Breaking the Argument Cycle

Breaking the Argument Cycle:
How to Stop Fighting Without Therapy

“What’s the big deal? I don’t know why you’re so upset. All I said was . . .” Sound familiar?

Breaking the Argument Cycle is a book for all those who’ve ever found themselves arguing with their significant other, again and again, about money, sex, kids, or even a seemingly trivial topic—when, at its core, the conflict is about something completely different. As a longtime marriage family therapist from Santa Rosa, California, Sharon Rivkin has helped hundreds of couples fix their relationships by understanding why they fight. Rivkin says, “If you don’t find out why you’re fighting, you’ll never stop.” Here, she shows how anyone can use the tools of therapy to break the cycle of destructive fighting; namely, by resolving the core issues of early arguments, which have their roots in childhood and are repeated over time.

Presenting case histories compiled from her years as a therapist, as well as easy exercises, Rivkin sets forth a simple, three-step system Peel, Reveal, Healthe First Argument Technique—that empowers couples to identify and resolve their core issues themselves, shedding light on what they’re really arguing about. This is followed up with effective healing exercises and tools for long-lasting change. The First Argument Technique is also an absolute must-use tool for all phases of marital infidelity: learning where the seeds of the conflict started that are now being acted out in an affair; understanding why you were the last to know; dealing and coping with a cheating spouse; surviving a marriage with infidelity; forgiveness after an affair; and trusting and recovering from infidelity.

By using the First Argument Technique, the three-step system that breaks the argument cycle, confusion and chaos turn into clarity and healing—and everyone can learn how and why they get hooked into an argument, how to recognize the hot buttons and unhook, and how to develop lasting tools to turn conflict into your best friend… even after years of fighting.