Marriage in the Bahá’í Faith
A Relationship & Marriage Service
of Marriage Transformation®

This website is to assist Bahá’ís and those in relationships or marriages with Bahá’ís to turn to Bahá’í administrative bodies for guidance and help and to apply Bahá’í teachings on relationships and marriage in their lives. The site also has Marriage Transformation® content which may be helpful.

Learning in Action
Core
Activities
Assemblies
Resources
About Us

 

Challenged Marriages/Marriages and Relationships in Difficulty Resources

"...[T]he provision of guidance on administrative matters such as the laws of engagement, marriage, and divorce falls under the purview of Local and National Spiritual Assemblies...."
(On behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual, September 24, 2014)

Note: This webpage has a limited selection of guidance.
Please contact the institutions for a fuller selection and to consult with them about your situation.

Need Professional Help from Practioners Who Are Bahá’ís?
Please see Marriage Transformation Resources below.

Consultation and Counseling

Guidance from the Bahá’í Writings:

To Set the World in Order: Building and Preserving Strong Marriages (August 2023)

  1. "O people of God! Adorn your temples with the adornment of trustworthiness and piety. Help, then, your Lord with the hosts of goodly deeds and a praiseworthy character. We have forbidden you dissension and conflict in My Books, and My Scriptures, and My Scrolls, and My Tablets, and have wished thereby naught else save your exaltation and advancement. ... We pray God to assist His loved ones, and aid them in that which beseemeth them in this blest, this mighty, and wondrous station. Moreover We beseech Him to graciously enable those who surround Me to observe that which My Pen of Glory hath enjoined upon them." (Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 120-121)

  2. "The House of Justice advises you to continue the strenuous efforts you are making to overcome the difficulties in your marriage. It is pleased to note that you and your husband have turned to the Local Spiritual Assembly for guidance and have sought help from a Bahá'í who is a marriage counsellor. Such endeavors, when combined with a strong and determined effort, improve greatly the prospects that your marriage can be maintained. However, it must also be borne in mind that the fact that Bahá'u'lláh has permitted divorce is, no doubt, an indication that in certain circumstances it is unavoidable. If your earnest efforts to maintain your marriage do not yield the desired result, you should not be distraught." (On behalf of the Universal House of Justice, April 28, 1989, to an individual believer, The Compilation of Compilations, Vol. II, no. 2345)

  3. “Consultation is…available for the individual in solving his own problems; he may consult with his Assembly, with his family and with his friends.” (On behalf of the Universal House of Justice quoted in the “Understanding Tests” letter from the Research Department to the Universal House of Justice, July 17, 1989)

  4. “Neither you nor your husband should hesitate to continue consulting professional marriage counselors, individually and together if possible, and also to take advantage of the supportive counseling which can come from wise and mature friends. Non-Bahá’í counseling can be useful but it is usually necessary to temper it with Bahá’í insight.” (On behalf of the Universal House of Justice, Compilation of Compilations, Vol. II, “Preserving Bahá’í Marriages”, p. 455)

  5. “The House of Justice is pleased that you are making a determined effort to resolve the problems in your marriage and that you are consulting with a professional therapist. You should feel under no obligation to continue to consult with someone in whom you have lost confidence or who you believe may cause you to act contrary to the teachings of the Faith. However, it should be understood that counseling of the type you are receiving may cause a variety of emotions to surface as a normal part of the therapy. Individuals sometimes feel close attachment to their therapist or experience other feelings which might be unsettling because they are unexpected; such emotions may simply represent a beginning of helpful change and need prove no danger to one's moral standards.” (On behalf of the Universal House of Justice, September 7, 1990)

Some Perspectives from Marriage Transformation:

Online Learning courses: Susanne M. Alexander serves as the owner and course creator at Transformation Learning Center for online relationship, marriage, parenting, and family courses that are practical and Baha'i-Faith-based. People of all faiths are welcome. There is an excellent faculty team and coaching available. Please come join us today! Information is available at this link: https://www.transformationlearningcenter.com/

Practical Book from Marriage Transformation: "Re-Vitalizing Our Marriage: Applying the Teachings of the Bahá’í Faith to Strengthen Our Union"

Marriage Transformation maintains a referral list of counselors, therapists, social workers, coaches, educators, and health/wellness practitioners who are members of the Bahá’í Faith for referral and collaborating purposes. Referrals are not recommendations; each person will need to do their own screening to see if the professional is a fit for them.

