, the different schools react like: Lesser and MRN will usually stay away and look to another source while the Greater will come back with a new tactic?

      1. Thank you! I assume role of the woman, availability of fuel elsewhere, and specifics of the narcissist adds in the finer detail of the picture. Is that correct?

    1. wow that was very interesting to read. Have you interacted with Greaters ? What type of new schemes do they do after it fails the first time?

  28. The ex psychopath narc triagulated with friends, family, neighbors and ex’s and a shrinky dink. He would entertain himself in his backyard and in his driveway.

  29. HG, what if, when the Narc tries to triangulate, the primary source removes herself and goes no contact? He is then left with the new, shiny toy, and no one is fighting over him? This is exactly as it has been in my situation for 23 days now. I listened to your vlog on YouTube about not perfecting “no contact.” And I covered the bases I was missing before. Not that it was relevant, because no contact was to be made on either side. This is a wicked game, and I want to win. He has won all other battles. I bite my tongue, I do not succumb to my cravings and urges, as I did so many times in 18 months. I want him to EXPECT me, but, never get the reassurance that I care. I stay out of all every sphere. Except the one one in his head. He has sent his Lieutenants, they have tried baiting me without even mentioning his name. Asking about my “social life,” and who is “taking care of me.” All, to which, I have dodged. GRACEFULLY. I am listening, I am adhering. I avoid places he (we) used to go. He still goes. Alone. What do I do? Am I doing this all wrong? I truly need guidance. I am trying SO HARD to avoid, and leave this behind. He is not directly hovering, no. But hes not avoiding, either. Please direct me.

    1. Hello Katie, it seems like you are approaching matters constructively. A consultation would be of greatest benefit so I can part more information to you.

  30. Grease! (I am of that age, first film I saw at the cinema … Hence maybe why i’m a “hopelessly devoted to you” romantic) Sandy, Danny and Tom … True love tamed Danny! Obviously fiction! X

    1. Hi OO! Grew up on Grease too (saw it at 6 for the 1st time) and have seen probably 4 high school productions over the years. Something that went completely over my head until a friend pointed it out when I was in my 20’s, is how the girlfriends had to turn Sandy into “Slutty Sandy” at the end with the leather pants and teased hair to seduce Danny once and for all. And even though Danny was willing to change, the cardigan flew off the minute he realized she crossed over for him.
      I was so hooked on the music hearing it the whole time growing up that I naturally thought that is just what you do when you are “hopelessly devoted”. My friend always said “why did Sandy have to change one thing about her appearance? That was the Sandy he fell in love with at the beach.” I could never look at the movie the same and avoided showing it to my daughter until she was about 11. Then she pointed out the exact same observation my adult friend had. Lol

      1. Thanks OO! One of her teachers told me at a conference that he never saw a junior high student so comfortable in her own skin, especially for the awkward pre-teen years. I felt really good about that. I think in general she will have a much lower threshold for putting with bs than I ever did, which will get her farther in life.

      2. I’ve never looked at that movie the same for over a decade now. I almost felt betrayed by it, oddly. Because it was about high school kids and a musical, it’s always billed as wholesome fun and Danny and Sandy were meant for each other. So to be conditioned during the primary years seeing that movie probably a dozen times, the subcontext does imprint you.
        I caught myself starting to do that to hold JN’s attention during the devalue periods, and being “hopelessly devoted” and out to prove that very point. No happy ending there when you let your moral compass get skewed.

      3. Clarece.

        I never noticed that about Grease before. It used to be one of my favourite movies. I also will never look at Grease the same way again.

      4. I know, right BR?!?! My friend ruined Grease for me. Lol I cringe at the ending and I grew up on those songs and sang along to the soundtrack with my girlfriends for years totally being conditioned to be that love devotee and totally willing to morph into what a loved one would expect of me…
        Not that one movie did profound damage but it proves the point of the Hollywood pop culture and tv/movie scene can influence young, impressionable minds.

    2. Clarece,
      I saw the picture on Instagram and all I could think of is “Damn that is one confident looking kid!” You are doing a great job Mama! 🙂

  31. Hi HG

    I have a question. My ex always brought up the person I was with when I met him. Is that considered triangulation? Or does it have to be someone he is interested in or was interested in? I am confused.

    BTW Wuthering Heights is my favourite book.

  32. Yes, narc I was involved with through my excellent detective work and perception had quite a quadrangle or more going on. He led me to believe I was the only one he was seeing, meanwhile he had a primary source, the madonna type but had to outsource hhis kinks- more sexually free women. Such a madonna whore complex going on he even had virgin Mary candles burning when I went to visit him as well as virgin Mary icons. His primary source of course has zero clue he is with escorts, another woman and so on. He tries to cover it all up but I think I am the only one who uncovered it all. I got too challenging and was discarded. I did communicate with one escort to which within minutes he unblocked me via phone and I got quite the mailgn hoover! I blocked him back and all across social media. Now just waiting on STD results. If I have anything his primary source will be notified along with all the evidence.

    1. It’s likely the primary already knows just chooses not to see. She may not know the details but my bet is that she knows he is not faithful. In my experience, even when given evidence others will not believe you. My narc always says that as long as he can create doubt he can make people believe anything.

    2. Elaine, I fully understand how much you’re hurting right now. But if his wife is as you describe the ‘madonna’ why would you want to hurt her?

      It’s not going to hurt him at all, as HG writes, it will only fuel him and in the meantime you’re going to end up causing unnecessary hurt and pain to someone who is not only entirely innocent but also very unlikely to leave him anyway. Just passing your hurt on to her?

      1. No not hurting, I am fine! It is also not his wife! I just do not like cheating con men that put women at risk with STDs.

      2. Agreed! You are fierce and have a solid plan! I hope tests come back negative!!

      1. Yes, run and never look back, it’s been months, I have met normal men who are not narcs, all is good!

    3. Elainie, You should try to tell if you have an STD. I got checked too, so know I don’t, but after I escaped I saw the name of another woman in his fake email in-box while I was making him delete all of our correspondence. I then told IPPS (anonymously). I don’t know what effect it had – I think none. Either she didn’t believe me, s in denial, or doesn’t care as long as her friends don’t know. I couldn’t bring myself to present the evidence – she can figure it out for herself if she wants to.

      Also, mine has several fake FB profiles that I know of, and has stalked me on three platforms. Don’t be so sure that you have entirely blocked him.

      1. One was connected to his fake email and the other used the fake name he used with his fake email, a name that does not exist anywhere. Both had place names that matched where he was and where he moved. I found the first by Googling his fake email and the second by searching for the fake name on Fakebook 🙂 He probably has more – I just haven’t found them.

      2. Tes, I got tested, I do not know results yet. It would never be me providing primary source with the evidence, it would be a friend who had this happen to her years ago as she was a narcs primary source and in the end the other women he was with thanked her for contacting them. She only plans to do this if my tests are not clear as she says at least the primary source has the right to know and get tested.

      3. I agree. I think people should have the right to make their own decisions and know what they are dealing with or at least have the information to do their own research if they want to. Others would disagree but hey, each to her own. I hope you are okay.

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