This is a normal part of the abuse cycle. The abuse cycle has six parts and, at any given time, a relationship may be in any one of these parts however, it generally begins with the “Standover phase – control and fear”. That is, the abuser starts or continues to make demands, exerting their power and control over the other person. That can take many forms depending on that person’s behaviour of choice. It can however, include demanding to see the grocery receipt with accusations of overspending, checking phone records, etc.
This is followed by the “Explosion phase”. The abuser, physically hurts the other party, threatens to hurt, breaks items, yells, sexually abuses or dramatically increases emotional abuse and so on.
After the explosion, the abuser enters the “Remorse phase” and drags the other party along with them. This is the time they justify their behaviours by blaming stress, anger, trouble at work, bad childhood, anything that will remove the blame for that behaviour from the abuser.
Then comes the “Pursuit and promises phase”. The abuser may promise to get help and may even make an appointment to see someone. During this phase, the abuser will do almost anything to get things “back to normal”. They may buy presents, continue to say sorry and pursue the other party to the point it may feel like they are falling in love again.
This then flows into the honeymoon phase in which the couple are getting on well because the abuser is choosing to control their abusive behaviours for a period of time. Previous appointments made in the “Pursuit and promises phase” are often cancelled due to everything going so well and the abuser claiming intervention is no longer needed.
This often leads into the “Build-up phase” in which the other party may question the decision to cancel the appointment (or any justifiably questionable power and control based behaviour). The abuser becomes tired of not being in a position of power and makes the choice to begin to re-engage in abusive behaviours such as controlling, questioning and blaming the other party for their behaviours.
As the build-up continues to grow, the abuser moves back into the “Standover phase”, thus, beginning the cycle again.
This cycle may occur in a matter of days, it may occur in a matter of weeks or even months. The underlying issue with the cycle is that, unless the abuser takes responsibility for their behaviours and makes a real effort to change them, the cycle will continue unabated, often for years and even generations.