February chills us to the bone. If the groundhog sees his shadow, we’re in for another six weeks of winter. I was ready for summer three months ago.
Spending time away from home with your significant other sounds like a cozy arrangement. You can leave behind all the household projects staring you in the face. Staying in a fancy chalet should be a great time.
When I think of spending time away with my husband, I’m thinking about long walks holding hands. Cuddling up together to watch romantic comedies on a tiny screen in our private room.
Sleeping late followed by in-room exercise that’s guaranteed to work up an appetite is on the schedule. Follow this up with breakfast and coffee and sharing a hot shower. Sounds pretty awesome so far, right?
Except – just like last February – my husband and I aren’t vacationing alone. We’re heading over Mt. Hood with five other couples to invest in strengthening our marriage.
Let me tell you, Couples’ Retreat is NOT synonymous with Lovers’ Getaway.
First of all, there will be no private room. We share the three-bedroom chalet with two other couples. One of them we don’t even know that well.
But I feel bad for them because they are young – and have only been married five months. This non-getaway must be cramping their style much more than it is mine.
After breakfasting around the log-cabin-style table, we all prepare to meet the day. First on the schedule is a team-building activity. Team meaning a married couple.
Lunch hits the spot. Who knew Central Oregon could chill a person to the bone in February? Oh, right. Me. I’m the one who reserved this place for the retreat.
On to a communication activity – or three. This is where my nearly-idyllic marriage falls short. Hubby and I have forgotten how to listen to each other. We think we know each other so well that we zone out during conversation.
Now we’re forced to confront these poor habits head-on. And discuss ways to improve our communication skills. I look around the room and wonder how forthright these couples are being in this group setting.
Now it’s time for the retreat to begin. “From ordinary to extraordinary” this presenter has called his four workshop sessions.
If I can’t have a lovers’ getaway, maybe I can learn how to communicate with my husband again. When did I stop listening to him? Sometime during those three years I worked full-time and went to college for the rest of my waking hours.
The retreat ends with a dress-up dinner out at a local restaurant. It’s a six-tuple date.
Maybe not romantic, but we all know marriage is hardly about the romance.
Would you choose a couples’ retreat or a lovers’ getaway? What do you see as the major weakness in your long-term relationship?