Focus on the Family

Resources: Marital Challenges


Marital Challenges


Find Focus on the Family broadcasts, best-in-class books,
referral recommendations, and more.

9 Lies that Will Destroy Your Marriage – and the Truths that Will Save It and Set it Free by Dr. Greg Smalley and Dr. Bob Paul
Based on the principles of Hope Restored (Focus on the Family’s renowned marriage crisis intensive program), this book includes several self-tests to help you assess the extent to which your own marriage has been affected by each of the nine lies.

The Argument-Free Marriage by Fawn Weaver 
“28 Days to Creating the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted With the Spouse You Already Have”

Beauty in Battle by Jason and Tori Benham
When you and your spouse choose to no longer fight against each other in a personal battle but alongside one another in a spiritual war, the results are amazing.

Boundaries in Marriage by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend 
“Understanding the Choices That Make or Break Loving Relationships”

The Controlling Husband: What Every Woman Needs to Know by Dr. Ron Welch
As a clinical psychologist – and a recovering controlling husband himself – Dr. Ron Welch shows women that just because “he’s always been this way” doesn’t mean their marriage must be that way forever.

Defending Your Marriage by Dr. Tim Muehlhoff
A look at what Scripture says about spiritual warfare and how our everyday struggles in marriage have deeper spiritual realities.

The Emotionally Destructive Marriage by Leslie Vernick
“How to Find Your Voice and Reclaim Your Hope”

Fight for Love: How to Take Your Marriage Back from Porn by Rosie Makinney
With God’s help and a battle plan in hand, wives and their husbands can face the darkness and emerge victorious, taking back their marriages and families.

Fight Your Way to a Better Marriage by Dr. Greg Smalley 
“How Healthy Conflict Can Take You to Deeper Levels of Intimacy”

God, Sex, and Your Marriage by Dr. Juli Slattery
Godly sexuality extends far beyond sexual purity and calls us to sexual integrity.

Happily Even After: Let God Redeem Your Marriage by Dannah Gresh
Whether your relationship is suffering from pornography, addiction, an affair, or just years of unhappiness, Jesus Christ can help you redeem the broken places of your marriage.

Healing A Marriage After an Affair bundle by Mark and Jill Savage
Designed to help both spouses in cases of infidelity, this bundle includes the books My Heart is Broken: Your Next Steps for When Your Spouse Is Unfaithful and I Really Messed Up: Your Next Steps to Heal Your Marriage After an Affair.

Healing the Hurt in Your Marriage by Dr. Gary and Mrs. Barbara Rosberg 
“Beyond Discouragement, Anger, and Resentment to Forgiveness”

How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong by Leslie Vernick 
Even in the best of marriages, conflict happens. Learn to see your spouse and your marriage from an eternal perspective, and find tools to help you respond wisely when you’ve been wronged.

I Don’t Love You Anymore by David Clarke 
“What to Do When He Says, I Don’t Love You Anymore: An Action Plan to Regain Confidence, Power, and Control”

Is It Abuse? by Darby Strickland
For years biblical counselor Darby Strickland has served women in oppressive marriages. Now she writes to anyone who wants to help someone you care about.

The Imperfect Marriage by Darryl and Tracy Strawberry 
“Help for Those Who Think It’s Over”

Intimate Allies by Dan Allender, Ph.D., and Tremper Longman 
“Rediscovering God’s Design for Marriage and Becoming Soul Mates for Life”

A Lasting Promise by Scott Stanley, Daniel Trathen, Savanna McCain, and Milt Bryan 
“A Christian Guide to Fighting for Your Marriage”

Lead Me by Matt Hammitt
The former lead singer of Christian music group Sanctus Real identifies the tension many men experience when trying to balance work and home life.

Love Must Be Tough: New Hope for Marriages in Crisis by Dr. James Dobson 
Dobson offers hope for troubled or abusive marriages, victims of infidelity, and others on the brink of divorce.

Making Your Marriage a Fortress by Gary Thomas
It’s not a question of if your marriage will face trials. It’s a question of when.

The Marriage Builder by Larry Crabb 
“Creating True Oneness to Transform Your Marriage”

Marriage Under Cover by Bob and Audrey Meisner 
“Thriving in a Culture of Quiet Desperation”

Married but Lonely by David Clarke, Ph.D. 
“Stop Merely Existing—Start Living Intimately: Seven Steps You Can Take With or Without Your Spouse’s Help”

Married Sex by Debra Fileta and Gary Thomas
A great marital sex life is something you make, not something you find.

