Broken family bonds can be one of the most intense sources of conflict. This book - which provides vital insights into the dynamics of family and other forms of violence - explores the damage caused to familial and social bonds by escalating feelings of shame during marital quarrels. Theories and research from large-scale conflict, marital dispute and communication processes are reviewed and provide a background for Retzinger's new integrative theory, which focuses on social bonds. The theory is applied to four case studies of marital quarrels in order to advance understanding of the escalation and resolution of conflict. The book includes a description of an intensive case study method for analyzing discourse and provides data which will be useful for preventative and predictive measures in early marital problems.