People who are involved in a relationship will always encounter a crisis in one time or another. The way one handles a crisis determines the consequences of that crisis. You can get some little wisdom of how to deal with it by reading this article.
You are likely to trigger a crisis if you offer too little information, or if you fail to seek clarification.
A crisis is emotionally intense, and can have far reaching consequences on you and your relationship
In medical parlance, it is defined a turning point for better or worse, in an acute disease or fever, a definition that aptly describes the impact of crisis in relationships.
One thing as sure as day and night. If you commit to a relationship, you will run into a crisis at some point.
The question is not whether the crisis will come knocking or not, rather, how you will handle it when it shows up. I have addressed three common causes of crises in relationships and suggested possible ways of handling them.
Communication: It is the most common precipitate of crises in relationships. For instance a man tells his wife, “My sister will be coming next week”.
The wife takes “coming” to mean “visiting”, and assumes that it will only be for a day, or a few days. When the in-law stays on, she inquires about it from her husband, who informs her that his sister will stay for a while.
She did not expect this, and complains that she is being forced to host her without proper consultation. In anger, she issues an ultimatum for the in-law to leave immediately or else…
The problem here is that the man gave too little information while the wife did not seek clarification.
Poor communication could easily be read as dishonesty and lead to a crisis, especially if it is persistent.
You must work with each other to ensure that you not only communicate regularly, but also appropriately and accurately. Giving adequate information and seeking clarification is an art that all couples should learn.
Infidelity: This is a major test for all relationships. Regardless of the reasons or circumstances under which it happens, infidelity is an instance and usually major relationship crisis.
While the offender is guilty of a major travesty of their partner’s trust, both individuals share in the responsibility of determining the direction that the crisis will take. It is important that you avoid making major decisions in the heat of moment. Ultimately, an honest discussion, repentance and forgiveness will be the key for a successful resolution of the conflict.
Personal crisis: Another common cause of a relationship crisis is when one of you is going through a personal crisis, especially one that sets in suddenly or lingers for a long time.
The level of distress depends on the behavior of the affected person, such as extreme mood swings, bouts of anger, silence or withdrawal, or destructive habits such as excessive alcohol consumption.
For the individual going through the crisis, it is important to realize that your partner will support you better if he/she knows what you are going through, even if you find it difficult to divulge the details at that point.
In the absence of such communication, one is left to guess and most of the times the guess is that you have found something or someone more interesting than them. That is what converts the personal crisis into a relationship crisis.
However, the sober individual (for lack of a better term) needs to show understanding and support especially where the affected partner has made attempts to communicate his/her situation.
Avoid the temptation to press for information since this only worsens the situation.
Affirming a struggling spouse is important, it may be the only flicker of light they can see in that moment of darkness. Seeking for external help is an option, especially if the behavior related to the crisis is disruptive or dangerous to others including you and your children.
These are just a few thoughts that don’t cover the myriad situations couples find themselves in, some of which you may consider more critical than these.
However, the rule of thumb, whatever your crisis may be, is this: don’t make major decisions without extensive discussion and careful consideration, don’t ignore what is going on, affirm commitment to each other, and seek help.
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