The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller 
“Facing the Complexities of Commitment With the Wisdom of God”

Men and Women: Enjoying the Difference by Larry Crabb 
Crabb points out that we’re all prone to selfishness. But as husbands and wives learn to honor their differences and consider how they complement each other, they can become “other-centered” and find deeper fulfillment.

Mended: One Couple’s Journey From Betrayal to Imperfect Beauty by Rick and Tiffany Bulman
What would you do if your marriage was on the edge of collapse because of betrayal?

A New Season by Al and Lisa Robertson 
“A Robertson Family Love Story of Brokenness and Redemption”

Nothing to Hide by Joann Condie 
“Hope for Marriages Hurt by Pornography and Infidelity”

One More Try by Gary Chapman 
“What to Do When Your Marriage Is Falling Apart”

Reconnected by Dr. Greg and Erin Smalley
“Moving from Roommates to Soulmates in Your Marriage”

Secrets of Sex & Marriage by Shaunti Feldhahn and Dr. Michael Sytsma
Eight simple, transformational factors to help you move from disconnection to delight.

Spiritual Mismatch by Lee and Leslie Strobel
“Hope for Christians Married to Someone Who Doesn’t Know God”

Together Through the Storms (devotional book) by Jeff and Sarah Walton
Sarah and Jeff reflect on their own experiences in a marriage that has faced chronic illness, the after-effects of abuse, a child with neurological challenges, and financial difficulties.

The Wholehearted Marriage by Dr. Greg Smalley and Dr. Shawn Stoever 
“Fully Engaging Your Most Important Relationship”

Winning Him Without Words by Dineen A. Miller and Lynn Donovan 
“10 Keys to Thriving in Your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage”

Yes, Your Marriage Can Be Saved (eBook) by Joe and Michelle Williams 
“12 Truths for Rescuing Your Relationship”

Answering Questions About Sex in Marriage (Shaunti Feldhahn; Dr. Michael Sytsma)
Digital downloadPurchase a CD – Watch on YouTube Part 1 and Part 2
Whether you just tied the knot, or you’ve been married for decades, there are bound to be questions surrounding the topic of sex — and that’s okay! Sex therapist Dr. Michael Sytsma and best-selling author Shaunti Feldhahn answer common questions that married couples ask about physical intimacy.

Avoiding the Chore War (Dr. Greg and Mrs. Erin Smalley, Mrs. Jean Daly)
Stream this programDigital downloadPurchase a CD
When each spouse owns 100 percent of the responsibility in creating a positive home environment—and their expectations are understood by each other—both will feel they’ve reached a win-win situation.

Building True Oneness in Marriage (Dr. Larry Crabb)
Digital downloadPurchase a CD
Many Christian couples become disillusioned and disappointed—but you don’t have to stay that way. Crabb helps husbands and wives get to the root of the problem, and he points to God’s desire for joy and true oneness in marriage.

Celebrating God Through Marriage, Faith, and Music (Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman)
Stream this program Part 1 and Part 2Digital downloadPurchase a CD
The Chapmans talk about the highs and lows they’ve experienced as a couple and as parents. They share a message of hope and perseverance for all husbands and wives wanting to trust God in life’s darkest valleys.

Communicating to Achieve Financial Harmony (Russ and Julie Crosson)
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The Crossons explain how couples can overcome challenges that result from different perspectives on managing money.

Cultivating Commitment in Your Marriage (Dr. Greg and Mrs. Erin Smalley)
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With personal stories and humor, the Smalleys reflect on the importance of marital commitment. Learn to strengthen relational endurance and conflict resolution skills.

Embracing Imperfections in Your Marriage (Mark and Jill Savage)
Stream this program Part 1 and Part 2Digital downloadPurchase a CD – Watch on YouTube Part 1 and Part 2
The Savages openly discuss marital struggles they’ve had. They share valuable lessons for other couples who want to avoid the same mistakes.

Establishing Healthy Boundaries in Your Marriage (Dr. John Townsend, Dr. Henry Cloud)
Stream this programDigital downloadPurchase a CD
Using biblically based principles, Cloud and Townsend talk about boundaries in marriage that will benefit both spouses in the long run. Hear tips for dealing with conflict, adultery, forgiveness, and how to know if you can trust your spouse again.

Experiencing a Fulfilled Marriage (Patricia Ashley)
Stream this program Part 1 and Part 2Digital downloadPurchase a CD
Ashley shares a dynamic message of how God restored her marriage. Marital fulfillment can be found when husbands and wives seek the Lord together and follow His design for marriage.

