The Crazy Cycle

By Emerson and Sarah Eggerichs
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Focus on the Family
Dr. Emerson Eggerichs describes the crazy cycle and how it affects marriages.

What is the Crazy Cycle?

Craziness is when we keep doing the same thing — again and again — with the same ill effect. Marital craziness is when we do the same thing — over and over — with the same negative results. I call it the Crazy Cycle. When hurt and frustrated, we continue reacting in negative ways to motivate our spouse to be positive. Can you believe it? That’s like flipping broken light switches for 30 minutes.

All who are married go through this cycle. The topics change, and the intensity varies, but the crazy cycle continues. One day the argument may be about a diet book, the next day the argument may be about child-rearing methods. Next month, it’s about a marriage book and then about the lack of money.

This happens among good willed people. Sadly, some think they have a horrible marriage because of this craziness. Truth is, they are inches away from making an adjustment that can set them in a whole new and positive course.

Stopping the Crazy Cycle

The key is to see underneath this “craziness,” to the heart of a spouse.

Based on Ephesians 5:33, I discovered why a husband and wife react the way they do. We read, “each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband” (NIV).

Because a wife needs love, a husband would be wise to assume his wife’s negative reaction is rooted in her feeling unloved. On the other hand, because a husband needs respect, a wife would be prudent to assume her husband’s negative reaction is rooted in his feeling disrespected.

Is it time for you to apply God’s truth? It takes work, but it works. It may not be fair, but God’s truth is revealed to people in unfair situations. A respectful or loving demeanor prevents a wife or husband from repeatedly flipping broken light switches.

Copyright © 2005, Emerson Eggerichs. All rights reserved. International copyright secured. Used by permission.

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About the Author

Emerson and Sarah Eggerichs

Emerson Eggerichs is an internationally known public speaker, a best-selling author and the founder and president of Love and Respect Ministries. Eggerichs has authored several books including Love and Respect which has sold more than a million copies. He and his wife, Sarah, reside in Grand Rapids, Mich., and have three grown children.

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