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Jonathan: Mom’s Little Prince

Jonathan and Lisa are having frequent arguments. Jonathan accuses Lisa of being cold towards him. At the same time, Lisa retorts that she is not his mother and is tired of hearing his complaints. As the arguments continue, Jonathan increasingly feels unloved and isolated and turns to pornography as a source of comfort. Meanwhile, Lisa feels unsafe and seeks solace with her girlfriends and soap operas.

When Jonathan was a child, his father left him and his mother, causing his mother to become very protective of him. To her, Jonathan was her "little prince." She adored him and was very demonstrative of her affection towards him, often hugging and kissing him. As Jonathan grew older, his mother's protective nature continued to manifest, and she showed interest in his relationships with girls, wanting to know everything about them.

This form of emotional manipulation often displayed in triangulation can harm an individual's personal and relational development leading to relational "enmeshment". It can be agonizing to detach from a relationship; as agonizing as removing a mesh bandage from a dry, crusted wound. The dysfunctional dynamics of these relationships can be experienced as highly traumatic not only in the present moment for the individual but also negatively impact their attachments to future relationships.

The human heart is an "idol factory.". . . [It] takes good things like a successful career, love, material possessions, even family, and turns them into ultimate things. Our hearts deify them as the center of our lives because we think they can give us significance, security, safety, and fulfillment if we attain them./ Tim Keller

The triangulation-enmeshment "mother/son/son's wife "is possible. When Jonathan became his mom's idol, he became someone with the expectation that his future important relationships would "idolize" him. The sad part is his mom will always be his greatest fan with his wife taking second place. Marriage was never intended to be this way.

"For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." Ephesians 5:31 NIV

Triangulation is when a third person is drawn into a relationship of two, and their presence and input change the dynamics of the relationship. With that being stated, not all triangulations are unhealthy. Sometimes, a third person can bring significant positive relief from the pressure between stressed individuals. A healthy triangulation will add stability to the system, like a tricycle's stability over a bicycle. Healthy triangulation could include finding a wise mentor, sharing your concerns and needs with a good friend, or consulting a counselor.

JM Arrunategui & Anita Arrunategui / ”Unwanted" Jay Stringer/ Canva pro

The content published is for informational purposes. The content included in this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. 

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