Cycles are recurring patterns of behavior related to thoughts and emotions. Sometimes a cycle can involve addictive substances, such as alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, or other illicit drugs. A cycle can also involve gambling, food (eating disorder patterns), shopping, or hypersexual habits. Each one of these substances and habits can be damaging to an individual and his/her family and friends. Also, behavior cycles can really mess with relationships directly. Some couples get stuck in yelling, abuse, or dishonesty cycles. If you are concerned about you or someone close to you being stuck in one of the cycles mentioned above, contact your therapist, clergy/spiritual mentor, physician, nurse, or another healthcare professional and be honest.
So what can you do? Sometimes it helps to look past the cycle itself to consider what purpose a cycle has. A couple might be stuck in a yelling/anger cycle because one or both didn’t learn to bond appropriately growing up or in earlier relationships, and since anger can be an intense emotion the couple feels closer through conflict. You could think of it like this: every cycle has a center of gravity holding it together. Figure out what the center is (i.e. what purpose the cycle serves), and you will have a better understanding of how to alter or break the cycle.