Frequently Asked Questions

Are you looking for more detail regarding LIFE Marriage Trainings and Retreats and what we do and how we do it? Well, if you are a bit more detail-oriented than average you have come to the right place. Select any question link below and it will take you directly to expanded information.

It is here that you can get a more robust view of the “LIFE Difference.” Stated plainly, there is no one that does marriage programs like we do. Our innovations and ability to assist couples in achieving their relationship objective are unmatched.

If you have a question that is not answered on this site, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Q: What skills and background do the Counselors & Trainers bring to the Retreat experience?

A: You can read about our Counselors and Trainers here.

Q: What makes LIFE’s Marriage Retreat curriculum and techniques so effective in creating lasting change and continued relationship growth?

A: You have previously seen on this site an outline of our methodology in helping couples to meet their relationship objectives and to create lasting change and long-term growth in their marriages. The multi-day format is crucial to give the time needed for the couple to reconnect and to begin using the principles and skills being learned so they can gain traction in their hearts. Location and environment are important to contribute to the atmosphere that leads to healing, healthy communication, and the growth of trust. Our use of simple and non-threatening Relaxation processes helps couples to connect with themselves and one another in meaningful ways.

But eventually it comes down to what is being taught and the processes used to help the couples internalize the principles and skills that define every successful relationship and life of meaning.

Ours is a Principle and Skill-based Marriage Retreat:

Principles are laws and that govern our lives and relationships. In the natural world the Laws of Gravity and Motion, to name just two, help to govern the universe. Just as there are unbreakable natural laws, there are also Human and Relationship Laws that determine our effectiveness and ultimately our happiness. If we live in harmony with those laws, the results will ultimately be positive; if we live contrary to the laws, our results will always be negative. A few of the Human and Relationship Laws that are crucial to understand include:

  • Trust and Trustworthiness
  • Accountability
  • Perspective (tied to the Skill of Communication)
  • Justification (and it’s danger in relationships)
  • Forgiveness
  • Commitment

Skills are the means of the couple bringing the Principles effectively to bear in their relationship. A few of those Skills include:

  • Communication
  • Problem Solving
  • Relationship Management
  • Influence vs. Control
  • Consciousness and Awareness
  • Planning

Experiential Training

Couple HikingAt a LIFE Training Retreat couples gain a deep comprehension of the Principles and the ability to bring them fully into their lives and relationships. One of the keys to success in this process is our Experiential Training techniques that allow the couple to experience and practice the Principles and Skills on a very real and “hands-on” level leading to those “Ah-Hah, I get it now!” moments that go far beyond simple intellectual understanding.

We build most of these experiential experiences around fun and often exciting activities that the couple might well have chosen to participate in even if they were simply on vacation. But we make sure that their experience maps back to the training, creating a powerful connection that will never be forgotten.

Private Sessions and AfterCare Support

Couples also experience and practice what they are learning as they meet with their counselors in private sessions each day to focus the Principles and Skills on their own relationship challenges and opportunities. In those sessions, under the guidance of their counselors and trainers, they deal with real issues, real needs, and real dreams, dealing with the past and setting it aside, then turning their energy to the opportunities of the present and their vision of the future.

Finally, it is our experience that lasting change and growth will be fostered as the couple continues to work with their counselors in a coaching AfterCare process in the months following the Training Retreat. This helps the couple to remain accountable to their commitments and keeps them focused on fully implementing the Principles and Skills in their lives and relationship (a series of AfterCare sessions via telephone or Skype are included in the Training Retreat package).

Q: Who should consider attending a LIFE Marriage Training and Retreat? 

A: Any committed couple looking to take their marriage to a higher level of love, trust, and effectiveness can benefit from a LIFE Training Retreat. Each couple will, to a certain extent, customize the training to their own specific needs. Whether currently experiencing high distress in your relationship, or simply looking for that elusive “more and better” in your marriage, we will assist you in setting lofty but achievable Retreat objectives that fit your challenges and opportunities. The one thing we demand from every couple is a commitment from both partners to their relationship and one another. It is that commitment that will assist you to achieve the relationship of your dreams.

Q: What might a day at a LIFE Couples Training and Retreat look like?

A: A LIFE Training Retreat tends to be somewhat flexible as each one is built to the needs and objectives of the couples. But a day at the Retreat might look something like this:

Coming Together

  • Each day you will spend some time in Group Training and discussion. These sessions are fun and full of energy, even as they deal with crucial Principles and Skills. In every case the group develops an enjoyable and friendly support and camaraderie that often lasts long after the Retreat has ended. These group sessions are not spill-everything-on-the-floor sessions. Private matters remain private.
  • You will spend part of each day in various activities that are indeed designed to be fun, exciting, and enjoyable, but whose main purpose is to map back to the Principles and Skills being learned. Experiential training is the most effective form of teaching known. Some activities will take place in the immediate vicinity of the beach house while others will happen in other areas surrounding our home base.
  • Each day beginning on the second day of the Retreat you will have private session with your counselors/trainers. This is the time when you will deal with real issues, challenges, and opportunities using the principles and skills you are learning in real life situations. The message we consistently hear is, “Wow that resolution would have taken months to achieve in a standard counseling environment!”
  • You will have free time to spend together, reconnecting and enjoying the beautiful surroundings. But even in those free moments the training does not stop as you will continue to build your relationship.

