541-757-1761 friends@fofm.org

The Third Option is cancelled - for now...

We are working to bring The Third Option to you in a new way. Stay tuned for developments.


1st and 3rd Thursdays, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Mid-Willamette Family YMCA
$5 per adult recommended donation
Childcare available with preregistration (call us to arrange childcare)
$5 per child, $20 max per family
Please download and bring a completed release form to class the first time your child attends.
YMCA Child Care Form for 8 wks-6 yrs.
YMCA Child Care Form for 7-13 yrs.


1st, 3rd and 5th Wednesdays, 6:45 pm – 8:45 pm
Osborn Aquatic Center
$5 per adult recommended donation
Kids age 7 and over swim for free!

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.

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

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.

Is there a fee for The Third Option?

No. However, to help cover the costs we encourage participants to contribute a small donation each session.