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Kisa and the Drama Triangle?

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naivewife posted 11/15/2013 09:06 AM

Things just seem to be unraveling in my mind this morning. I've known all along that WH is a KISA, and everytime I read anything posted about the Drama Triangle, my attention gets really sucked into it. I'm realizing that these two dynamics really sum up WH's FOO. They contributed to WH's waywardness, his father's waywardness (WH has memories of sitting in the car as a child while his father had to go into a "poor single co-worker woman's" house to help her with some household chore or another for a long time and then mom and dad fight about said woman later), and maybe even his sisters jumps into OW-hood. And ironically, his mother seems to the the one who really stokes the drama triangle and KISA tendencies in her family.
Anyway, I'm wondering now if anyone can recommend good reading, even just online info, about both of these things, and possibly even how one plays into the other?

[This message edited by naivewife at 9:09 AM, November 15th (Friday)]

ladies_first posted 11/15/2013 11:59 AM

I've known all along that WH is a KISA, and everytime I read anything posted about the Drama Triangle, my attention gets really sucked into it.

It's an eye opener when you can recognize *his* role in the drama triangle.

I see that you are 10 months past Dday.

Gently, the CHANGE occurs when you see/understand *your* role in the Drama Triangle.

Is reading/learning about his KISA tendencies an effort on your part to control or fix or prevent his A?

Anyway, I'm wondering now if anyone can recommend good reading, even just online info, about both of these things, and possibly even how one plays into the other?

A better question may be: He's a KISA, what are you?


[This message edited by ladies_first at 12:01 PM, November 15th (Friday)]

sisoon posted 11/15/2013 13:00 PM

Search the web on Karpman Drama Triangle - Steve Karpman was, IIRC, the first person to define and write about it. He published in a journal that's not widely available now. There's a lot of stuff on the web, though.

ETA: The original article and much more is posted on Karpman's website:

[This message edited by sisoon at 2:42 PM, November 15th (Friday)]

blakesteele posted 11/15/2013 14:26 PM

Hi niavewife.

I see you posted with KISA in the topic line a couple of times today.

I am a BS but had and have a KISA thing in me too....mine was traced back, in part, to my FOO issues. Specifically, abandonment.

Through IC I have been able to recognize how something I thought was "healthy love" was actually a mask for "keeping intimacy at bay".

I won't drag up a bunch of my parents D when I was 12, Dad just disappeared overnight. Never saw my parents fight...didnt know things were bad until 30 days before the actual my family went from "good" to "bad" in less than a month.

I see NOW that I never processed that pain...I developed coping mechanisms to mask that pain. From that point on I volunteered to help everyone....and did it from what I thought was noble things such as "strong work ethic" "compassion for others" and "doing the right thing".

I have since learned there are lots of gray in well as multiple motives for doing any one thing. Some motives are healthy, some are not.

I have also taken mutliple tests...personality, spiritual gifts, etc. I was shocked to find out I was a classic "over achiever" and have "perfectionist tendencies". I was an average student and always felt like I was middle of the pack with my peers.

Here is how it ties into KISA.....

I see now that I did the KISA thing for many reasons....the ones listed above are valid. But I see a strong tie to this thought....

"If I produce more, if I "rescue" more...I will have a greater cushion between me and the inevitable abandonment coming my way." I had anxiety issues pre-A. They sure spiked while my wifes A was a secret to me...but they were there at unhealthy levels pre-A.

Add to this the fact that my own parents were such poor role models for what true intimacy and what real love looked like in a M and it is a wonder I didn't have the A. I sincerely mean this....I see NOW how unfulfilled I was in our M. I know my wife was....was a main driver to her choosing adultery. I am not taking responsibility for her decisions here...just see how I contributed to an unhealthy M.

The KISA thing now has a very bad taste in my mouth....but I still find myself doing things for my wife that she should and would do. Little things like coming to me to ask if I can adjust my schedule to allow her some freedom to do what she wants to do. It feels GOOD to be needed, desired, and valuable. I know most of that comes from within...and am working on that. But it also feels damn good, especially in the wake of her A, for my wife to ask me for help.

Most of our M I would provide before my wife asked....never gave her a chance to realize she might need help, let alone be vulnerable enough to ask for help.

Kicker in our sitch is that my wife came from a D family where her Mom constantly asked her Dad for help....and he returned this request with sarcasim and be littled her for asking for help! Thus programming her to feel "weak" if she ever asked for help, ever admitted she "needed" anything...or even face the fact that she has needs.

See how our respective FOO issues played so nicely into each other for 15 years? I would provide quickly for her so she would never have a chance to reject and abandon me....she took comfort in this dynamic because it allowed her to avoid doing what she dispised doing....asking for help, admitting she had needs.

This dynamic is tough to break....we are both uncomfortable learning this new, healthy format for living. But we are both committed to it.

It is true that what I am stronger in I will always be stronger in than my wife...and vice versa. But this does and should not mean we don't grow in our weak areas.

For a long time I thought since my wife was strong in one area, I didn't need to grow....and since I was strong in one area, my wife didn't need to grow. Thought that was the 2 become 1 thing in our vows.


Alls that did was propogate separateness....and prohibited real, mature growth...growth that leads to intimacy.

I am not familiar with the technical definition of the Drama Triangle...but hope I have stuck to the heart of this thread.

It is most shocking how our FOO issues lined up to produce such an unhealthy relationship...but one that lasted 15 years. I am not losing sleep over it...we did the best we knew how and had many great times and have two wonderful I am not saying I regret those 15 years....okay, kinda regret the whole adultery thing....but other than that, we did what we knew how to do.

Now that we know feels good (but painful) to do better.

Naivewife...I see your are doing better. Keep up the good work. I know you feel like you are unravelling today....I think you are actually growing and making sense of something your probably didn't even think you had to examine pre-A.

God be with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 3:25 PM, November 15th (Friday)]

putonahappyface posted 11/20/2013 06:04 AM

I can only speak to the KISA issue, as my FSAWH had/has these tendencies as well & I believe they lead a lot of people down the slippery slope. This came up at our disclosure with my H's therapist the other day. His therapist, who is very good at role playing & giving him "tools" to use, suggested this: should a "damsel in distress" approach him at work or wherever, he can simply say "I'm sorry you find yourself in this position. Let me go home & discuss it with my wife. We'll pray about it & decide if this is something WE can help with."

I am comfortable with this. I don't expect my H to be a cold, uncaring robot at work. This response establishes that he has boundaries, that we are a team & we work together. If this "damsel" is really just looking for a fling or a sugar daddy, she's going to move on to someone else.

And that's what a healthy marriage should be...a strong, united team, tackling life together!

DixieD posted 11/20/2013 08:27 AM

I had (and still have some) KISA issues, which is another word for Rescuer in the Drama Triangle. But I can also be a Victim and a damn fine Persecutor too. I could recognize how easy it was to enter at any starting position and shift from one role into another all within the same conflict.

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