As online social media becomes increasingly popular these days it also becomes clear that society has realized the value of connecting with others through cyberspace. That being said, online “forums,” or “message boards” have increasingly become the place to go when one needs help or advice for everything from technical computer problems to niche hobbies, like antiques and collectibles. was started to extend that community help and support to the realm of relationships. Chris Hartwell, a social worker who started The Family & Marriage Counseling Directory while in graduate school at Tulane University, realized the need for such a community after seeing the high volume of traffic that was present on the web for people seeking relationship help. “If you saw the search query reports for my websites, you wouldn’t believe the things that people type into Google looking for relationship help. Talk About Marriage, in particular, brings in a lot due to the diversity of issues that people discuss on the site,” said Chris.

He goes on to say, “Not everyone’s ready to see a professional therapist, and Talk About Marriage gives them a free, confidential way to get some feedback on their problems before making that step. Many of our visitors are there to discuss problems that may be too embarrassing for them to bring up with even close friends or relatives, so it serves a useful purpose in that respect as well.”

The forum is free and open to the public; it has a vibrant atmosphere and regular members who respond quickly to problems that people post. “The support can be amazing; I’ve seen so many people say ‘thank you for all of your help,’ after working through issues with members of the forum,” said Chris.

Chris hasn’t forgotten his social work roots though. In reading sections about why the forum was started, he makes it clear that he recommends professional help, and there are prominent links to find professionals throughout Talk About Marriage. Regardless of the path one chooses, however, Talk About Marriage is a nice stop along the way to healthier relationships.