Report from San Diego Couples Retreat: 2/10-13/2010
One thing I have learned about our Couples Retreats is that I can expect to be both a teacher and learner in every situation. As Margo and I work with the couples I can anticipate learning one of the principles or skills of successful relationships a little better. I can look forward to being inspired by a couple or individual powerfully taking on a new way of being in their relationship. I can always find a deeper desire to commit to being a better man and husband as I feel the energy of other committed people doing the same thing.
We hosted three couples in Oceanside this past week, and as always, I am indeed a better man for it.
In our final private sessions with each couple we asked them to describe their most important or exciting discovery during our time together; a principle or skill they felt would have lasting impact on their lives and relationships. I will share a few of their responses (names have been changed):
Martin- “Perspective. It really opened my eyes that it was OK for my partner to have a different perspective or opinion from mine. It was exciting to understand that such a different viewpoint did not have to be a point of contention or a battle to prove myself right, but could be the starting point in finding a better solution than I could find on my own. Even when my partner and I don’t agree on something, as we acknowledge one another we show respect for each other and grow stronger.”
Brenda- “It was such a relief to see that I did not have to use anger and yelling in some aggressive attack to get results. I had become so exhausted in trying to control other people and damaging everyone’s trust in the process; it was a relief to lay that down and learn of positive and loving ways to influence others.”
John- “I felt so lost before the Retreat. I had forgotten what really mattered in my life and relationships, and it seemed like I could only be happy if others were making me happy. I had no internal compass that could consistently lead me to peace and happiness. Now I see that happiness is my choice. While that accountability can seem a bit daunting, it is also liberating.”
Dianne- “I realize now that I had become a bundle of resentments. I could not let go of the past and found that it colored everything about the present and made me feel there was no hope for the future. Even when my husband really seemed to be doing his best to change or showed me special kindness I could not get past the old pain to trust him again. That in turn made it hard for him to trust me. It was such a vicious cycle and I could not figure out how to get off the painful merry-go-round! It has been such a relief to break that destructive cycle and open myself to love and to feel trust growing for one another again.”
As these couples shared their experience of the Retreat I found myself internally nodding my head and remembering anew what it had felt like as I truly learned and internalized these principles years ago. I am grateful for the regular opportunity I have to renew my commitment to the principles and skills that define all successful relationships.
When the time is right for you and your relationship, when you are ready, the right teachers and opportunities will appear. We at LIFE Marriage Retreats hope we can be part of that for you and your relationship.