Professionals Referral List (pdf document; version June 2, 2024); [Please do not circulate this list. Instead, please refer people to the most up-to-date version at this link: http://bahaimarriage.net/resources.htm.]

If you are a professional willing to be included on the referral list or need to provide updated information about you or your credentials, please email Susanne M. Alexander at susanne@marriagetransformation.com.

If you want to search for a coach/counselor trained in PREPARE/ENRICH assessments and education: www.prepare-enrich.com you can use "Bahai" as one of your search terms. One option is here: https://marriagetransformation.com/coaching/.

Document For Couples to Give to a Counselor Who Is Not a Bahá’í (pdf file; 2-4-21); The above book "Re-Vitalizing Our Marriage" can provide Bahá’í insights to accompany this counseling.

 

Handling Tests and Difficulties

Guidance from the Bahá’í Writings and Institutions:

Understanding Tests (Bahá’í World Centre Research Department letter to the Universal House of Justice, July 17, 1989)

Directing the Course of One's Life (Universal House of Justice)


Some Perspectives from Marriage Transformation:

Is pornography a topic that you need assistance with?

When Your Spouse Is Not a Bahá’í

 

Reconciliation, Separation, Year of Waiting, and Divorce

Guidance from the Bahá’í Writings:

To Set the World in Order: Building and Preserving Strong Marriages (August 2023)

  1. "...[D]ivorce...is very strongly condemned by Bahá'u'lláh, and only grounds of extreme gravity justify it." (On behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, Lights of Guidance, #1311)

  2. "He was very sorry to hear that you are contemplating separation from your husband. As you no doubt know, Bahá'u'lláh considers the marriage bond very sacred; and only under very exceptional and unbearable circumstances is divorce advisable for Bahá'ís.

    "The Guardian does not tell you that you must not divorce your husband; but he does urge you to consider prayerfully, not only because you are a believer and anxious to obey the Laws of God, but also for the sake of the happiness of your children, whether it is not possible for you to rise above the limitations you have felt in your marriage hitherto, and make a go of it together.

    "We often feel that our happiness lies in a certain direction; and yet, if we have to pay too heavy a price for it in the end we may discover that we have not really purchased either freedom or happiness, but just some new situation of frustration and disillusion."
    (On behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, Lights of Guidance, #1310)

  3. “When an application for divorce is made to a Spiritual Assembly its first thought and action should be to reconcile the couple and to ensure that they know the Bahá’í teachings on the matter. God willing, the Assembly will be successful and no year of waiting need be started. However, if the Assembly finds that it is unable to persuade the party concerned to withdraw the application for divorce, it must conclude that, from its point of view, there appears to be an irreconcilable antipathy, and it has no alternative to setting the date for the beginning of the year of waiting. During the year the couple have the responsibility of attempting to reconcile their difference, and the Assembly has the duty to help them and encourage them. But if the year of waiting comes to an end without reconciliation the Bahá’í divorce must be granted as at the date of the granting of the civil divorce if this has not already taken place.” (On behalf of the Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, #1304)

  4. “Should resentment or antipathy arise between husband and wife, he [or she] is not to divorce her [or him] but to bide in patience throughout the course of one whole year, that perchance the fragrance of affection may be renewed between them. If, upon the completion of this period, their love hath not returned, it is permissible for divorce to take place.” (Bahá’u'lláh, Kitáb-i-Aqdas, #68)

  5. "Wherever there is a Bahá'í family, those concerned should by all means do all they can to preserve it, because divorce is strongly condemned in the Teachings whereas harmony, unity and love are held up as the highest ideals in human relationships." (On behalf of Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, #1313)

 

Useful Websites

 

This webpage was updated on June 2, 2024

Note: All photos on this website are from Marriage Transformation workshops
or are the personal photos of Susanne M. Alexander.


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Marriage Transformation is a registered trademark, and its primary website is www.marriagetransformation.com.
This site includes www.bahaimarriage.net, www.bahaimarriages.net, and www.bahairelationships.com.
This website is an individual service initiative reflecting the current understanding of Susanne M. Alexander;
it is not affiliated with any Bahá’í institution. The official Bahá’í website is www.bahai.org, and you are encouraged to turn to the
Bahá’í institutions for specific guidance.

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