What is a marriage retreat?

August 30, 2010

A marriage retreat is a vacation for couples, including therapy sessions, exercises and workshops designed to strengthen relationships.

Marriage retreat sessions aren't just for couples who feel their relationships are in peril. In fact, many couples who wish to spend a weekend focusing on their love and their communication skills often come to retreats As well. There are private retreats for one couple to experience with licensed therapists and counselors or there are group sessions that speak to a wider audience and teach overall relationship skill building techniques. Regardless of the reason for attending a marriage retreat, most couples arrive with some sort of goal in mind.

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What happens at a marriage retreat?

Once you arrive to the retreat location — which is often set in the mountains, the woods, near a lake, or in some other idyllic spot — you will encounter a series of sessions that are usually a couple hours in length and separated by lunch or snack breaks. First, the marriage retreat opens with an assessment of your goals, in addition to learning about your personality and communication styles. Next, you will receive information, strategies, personal coaching and you'll receive the tools to repair or strengthen your marriage. A marriage retreat will teach you how to overcome obstacles, reconnect and transform negative communication patterns into productive, positive ones. Most people leave a marriage retreat feeling rejuvenated and reconnected.

What are the cons of a marriage retreat?

While a marriage retreat is undeniably a fulfilling experience, it's simply not possible for every couple. Dr. John Grey's marriage retreat in Sonoma County, California costs anywhere from $2,600 for two days or $3,900 for three days. A four-day Life Institute for Family Excellence marriage retreat in San Diego costs $1,995 for a group session and $2,495 for a private session. The Western Spirit Enrichment Center offers a weekend marriage retreat in Sedona, Arizona ranging from $1,395 during low season to $1,995 during high season. Given the price of these inclusive vacations, plus travel expenses, a marriage retreat is simply not a feasible option for everyone.

What is a good alternative to a marriage retreat?

You needn't pay for an expensive getaway with marriage counselors to begin improving your marriage today. Programs like Mort Fertel’s “Marriage Fitness,” Lee Baucom's "Save The Marriage," T.W. Jackson's "The Magic of Making Up" and Amy Waterman's "Save My Marriage Today" will give you the same techniques, tools and secrets as a marriage retreat in e-book and audio CD format. You can receive this material immediately to begin your reading and learning process. Many of these mamarriage retreatrriage retreat alternatives come with workbooks full of fun exercises and questionnaires aimed at helping couples learn more about each other. You may think you know the person you've been living with for years, but often we overlook their communication styles, their deepest needs and their goals for the future. 

Instead of paying for a costly marriage retreat where your time is monopolized and structured into sessions, you and your spouse can read the materials provided and plan your own affordable vacation or staycation. Get a room at a nearby hotel, rent a cabin for the weekend, book a bed-and-breakfast or plan a small road trip. Give yourselves some space and room to grow together as a couple. Often any change of scenery will inspire greater romance. When you combine your self-guided marriage retreat with the materials from a marriage saving program, you can find a sense of peace, rekindle old flames and rescue your relationship for a fraction of the price. Why not try this marriage retreat?

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