I'm look for a word or phrase to describe patterns of behavior that happen for a while, go away for some time, and then happen again. No particular pattern with the phases.
It may depend on context, but intermittent is a good possibility here.
occurring at irregular intervals; not continuous or steady.
Examples of usage would be:
- The patient was having intermittent pains in his side.
- The forecast is for intermittent rain.
sporadic also works in this context.
occurring occasionally, singly, or in irregular or random instances
- sporadic loud noises kept startling everyone