In a happy relationship or one that could use some work, there’s nothing wrong with increasing the intimacy or strengthening your marriage. After all, any married couple can benefit from a little more spark. Newlyweds or long-time spouses can find reasons and ways to build this strength.
Before you determine how to make your marriage stronger, you should consider why you’re setting out to do so. Why work to strengthen your marriage? On the one hand, there’s a social and familial side to these benefits. A strong marriage results in not just a better connection between the two of you, but it’s even more critical for your children (if applicable). Having a happy marriage to look up to can encourage kids to build strong social skills and promote emotional health.
On the other hand, there are some distinctive personal benefits to a strong marriage, too. For example, did you know that a happy marriage is thought to offer health benefits? Even beyond that, though, there’s a simple matter at hand: you deserve a strong, happy relationship! Both your marriage and your mental health and well-being will thrive in a healthy relationship.
With all these benefits in mind, there’s one question remaining: how can you strengthen your marriage? To some degree, this will depend on you and your relationship. A few particular tips, though, can help transform your relationship for a lifetime.
1. Make time for each other.
No matter who you are, you’re sure to be busy—if not all the time, then often enough. Even then, though, you must take time to connect with your husband or wife. Unfortunately, it’s all too common for couples to feel that they don’t have enough tie to spare half an hour in the evenings, much less the longer-term commitment of a marriage retreat. It’s these couples, though, that can garner the most benefit from such a retreat.
Whether you realize it or not, a therapeutic couples retreat can save your marriage from the brink of divorce—or just your present hard time. The right retreat will combine a beautiful destination with the couples therapy you need for better communication, a healthier relationship, and a stronger marriage. Such benefits certainly make a marriage retreat seem worth the effort!
Like most things, the best marriage retreats for you and your spouse will depend on many factors. Pay close attention to your options before committing to any one program because you’ll never know when one little thing can make or break your retreat experience. Even those with similar content can be better suited to a specific issue besides your own. Or, you might learn that a particular couples retreat focuses on small group workshops while you’d prefer one-on-one, soul-to-soul adventures away from other attendees.
Look into the workshops and seminars offered by whatever retreat you’re considering, the couples therapists associated with the retreat and their qualifications, and, of course, the destination of this getaway. Escape into the gorgeous Pioneer Valley in Northampton, MA, or explore retreat centers across the United States and beyond. Your accommodations will play a significant role in your experience with a private retreat, so this research is crucial.
2. Be open to compromise.
During a marriage counseling retreat and beyond, you and your spouse must be open to compromise. For example, does he want to vacation at a lodge in Vermont while you’re dreaming of a trip to Orcas Island? Practice good communication skills and consider your reasons for taking this trip in the first place. It will be much easier to find a destination that works for you with your motivations in mind.
There may be situations in which a couple doesn’t want to compromise, of course. If you don’t want to forgive them for infidelity or another betrayal, though, you might not be looking for ways to strengthen or repair your relationship in the first place. Still, there are many disagreements where compromise can make a world of difference. Even something small has the potential to escalate otherwise but, with the practiced art of compromise, it won’t matter if she’d rather have some alone time while you head to your best friend’s bible study—you’ll be happy to spend time together later instead.
You’ll find that compromise is the best way to move through many disagreements, utilizing empathy and communication to find an option that you both can agree on. If you’re struggling to find an acceptable middle ground, a counselor might be able to help. By acting as a neutral third party, they can help you find these medians and, with a few counseling or therapy sessions, hone your own ability to come to a compromise.
3. Put work into your love.
Despite Hollywood’s idea of an ideal, effortless romance, the truth is that marriage requires a lot of hard work. First, you have to build a friendship with your husband or wife alongside a romance. You need to recognize when you haven’t been spending much time together and are in desperate need of a date night. Finally, you have to be ready to transform resentment into forgiveness on a daily basis, if needed. The good thing here is that, once again, a marriage counselor or psychologist can help you learn what sort of work is required to make your marriage work.
You don’t necessarily need to embark on an intensive marriage boot camp to demonstrate your effort and determination. Nevertheless, you must be ready to put some work into your marriage quest. Still, this is a chore you have to face with compassion, and couples counseling on its own or through a marriage retreat can help you do just that.
When you said your wedding vows, you committed to more than just in sickness and in health; you signed on for the good times and the bad, the ups and the downs, and all your partner’s strengths and weaknesses alike. Even still, it’s easy for your relationship to fall a little bit out of sync. From Sedona to Cabot and San Diego to Plano, the first step many couples chose to take in getting their marriage back on track is seeking couples counseling or attending a marriage retreat. In either case, they’ll learn how to compromise and otherwise work to strengthen and repair their marriage.