what is The Third option existing groups start a group help yourself

The love between a man and a woman is beautiful
But most struggling couples see only two options:
Painful marriage or divorce.
Please know that there is a Third Option,
A way to a better, renewed marriage.


Recipient of
Smart Marriages

Impact Award


The Third Option program is featured in "Can My Marriage Be Saved?" by Mae and Erika Chambers, Pass-it-On Publishing.

Each chapter in the book tells the true story of a couple whose marriage was saved with the help of a marriage program. The chapter entitled Tim and Rebecca is about a Third Option couple.

The Chambers duo says the idea of the book is to give hope to hurting couples by letting them know that it is possible to save their marriages and by pointing the way to programs that can help them. The Third Option was one of 20 nationally recognized programs that the Chambers handpicked for the book.

For more information or to order click here.

Support Marriages and Stem The Divorce Tide!

From New York to California churches are discovering the benefits of offering The Third Option program. The Third Option helps ordinary couples build better marriages and helps hurting couples re-build theirs.

Statistics say 75% of marriages happen in a church or other house of worship. But then what? Do we pat them on the head and say, "Have a great marriage and remember --marriage is supposed to be permanent"? Or, do we offer couples TOOLS to help them and on-going SUPPORT over the rough spots?

Click here for the rest of the story.


Worksheets are now available in Spanish. This means bi-lingual coordinators can now make The Third Option accessible to the Hispanic Community. If you wish to receive the Spanish version, be sure to check the appropriate box on the manual order form.

See a recent article about

The Third Option in the Catholic Sun

click here

The Third Option is an on-going group program to build better marriages. Come for enrichment. Come for support from other couples and to learn the tools needed to have a successful marriage. Or come because you don't know where else to turn but you care about your marriage and want to make it work.

About the Third Option

To Start A Group

Order Form

Link to Smart Marriages

As Seen at
Smart Marriages (SM) International Conference & NACFLM: National Association of Catholic Family Life Ministers Conference 

Three Versions


New Features

  • Teacher Guide Sheets
  • Power Point disk for posters
  • In Brief Pages

  • BONUS!

    In addition to the 14 workshops, DVDs & videos now include 2 sample mentor sharings by actual couples!

    Fidelity Pledge
    for Enagaged/Newlyweds

    click here

    CMFCE Bestows Award

    The Third Option was the recipient of a prestigious Impact Award at the annual International Smart Marriages Conference in Dallas, June 2005. Receiving the award for The Third Option was Patricia Crane Ennis, M.S.W. (above), creator of the program.

    In presenting the award Diane Sollee, director and founder of the Coalition for Marriage, Family and Couples Education, recognized the program for it's "teach-out-of-the-box" and professional, researched-based features.

    Diane Sollee said, 'I find The Third Option to be the optimal program. It's practical, effective, affordable, couple-friendly, and instructor-friendly. It stands out in the field from the dozens of marriage education programs.'

    The award plaque reads, "For The Third Option, an examplary and extraordinary marriage education program that sets the standard for all to follow."

    The interdenominational group program began in 1988 and has since expanded to include other versions. Because the program was designed as ministry the manual has been kept very affordable. No special training is necessary.

    Contact us: pat@thethirdoption.com.

    The Third Option Cited in

    Family Relations Interdisciplinary Journal of Applied Family Studies

    October 2004, pp. 25-32.

    Humanitarian Award given to Third Option Couple click here.

    Easy & Practical Ways
    to Become a

    Marriage Building Parish

    click here