Fighting for Your Marriage No Matter What (Matt and Sarah Hammitt)
Digital downloadPurchase a CD – Watch on YouTube Part 1 and Part 2
Singer-songwriter Matt Hammitt and his wife, Sarah, candidly discuss the severe marriage problems that resulted from his busy touring schedule, personality clashes, an adverse diagnosis, and a close-call emotional affair. Our guests offer troubled couples hope as they describe how grace, forgiveness, and faith helped save their marriage.

Fighting The Spiritual Battle For Your Marriage (Jason and Tori Benham)
Digital downloadPurchase a CDWatch on YouTube
Jason and Tori Benham struggled with conflict until they realized marriage is a spiritual battle. Fighting together for their marriage rather than against each other transformed their relationship.

Finding Healing For Your Marriage (Bob and Dannah Gresh)
Digital downloadPurchase a CD – Watch on YouTube Part 1 and Part 2
Bob and Dannah Gresh describe how sexual sin nearly tore their marriage apart, and how they found healing and restoration through God’s grace and love. The couple also explores seven truths that lead to a redeemed marriage, getting into practical concepts like openly sharing emotions, setting boundaries, and learning to forgive and trust.

Finding Restoration When Love Is Gone (Dr. David Clarke)
Stream this program Part 1 and Part 2Digital downloadPurchase a CD
Clarke discusses how couples can navigate marital crises and restore lost love. He explores some of the reasons husbands and wives drift apart and how to regain lost self-worth if your spouse says they don’t love you.

Finding Unexpected Blessings in Marriage (Martin and Laura [Story] Elvington)
Stream this program Part 1 and Part 2Digital downloadPurchase a CD
Laura and Martin discuss how God strengthened their faith and relationship after Martin was diagnosed with a brain tumor early in their marriage.

Fortifying Your Marriage For The Storms Of Life (Gary Thomas)
Digital downloadPurchase a CD – Watch on YouTube Part 1 and Part 2
It’s not a question of if your marriage will face trials – it’s a question of when. This broadcast offers practical help for couples about dealing with fear, overcoming anger in conflict, staying connected with your spouse, the importance of community for your marriage, and taking your marital concerns to the Holy Spirit first instead of complaining to your spouse.

Friends Helping Friends: Identifying Abuse in Marriage (Darby Strickland)
Digital downloadPurchase a CDWatch on YouTube
A woman in an abusive relationship may not go to a counselor, but she’s likely to ask her friends for advice. How can you respond if she comes to you? Counselor Darby Strickland helps listeners learn the signs of abuse in marriage so that they can help the victims God has placed in their path.

Harnessing Your Strength to Transform Your Marriage (LeRoy and Kimberly Wagner)
Stream this program Part 1 and Part 2Digital downloadPurchase a CD
The Wagners share how God transformed their broken marriage as they addressed Kim’s fierceness. They mention ways women unknowingly emasculate their husbands and how to change that behavior.

Hope for Every Marriage (Jeff and Cheryl Scruggs)
Stream this program Part 1 and Part 2Digital downloadPurchase a CD
The Scruggs share about their initial marriage, Cheryl’s discontent and affair, and the couple’s divorce. As they began seeking the Lord independently, He called them both to forgiveness—and remarriage to each other. They caution about the importance of communication, and they encourage others with the truth of God’s gracious love.

Hope for Parents of Premature Babies (Kayla Aimee)
Digital downloadPurchase a CDWatch on YouTube
Family health crises can put an enormous strain on a marital relationship. Aimee discusses her experience giving birth to her daughter, born at 25 weeks. In the midst of fears for her baby’s survival, Aimee’s faith and marriage were strengthened.

How God Saved Our Marriage After Infidelity (Mark and Jill Savage)
Digital downloadPurchase a CDWatch on YouTube
Infidelity can destroy a marriage – but it doesn’t have to. Mark and Jill Savage are a testament to this. Mark’s affair broke Jill’s heart and their marriage was on the rocks. But with God’s help, their union has been restored.

How To Deal With A Controlling Spouse (Dr. Ron and Mrs. Jan Welch)
Digital downloadPurchase a CDWatch on YouTube
Dr. Ron Welch sought to control everything as much as he possibly could – including his marriage. And, as if dealing with Ron’s manipulative ways wasn’t difficult enough, Jan Welch had been raised by a domineering father. Ron and Jan offer valuable insight and guidance to listeners who are dealing with a controlling spouse in their own marriage.

