3 years ago, my wife, Rabbi Loren Filson Lapidus, and her colleague, Rabbi Lydia Medwin, created a marriage retreat through our synagogue, The Temple, in Atlanta, GA. Since both Loren and Lydia are married to rabbis, the 4 of us have led this retreat for the last 3 years. It’s a wonderful experience for us as leaders and for the couples that participate. Prior to leading a marriage retreat I had never really entertained the idea of attending one. Now I’m a huge advocate of the idea and think that all couples should find a chance to do something like this. Whether you’re newly married or approaching a milestone anniversary, there’s so much to be gained. Here are a few considerations/ things to expect, based on my experience:
- Dedicated couples time. While there’s work to be done on a marriage retreat, there’s also time to simply be together. With life being so busy, this in and of itself is a great thing.
- Expect to work. All relationships take work and focused energy. The more significant the relationship, the more work. Because marriage is such an important part of life, there’s a healthy amount of work needed to keep a marriage vibrant, honest, fulfilling and healthy.
- Meet other couples. There’s a bond of intimacy that’s quickly created on a marriage retreat. With each of the 3 groups we’ve led, I’ve seen friendships form and, more importantly, last. Sometimes married life can be lonely or isolating. A marriage retreat is a quick and effective way to address that, even if it’s not a pressing need.
There’s more that can be said, but the best thing to do is experience it yourself!