What Is a Fear Cycle?
All couples have two cycles – a Love Cycle and a Fear Cycle
You're in your fear cycle when you're both feeling bad -- and both doing things that aren’t nice.
Most fights are fear cycles. You each feel bad, and make the other feel bad. The worse you feel, the more you react. Same for them.
They do something not-so-nice
So, you feel bad.
So, you do something not-so-nice
So, they feel bad.
So, they do something not-so-nice,
And it goes around and around.
There are three types of fear cycles...
The most common is a fight/flight cycle, where one of you moves toward (fight) while the other moves away (flight). Both of you feel frustrated. The more you move toward, the more they move away. Or the more you move away, the more they move toward. Fight leads to flight, and flight leads to fight.
The second type is where you move toward (fight). In this kind of cycle, disagreements escalate quickly. There is a danger of saying things that are really hurtful.
The third type is where both of you move away (flight). In this kind of cycle, disagreements end quickly, but disengagement can lead to growing apart, neglect and loneliness.
Don’t be alarmed if you have a fear cycle. Everyone does. But, like everyone, you want to stay out of your fear cycle as much as possible. And get out of it as quickly as you can.
You need to know the details of your fear cycle, so you can see it coming, recognize it when you’re in it, and find your way out of it. When you spend less time in your fear cycle, you can spend more time in your love cycle. That will feel a whole lot better.
Reduce Conflict and Increase Connection in Your Relationship
Love Cycles, Fear Cycles teaches readers the most important idea in all of couples therapy. This idea gives readers a new understanding of what’s been going wrong in their marriage – and a new way to make things right.