Know a Friend with Relationship Problems?

Do you know someone struggling or unhappy in his/her romantic relationship? Are you wondering if these online programs can help? If so, you probably have two major questions:

Would these programs actually be helpful for your friend?

Even if they were helpful, how could I bring it up in a way that wouldn’t feel awkward or inappropriate?

Below, we’ve included some information that might be helpful to you in answering these questions. If you have a specific question that isn’t answered, please feel free to contact us via phone or email.

Would these programs actually help my friend?

Although we can’t guarantee that your friend will benefit from this program, we have a few compelling reasons to believe these programs could help:

Shown to be effective in large research studies

The programs offered on this website were developed by experts who together have published hundreds of articles about couple conflict and relationship interventions.

In examinations of the OurRelationship program, results showed that the majority of couples felt happier and more confident in their relationship. The PREP Online program has also shown that it is able to help many couples improve their communication and feel more satisfied with their relationship. Click here to learn more about these programs.

A good fit for many different relationship problems

These programs were designed to be benefit many different relationship problems. Your friend will be provided information to help tailor program content to the relationship problem he/she is dealing with. Each program aims to improve the relationship areas that give most couples the most difficulty (e.g., communication, coping with stress).

Helps married, engaged, and couples living together

As long as your friend is living with his/her partner for six months, these programs can help. As our research suggests, although there are some differences between married, engaged, and cohabiting couples, the groups are more similar than different. Whether your friend is weighing decisions about getting married or ending the relationship, the tailored programs can help sort through the issues to help your friend come to a clearer decision.

How can I suggest my friend take a look at these programs?

If your friend has already been talking to you about his/her relationship problems:

  1. You might try waiting until the next time your friend brings up relationship problems and then say something like “You know, I heard about this website ….”
  2. You could consider e-mailing your friend with a link to this program and write something like “I came across this website today and thought it looked really interesting.” Then, point out the features that you think might make it helpful for your friend.
  3. If you suspect your friend just wants to complain about his/her relationship and get your support (and not sure if he/she wants to put in the effort to change anything), it might be good to first ask your friend if there are specific things that he/she would like to change in his/her relationship. Once you know specific changes, you can tell your friend about the programs offered here and how they might help.

If you’ve noticed your friend’s relationship problems but he/she hasn’t talked to you about them.

  1. Before you can bring up this program, your friend needs to feel comfortable talking with you about his/her relationship problems. To make that happen, here are a couple of ideas:
    1. When you notice your friend feeling down (or overhear a fight) let your friend know that you’ve noticed a change in him/her and ask him/her if there is anything you can do to help.
    2. If your friend mentions relationship problems but doesn’t elaborate, perhaps you could mention that you remember a time in the past when him/her relationship seemed to be more positive and that you don’t hear him/her talking that way anymore.
  2. Once your friend opens up to you about his/her relationship, you can introduce the idea of checking out this website using the same ideas presented above.