If you feel your marriage could use some professional support, you may be considering if a marriage retreat is right for you. A marriage retreat is worthwhile for couples for whom traditional therapy hasn’t worked or for those who want to supercharge their counseling journey. The greatest benefit of intensive couples therapy is that you get results much faster than standard couples counseling. But don’t just take my word for it. Here are some reviews from couples who have attended a LifeWise Marriage Retreat and the positive long-term changes it brought to their relationships.
What To Expect At A Marriage Retreat
Marriage retreats typically take place over 1-4 days. The couple works with a therapist on exploring and expressing emotions, repairing sources of conflict and learning valuable relationship skills for long-lasting change. In order to learn more about what you would do at a marriage retreat, check out this sample 3-day retreat itinerary.
“My husband and I got more done in 3 sessions with Dr H than in several years of therapy with multiple therapists.”
Prepare To Feel And Express Your Emotions
Emotions are the currency of relationships, and the therapist’s job is to help you invest in your relationship during the retreat. This means you are going to feel deep emotions. The way you regulate and express them is vital to the success of your marriage. Learning to manage and communicate your emotions effectively may be difficult at first, especially if you’ve been stuck in a negative dynamic. But once you work through some discomfort, you are bound to see real improvements in your relationship.
“We would highly recommend Dr. H. We took part in an intensive couples therapy retreat. The 3 days we spent with him were insightful, very interesting, challenging, and pushed our relationship to uncomfortable places at times. What he taught us felt foreign at first and was difficult, but in the end proved to be a much more effective way of communicating. He is very easy to talk to, a great listener and made us feel very comfortable, as If we had known him for quite some time. While we might have been exhausted by the end of each session, we left feeling more positive and hopeful for our future.”
Be Ready To Learn And Practice New Skills
Most couples are stuck in negative cycles because they haven’t shifted their behavior into more effective patterns. The good news is that you can break negative cycles and replace them with better habits. During a marriage retreat, you will learn dozens of ways to break bad habits and only one of those needs to stick to start creating positive changes.
“My husband and I learned how to be more open and honest. Dr. H. taught us how to communicate and listen deeply. We take time for our relationship now. We have check-ins almost every day and we truly enjoy sharing our celebrations and things to work on with each other. It’s been almost a year since we worked with Dr. H. Although we still have difficult times periodically, the skills we learned help us talk our way through them more effectively and respectfully than we did before.”
Create An Aftercare Plan
A marriage retreat is a great way to access professional support in a deep and efficient manner. However, once the retreat ends the couple must continue to apply their new skills in order for the changes to become the new normal. The couples therapist will provide each partner with an individualized plan to help you increase your emotional intelligence and self regulation. A good aftercare plan will also include practical suggestions for improved communication and stronger connection between spouses.
“I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate the work you did with us. Our daily check-ins continue and things are going well for us. Sometimes the check ins are short and sometimes they are longer, but they are always heartfelt. The best part is that we actually listen to each other. I can honestly say that I have not felt this close to my husband (physically and emotionally) in years. We are so grateful to you!”
I strongly believe that most marriages can succeed with the right skills and support. If you think a marriage retreat is the right next step for you and your partner, please contact us for a free 20-minute consultation. You can learn more about intensive couples therapy at the link below.