The Mother Daughter Husband Drama Triangle

By Val Boyko • December 18th, 2010

Val digging out from the drama

Did you read the post on the Mother Daughter Husband Christmas story? We passed the drama triangle roles around between us while we were snowed in for 2 days. The script went like this:

“It’s so unfair, I’m the victim! I’m a better victim than you! I want to be the hero! Don’t make me the villain! I’m a victim because of you! I only wanted to be the hero! How can you let him be such a villain? I’m not a victim Mom – should I be? Is he really a villain? Am I a victim too?”

I got a taste of  how much our mothers can still have influence over us as adults. A mother’s disapproval of our choice in partners and a change in expectations can open up old wounds on both sides!

With hindsight I can see how my mother was struggling with her new role in this marriage. Previously my ex would always be out of town so that Mum and I did our own thing. She likes to organize things and shop – and that’s what we would do. She was the person who was there for me in 7 house moves! She did it brilliantly and was a real support.

In my second marriage Don and I share household tasks and like to decide on things jointly. We are settled and have no intention of moving. We like our house the way it is. I no longer need my Mother’s input of advice in an area that she used to be key! She had been usurped and didn’t know what her role was any more.

Seeing things from her perspective you can appreciate  how  she must have felt…. and how easily she was upset. She didn’t have one on one time with me, and she also didn’t have a practical role to fulfill or know how to be of help in a way that didn’t step on toes!

Coming from a different perspective with kindness can open the door to the beginning of a new type of relationship……. Sometimes things need to come to a head before we see it and it can be resolved.



What perfect timing for this story! I was just reading through David Emerald’s blog from this weekend. “Jumping to Solutions”

There he describes perfectly a difference between the drama triangle and *The Empowerment Dynamic (TED*). Helping someone find their own solutions is a way of a Creator, in-turn treating someone like a Creator themselves. Providing solutions for someone is the way of the Rescuer, in-turn treating someone like a Victim of the drama triangle.

It is a matter of find which orientation is healthier for you. Hopefully your mother will find other ways, just as fulfilling ways, of supporting you in the new year.

Sounds simple, though as a “recovering rescuer” I am so very aware how difficult this is. It has helped my relationships with my twin daughters a great deal, especially now that they are teens. However my own mother is so very embedded in the drama triangle each step sounds very much like your story. I am certainly in a position for a great deal of practice these days.

Baby Steps, as Emerald would say, taking one step at a time.

happy holi-daze…

Thanks Kathy, I really like the TED perspective too. We can all use some help as mothers and daughters!

found your site on today and really liked it.. i bookmarked it and will be back to check it out some more later

I’ve recently started a blog, the information you provide on this site has helped me tremendously. Thank you for all of your time & work.

Nice post. I have recently been searching for information about this topic and yours is the best I have discovered so far.


Leave a Comment

« | Home | »

  • Join The Mother Whisperers Community

    Become a Member
    * indicates required
  • group of women
  • COMMUNICATION QUIZ - Can You Make These Statements?

    Ask yourself if you make any of the following 15 statements. Find out if you are expressing yourself fully and are communicating with openness and presence.
    • SCORING The highest possible score is 30, and the lowest is zero. The higher the score, the higher your likelihood of having success in all your relationships. 0-9: You probably find yourself frustrated in relationships (especially with your mother) more often than you would like. 10-15: You have a high aptitude for relating and are open to learning 16-24: You have good relationship skills. How can you apply them more to your mother relationship? 25-30: Congratulations! Your capacity for present-centered relating is at a very high level.
  • Categories

  • Blogroll

  • Archives

Please make an appointment to talk about what's going in your relationship and to see if coaching or our services would help!