The Difference Between a Retreat and a Vacation

LMR7Depending on your exact definitions of retreats and vacations, a retreat is generally the process of withdrawing from a dangerous situation or place, and a vacation is a time away from something.

The purpose of a marriage retreat is to take you away from a negative marriage situation and make progress toward a better, more fulfilling life with your partner. Marriage retreat ideas range from a weekend away from the kids to a full training retreat. Here are some of the key differences between a vacation and a marriage retreat.


  • Includes time away from normal work and responsibilities.
  • Could be in any location you consider fun or relaxing.
  • May be with other friends or family members, even the kids.
  • Unstructured unless you plan it.
  • Ends when you return home or back to your normal schedule.

Marriage Retreat:

  • Includes time away from work and home to focus on your marriage and your spouse.
  • Usually occurs in a specific location with a counselor or guide.
  • Includes only your spouse.
  • Structured with private counseling sessions, experiential activities, and time to relax.
  • Helps you resolve marital issues and wounds, and leads to a shared vision for the future.
  • The progress you make doesn’t end when you return home.

A marriage retreat can still feel like a vacation because it includes time away from your normal responsibilities and is in a beautiful location, but the rejuvenation and hope you receive is unique to a marriage retreat. Ideas for your next vacation should include a couples retreat from LIFE Marriage Retreats.

Contact us to book a spot at a LIFE Marriage Couples Retreat or a private retreat today, or learn more by calling 877-376-7127.LMR6

Why LIFE Marriage Retreats is the Best Retreat in Austin

LMR2We know that there are other marriage retreats to choose from, even just from those in Texas. However, LIFE Marriage Retreats—Austin is only 40 miles east of our Lake LBJ location—has various benefits that you won’t be able to get elsewhere. Here are some of the reasons why a four-day LIFE Marriage Retreat is the best option for you:

1. Location

Location does make a difference. We have found that our couple’s growth and healing are enhanced by the peace and beauty of nature. The LIFE Marriage Retreat near Austin is located on the shore of Lake LBJ, a constant-level lake with abundant wildlife. Live oaks and wild flowers form the backdrop for the relationship experience of a lifetime. We make the most of those beautiful surroundings by getting out into them for some great experiential learning activities that will create “ah-hah” moments of discovery for you.

2. Inspiring

At LIFE Marriage Retreats you will learn and experience the principles and skills that define every successful relationship. As you work in private sessions with an experienced and caring counselor those principles and skills gain traction in your hearts and marriage, and you will be inspired to reconnect with one another and to reach for higher and happier ground in your lives and marriage. Healing will occur, communication will flourish, and trust will grow.

3. Lasting Results

Everything we do at LIFE is designed to help you create the immediate and lasting positive results you crave in your life and marriage. The most common feedback we receive from couples after a Retreat is, “It was more than we ever expected.” We help you continue that relationship growth and momentum through our outstanding AfterCare program, continuing to work with you via private video conference in the months following the Retreat.

LIFE Marriage Retreat’s all-inclusive pricing takes much of the stress out of attending a Retreat. One fair price covers your private bed and bath suite, all of your meals, activities and training, private sessions, and the AfterCare program. Now is the time and the Texas Hill Country is the place to begin your relationship journey.

Rediscover the joy in your marriage with LIFE Marriage Retreats—Austin, Texas is the perfect place to begin the journey. To schedule your spot, contact LIFE Marriage Retreats at (877) 376-7127.

Lessons Learned: The Secrets of a Happy marriage (Needs & Service)

#5- Needs and Service: Filling one-another’s buckets

My wife, Margo, taught me a great and simple lesson once. I was in charge of tending Dustin, our eighteen month old son,  one afternoon while Margo worked on a project in another part of the house. I was becoming frustrated as Dustin was fussy and crying and I couldn’t “make” him stop. All my empty platitudes of “It’s all right, don’t cry,” and demands that he stop fussing were leading to higher levels of frustration for both of us.

Margo heard my rising voice and came to investigate. It is often the wisest thing for me to shut up and observe an expert at work. Margo carefully evaluated Dustin from a standpoint of needs. Was his diaper wet? Was he hungry or thirsty? Was something hurting him? With that information she quickly helped him fulfill his needs and left him happy and playing and returned to her project as I scratched my head and wondered at the miracle of mothers.

It has been said that all behavior that we might perceive as negative flows from deep and unmet needs. Don’t skip over this truth too quickly. Roll it around in your mouth a little and see if it “tastes right,” as truth usually does. Dustin crying because his diaper was wet had nothing to do with being bad and everything to do with asking for some help in meeting his needs.

We grownups will also sometimes irritate one another as we clumsily try to get our needs met, whether physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. We usually don’t even recognize our unmet needs, but feel the emptiness that it represents. Rather than patiently trying to discover our partner’s needs we instead often label them as bad, selfish, thoughtless, mean, and a hundred other negative labels.

We certainly need not condone or excuse negative behavior from our loved ones, but if we use that behavior as a signal of opportunity to lovingly explore and serve, we will turn what could be just another family fight or frustration into a growing and bonding experience.

You see, if the behavior that leads me to feel irritated or hurt is a manifestation of legitimate needs that are not being met, then just maybe I can help that person to behave in a more healthy way if I assist them to meet their needs,  and we will both be happier.

Families have the wonderful responsibility and opportunity to be like a bunch of clay pots, filling one another with the life-giving waters of service and care as we assist our loved ones to fulfill their legitimate needs in honorable ways. Too often we humans can be blind and instead of filling, we carelessly suck the water out of our “fellow pots” through judging, belittling, and simply not caring enough to give of our time and selves.

The miracle is that as we seek to fill another through our service and sacrifice, we find ourselves being filled, not only by others, but by a loving Universe that tends to reward those who discover this great truth of service.