If you’ve ever seen the movie ‘Couple’s Retreat’ – it could be enough to put you off for life. The idea of sharing our intimate thoughts and feelings in front of strangers and ‘connecting’ with your partner can often cause us to cringe. But before you dismiss the idea entirely, you might take a moment to re-consider.
The fact is that not all ‘couples retreat’s’ are created equal, in fact some are tailor-made for the type of people who normally wouldn’t consider going away for a weekend with their partner to unpack their relationship – it just takes a little bit of research to find the retreat that’s right for you.
Here are some tell-tale signs you might be ready for a couple’s retreat:
Frequent Arguments – do you have regular and repeated arguments, often about the same thing? If you are constantly clashing with no resolve, then a couple’s retreat can help you each address the issues in a supportive and nurturing environment. Through the careful guidance of your therapist, you will learn how to acknowledge each other’s grievances, to actively listen and ‘hear’ your partner and then learn techniques to help you manage and diffuse conflicts in the future, so you can enjoy a peaceful, harmonious life together.
Lack of Intimacy and Sex – if you can’t remember the last time you had sex, or if you or your partner is withholding or avoiding intimacy, then seeking professional help can get you back on track. Intimacy can leave a relationship for many reasons. A couple’s retreat that has a mixture of group and one-to-one sessions can give you the opportunity to understand the intimacy issues within your relationship. Often, the chance to talk to a third party can take the intensity away from the debate so you can share your thoughts and feelings and move towards healing. A good couple’s retreat can help remind you of the reasons why you are with your partner in the first place and re-connect with them on an intimate level. It can also equip you with skills to maintain the intimacy and in fact, move towards it, not away from it, when you leave the retreat.
Resentment – if you or your partner are holding onto resentment in your relationship, then a couples retreat can create the perfect environment to unpack these safely. Resentment can be the ‘great undoer’ of even the best relationships. It is the elephant in the room, the quiet stalker that stays with you and whispers in your ear but never has the courage to speak. By airing resentments, you literally ‘out’ them. I have seen so many couples express deeply held, long established resentments that when openly discussed in a supportive environment, they can literally ‘vanish’. For every resentment heard, there is a remedy that can be reached with a committed couple that wants to stay together.
Fun – if the daily grind of life and the routine of living together has taken its toll, then a couples retreat can help you re-connect with your partner so you can enjoy each other once more. A good couple’s retreat will provide plenty of opportunity for you to connect with your partner and remind each other of why you got together in the first place. A good therapist will help you find ways of re-connecting with the partner that you fell in love with and will arm you with skills to maintain that connection when you leave the retreat.
*If you have serious issues such as mental health problems, domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, then private couple therapy may be a better option than going on a couple’s retreat.
Please visit full details about the Couple's Retreat I am presenting 22-24 September in the romantic Blue Mountains.
For more tips, daily quotes and information about love, dating, relationships and happiness visit my Facebook page Melissa Ferrari - Psychotherapist & Relationship Expert. Also available is information about couple therapy and how it can help your relationships.