541-757-1761 friends@fofm.org

Relationship Education

Marriage and Family Workshops and Events.

The Third Option

What is it?

The Third Option is a skills-based group program that helps participants build stronger, more fulfilling marriages. Each 14-session cycle covers a comprehensive set of tools that couples can use to develop better understanding, sensitivity and trust while learning more effective speaking and listening skills.

What if I have a good marriage?

The skills we develop in The Third Option are helpful for any marriage, and couples attending our program range from those on the brink of divorce to those yearning to make a good marriage even better. Many couples assume that their marriage is strong and effective, and don’t invest the time to ensure that it grows better over time. Then, all it takes is a new stress- problems with jobs, kids, parents, or health- and even the best marriage becomes frayed or unraveled. Developing the right skills and sensitivity is the best way to ensure that a good marriage grows even better.

Do I need to attend every session, in order?

Each session stands alone, so couples can start anytime in the cycle of topics, and catch up later if they happen to miss a week or two. We encourage couples to attend every session and many couples find it takes two or even three cycles to build their marriage to the level they seek.


Building a Climate of Respect

Responsibility and the Blame Game

Understanding Expectations

Redefining the Power Struggle

Coping with Control Issues

Listening Beyond the Words

Appreciating Personality Differences

Recognizing Childhood Issues and Emotional Baggage

Handling Anger Constructively

Speaking the Truth in a Loving Way

Managing Conflict in Healthy Ways

Breaking the Hurt Cycle

Practicing Forgiveness and Repair

Building and Rebuilding Trust

Marriage Mentoring

Many marriages today are hurting. And the more ways we can help the better! Along with offering professional counseling and a variety of marriage enrichment workshops and retreats, Friends of the Family is growing a network of trained Marriage Mentors.

These volunteer couples are equipped to come alongside another couple in a very structured and intentional process that has proven to be very effective in three different ways:

  1. Preparing a couple for marriage
  2. Taking a marriage from good to great; and even
  3. Helping couples work through difficult issues and heal past hurts

PASTORS/LEADERS: Partnering with Friends of the Family can be an effective way to begin building a marriage ministry for your church or organization – or enhance the strategies you are already pursuing. We provide training (initial and ongoing), resources, team support, and a professional safety-net so you can have trained Marriage Mentors.

MARRIED FOLKS: Do you have a heart for other marriages? If you have a solid faith and marriage, you could be just the encouragement that another couple needs to make it through a rough patch and/or help them find fresh joy in their relationship! But no “perfect” couples are allowed, so if that is you – sorry, but you’ll have to look elsewhere for training.