The way out of the “love triangle” is most complicated by the fact that each of the participants chooses “from two evils”.
On the example of the situation “one man and two women” it looks like this. For a man, the choice does not sound like “Which of them will I be better off with?”, But like “Which of the two of them will our parting be less painful, so that guilt does not destroy me later?”
For each of the women, this choice does not sound like “Am I better off with or without him?”, But like “Is it worse to endure the humiliation of having another – or is it worse to lose him altogether?”
And even if the situation seems to be resolved, and he breaks up with one of the women, then all the accumulated grievances emerge from the other, and he has a growing sense of guilt before the one he left.
At some point, the one with whom he was left begins to take out his irritation on him that he humiliated her so – and in response he begins to accuse her of the fact that it was because of her that he left the other, who is now suffering so much ( well, or vice versa, he himself begins to provoke her with his accusations, all this happens almost simultaneously).
The situation escalates until he makes another “fateful choice”, and leaves for another. After that, some relief follows, akin to that experienced by an alcoholic, who nevertheless took a sip of his glass of vodka with a tear in his eye – and the described diabolical flywheel spins with a bang again.
Any “love triangle” is always a problem of love addiction, and any love addiction develops according to the same mechanism as alcohol, drugs, or gambling, where a person takes the absence of a stick for a carrot
He treats such situations according to the principle “tomorrow I will pull myself together, make a final decision, and start a new life” as frivolously as trying to convince myself that “this particular glass will definitely be the last one!”
There are no universal recipes here, but one thing I can say for sure. Before making a decision, one must not only sober up, but also go through a period of “abstaining”. The only thing that can help in this is some more important goal than getting rid of suffering clinging to each other in a circle.
The maximum that a psychotherapist can do here is to help discover this goal.
By the way, “love games on the side” most often arise precisely in situations where a person no longer has any other significant aspirations. This is the symptomatology that I designate for myself with the phrase “life is good.” It also includes the “loss of drive” that many successful businessmen have, periodically alternating with panic attacks and bouts of complete apathy.