The Role Of Triangulation In Relationship Conflicts

For this experiment, I conducted interviews with four individuals who had been divorced. One of which was male, three of which were female. All interviewees were over the age of forty. Two had subsequently remarried after their divorces, while two remain single. Prior to beginning the interviews, I asked each of them for permission to record them for the purpose of this paper. Only one individual granted me permission to do so, which surprised me. The other three stated that they would simply feel more comfortable and able to talk more openly if they were not being recorded. Out of respect for their wishes, I instead took notes on my laptop. I was a bit worried that my looking down at a computer screen during the interviews would come across …show more content…
Triangulation is the involvement of a third person in relationship conflict (Mendenhall et al, 2016). When individuals start complaining about their partners to family members and friends, family and friends start liking the partner less. It becomes difficult to support a loved one’s relationship when only complaints are ever heard. Triangulation is not healthy in relationships. Instead of involving a third party in relationship conflicts, it is much more practical and efficient to work out conflict as a couple. This way, family and friends are able to continue to keep thinking highly of romantic partners. I asked the interviewees how often they triangulated. Two individuals claimed to not have triangulated very much while still married. However, after the marriage dissolved, they began to complain to others much more often. I am not certain that these instances count as triangulation as the relationship had already ended. I can see how complaining about an old partner to others immediately after the relationship ends could potentially help individuals to heal from the hurt of the breakup, especially in the case of a divorce. After a divorce, life changes in every aspect imaginable. It is understandable that recently divorced individuals would desire to talk to their family and friends about their struggles. One individual stated that she complained about her relationship to her friends nearly every time that she talked to her friends. This is obviously a very unhealthy habit and could have easily been a contributing factor to the divorce. It is likely that her friends stopped respecting her husband and no longer supported the relationship itself. Sometimes, it is easier to justify ending a relationship if friends no longer support the relationship. After all, friends often know what is right for us regarding relationships than we ourselves know (Mendenhall et al, 2016). One individual told me that she

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