by Chris ORear, FBC member, Licensed Clinical Pastoral Therapist
"We don't really have any problems."
"We are just too busy."
"People might assume our marriage is in trouble?"
Sound familiar? People give a variety of reasons for not attending a marriage retreat. The reality is healthy marriages are living organisms in which the partners are constantly growing and changing. Each stage of marriage, from newly-weds to the senior years, brings a new set of challenges and potential difficulties. What helped us function at one stage may not work now. Being intentional about our relationship with our spouse throughout our lives is some of the most important work we can do. This intentionality helps us avoid slowly drifting apart while our attention gets directed to other aspects of our lives. Our children also benefit when we can model love and caring for one another in marriage.
A retreat can be good for your marriage for many reasons. You'll have some time alone with your spouse to focus on your relationship without the usual distractions. Even if every point of the retreat content doesn't relate to your relation-ship, it can provide a place to jumpstart a conversation about want you like and would wish for in your own marriage. A marriage retreat will probably not save a marriage that is already struggling badly. And it's not a substitute for regular dates, time as a couple, and good regular communication. However, a marriage retreat may be a place to regain your focus and spark your imagination on ways to reconnect with that person you fell in love with years before.