We have found that this combination of teaching/learning experiences, activities, private sessions, and free time help to create a tremendous upward pull for couples, bringing them to the higher and happier ground that they so richly deserve. The surroundings, atmosphere, and format of the Retreat contribute to couples making extraordinary progress in a relatively short time.

Q: Why do you offer all-inclusive pricing and what specifically does that pricing cover?

A: Be very careful when comparing prices on marriage retreats and trainings. LIFE is one of very few Marriage Retreat programs offering all-inclusive pricing, particularly with the high-end amenities we offer. So remember when comparing prices that you will not need to add in hotel, dining, activities, etc. to ours.

For LIFE it is all about creating the experience and atmosphere within which a couple can achieve their objectives for the Training Retreat. We encourage couples to set high objectives and expectations for their Retreat, and then we pour our energy and effort into making certain they achieve success.

We have found that by taking many of the details off the plates of our couples, we free them up to focus on their relationship and their personal growth. We also find that as a couple walks into the Retreat experience in which they have the assurance of beautiful and comfortable surroundings, consistently fine dining, and pleasing activities intertwined through the Training, they are able to set down many of the worries and distractions that would otherwise demand their attention.

You will find the atmosphere of the Retreat to be extraordinarily relaxing, healing, and conducive to learning and growth largely due to our ability to provide the perfect environment. LIFE is the right choice for the value-minded discriminating couple.

Your all-inclusive pricing includes:

  • Excellent accommodations (private bed and bath suites)
  • Fine dining (all meals and snacks)
  • World-class training
  • Exciting activities
  • Daily private sessions with your counselors/trainers
  • Post-Retreat AfterCare support program

Q: Is there a “spiritual” component in the Training Retreats?

A: LIFE is associated with outstanding professional organizations and maintains relationships with fellow professionals in the Marriage and Family service industry including counselors, therapists, teachers, researchers, etc.

LIFE is not associated with any religious organization. You might recognize that many of the Principles that we train in are also taught by the major religions of the world. But they are also taught by all the great philosophers and teachers of history. Truth is truth. It is our ability to help the couple to bring the Principles and Skills to life and to focus them on their own lives and relationship that creates the real power in the Training Retreat.

The Four Areas of Need

The Four Areas of Need

One of the concepts that forms one pillar of our Marriage Retreat is The Four Areas of Need. We maintain that every human has needs that fall into one of four areas; needs that, when met, lead to a life of fulfillment. We ignore those needs in ourselves and in others at our peril and the peril of our relationships.

While others might label these areas of need somewhat differently, we choose to refer to them as Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual. Some may choose to call Mental Intellectual. Similarly, some might choose to refer to Spiritual as their Inspirational or Inner Knowing side. Using different names or slightly different definitions will not hinder a person’s comprehension of the concept.

We have successfully worked with Christians, Muslims, Jews, agnostics, and many other belief systems. All have found our discussions of our “Spiritual” areas to be satisfying and enlightening, fitting well within their own individual beliefs and experiences. They then have the option, if desired, to further emphasize that area in more specific ways in their private sessions, something we are comfortable in accommodating.

Q: How do the AfterCare post-Retreat Coaching Calls fit into the overall Training experience? 

A: The free post-Retreat AfterCare program offered as part of all LIFE Trainings truly sets us apart from any other organization. You may have experienced initial feelings of commitment and euphoria as you have made resolutions or completed a seminar or program in the past. You may have also had the experience of seeing the positive feelings and commitment melt away as you were faced with real life and its inertia.

AfterCare post-retreat coaching callsThe post-Retreat coaching is all about assisting our couples through those crucial weeks following the training when they are working on implementing their plans and strengthening their commitments. It is not uncommon during those weeks to feel the pull of old comfort zones and habits, and many couples report that the encouragement and the continued sense of accountability they receive from their coaches have been a key to their long-term success.

Your coaches will be the facilitators that served you during the training retreat, so you can be assured that they will be well aware of you and your partner’s goals and commitments, and will know of your areas of strength as well as your concerns.

On a regular basis the couple will join their coach(s) on a phone call or Skype to discuss progress, address concerns, and celebrate victories. The counselor will help identify road blocks to progress and assist the couple in working their way through those areas and to the higher ground.

Q: LIFE places so much emphasis on the environment of their Training Retreats. Tell us more about those surroundings.

Location Matters

Location Matters

A: It is part of our mantra: Location Does Matter! Yes, you can learn valuable things at the suburban Hampton Inn or the Airport Holiday Inn. But it is our consistent experience that the same curriculum taught, instead, at a place of beauty, close to nature where there is opportunity for reflection and relaxation, will always be more effective.

Thus our insistence that our events be held in very special places where all can sense a special spirit, a unique power that seems to enable people to arise to their best.

Our locations include a beach setting near San Diego, the beautiful alpine mountains of Sundance, Utah; a lake setting in the Texas Hill Country; and a very special deluxe Retreat in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

A perfect example is our popular Retreat location in the San Diego area. It is held in a gorgeous beach house, tastefully decorated and welcoming to the traveler who has become weary on life’s road. The house is spacious and offers each couple their own comfortable and private bed and bath suite. There are several decks and a hot tub where quiet privacy can always be found.

PelicanNothing lies between the house and the beach and ocean. We see dolphins most days, and seals always make an appearance. During certain months of the year migrating whales can be seen in the distance. The sound of waves form the background music of the Retreat. Here you simply step out the door and onto the sand, and you are in a different world, with freedom to walk or run or swim, filling your senses with what is natural and real.

There is more information on our Locations page.