There are several very good self help marriage tools available today, but they are not necessarily the answer to every marriage in trouble. There are several elements that need to be present before any self help program can work.
When it comes to marriage therapy, these elements need to be present in both partners. If they are not present, then no program will work without external assistance. The key elements you need to bring to a self help program are:
Desire – there needs to be the desire from both partners to want the marriage to work. Doing it ‘for the kids’ is not enough. You have to want to repair your marriage.
Commitment – with desire then comes the commitment. You want your marriage to work so you will need to commit to working on it. This means finishing what you start.
Strength – the toughest element of the three is strength. Do you have the internal strength to see the process through to the end. It can be too easy with a self help program to skip sections, find excuses for not completing a particular exercise, and for taking short cuts. You need that internal strength to work through each section honestly and to completion.
If you cannot honestly say that you have all three, then a self help program may not be the right way to go. There is no denying that self help programs can make positive changes in a relationship, but only half doing the job can leave the way open for future problems. If you have the first two elements, then by all means give one of the self help programs a trial. If you don’t have the strength to complete the program, then you will need the face-to-face assistance of a marriage counselor if you really want to repair your marriage.