Several Lebesgue-type decomposition theorems in analysis have a strong relation to the operation called the parallel sum. The aim of this paper is to investigate this relation from a new point of view. Namely, using a natural generalization of Arlinskii's approach (which identifies the singular part as a fixed point of a single-variable map) we prove the existence of a Lebesgue-type decomposition for non-negative sesquilinear forms. As applications, we also show how this approach can be used to derive analogous results for representable functionals, non-negative finitely additive measures, and positive definite operator functions. The focus is on the fact that each theorem can be proved with the same completely elementary method.