Anytime a three comes up for me in a troubled relationship reading, I suspect a third person might be involved.
In the case of the Three of Wands, it often suggests (to me) that the attention to the third person is passion-inspired--more along the line of a sort of "mid-life crisis" for the man (mid-life of the original relationship, not necessarily the man,) who sees the "new and younger version" as someone who stokes his libido in a way that the older, "original" partner no longer does. It's not love-inspired, though the man will often think that it is because he is thinking with his sexual brain, not his emotional one--as people often do when they get turned on by someone new and exciting. And it often takes a long time for the guy to realize that it isn't really love at all...though that does nothing to help the person left behind, unfortunately.
I never bend, fold, or mutilate. Unless I'm in a hurry.