How to Fight Fair (Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott)
Stream this program Part 1 and Part 2Digital downloadPurchase a CD
Conflict exists even in strong marriages. The Parrotts discuss how to fight a good fight. Four red flags of destructive fighting are criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling.

“Improving Your Sex Life to Improve Your Marriage” (Debra Fileta; Gary Thomas)
Digital downloadPurchase a CD – Watch on YouTube Part 1 and Part 2
Our guests offer married couples guidance for understanding what it takes to cultivate a sexual intimacy that’s more deeply satisfying and mutually fulfilling.

Making Your Marriage a High Priority (Kirk and Chelsea Cameron)
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The Camerons describe how their marriage was threatened by competing priorities of marriage, children, career, ministry, friends, and hobbies. They share tips to help couples guard their relationship.

Managing Marriage Conflicts in Healthy Ways (Dr. Greg and Mrs. Erin Smalley)
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The Smalleys explain how conflict, when handled well, can actually strengthen a marriage. Learn to navigate disagreements in a way that leads to intimacy instead of division.

Moving From Loneliness to Intimacy in Your Marriage (Dr. David Clarke)
Stream this program Part 1 and Part 2Digital downloadPurchase a CD
Clarke addresses the pain and frustration caused by loneliness in marriage, and he offers practical things husbands and wives can each do to heal this problem.

Navigating the Common Challenges of Marriage (Dr. Gary Chapman)
Stream this program Part 1 and Part 2Digital downloadPurchase a CD
Learn to request change after first taking responsibility for your own behavior, deepen your relationship through acts of love that speak to your spouse, make sense of schedules once kids come along, and live out a covenant marriage that pleases God.

Overcoming The Betrayal of An Affair (Rick and Tiffany Bulman)
Digital downloadPurchase a CDWatch on YouTube
The Bulmans’ marriage almost shattered when Rick discovered his wife, Tiffany, was having an affair. They share how their marriage was restored and offer hope to other couples.

Overcoming the Obstacles of Infidelity (Drs. Rob and Audrey Meisner)
Digital downloadPurchase a CD – Watch on YouTube Part 1 and Part 2
The Meisners share how their seemingly “perfect” marriage was nearly destroyed by an affair. They offer hope to couples damaged by infidelity as they describe how God’s grace led them along the hard road to reconciliation.

Owning Your Faults and Loving Your Spouse (Dr. Gary Chapman)
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Chapman discusses the importance of taking ownership of your faults within marriage. Learn how daily actions can make a big difference over time, and understand the importance of speaking your spouse’s love language.

Rebuilding Trust in Your Marriage After Infidelity (Mark and Jill Savage)
Digital DownloadPurchase a CD – Watch on YouTube Part 1 and Part 2
Mark and Jill Savage share their personal story of rebuilding trust in their marriage after their relationship was devastated by infidelity.

Reconnected: The Digital Experience
Purchase digital video package
Is the love there, but not the spark? Reawaken fun in your marriage and move from roommates to soulmates with the help of this 7-part video series with supplemental resources.

Reducing Conflict in Your Marriage (Fawn Weaver)
Stream this programDigital downloadPurchase a CDWatch on YouTube
Reduce conflict by making small, intentional changes: identify original emotions, time your discussions, follow basic rules of engagement with your spouse, and more.

Rescuing Your Marriage From Pornography (Rosie Makinney)
Digital downloadPurchase a CD – Watch on YouTube Part 1 and Part 2
Rosie examines the damaging impact of pornography upon a marriage. She reviews scientific research about how porn affects the brain and shares her personal story of confronting her husband’s porn addiction so that together they could save their marriage.

Resolving Anger in Your Marriage (Pastor Ted Cunningham)
Stream this program Part 1 and Part 2Digital downloadPurchase a CD
Cunningham explores anger and its causes. Expectation is often tied to anger, so we should serve without the expectation of return. He also shares how best to offer apologies in word and action.

Respect: A Marriage Essential (Dr. Emerson Eggerichs)
Stream this program Part 1 and Part 2Digital downloadPurchase a CD
Eggerichs explains how the marital bond is weakened by The Crazy Cycle, a pattern of conflict that starts with misunderstanding and disrespect. Learn to break that cycle and re-strengthen your bond.

Responding Well in Marital Conflict (Leslie Vernick)
Stream this program Part 1 and Part 2Digital downloadPurchase a CD
Nobody’s perfect, and no marriage is perfect. But even in times of hurt, anger, or irritation, it’s possible to react in ways that are loving and godly.

