Tension Building: A minor conflict, lasting a few hours to months, causes tension to build. During this period, there may be the feeling of walking on eggshells.
Violent Episode: The tension explodes into an emotionally and/or physically abusive incident. Most often, the victim of the abuse blames himself/herself, or the abuser blames the victim, for the incident.
Honeymoon Period: The abuser apologizes to the victim and expresses remorse, often buying gifts and promising to change. This minimizes the seriousness of the incident, and tension starts to build again.