How To Stop The Crazy Train
By: Kathy
May 12, 2013

Ever ride the crazy train with your partner?  This is when you keep talking and/or arguing about something but it never seems to reach resolution.  In fact, it grows in desperation and intensity until you feel like you (or your partner) are crazy!

You know you are on the crazy train when there is desperation, urgency, lack of control, doing things you or your partner said you wouldn’t do, impulsivity, agreeing to something you don’t agree with, increasing anger and frustration, all building in intensity.  It may even get to the point of harming yourself or others or becomes a public disturbance.  It can get that crazy!!  The Crazy Train is not only not fun, it is very damaging to your relationship!  So once we find ourselves on the train, how in the world do we get off?

The primary thing that fuels the Crazy Train is that both partners BELIEVE that they can relieve their pain THROUGH their partner.   They keep engaging with their partner honestly believing this time, their partner will see that they are causing the pain and they will stop.  This is such a painful dance.  We work so hard to get relief, but do not make any progress!

There are two keys to stopping the Crazy Train. . .

1) Take responsibility for being on the train.  Your partner didn’t put you there, you agreed to climb aboard!   Quit waiting for your partner to stop it and get off yourself!  Stop dead in your tracks and do not engage in any more conversation, debate, argument, or whatever.  Tell your partner you need a break and try to give yourself what you need.  Nobody can think straight when the train is barreling down the tracks!

2) Understand that whatever you are fighting about boils down to anxiety that each you and your partner are feeling.  Your anxieties might be about different things (i.e., his might be about whatever the topic of the fight is, and her anxiety might be about not wanting him to think badly of her).  Then, you must stop thinking you can get that anxiety resolved through your partner!  As long as you continue to believe that the solution to your pain is THROUGH the other person, you will NOT find any relief.  Oh, I’m sure you’ve had short term success with this method before, but long term, it resolves nothing.  It merely delays having to deal with the problem.

When you find yourself on the Crazy Train, back away and see that your partner is just hurting and believes the relief will come through you!  Understand that you are operating under the same belief system!  Stop seeing your partner as part of the solution and deal with your anxiety on your own.  You are the only one who can control you!  When you resolve your own anxiety, you will be better able to stay reasonable, rational, and true to yourself in the argument – even if your partner is still on board the Crazy Train!