Cascading is when a couple quickly moves from one theme to another theme. The problem is that the conversation changes so quickly that the couple is unable to address each incident or issue. The conversation typically escalates with little possibility of resolve. One husband talked about avoiding conversations since his wife tended to cascade—one issue quickly moved into another issue.

Another way that couples escalate is when they talk over each other. One person’s sharing blends into the partner’s reaction and so on. Neither person is listening intently and more interested in getting their points across. These conversations also escalate quickly, with neither partner being heard. 

To avoid cascading or talking over, patience is a virtue. Responding to the theme your partner is conveying without moving onto another theme prevents cascading. Listening to your partner until they are finished talking and then responding is respectful.