Five couples, all friends, at a beach house…it didn’t take me long to agree (in fact, I think my response was almost immediate) to the idea of going away with our friends for a couple’s retreat.
I didn’t know what to expect since this was my first experience, but if I was spending time with people I cared about and we were on vacation, I was in!
When you think of a couples retreat, what comes to mind? Possibly, hanging out with friends away from kids or the everyday hustle of life or therapy sessions on the beach. This past weekend Bini and I were lucky enough to experience our very first couple’s retreat. No kids, no work, just great friends, and the space to be honest with ourselves and our marriage.
We talked about everything from our kids and how to raise them to the importance of spending time together as a couple. We went into details about what we felt was missing in the marriage and what we would love to see more of when it came to our spouses. Everyone was authentic and never judged. At the same time, we spent a great deal, laughing, dancing, drinking wine, and telling each other stories, cooking and eating together as a family and just showed each other love. This is what friendship is all about.
I think everyone should experience this type of getaway, not just once but yearly if possible. We all get so caught up in the daily grind that we tend to lose what’s important in our lives- EACH OTHER! We all say “our family and friends” are the most important people in our lives, yet those are the people, we often place on a back burner when life happens, and we get busy. Why? Is it because we assume, they will understand since we tell them how much we love them and that we are working this hard for them?
What I loved most about our retreat was that at the end of our 4-day weekend, we all walked away with valuable lessons that woke us up about our marriage from appreciating our spouse and all they do to acknowledging and making our partners feel special. The idea was that through sharing our stories, we could give wisdom and learn from each other. The best part was that we decided to hold each other accountable and be there for one another. This gives us all that extra support we need to accomplish the goals we set out for our marriage.
For all my married readers, regardless if you are having troubles in your marriage or not, find the time to get away with your spouse and friends that are like-minded, positive and want their marriage to work as well. I kept thinking of this saying last weekend “you are who you hang out with” and smiling looking out at our friends. Find your tribe- the people who want to be happy, who believe in their marriage and who fight for it every day. Be around people who love life and want to celebrate it as a unit with their spouse. Learn from their mistakes and share your stories so they too can learn. In helping others, you really do help yourself ten times fold. Bini and I went on our retreat thinking we would be the ones giving advice since we have already been through so much, but boy, oh boy was I wrong. I learned so much and realized my marriage could be even greater than what it is today, which then made me more excited to try new things with Bini.
For those of you who don’t feel comfortable opening up to friends, try different marriage retreats to get a feel for it. You’ll meet like-minded people, pour your heart and soul out, enjoy time away from your busy lives, and get to spend some quality time with the person you love. I can’t see the downside to that.
I hope this blog helps you or someone you know. As always, I’d love to hear from you. Have you ever been on a couple’s retreat? How did you like it?