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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

Jewish Marriage Retreat