Marriage rates have steadily declined in the United States over the past several decades, and the American Psychological Association states that 40% to 50% of marriages will end in divorce. Marriage may be on the rocks, but few dispute that a happy and healthy marriage can contribute to happier and healthier individuals, as well as better outcomes for the children of such unions.
When relationship conflict inevitably surfaces, whether because of communication problems, differences in values, infidelity, or other issues, it’s important to remember that there are options for struggling couples. If you are experiencing difficulties in your relationship—be it long-term or new, monogamous or polyamorous, heterosexual or same-sex, or any other kind of romantic union—chances are someone else, or another couple, has been through a similar situation. The Internet is an excellent way to connect with other people who have gone to relationship counseling, and to solicit advice about improving or salvaging a relationship.
As with our previous top 10 lists (depression websites, ADHD websites, and grief and loss websites), we selected the 10 best resources on the web for 2012 related to marriage and couples counseling—GoodTherapy.org excluded—to help people better understand and cope with relationship issues. Among the criteria we used to select our top 10 websites are quality and depth of content, presentation, and functionality.
- National Healthy Marriage Resource Center: The National Healthy Marriage Resource Center is designed to provide high-quality, comprehensive resources on the topic of healthy marriage and relationships. The NHMRC reports on recent research and policy changes, news, and popular topics such as stressors, relationship dynamics, and the effects of different relationship types and cultures.
- Freedom to Marry: An initiative launched by civil rights attorney Evan Wolfson that works to advance marriage equality in the United States, Freedom to Marry provides up-to-date information on same-sex marriage policy changes and news, and strives to educate the public about the importance of marriage equality. Site visitors have access to resources, articles, and other information about LGBTQ issues.
- Smart Marriages: The Coalition for Marriage, Family, and Couples Education: Smart Marriages is an excellent resource for people seeking information about strengthening relationships. From consumers to marriage educators to clergy, visitors can access educational workshops and classes, support groups, and multimedia resources. Smart Marriages also features a blog and provides a member newsletter and information on recent research.
- The Couple Connection: Operated by a leading research organization in England and designed to be a “do-it-yourself” relationship guide, The Couple Connection offers relationship advice in the form of articles, multimedia, and quizzes, and helps you set goals. A counselor-moderated “relationship forum” and one-on-one “listening room” are also provided.
- Love Is Respect: A project of nonprofit Break the Cycle and the National Dating Abuse Hotline, Love is Respect teaches youth and young adults about healthy relationships, dating, and communication. Information about different types of abuse, how to recognize abuse, and how to get help is also offered. Visitors can chat live with “peer advocates” 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- TwoOfUs.org: TwoOfUs.org is a product of the National Healthy Marriage Resource Center. An expert Q&A and comprehensive news and advice on dating and marriage are offered. Visitors can find videos, interactive quizzes, and a directory of healthy marriage and family programs.
- Talk About Marriage: The Marriage Advice and Relationship Help Forums: Talk About Marriage is a public forum provided by The Family & Marriage Counseling Directory. More than 50,000 members frequent this forum, where topics up for discussion include infidelity and financial problems.
- Love and Life Toolbox: Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT, is a leading educator in the field of marriage counseling. She created The Toolbox at LoveandLifeToolbox.com to educate couples on the correlation between emotional health and relationship well-being. The Toolbox offers a wealth of resources and information on mental and emotional health, marriage and relationships, and couples therapy.
- Marriage Gems: A research-based marriage blog run by Lori Lowe, Marriage Gems presents interviews with marriage experts and blog posts about popular relationship issues in a consumer-friendly format. Visitors can also access free e-books for download and other resources for marriage and relationship information.
- Project Happily Ever After: Project Happily Ever After is a blog run by Alisa Bowman that details her personal journey from the brink of divorce to falling in love again with her husband. The site covers topics ranging from affairs to intimacy and answers frequently asked marriage questions. In addition to marriage advice, Project Happily Ever After offers a free e-book, marriage resource links, and a newsletter subscription.
Recommend websites for our Top 10 awards here.
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