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Practical Steps to Stopping the Crazy Cycle in Mid-Spin

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“Okay, Emerson,” you ask. “How do we keep the Crazy Cycle from spinning after one or both of us has said things that are getting it started?”  The Crazy Cycle is: Without love she reacts without respect and without respect he reacts without love.

Here are some basic steps:

1. Remember that your spouse is a good willed person. Even if your spouse has done or said something that causes you to doubt this at the moment, proceed with a positive attitude Anything else will only get the Crazy Cycle spinning faster.

2. Thinking about what you might have done to step on your spouse’s air hose, take your time answering any heated remarks. Think to yourself, Something is bothering him/her. Instead of getting defensive, I need to go slow, giving him/her the benefit of the doubt. I must not jump to a conclusion. I need to be patient.

3. At this point you can take the standard approach that we teach in Love and Respect conferences. To try to find out what is wrong, never say, “You are unloving” or “You are disrespectful,” accusations that only pinch the other person’s air hose all the more.

Instead, the wife can say, “That felt unloving. Did I just come across as disrespectful?” If he says yes, the wife can say, “I’m sorry for being disrespectful. Will you forgive me? How can I come across more respectfully?”

Or the husband can say, “That felt disrespectful. Did I just come across as unloving?” If she says yes, the husband can reply, “I’m sorry for being unloving. How can I come across more lovingly?”

-Dr. E

Emerson Eggerichs, Ph.D.
Author, Speaker, Pastor

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