Custom CSS of Section contains Conditional Preview for See Life Campaign Elements

How to Support Each Other During and After Crises

Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
Close up of the faces of a troubled wife and husband mulling over some life problem
iStock/Thinkstock

When crisis or trial comes to your marriage, support each other. Then turn to God and godly community for help. Above all, stay connected with each other afterward and be sure to make time for fun.

I met Jeff and Kirstin when they were in the middle of a crisis. Their 17-year-old son was in full-blown rebellion. Many nights he would never show up, and on others he would come home intoxicated. What amazed many of their friends, including me, was their ability to pull together during this challenging season. Years later their son had recovered; however, they hadn’t. Jeff and Kirstin shared that their marriage was holding on by a thread and they needed a miracle.

Recently, I have become especially attuned to the following verse (which is strangely missing from most wedding ceremony programs!): “But those who marry will face many troubles in this life” (1 Corinthians 7:28, NIV). During the past 25 years, Greg and I have experienced amazing marriage seasons; I mean full-blown blessings! There have also been seasons of trials and “many troubles.” We have faced walking away from a ministry we loved, managing family difficulties and health scares, losing a parent to lung cancer and another to kidney failure, adopting internationally, moving again and again and overcommitting our time, to name a few.

It has always amazed me to see a couple work together through the white waters of a crisis, yet as the rapids settle, they not only realize they are in separate rafts, but are also paddling in different directions.

What are the secrets of working through a challenging season and afterward being stronger as a couple?

The crisis

I discovered some significant insights by reading about the horrific events that have befallen our country over the past decades. As tragedies have occurred — from the 1995 Oklahoma City disaster to the 2001 terrorist attacks on 9/11 to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing to recent mass shootings in Nevada and Texas and California — researchers have noticed that the country bands together and unity increases.

In a 2013 article for The Atlantic, psychotherapist and author Joseph Burgo wrote that tragedy-centered camaraderie fades: “The emotional sense of unity will inevitably abate and instead of hating those evil terrorists, we’ll go back to bickering.”

Although this analysis is referring to crises in our country, I believe the same may be true in some marriages when the couple is facing an external crisis. As couples face their “trouble” together, they bond to conquer the “enemy”; however, once the crisis lets up, the couple returns to living in a pattern of everyday discord. If there were issues in the marriage prior to the crisis, they will more than likely return.

When an external crisis surfaces, couples typically move into a survival mode of sorts. It may be that they are caring for an aging parent who just entered into hospice, seeking medical treatment for a child’s cancer or managing finances when a job is suddenly lost.

The support

Here are some steps for couples in crisis to follow:

1. Recognize that you are in crisis mode. Let’s call a crisis a crisis; however, it’s also important to acknowledge that somehow and someway there will be an end to the challenging season. The frantic pace will change or the level of intensity may die down. Eventually, life will return to a slower pace and a “new normal” will become established.

2. Support each other’s self-care. Self-care will allow each of you to have a break from the crisis mode. Send your husband out for lunch or to a movie with one of his guy friends. Perhaps one or both of you needs to walk every morning or to listen to praise and worship music.

3. Turn to God and godly community. Don’t face any crisis alone. Instead, follow the advice in Galatians 6:2: “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (NIV). Surround yourself with wise and supporting people. Seek God’s presence through reading the Bible and spending time in prayer.

4. Stay connected with each other afterward. As a couple grieves the results of the crisis, often each spouse will express loss and sorrow differently. Give each other space, but make sure you are staying connected by listening to each other and seeking to understand what the other is experiencing. If this means seeking professional Christian counseling to stay connected — do it! Invest your time and finances in your marriage — it is worth making your marriage a high priority.

5. Continue strengthening and evaluating your marriage. Attend a marriage seminar, join a marriage small group or ask a few close friends to walk with you in the aftermath of the crisis. (Make sure both of you agree on who those friends are.) Have regular discussions about the strength of your marriage. Ask, “Do we need to do something differently as we recover from a season of crisis?” If there was a specific marital issue before the crisis, it may resurface afterward. Be on alert and open to seeking help.

6. Make time for fun! Fun and laughter can do great things for any marriage. However, post-crisis mode, make sure to regularly schedule something fun to do with each other — see a movie, have friends over to play a game, dance or go on an adventure of some sort. These activities will infuse you and your spouse with energy and healing.

Dynamic CTA Template Below

Your Teen Needs You Most of All

No parent of teens is perfect and even the best can learn how to better connect with their son or daughter. Get practical action steps to better connect with your teenager in 8 Essential Tips for Parenting Your Teen in this FREE video series!

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.
Emerson-Eggerich4-840w

Understand How to Respect and Love your Son Well

Why doesn’t my son listen to me? Have you ever asked that question? The truth is, how you see your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. In fact, we’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.

Reconnected: The Digital Experience

Is the love there, but not the spark? Reawaken fun in your marriage and move from roommates to soulmates again with the help of this 7-part online video experience. Learn how to connect emotionally and spiritually as husband and wife using techniques such as dreaming together and establishing deep, heartfelt communication. The Digital Experience includes 7 teaching videos, an online study guide and access to additional tools and resources to help spouses reconnect.

Next Steps: Marriage Assessment

We want your marriage to be thriving and healthy. Take the free Marriage Assessment from Focus on the Family to learn how to strengthen your bond with your spouse and get the tools to help you need to grow closer together. 

Next Steps: Fruit of the Spirit Devotionals for Couples

The Fruit of the Spirit Devotional is a free series of nine short videos to get you into God’s Word and inspire you to seek the Holy Spirit’s help in loving your spouse.

Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

About the Author

Read More About:

You May Also Like

unhappy-wife-in-bed-turned-away-from-husband
Abuse

What Is Sexual Abuse in Marriage?

Darby Strickland, a counselor and teacher at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation, defines sexual abuse in marriage and explains how wives are oppressed in this way.

distraught-woman-praying
Abuse

What Is Spiritual Abuse in Marriage?

Darby Strickland, a counselor and teacher at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation, defines spiritual abuse in marriage and offers advice for helping wives who are oppressed in this way.

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 5: It’s Going to be Amazing!

After a couple has chosen life, hear the heartwarming stories of children that culture would have cast aside, yet are making tremendous impacts in their communities. Whether the diagnosis was adverse or the circumstances were difficult, these stories will inspire you to come along side of families who have chosen life!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

see life episode 4 normal version

Please check back soon for an updated version of this episode!

Newest Release - Episode 4: Sometimes the Choice is Hard

Hear real life stories of parents who have made the decision to choose life even though the circumstances were overwhelming. You’ll see why “ALL” life is precious to God and why choosing life is always the right decision!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 6: Families Helping Families!

So, after all you’ve seen through the SeeLife ‘21 Episodic journey; what can you do now? We’ll share how you can partner with some amazing organizations that are making significant impacts in the pro-life movement! You want to Celebrate Life!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 3: The Power of a Picture

Have you ever wondered what a baby looked like in the womb? With today’s technology, Moms and Dads can see the baby’s heartbeat, facial expressions, and movements! You’ll find out why more women choose life once they hear their baby’s heartbeat and realize it’s a real living human!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 2: Heroes Providing Hope

Discover the amazing work our PRC’s Directors, Nurses, and Volunteers are making in their communities! You’ll see firsthand testimonies of a PRC in action, and that there are other options outside of abortions! You’ll also discover how your family can support your local PRC!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

In this episode, we will tackle tough questions like, “When does life begin?” and “What does the Bible
say about Life?” You’ll discover and understand the stages of pre-born life and that babies are more than
just a clump of cells!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!