Sometimes a troubled marriage calls for some in-depth counseling. But other times, all a marriage needs is a small jump-start and some time away from everything to make it work - a marriage retreat.
A lot of “how to save a marriage” manuals and Web sites discuss the idea that alone time with one’s spouse is important when it comes to promoting marital bliss. But one thing that such information may not include is scheduling your own, personal marriage retreat.
Most of us are familiar with retreats – they give us time to get away from the normal routine, reconnect and to recharge ourselves.
A marriage retreat isn’t much different in that it allows you and your spouse to get away from the sometimes frantic, sometimes routine daily existence to reconnect with one another.
A marriage retreat, in its most basic form, reminds you why you and your partner hooked up in the first place.
With this definition in mind, your marriage retreat can be as short and simple as a couple of hours at the local bowling alley with you and your loved one. Or it can be as elaborate as a week-long romantic cruise.
The point of a marriage retreat is to refresh your relationship with your spouse by spending time with him or her.
However, you decide to structure your marriage retreat, here are a few “do’s” and “don’ts.”
DO leave your day-to-day gripes at home. A marriage retreat is not a “bitch session” where complaints about your boss or the broken-down oven can be aired. Remember, the focus is on reconnecting with your spouse, not complaining about nit-picking problems.
DO remember to praise and compliment – lavishly. We say it in our workshops time and again. While we date, we focus on the positives of our partners. But once the wedding vows are shared, it seems as though the positives become negatives.
Remember when you used to laugh at your spouse’s jokes, rather than being annoyed at how stupid they might have seemed? Remember when you used to like the way your partner expressed herself, rather than being resentful of it? The marriage retreat is an ideal way to praise those mannerisms that once enchanted.
And finally, DO remember to say “I love you,” and say it like you mean it. This is such a simple exercise, but again, in the daily stress of a relationship, people forget to share these three simple words. The marriage retreat is a great place to reaffirm your love and your commitment to one another.