Rethinking Godly Sexuality In Your Marriage (Dr. Juli Slattery)
Digital downloadPurchase a CD – Watch on YouTube Part 1 and Part 2
Many couples possess a poor foundation for understanding God’s design for intimacy — that our sexual relationship is a metaphor for the intimacy God longs to have with each one of us. Therefore, God is very interested in our sexuality and, in fact, designed marital sex for our pleasure.

Saving Your Marriage From Divorce (Dr. David Clarke)
Digital downloadPurchase a CD – Watch on YouTube Part 1 and Part 2
Clarke offers hope for troubled marriages as he outlines a practical plan for breaking destructive habits and rebuilding the relationship, even if only one spouse is committed to doing so.

The Spiritual Battle for Your Marriage (Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff)
Digital downloadPurchase a CDWatch on YouTube
The Muehlhoffs encourage couples to guard their marriage as they highlight five signs it may be under spiritual assault – and show how you and your spouse can take practical steps to guard your relationship.

Staying Committed Through the Rough Seasons of Marriage (Pastor Al and Mrs. Lisa Robertson)
Stream this program Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3Digital downloadPurchase a CD
The Robertsons (of Duck Dynasty fame) describe how their tumultuous marriage has been redeemed by God, offering hope and wisdom for couples facing difficult challenges in their marriage.

Staying Married Through The Storms Of Life (Jeff and Sarah Walton)
Digital downloadPurchase a CDWatch on YouTube
Jeff and Sarah Walton have faced a series of crises that have severely impacted their marriage and family. Financial issues and mental and physical ailments have challenged the Walton family for an extensive duration of time, yet they remain faithful.

Staying Together When Tragedy Strikes Your Marriage (Jay and Katherine Wolf)
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The Wolfs describe how God’s grace has sustained their marriage and family since Katherine suffered a massive, debilitating brainstem stroke in 2008.

Staying Together When You Feel Like Leaving (Bill and Vicki Rose)
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The Roses were trying to live the high life in Manhattan. They had little in common—and drug abuse, affairs, and their focus on careers only made things worse. They separated for several years, came to Christ, and God has sustained them now through nearly forty years of marriage.

Trusting God to Redeem Your Broken Marriage (Dave and Kirsten Samuel)
Watch on YouTube Part 1 and Part 2
Dave and Kirsten describe how God’s grace and healing helped saved their marriage which was nearly destroyed by his pornography addiction and her struggles with PTSD, anxiety, and suicidal depression.

Understanding The Hot Buttons In Your Marriage (Dr. Bob and Mrs. Jenni Paul)
Digital downloadPurchase a CDWatch on YouTube
Dr. Bob Paul and his wife Jenni explain how seemingly innocent disagreements can spiral into a major argument because of unidentified personal hot buttons that trigger primal reactions that are out of proportion to the issue at hand.

Working Together As a Team in Your Marriage (Dr. Joshua and Mrs. Christi Straub)
Digital downloadPurchase a CDWatch on YouTube
The Straubs discuss the challenges that made them realize their need to become intentional about connecting with and supporting each other. Hear practical ideas to become “we-focused” instead of “me-focused.”

Focus on Marriage Assessment
Based on research and experience from Dr. Greg and Erin Smalley, this assessment covers 10 key traits that lead to a lifelong satisfying relationship with your spouse. The traits include positive communication, conflict resolution, spiritual intimacy, spending time together, and cherishing your spouse. The assessment is free and takes about 10 minutes to complete.

Focus on the Family Counseling Consultation Line
If you need someone to talk to, Focus on the Family offers a free phone counseling consultation with a licensed or pastoral counselor. Call 1-855-771-HELP (4357), Monday through Friday, 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM (MT). 

Focus on the Family’s Christian Counselor Network
Search for licensed Christian counselors in your area.

Focus on the Family Weekend Marriage Getaways
Give yourself (and your spouse) the gift of an all-inclusive weekend where you will slow your pace and focus on each other. You’ll go to new levels of success and satisfaction as our expertly trained, caring staff provides clear direction for a deeper relationship that you will both enjoy.

Hope Restored® marriage intensives—a ministry of Focus on the Family
Our intensive programs are held in a retreat setting and are designed to rebuild and restore marriages experiencing significant hurt.

Cloud-Townsend Resources
Henry Cloud and John Townsend offer insight and solutions for life’s challenges.

Love and Respect Ministries
This ministry offers materials, articles, and conferences to help you strengthen your marriage.

This online relationship inventory and skill-building program is uniquely tailored to each couple.