The “Real” Benefits Of A Couple's Retreat

BY: - 7 May '12 | Marriage

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Okay, I should be completely honest, my husband and I are a touch overdue for a retreat.

It has been some time since we experienced a spiritual weekend getaway with other couples, but nevertheless we still hold on to many of the lessons learned in our last one. We anxiously look forward to participating in another one in the very near future.

For me, the “idea” of the retreat itself creates particular emotions and expectations, which can strengthen the relationship before the couple ever arrives to the destination. Every action leading a couple toward this type of experience has already created a desire for healing in a relationship.

The moment a couple learns of the retreat can easily become the very beginning of a marriage-altering discovery. Whether the event is facilitated through the couple’s church or if someone else who cares about the marriage shares the details, the information is planted, stored and up to the couple to use or not. Usually there is one person in the marriage who is more excited than the other and that’s just fine. More than likely that has been the situation with other areas of the partnership as well. The beautiful piece here is that even though the other person isn’t as excited, they are still willing to participate because it will gratify their partner. What a true definition of sacrifice. This sacrifice, again, is only the beginning. Through every phase of this process there is an opening for transformation.

Let’s examine it even further.

Once a unanimous decision is made and both partners are willing to attend, it’s time to register for the event. At this point various emotions are surfacing, ranging from excitement to doubt and fear. Couples aren’t sure exactly what to expect so the situation seems a little frightening. The significance is both individuals agreed the relationship may perhaps benefit from this type of activity.

Next is planning and re-arranging schedules to create time to focus on the marriage in this way. Scheduling babysitters and making other arrangements allows others to witness the serious commitments a couple is willing to make for the health of the marriage.

Preparation and packing immediately follow. As couples decide what to bring, they are looking for items to make them the most comfortable. The whole time they are picturing themselves participating, which means they are already open to trying the new ideas that will be presented.

After planning and packing, the couple is on the road to the retreat. This alone time allows the couple an opportunity to converse and discover the other’s anticipation about the event ahead. It should be used wisely.

As the couple enters the retreat and notice the other couples in attendance, a sense of unity is created as this becomes a great opportunity to feel even further connected. Observing the connections of other couples can stir up certain feelings and desires for one’s own marriage. Either they will witness more of what they do wish for in their relationship or what they desire to have less of.

Once the retreat officially begins, and most of us don’t even realize it, we have already connected with our spouse on so many levels. The retreat itself actually becomes the icing on the cake. From eye opening exercises and reflections, to realizing we aren’t the only couple experiencing certain challenges, allows us the opportunity to leave with more than we ever imagined.

We receive immense reward from the actual retreat itself, but I advise not to miss the blessings and benefits that occur before. The message not to be forgotten is that both people were willing to stretch that extra mile to gain further insight about one another and collect new ideas on building up a marriage.

Do you and your spouse regularly attend marriage retreats? What is your favorite part?  

About the author

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter wrote 355 articles on this blog.

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter is a Certified Life & Relationship Coach, founder of Life Editing and a Career Coach/Trainer. She helps couples and individuals rewrite their life to reflect their dreams. Tiya has been featured in Ebony Magazine, Essence.com and on the Michael Baisden Show. She resides in Chicago with her husband and two children. For more of Tiya's fearless life and love wisdom, visit her blog at www.theboldersister.com

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14 WordPress comments on “The “Real” Benefits Of A Couple's Retreat

  1. Adrienne

    My husband and I went on our first one last year (we’ve been married 15 years) and it was AWESOME! We are now looking forward to going every year it’s offered. I HIGHLY suggest them. When we got back we told EVERYONE at our church who had not been that they NEEDED to go. It was SUPERB. I think my favorite part was the question and answer section. Everyone put a question in a box at registration and they read the question aloud and each couple chimed in. It was priceless information. Some of the couples had been married up to 51 years and some only one year so it was something in it for everyone.

    Reply
    1. Shamona J.

      What is the name of the company or who is the the retreat thrown by that you and your husband attended? I am highly interested in going. Our marriage is in desperate need of resuscitation.

      Reply
  2. Tiya

    Adrienne,

    Thank you for your comment. Retreats are absolutely amazing. Did you find any benefits or opportunities before you and your husband arrived at the retreat?

    Reply
  3. Cherrell Jones

    This is good to hear. We have been looking for a retreat to attend and I googled them. I found out this may not be a good idea since there are different faiths. any suggestions of good Christian (the ones that believe in Jesu s as Christ) ones within this year?

    Reply
    1. Tiya

      Thanks Ronnie. We know a beautiful Christian couple who host a marriage retreat in the Atlanta area, I will make sure to send you the info.

      Reply
  4. Mikka

    Wow!!! Love that one, I have always wanted to go on something like that but I never even heard about anything like that in my area. Also me & a friend were discussing how many churches here doesn’t have a marriage ministry which I think would be very nice to attend.

    Reply
  5. Mike

    Loved this blog because it articulated so well the feelings and emotions of a retreat attendee. If you’re looking for a christian based marriage retreat targeting African American couples, we invite you to “The Heart Of Marriage Retreat: The Passionate Oursuit Of Oneness Through All Seasons” http://www.HeartOfMarriageRetreat.com

    Reply
  6. Diane

    My husband of 6 years decides to move out a go back to his parents extra home he keeps saying he is not feeling the marriage but keeps coming back home. This is his 4 time doing this its like a cycle that happens . He had an affair, I forgave him while he was living outside the home, he comes back home to spend time with me and loving, apologetic tells me how he appreciates me being there for him …but remains at his mothers extra home his sister has moved into the extra home also and all they do is fight and argue over bills. He admitted how frustrated he is and unhappy with his living arrangements but stated that he is unsure if he wants to move back home with me. I am so confused as he still has a key to our home and comes home to rest after work , I cook and still treat him with love when he comes. I have been praying fasting and am so, so tired of this ..I don;t know what to do . I love my husband and have no desire to redate, and start over ..to exhausting…I feel discourage , distress, depressed, mentally draining.

    Reply
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