Core Pattern: Vacillator + Vacillator

Core Patterns tend to manifest as predictable, cyclical behavior patterns. Below is the pattern common to relationships where both partners have the Vacillator love style.


Vacillator 1’s Tension Builds

The first Vacillator’s anxiety/tension builds up due to:

  • Idealization, which leads to disappointment
  • Preoccupation with relational closeness/distance; ruminating on desired outcomes and past hurts
  • Feeling abandoned when others differ or separate
  • Addressing problems with complaints rather than requests
  • Arrivals/departures, or waiting for the spouse to engage
  • Displeasure at waiting for partner to engage


Vacillator 2’s Tension Builds

The second Vacillator’s tension builds for all the same reasons as their partner.


Someone Vents

Someone begins to vent or protest, either for connection or because of their dark mood. They assume their partner is intentionally trying to cause hurt. Anger is matched with anger, often resulting in a shouting match.


Partner Fights Back

The Partner, feeling as if they’ve been attacked or blames, goes on the defensive. They match their partners anger, escalating to a shouting match with a high probability of violence.


Both Parties Retreat

The fight ends in a stalemate, both parties are stubborn about re-engaging. Rather than pursue understanding, it’s seen as a win/loose scenario. Ultimately, both parties devalue their partner, with no sense of personal ownership in the quarrel.


Standoff Ends

With no resolution to the previous conflict, re-engagement may come once the tension dies down, but it’s simply the calm before the next storm.


Eventually, this cycle starts all over again or destroys the relationship.