Some couples wait until they are on the brink of divorce to go to marriage counseling. It’s a challenge to turn things around at this point, but they want to give the relationship one last try. An online search for “marriage retreats near me” is a starting point if they want a more intensive type of therapy. Otherwise, they are faced with conventional weekly counseling sessions that could go on for months.
The couple also should consider features they especially want from this opportunity. For instance, they may want a nonreligious marriage retreat if they are not members of a religious faith or if they each have their own separate beliefs. They also may really want a judgment-free atmosphere if they feel embarrassed about the state of their relationship and perhaps some of their behaviors.
They’ll have to be honest with the counselor if they want to achieve the best results, and that often means talking about something they did that they feel guilty or ashamed about. There may have been a betrayal caused by infidelity. There may have been an episode of domestic violence. Their relationship may have become so stormy that loud fighting led to neighbors calling the police. One or both spouses may be drinking far too much alcohol.
Imago Relationship Therapy
Organizations like the Marriage Restoration Project use Imago Relationship Therapy to vastly improve communication between the partners. The spouses or domestic partners sit facing each other and discuss their relationship problems and ways to resolve those issues. The therapist facilitates the conversation as needed to keep the two on track.
During the two-day intensive retreat, the couple remembers why they fell in love and all the reasons they wanted to be together. They learn more effective ways of communicating with each other. They make a new commitment to their relationship. Even if the two individuals have been on different paths for some time, they learn how to reconnect and get in touch with the important aspects they have in common. All of this helps them start rebuilding their relationship immediately and continue transforming it after they get home.