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How Do I Choose the Best Marriage Support Group?

Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen

When evaluating marriage support groups, you should involve your spouse in the decision-making process. The two of you should consider your reasons for seeking a marriage support group and should carefully evaluate your options. If you plan on attending a marriage support group on your own, you should ask the leader of the group whether this is permissible. Other things to consider include the group's structure, its facilitation and whether it is affiliated with a particular religious organization. Finally, consider logistical factors, such as the location and timing of group meetings as well as whether there is any charge for participating in the group.

Think about the type of support group format with which you are most comfortable. In some cases, a marriage support group might be led by laypeople, and others are facilitated by mental health professionals or members of the clergy. If you find a group that sounds interesting, ask whether it is possible to attend a group meeting before deciding to join the group officially.

Doctors may be able to recommend marriage support groups to patients.
Doctors may be able to recommend marriage support groups to patients.

Choosing a support group is often a challenge, particularly if you are concerned about your marriage — and especially if you are facing the possibility of divorce. It often is a good idea to ask others for referrals to a good marriage support group. A clergy person, counselor or medical doctor might be able to suggest some alternatives. You also can ask your friends whether they can recommend a group. If it is important to you that a marriage support group be religiously affiliated, you may want to look at literature produced by your religious organization for information on options for support groups and counseling.

Deciding on a support group should be a joint decision.
Deciding on a support group should be a joint decision.

Before joining a group, contact the leader of the group and ask for information about how the group operates. Ask about the composition of the group and whether it is open to couples only or to both couples and spouses who participate on their own. You also should ask about the ages of group members and whether the group primarily works with those who are having marital difficulties or whether the group exists primarily to provide general support. You also can ask about special circumstances, such as whether the group is open to same-sex couples. If one marriage support group doesn't sound like what you are looking for, ask the leader for a referral to a more suitable group.

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    • Doctors may be able to recommend marriage support groups to patients.
      By: Igor Mojzes
      Doctors may be able to recommend marriage support groups to patients.
    • Deciding on a support group should be a joint decision.
      By: imtmphoto
      Deciding on a support group should be a joint decision.
    • Couples who struggle to communicate may find help in a marriage support group.
      By: Martinan
      Couples who struggle to communicate may find help in a marriage support group.
    • Some marriage support groups are open to same-sex couples.
      By: Galina Barskaya
      Some marriage support groups are open to same-sex couples.