Most of us have experienced the crazy cycle of disrespect and lack of love from one time or another in our marriages, and if you haven’t, then you haven’t been married long enough! It starts when one spouse says or does something that was unkind, unloving, or downright disrespectful. Next thing you know, the other spouse responds similarly. And here we go – the vicious cycle begins!
Emerson Eggerich’s, refers to this as the “crazy cycle” in his book, Love and Respect. If this crazy cycle is not disrupted, then both spouses can continue to hurt one another and grow further apart. But how do we get off this crazy roller coaster ride?
Step up. At least one person has to take the initiative, recognize what’s going on, and make a decision to become an instrument of change for the sake of the relationship.
Talk about it. If possible have a calm discussion about what led to the conflict(s) in the first place. Use discretion however, as to the best time to do this. A conversation immediately after the conflict may not be the best time. Set aside a time that is right for both of you and when emotions are not running high.
Ask for forgiveness. There’s a good chance when we’ve gotten “in our feelings”, we have said or done something to injure our spouse. Asking for forgiveness is a good way to hit the re-start button.
Forgive your spouse. It’s not enough to just ask for forgiveness, but you have to also check your heart and see if you’re carrying any resentment against your spouse for what they may have said or done. If you’re struggling with forgiveness, ask God to help you and get additional support if need be.
Be restored. Take this time to pray for one another and commit to showing one another love and respect. Allow God to heal your hearts and past wounds so you can get on with loving and respecting each other once again.