One day happy, the next day filing for divorce. It happens often. A couple seems to be perfectly happy and in love, and then, out of nowhere—or so it seems—the announcement comes that they are separated or getting a divorce. We see this scenario with celebrities all the time. Smiling photos one day, and divorce headlines the next, with details of how bad things have been for a long time.

Marriage problems are like a terminal illness that if treated early, has a much better survival rate. To suffer silently usually means death to the marriage. So, why do some couples in crisis get the help they need before it’s too late, and others quietly hide behind fake smiles? We see 3 main reasons.

1. Fear of being judged

It takes strength and courage to admit a marriage needs help. Many couples fear being ostracized or judged by others. This is especially true for couples who are viewed by others in their church, community or peer group as the “perfect couple”.


2. Loss of the marriage

When one person in the marriage is unhappy but has not admitted it to their spouse, the thought of “opening up a can of worms” can be overwhelming. Counting the cost of being honest at the expense of having the marriage end if their spouse overreacts can often be enough to continue stuffing emotions.

3. Hopelessness

If one person wants to work on their marriage but their spouse refuses to do their part, this often results in hopelessness. When the spouse trying to save their marriage alone finally gets the courage to call a counselor or pastor, or register for a marriage seminar, the requirement for both spouses to participate ends with a familiar argument followed by frustration of being alone in the marriage—again.

The International Center for Reconciling God’s Way (ICRGW is home of Marriage 911 God’s Way) has been helping couples and individuals whose marriages are in crisis for over 20 years. Co-founders, Joe and Michelle Williams understand what it’s like to suffer in silence since they experienced it prior to their own 2-year separation in the 1980’s. That’s why the faith-based, non-profit organization they co- founded offers help and hope for couples—even with an unwilling spouse. The fear of being judged, the loss of the marriage, and hopelessness requires resources and a support system that can meet the needs of those suffering. More often than not couples aren’t on the same page when it comes to getting help.

Beginning this fall, the ICRGW will add online classes which people can take in the privacy of their own home. Since the online courses will be same-gender (men’s groups and women’s groups), individuals will have the help they need, regardless of whether or not their spouse participates. The online courses will especially benefit those who do not have a church that offers a Marriage 911 ministry within driving distance. It may take two to save the marriage, but it only takes one to begin the process.

Please pass the information regarding online classes along to other couples—even the “happy” ones.

To register please go to