Do You Have a Marriage Crisis Intervention Team?

fightingcoupleLike Chick Hughes just mentioned in her last article all couples fight! It doesn’t mean you’re headed for divorce court or that one of you will end up on the next episoded of Snapped. It just means that you are comfortable enough with each other to disagree and say so. The argument itself isn’t the problem; it’s what you do afterward that will make or sometimes break your marriage.

The first mistake couples make is turning what is often times a trivial argument into a catastrophic event. I’ve personally witnessed couples get upset over the silliest things, but call their lawyer to draw up the divorce papers. Many times, it isn’t that deep at all, but out of fuming emotion, one or both will take it there. Why? Because they don’t have a good marriage crisis intervention team in place.

A marriage crisis intervention team are the people you call when you’re standing on the ledge and about to jump. A bad team of people will give that well-meaning but detrimental advice regarding what you should do as a result of the argument. Instead of offering an objective view point, they feed off of your emotion by saying things like, “girl, you should leave him,” “he’s probably cheating,” or “he ain’t no good.” These are the people who convince you to jump off that ledge and do something stupid, like drawing up those divorce papers or packing your stuff and leaving. YOU DO NOT WANT THESE PEOPLE ON YOUR MARRIAGE CRISIS INTERVENTION TEAM.

A good team will do the exact opposite and more. These are the people who will talk you off the ledge! They will remind you that you are just fuming with emotion and saying things that you really don’t mean. They know that you really don’t want your marriage to be over; you’re just mad right now. They listen, are supportive and remind you of how much you really do love your spouse. They convince you to wait a few days before making regretful decisions based on emotion. They ask thought provoking questions, like “Are you sure you’ve exhausted all of your options and you really want to end your marriage,” or, “Have you guys tried counseling?” This is the team that will fight for your marriage when you are too mad to do so. These are the people you should call if you need to vent after an argument with your spouse!

Again, ALL couples fight but the remarried couple provides even more opportunity for conflict. How you recover from those arguments partly depends on who catches you when you fall. A good marriage crisis intervention team will remind you that it really isn’t a crisis at all and make you realize that your marriage at least deserves a fighting chance.

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Comments

  1. Love it!

  2. The whole notion of a Crisis Team is very telling of what marriage has become. Not saying good or bad. It just is at where it is at.

    The belief that a marriage should stay together has largely disappeared. Not altogether, but to a great degree.

    Let me clarify, I believe having ready support for a marriage is a great idea. I remain one of the decreasing number who believe in marriage and believe in the fulfillment of family commitment and loyalties. So why not use every resource at our disposal in this otherwise “marriage is disposable” culture?

    I still contend that the value of a good marriage and intact family benefits the individuals and society at large. Call me old-fashion, but I still think it is how we were designed.

    My wife and I have a person we go to on a regular basis to help us continue to smooth down the rough edges in our relationship. It is a second marriage for both of us and we both have kids but none together. How could this NOT be the ground work for complication and complex priorities? It is.

    While not a whole team, we do have a counselor who we have seen now for a couple of years, to speak to us from the sidelines as we both know that his vantage point is of tremendous value. He sees things that we cannot see ourselves while we are so occupied with life.

    I also have a very close friend of over 20 years who I can be completely honest with. If I find myself in a bad place, I can go to him and get his honest, unedited perspective. And then there is also my AA sponsor. A fellow married man who can reflect back to me his observations as a fellow sober/recovering alcoholic.

    If a crisis team is what it takes to keep a marriage functioning, then that is simply where we are at. I would gladly welcome ongoing input and reflection than I would another divorce.

    Maybe these types of teams are just part of the new reality of marriage?

    Ciao.

    Chaz

  3. Hey Chaz, always a pleasure hearing your insight.

    I think the necessity of having such a “team” has always been a reality for married couples. In my opinion, the fact that we’ve continually overlooked this necessity over the years is partly what has led to our alarming divorce rate. To clarify, this “team” is just a few people that you can trust with your thoughts and feelings when you are having a disagreement with your spouse. Like you, Chaz, it can be a counselor, or a friend, a pastor, family member or all of the above. Whatever the case may be, they should be people you can confide in, ones who will give you that honest, unedited perspective, and most importantly, people who have both you AND your spouse’s best interest at heart. As I stated in my post, they should be the people who fight for your marriage when you’re too mad to do so. You’re right, we should use every resource at our disposal in this otherwise “marriage is disposable” culture.

    Happy Holidays,

    ~kela

  4. Hi Kela…. and a Merry Christmas / Happy Holiday to you too.

    The point about our resource people being on the side of our marriage, rather than just us, is absolutely critical.

    I think we can easily enough go to people who will cosign our side of an issue and actually do more damage. There is absolutely never only one side to any issue.

    I suppose the potential trap is that in going to someone for support, and us then believing we are doing something positive, we may be blind to the fact that a person has helped us take another step down the slippery slope.

    I think our own barometer of maturity is how ruffled or defensive we get when our actions or attitude is challenged. Someone who had spoken greatly into my life years ago suggested strongly to me that, “No matter if an issue is 98% their fault and 2% yours, if you don’t take responsibility for your 2%, you will not be doing your part and the issue may never get solved. It is more important that you own your 2% than it is you pointing out their 98%”.

    Now in reality is is seldom 98 and 2. But he emphasized this to make a point that we need to focus on our side. It is way too easy to overlook our errors while blaming.

    Ciao.

    Chaz

  5. Another profound statement – “It is important that you own your 2% than it is you point out the other person’s 98%.”

    And you’re right, our own barometer of maturity might be how defensive we get when our actions and/or attitude is challenged, however; when emotions are high, we all can be a bit immature sometimes. As such, it is important to have people on our “team” who aren’t affected by our immature emotional level and will still tell us what we need to hear instead of what we want to hear. Cosigners cause us to jump to conclusions and make hasty decisions. People who support the marriage and not just the individual talk us off the ledge.

    ~Kela

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