Adding a 3rd Party to Your Relationship

Wow.  Did I just suggest that you include another person in your relationship?  Yes, I did.  If you think about it, most relationships have 4th parties, i.e. his friends and her friends.  That’s really not a healthy way to express your feelings in a relationship, especially negative feelings or pet peeves.  So many arguments are about nothing while the real problem remains hidden.  Having a 3rd party, someone you both talk to about what’s going on, can help get to the bottom of serious problems before they do any lasting damage.

Often a 3rd party doesn’t get involved until the relationship is in big trouble.  Therapists, marriage counselors, clergymen, all are 3rd parties.  My suggestion is to agree on one person you both trust to whom you can speak to individually or together.  Vent frustrations, confess weakness, admit flaws in your character to this person.  If your partner also does this, the 3rd party has information to work with and can provide answers and explanations about things happening in the relationship.  This way things like not spending enough time together or having a one-sided relationship can be addressed before turning into shouting matches over dirty socks and milk cartons.

Choose wisely; this person must keep your secrets completely confidential.  Don’t choose one of your best friends, that would unbalance the independent perspective.  Find someone you both trust, who is willing to fulfill this important role as a friend, mentor, and guide, selflessly and diligently.  If you do this early in a relationship you will find that you won’t need to do it much later on.  The bottom line is this: if someone has answers to questions you won’t ask your significant other, getting those answers can save you from heartbreak, emotional ruin, and even broken homes.


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