Marriage Retreats shouldn't be the treatment of "last resort," but that's how many couples approach them. They often call up, desperate for the "soonest possible date." They are surprised to find that a senior marriage counselor running a Marriage Retreat are in high demand, and booked several months in advance.
Be realistic and determine to find the right marriage retreat, and wait for it. Call a "moratorium" on fighting or decisions about whether to stay together or get divorced, if you need to. Focus on getting the right help. A few more months will pale in comparison to getting the help you need.
You'll be putting your marriage in the hands of the professional running the marriage retreat. Ask to speak to them in person, and get answers to your most pressing questions. If you don't find these answers on their website, ask directly:
This is a term coined because so many therapists, because of their professional training, hold a “neutral” value orientation towards whether a marriage survives or whether the couple divorces. In one study, over 60% were "neutral" about whether couples stayed married or divorced. 2.4% actually said they frequently suggest divorce.
A large percentage of couples regret divorce when it's finalized. Scientific research finds that even couples well-suited to be married, go through periods when their marriages seem "hopeless." For this reason, the marriage counselor should be the last person in the room "suggesting" divorce. There is a registry of "marriage friendly therapists" that directly support the viability of troubled marriages. Find out if the person running your marriage retreat is one of them.
Your professional holding the marriage retreat will get to know you both very, very well. However, any marriage retreat held over 2, 3, or 4 days requires taking in and processing a lot of information. Not everything gets digested at the marriage retreat itself. Couples can sometimes struggle when they attempt to apply that information when they arrive home. Many professionals who hold marriage retreats offer online or in-person follow-ups, to solidify your learning and get you over the rough spots when you return home. Find out if the one you've investigating does so.
The costs of a private, one-to-one marriage retreat can run between $3,000 to $12,000+ per couple.
Group sessions can cost between $650-$5500.
But divorce is far more costly, not only financially, but emotionally as well. Take the time to find the best marriage retreat you can locate within your budget, and commit yourself to participating in it fully.
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