marriage retreat couple holding hands on table

What To Expect At A Couples Retreat: A Sample 3-Day Marriage Retreat Itinerary

More couples are turning to intensive couples therapy than ever before. This is because marriage intensives get you faster results. Instead of the prolonged process of weekly counseling sessions, you spend dedicated hours during an extended weekend to get to a resolution. With every couple I see, I always start with the hypothesis that your marriage can be mutually fulfilling and successful, but you just haven’t learned the skills to make it work. In fact, 70% of couples who completed a 3-day LifeWise marriage retreat report they felt enough positive change that they did not need to continue couples therapy after the retreat. Moreover, the vast majority of participants report learning useful skills that allow them to continue to experience positive changes in their relationship long after the retreat. Below is a sample 3-day LifeWise marriage retreat itinerary, specifically designed for couples in crisis, to give you a better sense of what to expect.

Preparation

We kick off the process with an initial consultation. We’ll handle all forms, the deposit and set a date for your retreat. Next, you’ll receive a coupon code for an online couple’s course, included for free with your retreat. The course will give you a head start in learning the skills of a healthy relationship. You will also fill out a relationship questionnaire to complete ahead of the retreat. This will allow us to learn more about you and your marriage before meeting with you.

Day 1

We’ll begin with an overview of the science of marriage and relationships. Next is an individual intake process for each partner to understand their perspectives, goals and personal histories. Both partners will be present during individual intakes so we can have full transparency.

We’ll have an overview of communication principles for couples using the most recent research. Learning to communicate effectively with your partner is essential for long-term success. You will practice applying relevant communication techniques with observation and coaching. Remember, you will get better at what you practice. 

Day 2

The second day is where we do all the heavy lifting. Day 2 is tailored to each couple’s specific needs and goals. We’ll address the issues, triggers and pain points you identified as needing repair. We’ll dive deeper into the emotions behind the behaviors. Through solutions-based counseling, we’ll work toward resolutions. You’ll also revisit the starting hypothesis that your marriage can work as long as have the right skills. 

Day 3

The final day of the retreat is a pivotal moment. If you have been able to make progress connecting and communicating up to this point, then we will keep up the momentum. You will continue practicing skills and developing a roadmap for your marriage going forward. However, if you feel the marriage is beyond repair, then we negotiate a trial separation that is structured to either help you reconnect or mindfully split up. 

Aftercare

The last phase of every retreat is to provide suggestions that will help you continue to make ongoing progress. These might include specific exercises to do together or individually. Additional supports may include homework assignments, reading recommendations, or other activities that engage you both in making a positive step towards your relationship goals.

Additional retreat options

While 3-day intensive counseling retreats are designed for marriages in crisis, we also offer 1- and 2-day retreat options for other circumstances. 

1-day retreats are geared toward premarital counseling for couples who want to be proactive in setting the right tone for their marriage. A single day option can also be a follow-up to a prior retreat to polish up skills and answer questions.

2-day retreats are typically for couples who are looking to build emotional connection and need some support. These couples are not in crisis but could benefit from counseling to improve their relationship.

Wherever your relationship may be, there is always room for growth. We are here to offer supportive, solutions-based counseling to get your marriage on track and thrive. If a marriage retreat is a good next step for you, follow the link below to learn more.