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Cascade of Events for Breaking Agreements

Cascade of Events for Breaking Agreements


82% of affairs among monogamous partnerships are not seated in lust, rather they are from hurt or fear. Potential partners are already acquaintances, and are characterized by 


  • Secrecy
  • Emotional intimacy
  • Sexual chemistry. 


For the partner who commits to agreement breaking, there is often a cascade of events that happen before. 


Precursor thoughts


Thoughts that lead to agreement breaking are similar  to:

  • Unfavorably judging a behavior exchange
  • Comparing with real or imagined alternatives
  • “I can do better with somebody else”


Cascading Events

  1. Turning away or against partner
  2. Negative comparisons while turning away/against
  3. Not “there for me” (86% turning away, good 33%), emotional Distance
  4. More flooding occurs with negative events.
  5. Conflict absorbing state, can’t resolve conflict. Repair attempts do not work.
  6. Blow ups and conflict avoidance. Suppresses negative effects.
  7. Avoids self disclosure leading to secrets and deceptions.
  8. Bidding for attunement declines.
  9. Invest less in relationships. Loneliness increases.
  10. Less dependence on relationships to get needs met. Confiding in others, not partners.
  11. Less sacrificing. Substituting, find what’s not there elsewhere..
  12. Maximizing a partner’s negative traits. Defensiveness begins.
  13. Minimizing partner positive traits. Criticism begins. Shared meaning erodes. Begin taking less or no responsibility for problems.
  14. Trashing vs. cherishing begins. Shared meaning erodes more.
  15. Trashing partners to others, the story of us goes negative.
  16. Builds resentment. See partner as selfish. Stonewalling starts.
  17. More loneliness. Vulnerability to other relationships starts.
  18. Partner refusing sex becomes punishing. Low sexual desire. Porn use may increase.
  19. Less pro-relationship thoughts, more anti-relationship thoughts 
  20. Starts innocent new secret liaisons.
  21. Reverses walls & windows (Shirley Glass). Fence between self and partner.
  22. Keeping more and more secrets from my partners. Deception increases.
  23. Actively turning toward others for needs, seeking what’s not in a relationship.
  24. Crossing boundaries. Real betrayal unfolds. Deceptions become a way of life. Risky.

Have any thoughts, questions, suggestions, or comments on this article? Wondering how to this can be applied, modified, or adapted to your polyamorous, swinging, kink/ BDSM, or otherwise interesting relationship? Feel free to reach out to me here.