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Stepping Out of Vicious Cycles: How to Stop the Never-Ending Fight

By: Jennifer Hume

In my last article I wrote about core issues and how they are at the root of surface issues. I introduced a fictional couple, Trixie and Bob.  Trixie and Bob had a repeating surface issue fight about Bob’s failure to help around the house as Trixie had repeatedly asked.  Trixie became angry; Bob became defensive and shut down, which caused Trixie to get even more angry.  And, you guessed it; Bob really shuts down after that.  So on and so forth.

Can you sense the vicious cycle here?  My Google search defined a vicious cycle, also called a vicious circle, quite well.  It is “a sequence of reciprocal cause and effect in which two or more elements intensify and aggravate each other, leading inexorably to a worsening of the situation.”  Synonyms are: downward spiral, catch-22, chicken and egg situation, and vortex.


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