You don't get it.
The sets of 1 AND 2 should be easy. They are only preparatory sets for the set of 3 which is THE work set.
I don't care how much you lift for one rep, it's how high you can go for 3 reps.
You simply did not understand which were the important sets. The 1 and 2 are there to get you used to the weight, practice your technique, and focus on proper contraction so that your set(s) of 3 will be better.
Sets of 1 & 2 should not be anywhere near hard , except for your last wave, and even then only the set of 2 should be somewhat hard.
Again, 1 & 2 are to work on technique and efficiency, 3s are for the training effect.
In other words see wave ladders as follow: "3 (or 4) increasingly heavier sets of 3 reps, with a set of 1 and 2 before each to prepare you for the work sets"
If you would rather do singles and doubles, fine. But don't call it the wave ladder. And don't think you need to make adjustments because you misapplied the method. And you wont maintain strength more focusing on singles and doubles than triples since singles and doubles are basically only dependant on neural factors. 3s are actually better to build strength. 1s and 2s are better to learn to demonstrate strength.