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Crisis Intervention: A Social Interaction Approach (1)


Mrs. A is crying, and her voice quivers as she talks. “I guess what really got me was that when I got home he was there. He was still up, and he said he had to get some sleep. I said, ‘All right,’ and asked him if I could talk with him. He said he didn’t want to go to sleep in bed, but wanted to sleep on the couch. I said, ‘All right, if that’s the way it has to be.’ I said, ‘Isn’t there any chance at all for me?’ He said no. He keeps asking me why I’m making it hard. I told him whatever he decides, I’m not going to stand in the way. I told him that I wanted him—I was honest—that I didn’t want to lose him, but if he decided that he wanted her or if something fell through with her and he still didn’t want me, I could accept it.

“He said, ‘Even if it fell through and I came back to you, I’d probably think about her the rest of my life.’ And I said I could even accept that. I know I’ve made a lot of mistakes, and I just didn’t realize things are as bad as they are. Whenever I thought things were bad, he’d say things are okay. I’d say, ‘But they are not for me.’ But he’d always say they are going fine for him. I guess I just didn’t understand.

“I wanted to talk to him. I wanted to know if I had a chance. I told him that I thought he really didn’t know me, and I thought I ought to have a chance with him like she has. I thought I’d have a chance to be myself around him, and he said he’d give me a chance, but that didn’t mean that there is a chance for our marriage to work or that he would want me back.

“He slept on the couch, and I went into the bedroom. It just—it hit me all at once. I have to do something. It hurts too much. I can’t stand it.”

Mrs. B is talking in a very matter-of-fact way, almost as if she were talking about someone else. “My husband still has a lot of doubts about things. He still feels like he can’t trust me. I don’t feel like I can go back to him as long as he feels that way. Yesterday he said he still has his doubts about whether things are going to work out for us or not. I really tried to show him I mean what I say, but it doesn’t seem like anything I’ve said or done helps matters any.

I don’t know what’s going to happen to the kids. I’m getting to where I can’t stand them, especially the youngest one. It’s the way he cries all the time. I feel like I could smash in his head sometimes. It’s terrible. I think they should take him away from me before I really do hurt him. …