The Crusader and Mr. Hyde: A Most Unhappy Couple
- Monday, May 03, 2010
Second, these women aren't aware of the damage of their behavior. Because they feel entitled to act the way they do, they are resistant to change. They feel justified in looking into their husband's email, checkbook and calendars. Sensing that something isn't ‘right,' they're driven to ‘right the wrongs.'
Third, their Crusader-like behavior often makes matters worse. While their behavior is understandable, slipping into ‘parenting' their mate never works. Parental behavior on their part usually reinforces ‘child-like' behavior on the part of their mate. Parental qualities of checking up on a mate reinforces deceptive, childlike, rebellious behavior.
Fourth, adult-to-adult interactions are needed. Healthy relationships are built upon respect, stemming from adult to adult interactions. No one wants to be scolded, shamed, checked up on or humiliated. While Crusaders are tempted to justify their shaming actions, blaming it on his behavior, this never works. Just as Mr. Hyde must move into mature and effective functioning, so it is with The Crusader. Problems can only be solved when both mates are in their adult-state, cooperating with each other in finding solutions to the problems hurting them.
Fifth, step back and choose how to respond to Mr. Hyde's behavior. Refuse to be controlled by another's actions. Take care not to slip into acting disrespectfully, regardless of how a mate acts. Don't be impulsive or reactive to his behavior. Carefully choose how to respond, seeking healthy interactions and setting boundaries on any immature and unhealthy behavior. As I indicate in my book, Dealing With the CrazyMakers in Your Life, we regain control of our lives through setting boundaries on what we will accept and what we refuse to accept.
Remind yourself of our Scriptural imperative to always treat others with respect:
"Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all." (Romans 12:16-18)
Finally, couples counseling is often the only venue for effective change. Crusaders, like Mr. Hyde, often have little awareness of their actions. Having spent years justifying their actions, they need to get back in position—not being "hooked" into acting like the caretaker of healthy relating in their marriage. This must be a joint venture and depth, couples counseling is the way to change these unhealthy patterns of relating.
Are you in a relationship with The Crusader? Are you a Crusader who wants out of this role? Send me your thoughts at TheRelationshipDoctor@gmail.com.
Dr. David Hawkins is the director of the Marriage Recover Center where he counsels couples in distress. He is the author of over 30 books, including Dealing With the CrazyMakers in Your Life, 90 Days to a Fantastic Marriage, and Saying It So He'll Listen. Dr. Hawkins grew up in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and lives with his wife on the South Puget Sound where he enjoys sailing, biking, and skiing. He has active practices in two Washington cities.
Recently on Marriage
Have something to say about this article? Leave your comment via Facebook below!
Listen to Your Favorite Pastors
Add Crosswalk.com content to your siteBrowse available content