Four Types of Help for Your Marriage

Just like your car, your marriage needs maintenance. Just like your car there are some things you can do yourself, some your friends can help with, some you can take care of with a class, and sometimes you may need to call in a professional.

The first type of help is self-help. This is where you get a book, read some reputable articles, or watch some DVDs of good marriage material. This is the type of help that I recommend to all couples to keep things running smooth. The analogy is checking the oil in your car and keeping it filled to the appropriate level.

The second type of help is what I call group education. This may be a class at your church or local mental health center. Seminars also fall into this category as do marriage retreats and workshops. The emphasis here is on education with some skill building. This level helps keep things running smooth and also helps when a minor adjustment is needed.

The third type of help is peer assistance. Mentoring programs, coaching programs, and support groups fall are examples. With these programs there is an emphasis on learning and using marriage skills proven to work with other couples.

The fourth type of help, and the one many people avoid, is professional counseling. While we might be able to change our own spark plugs or oil, putting in a new transmission usually requires a trained mechanic. When the previous types of help do not produce the desired results it is time to see the trained professional.

Keep up the regular maintenance and you may never need that trained professional. It does take work and time and it is worth it. Just like that car that you maintain for all of those years becomes a “classic” your marriage will be a “classic” when you keep it maintained. Then it will be your marriage getting the envious looks that “classics” always get. Maintain that marriage and become a “classic.”

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