Triangle Relationship That Shouldn’t Be

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I had a relation with a guy for 15 years on and off. A few years ago I was for the third time with him but this time in a relationship which lasted 5 years. He was very self centered and often abusive. I left him in bad terms after I realized he had another relationship on the side. 9 months ago he called me back told me I was the only woman who counted in his life and wanted to see me again. I answered I was still vulnerable and did not think it was a good idea. After 4 months of intense calling from him, I saw him and passion erupted again. Unfortunately I was not told the truth and he still had someone else on the side. He promised to leave her on multiple occasions, Always giving me a date and when the date there was always came a “good” reason not to do it. She was having ovarian cancer (found out it was not true) then she was on suicidal watch, etc. What you need to know is I am a European immigrant and we discovered that his father was born in the same very small Turkish village than my father and they were one year apart. And his grand mother and mine were from the same city in Greece. I always thought we were predestined to each other. Then on the evening his dead son birthday,(died 20 years ago) he tells me he wanted to be with no one else than me and we had dinner together. He also repeated me he would finish his relationship after (we were 4 weeks before Thanksgiving) evening his girlfriend called twice, twice he answered her briefly and then went to his room, closed the door and called her back. After that I felt more than awful crushed, with the feeling of being not respected and once more lied upon. I could not believe he was on the point of breaking up if he was answering her while I was there so I decided to call his girlfriend ( got her number by dialing*69) and told her everything. She knew, she even knew it was the second time we were together. ( fact it was the 4th time). Then I called him to let him know I called the girlfriend and was told we were finished. Since then I feel awful to have done such a thing and it is driving me nuts. Please help.

A. I do not fully understand why you feel “awful” about calling your boyfriend’s girlfriend with whom he is cheating on you with. Do you wish that you would not have been so direct and called her on the phone? Are you sorry you took the initiative to find out the truth when you suspected that you were being lied to? Do you wish that you had not known the truth so you could have kept dating him? You did not include why you felt “awful” in your letter so I am only able to speculate.

It might be more appropriate if you felt “awful” about how he has repeatedly lied to you intermittently for the last 15 years, dumped you whenever he found someone else and then most recently cheated on you. Why aren’t those behaviors your primary concern?

It seems that he has been disrespecting you for over a decade and you have let it happen. Apparently, he has the luxury of contacting you whenever he wants and you will be available, no matter how disrespectful he has treated you in the past. Why does he have this right?

You should be concerned that he is using you and be questioning whether this relationship is healthy for you. Why are you okay with someone treating you in the manner he has treated you? It should not be okay.

You should be glad it’s over but I am not sure that you are. It would have been better that you ended the relationship and not him.

I am sorry if I am misreading your letter and you are actually upset and concerned that you’ve been “second fiddle” in his life. If his behavior toward you does upset you then that is good and healthy. You shouldn’t let someone use you or treat you with disrespect. You deserve respect and to be treated fairly. Unfortunately people will take advantage of you if you let them. If you want to be treated fairly and with respect then you have demand this type of treatment from others in the future.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 15 Dec 2008

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2008). Triangle Relationship That Shouldn’t Be. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 24, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/12/15/triangle-relationship-that-shouldnt-be/