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

A good couples retreat is basically a good couple’s workshop.  It is most often run by a professional who has experience in the field of marriage and couple’s therapy and is licensed and certified to provide good therapeutic intervention.  A couple’s retreat is different than a vacation or a luxury cruise, although they can be combined.  Many times a couples retreat can be in an office, but it can just as easily be on a beach in Mexico or in a hut in Fiji.  A real relationship retreat means spending time away from your regular life and working with a therapist to help the two of you focus exclusively on your relationship.  Increasing your erotic connection, working through affairs and other hurts, or getting help for any relationship issues you are suffering from.  The  goal of the week, along with relaxing, is decreasing your overall stress levels.

Ellen and Bill really needed a retreat.  Bill had recently admitted that he was unhappy in the marriage and was considering divorce for the second time.  He suspected Ellen had been cheating but wasn’t sure.  They signed up for a week long retreat.  The couples retreat gave Ellen and Bill a chance to focus all of their energy on the relationship, got them out of their routine and moved them in the direction of a happier future.   By day three of the retreat they decided to stay together and by day five were having sex for the first time in almost three years.


Deciding to save a marriage takes clarity.   When you are close to home, trying to go to couples therapy once a week, the hour long interventions may not be enough.  A week away from home where you can be totally focused on each other  may be more effective at first.  Going home and following up with couple’s therapy can then be the key to long lasting satisfaction. 

The idea of retreat is important.  A workshop can be a spiritual renewal that both of you need, particularly if there has been excessive strain on the relationship and stress in your life.  A retreat in a beautiful and relaxing environment can reduce stress and give you a chance to decide if it is life that is stressing your relationship, or if it is the relationship itself that is causing the problems.

Why go on a couples retreat?

A week away to focus on your relationship, whether it is in town in a therapist’s office for three hours or far away in an exotic locale for a week is a journey into intimacy and a more connected partnership.  In a setting designed to bring you closer, you can work through trauma; betrayal, hurt, anger, abandonment and fears.  You may re-connect after years of distance and neglect.  Or maybe you simply miss each other and want to spend some real quality time together improving your connection.

Nina and Peter were not in a crisis, but they didnt spend enough time together.  Because of their work schedules they felt distant and spent very little intimate alone time because of their work obligations.  

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
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