According to an industry report, this past year saw a 34% spike in divorce paperwork sales. Even the strongest bonds weaken during national turmoil. We’ve experienced plenty.
If you and your partner are at a point where a split feels imminent, don’t panic. Couples therapy retreats can get your relationship back on track.
Are you not sure what a couples retreat offers your relationship? Read on to learn about the five ways a therapy retreat can strengthen the ties that bind.
What Is a Couples Therapy Retreat?
Even if you’ve taken the proactive step of couples therapy, everyday life has a way of interfering. Work stress, finances, and child care can disrupt any progress you’ve made.
Think of couples therapy retreat resorts as a working vacation. You and your partner leave your stressors behind to focus on your relationship.
You’ll engage with a professional therapist
You’ll attend group therapy sessions
You’ll participate in professionally designed couples activities
A retreat often lasts for three days. Some retreats do offer options for couples who feel they need more time.
1. Therapy With Emphasis on Vacation
It’s too easy for a relationship to fall into patterns. Some of those patterns are healthy. You may both love your Friday date nights or Sunday family dinners.
Then there are the unhealthy patterns. The workday routines, lack of communication, and emotional distance are hard to break. They are too often reinforced by location.
Of all the pros and cons of couples therapy retreats, the vacation aspect is the best benefit. You and your partner get to experience a new location together, free from the pitfalls of your home life.
84% of couples who travel together believe they communicate well with their partner.
Experiencing a new location together is a proven way to stimulate the intimacy you both need. The relaxing environment facilitates the difficult discussions necessary for holistic communication.
2. Quality Time With Structure
You take your problems with you. It’s an old saying, but it’s unfortunately true. Often, couples take a vacation together as a last-ditch effort to save their relationship.
Doing so often has mixed results. If you’re having problems at home, those problems won’t disappear on vacation. The skills you need to build intimacy and patch resentments are learned.
If you haven’t learned those skills, your relationship-saving vacation will fail. A couples therapy retreat is a vacation you take to build those vital skills.
During a couples retreat, you will:
Examine your relationship history
Express resentments that erode trust and intimacy
Break down communication barriers
Participate in couple’s activities tailored to your issues
Relax and reflect on the work you’ve done each day
This professionally structured quality time helps you dissect harmful relationship patterns. A vacation alone for a troubled couple only allows you to repeat them in a new location.
3. They’re Learning Experiences
Couples too often couples enter into the bond of marriage without assessing the relationship. Is love enough? It’s not if you lack the skills to build upon a loving foundation.
For one, a marriage will not solve existing relationship issues. There may be a blissful honeymoon period, but a conflict will come soon enough. If you handled conflict poorly before getting married, a vow doesn’t change that.
Second, a long-term relationship has so many variables. Circumstances change the dynamic of a relationship. Children, financial issues, illness, and occupational stress can transform you and your partner.
These changes are where relationships often break. A couples retreat focuses on how to build the skills you’ve needed all along to build intimacy and trust.
Healthy conflict mitigation skills
Listening and communication strategies
Expectation inventory or an examination of what you believe your partner should provide you
How to show vulnerability
How to communicate affection and love to meet your partner’s needs
A couples retreat will not free your relationship from conflict. It will change how you think about conflict. Constructive rather than destructive conflict is a sign of a healthy relationship.
4. You Can Make Realizations to Trigger Actual Change
Couples with long-standing relationship issues often find themselves in a defensive posture. A conflict arises, and immediately one or both revert to defending themselves.
The accusations fly, and the hurt cuts deep and more painful. Defensiveness kills relationships by preventing communication and stunting growth.
If you spend all your energy defending yourself in a conflict, you’re not hearing your partner. Accusations and counteraccusations cause more strife and prevent self-assessment.
A couple’s retreat gives you and your partner the skills to avoid this defensiveness. It also gives you the space you need to drop your defenses for a while.
Once you do that, you’re able to have the realizations you need to avoid an uncontested divorce.
5. They’re Fun
Couples retreats aren’t all work and no play. They are work AND play. A couple that learns how to enjoy each other and have fun will be successful.
A great retreat knows this. You’ll travel to a beautiful resort with all the trappings of a vacation. Once you finish with the workshops, you’re free to spend your evenings together to learn how to have fun.
Couples Therapy Retreats Work
Should you go on a couples therapy retreat? Yes, if you and your partner want to save the relationship and are willing to work.
Couples therapy retreats are a strategy for couples in a deep conflict that can’t seem to find their way out. That said, any counseling or retreat will only work if both parties work at it.
Do you want more relationship help? Check out the rest of our page.