Love triangles and threesomes


By David Joel Miller.

Are you in a love triangle?

Those old love triangles are the stuff novels are made of and I expected to see a lot of them in the work I do as a Marriage and Family Therapist. Threesomes and triangles conjure up different images but the issues that turn up in the counseling session are very similar. One particular variety of this theme is especial common in my counseling practice.

The classic love triangle has love flowing around the outline but not back in the direction it came from. Usually, this is two people in a relationship when one decides they would prefer to be in another relationship. If they are married, or they have children this gets messy. The worst part of these affairs is when one partner wants out and the other wants to save the relationship. Often there are a lot of hurt feelings and when these relationships end there can be violence, depression or self-harm. This is common but it is not the relationship with three parties I see most often.

The relationship that jumps to mind when we say threesome is more like three people involved in sex or a close love relationship presumably with the knowledge and consent of all the parties involved. I can’t tell you if this is a particularly common occurrence as I don’t do research on sexual practices but when it does lead someone to counseling it is usually because it did not turn out to be all fun and games. When these relationships fall apart there are likely to be three or more hurt people. But this is far from the most common three-way relationship I see in counseling.

The most common threesome type relationship that drives clients to counseling involves two people, sex or sexual orientation doesn’t matter here.  What does matter is that one of the parties has introduced another love object into the relationship? That love object is far and away most likely to be some form of addiction.

Falling in love with a drug.

Sherry or Jack or Bud is likely to be a constant visitor in many a relationship. Men and woman will forsake their partners to be with Crystal or Crack. And members of both sexes are likely to fall head over heels for lady luck. Addictions of all sorts become a part of couples love relationships on a very frequent basis.

Some partners try to compete with the addictions intrusion in the relationship. Clearly, over time the formerly loving partner becomes alienated by the new-found love interest. Who can compete with the wiles of Ethel-nol? As the struggled for attention increases all sorts of family dysfunction becomes the norm.

Many a couple has thought that the way to tame an alluring addiction is to invite them into the relationship. Turn your partner’s new love addiction into a family affair and make it a threesome. This works for a while. Life is a party that seems to never end. An addiction, whether Crystal of lady luck, is a jealous mistress and eventually she takes over and turns the whole family into her servants.

Addiction stays to console the addict long after the family, loved ones; job and health have abandoned the house. Many an addict has given up their house to stay with their addiction.

By the time the unwary couple calls the counselor seeking treatment both partners, the relationship, jobs, and children will have been destroyed.

When addiction has become a part of the love triangle the only cure is a full divorce from the addiction before all is destroyed. Unfortunately, by the time the addict, alcoholic or gambler leaves their best friend, their addiction, the damage may have reached the irreversible point.

The moral of our tale is that when addiction is a part of a relationship there is not much left for anyone else. The earlier you seek treatment because you are in love with an addiction the better. If someone you love has fallen head over heels for an addiction insist they end this affair before everyone suffers.

Seek help early if addiction is a participant in your relationship.

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Love triangles and threesomes

  1. Pingback: Should I tell my therapist about Porn? Morning Question #21 | counselorssoapbox

  2. Pingback: Length of time together in failed relationships or marriages | counselorssoapbox

  3. Pingback: Your other relationships are affecting your love life | counselorssoapbox

  4. Pingback: 11 signs you crossed the addiction line. Is it partying, drinking and using or addiction? | counselorssoapbox

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s