Can A Retreat Save Your Marriage?


Can A Retreat Save Your Marriage?
A couples retreat can bring intimacy, renewal and healing if you've been neglected or feel betrayed

Laura was contemplating the  end of her marriage.  She and her husband Bill had been married for eighteen years, and had two young children.  The marriage was not in a major crisis, but was definitely in ‘maintenance’ mode.  Sex was once a month unless it was someone’s birthday.   They barely spoke to each other unless it was about the kids.  And once lately she had walked in on Bill looking at pornography on the computer.  Laura wondered if their relationship was in a rut, or if her marriage was heading for divorce like half of her friends and neighbors. 

They had tried couples therapy, but after several sessions, Bill felt like he was being blamed for their problems and had “promised to be a good boy.”  At this point Laura felt hopeless and confused.  She wondered even if having an affair would change things. Is a failing marriage a result of long term monogamy or was there something deeper happening?

More from YourTango: Want To End Your Marriage? Try Conscious Uncoupling

Then she saw Hope Springs, the movie with Meryl Streep where she and her husband attend a five day Intensive retreat with a couples therapist, that focused on both getting away from their daily lives and taking an intensive look at their marriage.  Laura had an idea.

Maybe, like in the movies, she and Bill could go on a couples retreat.  “Maybe somewhere tropical,” she thought.  She talked to Bill about a retreat destination that could offer a couples workshop as well as a beach, golf or scuba lessons, any incentive that might convince him to go with her.  She wanted the therapy component as well, and hoped that if there was a sex therapy or sex enhancement class it might help them work on their dysfunctional communication.

Bill, to her surprise, agreed.  “Of course I want to work on our marriage.  And if we can do it in a week, and take a vacation too, why not?”

Laura and Bill found a Couples Workshop – mine.  They came and spent the mornings in a small, intimate group with two other couples and worked on their marriage issues, and found ways to communicate about their needs.  In the afternoon they went to the beach, took naps, and went sightseeing. 

More from YourTango: Is Technology Ruining Your Sex Life?

The tropical environment helped bring back the romance in their relationship and reminded them of why they loved one another and what made them come together in the first place. And with a seasoned guide to help them with their personal frustrations, they used the time to increase their intimacy and connection. 

The workshop helped Bill and Laura.  Can a couples retreat really help any couple looking for help?

Share this with someone you love (or even like a lot)!

Let's make it
FB official
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Tammy Nelson


Tammy Nelson, PhD, LPC email me at

Location: Ridgefield, CT
Credentials: LPC, PhD
Specialties: Couples/Marital Issues, Sex Therapy
Other Articles/News by Tammy Nelson:

Want To End Your Marriage? Try Conscious Uncoupling


Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin just announced their "conscious uncoupling" and it has brought up new questions for some people and a media conversation about what endings might look like in a long term, committed partnership. See Paltrow's blog Conscious uncoupling or what I call intentional divorce is more common than ever before. The ... Read more

Is Technology Ruining Your Sex Life?


Couples who lead happier, sexier relationships don't text. They don't gamble online, they don't pick fantasy football teams. They don't spend a lot of social network time on their hand held devices. They take the time instead to increase their physical and emotional connection with their actual real time partner. Not surprisingly, these same ... Read more

Who Has More Sex?


You're probably wondering if you should stay single to enjoy the partying, player lifestyle, especially after Miley Cyrus recently told Matt Lauer on the Today show that "old" people, those "over 40," don't have sex any more. She was referring to those "old" married people, right? Not to worry. Research shows ... Read more

See More

Recent Expert Posts

How to Get Over Your Stinkin' Thinkin'

Recognize "Stinkin Thinkin" that leads to depression and turn it into positive action and success.


Why Breakups Hurt

Breakups hurt us even when there is no love lost.


Why Do Men Hide Their Emotions?

The emotional processing in the male and female brain is not the same....

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

How to find the right pro for you
10 Reasons Mental Health Pros Should Join YourTango Experts

10 Reasons Mental Health Pros Should Join YourTango Experts

YourTango Experts can help your business go from good to great.

10 Steps To Improve Your Coaching Business

Take your coaching business from mediocre to great in no time…

Frequently Asked Questions About YourTango Experts

Thinking of joining? Here's all the facts you need to know to make the most of your membership.

Getting Your Guy To Join You In A Therapy Or Coaching Session

So how can your get your strong, self-reliant, superman to talk to an Expert with you?

Therapist/Counselors: Who We Are & What We Do

What exactly does a therapist/counselor do and can they really help?

See more resources>