Many of the long-standing religious institutions favor marriage as a normal part of the progression into adulthood and raising a family, but most of them have recognized that marriage does not always work well for both parties. They see marriage counseling as a way to help their members work out the issues they face, and they do encourage couples to learn how to live together in harmony. Some centers offer individual counseling for couples, but others have found it works best if they ensure the couple understands the duties of marriage before taking their vows. For those couples who might need just a bit of assistance, many now offer support groups for couples.
Marriage in many religious institutions is a serious matter, so the officials of many churches have set up programs to ensure people understand what they are getting into before the rite or sacrament is given to them. They counsel couples together, and they also see them separately. The goal is to ensure the couple has a full understanding of their duties as a spouse before marriage, and the church will decide whether or not they are ready.
Support groups have become a way for many different institutions to offer help to their members at a lower cost, and they often depend upon the attendees to help each other. This works well in cases where marital issues are more about the lack of time and sleep than it does when a couple has a deep division between them. For those who only need a forum where they feel their issues are being address, support groups are often available in many local worship centers.
In religions where marriage is held as a sacred bond, couples are often given an opportunity to meet with an official of their religion to help solve serious marital issues. The counseling they are given is often based on the traditions of the religion, and prayer, meditation and forgiveness are all important parts of the process.