Why does the Crazy Cycle happen? Oftentimes, it is because either one or both marriage partners are letting speculation drive their responses instead of facts.
I recall a commercial wherein a wife is informed that her husband is flirting with a woman at the jewelry store. The scene moves forward with the wife coming down the street toward the jewelry store with a rolling pin in hand and a growing crowd marching behind to watch her catch him red-handed. As she enters the store, she observes her smiling husband purchasing a diamond for her. The other female is the clerk behind the counter. This husband was innocent, but the warring wife did not have the facts. Sketchy or misconstrued information is dangerous.
We must be careful not to react based on sketchy or misconstrued information. The Bible is very clear that facts must be the basis of evaluation. All of the facts.
In marriage it is too easy to negatively react based on inadequate or misinterpreted information.
All of us know firsthand how upsetting it is when our spouse jumps to conclusions without knowing the facts. This pains us immensely. We feel disrespected. Unloved. Not trusted. We end up walking on egg shells so as to try avoiding further misunderstandings.
How sad when we misinterpret our spouse and attack them as wrong and guilty. In our presumptuousness, we launch the Crazy Cycle: Feeling unfairly accused, he feels disrespected and reacts unlovingly. Now feeling severely unloved, she refuses to show respect to—in her mind—her clearly guilty and defensive husband. And round and round they go, the Crazy Cycle spinning out of control. This is why the apostle Paul said in Ephesians 5:33 that a husband is to unconditionally love his wife and a wife is to unconditionally respect her husband.
All the facts must be known and speculation must be avoided. A person’s hunch may even turn out to be correct, but as Christ-followers we are called to be people of truth.
A subjective feeling could reveal itself to be accurate, but the courts around the world have declared a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Hearsay and speculation must not bring about judgment and condemnation, especially within a marriage. The Salem witch trials showed us that the accused must not be put in a position to prove their innocence; rather the accuser must prove the other’s guilt. That happens with objective facts, not subjective feelings.
- How have you seen the Crazy Cycle start up when reactions were given based on speculation and not fact? Did the facts later disprove the speculation? If so, how was the Crazy Cycle still difficult to slow down? If the speculations turned out to be true, how did the early accusation and show of mistrust exacerbate the conflict even further?
- Why do we find it so easy at times to react negatively based on inadequate or misinformation? What does this say about us and the relationship it involves?
- When have you been unfairly accused by someone you love? How did the presumptiveness make you feel? How has it since affected your relationship with him or her?