Every marriage has “issues.” Whether you’ve been married one year or 50 years, you'll experience bumps along the road. These issues can range from brief and mildly annoying to intense and painful hurts that can continue a very long time. Christians are not exempt from marital issues.
Your marriage isn't doomed because you hurt one another, have difficulty communicating or have disagreements over important issues. Couples have been experiencing and solving problems on their own – beginning with Adam and Eve, and continuing to this day. They have experienced some of the same problems you have. One reason their marriages are strong today is that they were committed to the idea that no matter what obstacles they faced, they would learn to manage their problems and overcome crisis on an ongoing basis.
Rest assured that these strong marriages did not develop overnight. But where do you start? Consider where you are. Are you seeking rejuvenation in a relationship that has lost its focus and energy, or is your relationship in more of a crisis mode? Perhaps you have already separated. The list below is intended to provide a range of resources to help couples strengthen and heal marriage relationships.
A Weekend to Remember: March 23-25 (Hyatt Regency Reston) and April 13-15 (Gaylord Center National Harbor). Save 50% using our group code: VPC. Register at www.familylife.com or 1-800-FL-TODAY. Interested in hearing more? Contact Bruce & Julie Knight at 703-691-3406 or B_JKnight(at)msn.com.
Marriage Encounter Weekend: Celebrate and strengthen your marriage: Focus on God's best for you as a couple! Upcoming Marriage Encounter Weekend dates and locations are available at www.unitedmarriage.org or contact Pastor Glenda at glenda.simpkinshoffman(at)viennapres.org or 703-938-9050.
The Art of Marriage: A new day-and-a-half video event brings together some of the most respected and influential pastors and experts on marriage and family. This fresh approach weaves together engaging stories, real-life testimonies, man-on-the-street interviews and humorous vignettes to help couples fully experience God’s design for marriage. Visit www.familylife.com to learn more.
Dr. Dale Keeton, PhD, Falls Church -- Columbia Counseling Center
Janet Raymond, MA, LPC, Vienna -- Associate Counseling Center
Dr. Bill Clark, PhD, Reston -- 571-490-3030
If you are uncertain about the best way to proceed, you may wish to speak with a pastor. This meeting may be done by phone or in person, where you pray together and discuss your situation confidentially. Pastors David Jordan-Haas, Glenda Simpkins Hoffman and Charles Geschiere can be reached at (703) 938-9050.
If you are in the midst of a separation, please consider attending Passages, a multi-week program that combines a video curriculum and small group with a counselor. Read more.
Important Note: We especially want to encourage you not to remain in a situation where your safety or the safety of your family is at risk. If you are in a relationship where your spouse displays any of the following signs, please seek help immediately:
Displays symptoms of a significant mental illness
Has a major chemical imbalance
Threatens the safety of you or your children
These are not simplistic issues and cannot be dealt with by simply reading a book or talking to a friend. Seek professional help immediately. You can call your local mental health hotline or contact one of the counselors above.