Every marriage and family has problems, but sometimes those problems appear so difficult that it can seem hopeless — at least with your knowledge. You are in the right place; this website offers many resources to help strengthen families.
Marriage at each level will benefit from a FamilyLife Event; they provide tools in a fun and informative way to learn about building a strong marriage. We recommend these conferences because they are instrumental in changing lives.
The Weekend Getaway is a three day conference
A Day Together is a one day conference.
“Our Weekend Getaway brought us so much closer together. We were able to unpack baggage that prevented us from getting unified. The tools are ready to be applied right away, they are not too complicated to remember. . . Projects are so impactful!” Wife 7 yrs.
Here are four levels of problems and helpful options to consider: Basic issue – everyone experiences this level; More serious – beyond basic, not yet out of control; Desperation – Issues are constant and you feel desperate; Crisis – Crisis has hit and you don’t know which way to turn.
As you seek help, ask your pastor and close friends to pray for your family. This is a crucial time in your life and facing difficulty often requires hope and community. We believe that real hope comes from a relationship with Jesus. Click here for an explanation about how you can know Jesus.
We offer online mentoring and online prayer. Note: we encourage you to find help in your community.
For level one and level two we recommend you find someone to talk to; start with a mentor, pastor or trusted wise friend. Find for a book, video, or podcast related to your situation. Find a group to discuss what you are going through; knowing you are not alone is very helpful. Having a mentor is so helpful; often a couple who is further along in life is a great resource. Choose wisely who to trust.
1: Basic issue – common, every marriage experiences this level. For example:
- Difficulty in resolving conflict
- Little or no deeper communication with spouse
- Misunderstandings about the sexual relationship in your marriage
- Poor financial habits
- Young child temper tantrums or sibling rivalries
Remember that family problems are the norm, not the exception. Difficulties happen to every couple or family at some point. Find help before things get out of control.
2: More serious – beyond basic not yet out of control. For example:
- The communication breakdown between you and your spouse is acute.
- Not sure that the two of you are still in love.
- Focus on priorities other than your marriage or family—jobs, hobbies, etc.
- One of you handles most of the discipline of children.
- Frustration is a prevailing emotion in your family.
If this list resonates with you, there is a lot of help for you. Finding someone to talk to is no longer a nice suggestion, but a significant step. Gaining a different perspective is VERY important in serious family issues. Find an older wise mentor couple or consider finding a counsellor, help may come in a couple sessions.
3: Desperation – Are you are at your wits end?
Perhaps you feel a sense of desperation that things will never change. It is definitely time for counselling. Are your issues like these?
- Communication with your spouse ends in anger or hurt feelings
- Physical intimacy is non-existent or nearly so
- One or both of you think about separation or divorce
- Issues of sex, drugs, or alcohol touch your teen’s life
These and other serious issues indicate that problems are chronic. The issue(s) are growing with time. You feel as though the problem is your constant companion. Don’t give up; there is hope. Hang in there and get help.
A Christian counsellor is trained and committed to helping you. Below we have a list of referral counsellors. This will help you know where to begin to find help for your family.
A FamilyLife event is also very helpful, refer to above note.
4: Crisis – Have you given up?
If one or both of you have given up on the marriage, we consider this a crisis, and you need to contact a counsellor immediately. Also, find a resource related to your crisis, this can help with perspective. Identify some close, wise friends to pray with and for you. We also recommend a Weekend Getaway or A Day Together at this stage. We have seen couples arrive with divorce papers ready to sign and leave ready and equipped to save their marriage.
Examples of a need for counselling immediately:
- Separation or divorce is in process
- An affair is active or recent
- A teen talks of suicide
- You are sure your teen is abusing drugs and/or alcohol
If this describes you, begin by asking a pastor for a referral to a counsellor. If your pastor is not able to refer a counsellor see our list of referral counsellors below.
We in FamilyLife have seen families at every stage find help and gain health we want to encourage you in your journey.
Find more helpful resources on our We Recommend Section