Happy Spring, Chicks and Roosters! If you haven’t noticed, in the last few months we’ve added a lot of new faces around here. I’m so thrilled to officially welcome:
Susannah Scott, Jodi Linton, Alison Bliss, Kym Roberts, Naima Simone, Jerrie Alexander, and AJ Nuest!
All are sassy, awesome women, not to mention fabulous writers, so I know you’ll enjoy getting to know them!
I’m excited to take the mic today to share something that was a bit of a game changer for me. The first time my husband suggested we attend a marriage retreat I was like…
He totally threw me for a loop. I mean, why the hell would we do something like that? Our shit was already tight. We rarely argue and, honestly, I don’t know how I could have found a more perfectly imperfect match for my
The thing is, my man is patience personified. He calmly brought up this marriage retreat thing three years in a row, but I had always found a convenient excuse for us not to sign up. “We’re too busy,” I’d say. Or, “I don’t want to leave the kids for a weekend,” or “I’m already so happy with you, let’s just go on a date.”
In my mind, ‘those’ weekends were for other couples with some big ass issues.
Well, the day came last October when my sweet man approached me once again asking if I was interested in “investing in our marriage” at a retreat weekend. With a bad feeling in my gut, I knew I’d finally run out of get-out-of-jail-free cards. I mean, how could I turn him down yet again? So I ponied up, and he got us enrolled.
After that, I conveniently forgot about it until two weeks before the scheduled weekend. We started to get all these communications behooving us to leave our technology at home, get a hotel room even if we lived in town, come rested, yada yada, blah, blah, blah.
Whatever. I still had two weeks.
My girlfriends asked me what the weekend was all about, and I was like…
In the car on the way to the retreat, I reassured Mr. D that it wasn’t like we had to stay if we hated it. It’d only be $75 down the tubes. And dang, Tutti Fruitti would be a great stop on the way back home. He just smiled, parked the car, and took my hand so I wouldn’t bolt as we approached the welcome table.
There were three presenting/mentoring couples, one priest (this was a Catholic retreat), and thirteen
lambs for slaughter retreat couples. Did I have a piss-poor attitude? Why yes, yes I did!
Was it warranted?
I don’t even know how to describe how intense and fun the weekend was. There was no group sharing (hallelujia!), just presentations to facilitate thoughts and offer constructive and effective tools for being vulnerable. After the presentations, the husbands and wives split up to write individually. After writing, we rejoined our spouse in a private room to dialogue on what we wrote.
Yes, people, this involved feelings. Lots and lots of FEELINGS. I may have cried by the end of the weekend (but only once, when they asked us to write a letter to our spouse as if we knew they were dying – OMFG).
Walls I didn’t even know I had came down, the fat lady sang, and Mr. D & I shared things with each other we haven’t in the fifteen years we’ve been together.
What was it about the retreat that made it so amazing? Well, the mentoring couples kicked ass for sure, but of course, like anything, what you put into something is usually what you get back. After I dropped my bad attitude and got down and dirty with the process it was so freeing. Scary in some ways, too, but definitely liberating. The process gave us tools to talk about anything and everything.
What an investment in our relationship.
Don’t get your panties in a bunch when your man brings up weird shit.
Seriously, though, if you have the opportunity to attend one of ‘those’ weekends, I hope you do (and hopefully it’s as good as the one I went to, otherwise that sucks). The type of weekend I attended was put on by World Wide Marriage Encounter. We renewed our vows the final hour of the weekend.
Yeah, it was awesome.
In closing, I’ll leave you with a video that one of the organizing couples shared. It’s pretty funny in a Mars vs. Venus way: