Rebuilding Bridges in Troubled Relationships

Overcoming Relationship Challenges: Negotiating the Negative Cascade

The negative cascade unfolds in stages, starting with criticism – attacking a partner’s character rather than addressing behavior. Left unaddressed, criticism escalates into contempt, aimed at belittling and demeaning. Defensiveness emerges as a protective shield, hindering constructive communication and deepening conflict. Eventually, stonewalling ensues, leading to a breakdown in communication and emotional withdrawal.

However, hope persists for couples entrenched in destructive patterns. Learning new skills, such as avoiding flooding and engaging in constructive conflict resolution, offers a path towards reconciliation. Effective communication and conflict resolution techniques, guided by a skilled therapist, can foster mutual understanding and reignite the flame of love.

Dr. Baya Mebarek, Psy.D.,LMFT