Help for Various Marriage Problems

Problems in marriages can range from minor to serious to crisis-level, with each demanding a different kind of help. The following examples illustrate how wide-ranging marriage problems can be. It's important to realize that help is available at all levels and can turn even a hopeless-looking situation around in a radical way.

Minor Problems

Joe and Mary aren't communicating like they used to. They disagree often about how to discipline their kids, and they spend less time together. Finally, they recognize the need to refresh their marriage and attend a marriage seminar together at church. At home, they begin to find success implementing the tools they developed.

Serious Problems

George and Martha are either fighting or withdrawing, and George has threatened several times to leave. It becomes clear to both of them that their marriage will not survive without making it a priority to learn to relate in healthy ways. They seek out and find a Christian counselor; and after repeated visits, learn to break their destructive patterns.


Scarlett is devastated to learn that Rhett has had an extramarital affair. At first, she is ready to divorce him. She throws him out of the house. But in time, she realizes that she wants to fight for her marriage. He wants to rebuild their relationship, too. She insists on a separation until they can complete intensive marriage counseling. After six months, Rhett moves back in, and both commit to new patterns of behavior and continued counseling.

Diagnosing the Core Problem

Though problems such as those described above are common in marriage, they can move from normal to abnormal in a short time period. If problems in your marriage have become unmanageable, unhealthy and destructive, or cause extreme emotional distress, you may need someone from outside your marriage to help provide objective help – someone who can address the root problem and not simply the presenting issue, that is, the apparent problem.

For example, you may feel your spouse no longer cares about you, but the core issue may be that you have said or done something that deeply hurt him or her. The presenting problem might be financial in nature, such as your spouse failing to control his or her spending, or each of you failing to communicate about what is permitted or not permitted regarding spending limits. The core issue may be not communicating properly or setting appropriate boundaries.

The Bottom Line

If a problem causes considerable distress and you do not seem to be making progress addressing it, approach the problem from a different angle. The best recommendation for ongoing, unmanageable problems would be to visit a licensed Christian marriage counselor. It's best to work with someone rooted in Christian values to complement your beliefs – someone professionally trained to work with relationship issues. Not every counselor is trained to deal with complicated relationship problems, nor does every counselor hold to basic Christian values.


Put the Pieces of Your Marriage Back Together

You  may  feel  that  there is  no  hope  for  your  marriage  and  the  hurt  is  too  deep  to  restore  the  relationship  and  love  that you  once  had.  The  truth  is,  your  life  and  marriage  can  be  better  and  stronger  than  it  was  before.  In  fact,  thousands  of  marriages,  situations  as  complex  and  painful  as  yours,  have  been  transformed  with  the  help  of  professionals  who  understand  where  you  are  right  now  and  care  deeply  about  you  and  your  spouse’s  future.  You  can  restore  and  rebuild  your  marriage  through  a  personalized,  faith-based, intimate  program  called,  Hope  Restored.

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