Couple's Counseling Facts:

couples therapy retreats can save a marriage
relationship books by Dawn Billings

1. Don’t wait until your marriage is hanging by its last thread to consider getting help.

If your marriage is hanging by a thread, do not stop, do not pass go, pack your clothes and get here fast. Too many couples choose to do nothing to strengthen their relationship until they’re either on the verge of divorce or have already made the decision to leave the relationship and need a way to actualize it. The couple's retreat can give you a final opportunity to save your broken relationship, but attend before you are standing on your last leg.

Choose to experience The Healing Resort: Don’t be afraid to think about a marriage retreat the way you would about adding more vegetables to your diet or beginning to exercise to strengthen your endurance and muscle mass. Think about taking time for a relationship retreat while you are not at your wits end because it is genuinely good for your ongoing relationship health.

2. What the heck does it mean to communicate anyway? 

Most of the time relationship problems are not created by a lack of communication, but by communication that is more damaging than it is beneficial. Couples most often are in need of a “new, more positive” way to communicate. Most relationship problems stem from couples continuing to communicate in ways that push each other away, hurt one another’s feelings, demean or belittle one another, frustrate and enrage one another, instead of bringing them closer together.

Choose to experience The Healing Resort: Take yourself out of the normal environment. Give yourselves a fabulous weekend to learn a new way to communicate by understanding your personality tendencies and appreciating what each of you bring to your relationship. How can you expect to communicate lovingly and effectively if you don’t even understand the principles behind great communication. The goal is to “communicate where each partner feels heard and understood. It is only then that  you can begin to get to the root of problems.

3. There is no ‘magic pill’ that fixes relationships.

Many issues that bring couples to to their knees are not easily fixed with a magic pill. Healing requires time, effort, heart, compassion and dedication. If betrayal is an issue,  your families are presenting problems, you don’t see eye-to-eye on parenting styles, or your anger has stolen your feelings of passion, you can’t heal these issues overnight. But you can begin the healing process.

Choose to experience The Healing Resort: Understand that healing is a process, and a very natural one at that. As human beings we are made to heal. It is one of the miracles of being human. We fall down, break a bone, burn our hand on the stove, cut ourselves with a knife, our bodies are made to begin the healing process. It is in the process that we rebuild even stronger from whatever the break. A couples healing retreat can help you begin the powerful process of healing instead of staying stuck in the cycle of re-inflicting, or enflaming a relational wound.

4. WHY we don’t spend most of our time on the “why” of issues.

Instead of focusing our time and energy on “Why do you always do this, why he never does that? At a New Dawn couples retreat we focus on “HOW & WHAT”. How do you communicate in a way that strengthens your bond and helps you genuinely love and understand one another?” “What are the steps to healing the broken pieces of your hearts?” I believe there is too much time spent indulging couples in going over and over past hurts. 

Choose to experience The Healing Resort: “Too often, couples get stuck in their desire to ‘be right’. They want to tell their side of a story over and over, placing blame and fault where they believe it belongs. to find fault.” In my experience as a couple’s counselor I have found that there is always enough fault to go around and that it is easy to sink into the pit of despair of past hurts. Instead at the New Dawn couples retreat we spend most of the time working out a step-by-step plan for the future, rather than continuing to dunk one another in the quicksand created by the pain of the past.

5. You won’t emerge from your couple’s retreat with a perfect union.

Perfection doesn’t exist; life is real and full of inherent challenges. Nothing and no one can make your life or your relationship a ‘bed of rose petals’. Even beautiful roses have thorns.

Choose to experience The Healing Resort: The secret to creating a great relationship is learning how to move together through the inevitable ups and downs of life. There are seasons in a relationship and just like the weather, you must know how to appropriately prepare for the cold Winter moments, as well as effortlessly enjoying the beautiful Spring moments.

6. Like all successful games, love has rules.

The rules of love are not there to hinder, burden, or restrict love, they are there to protect, strengthen and encourage love. Both people in a relationship fare far better when they know the rules of a game and what actions cause you to win, and what actions are responsible for losing.

Choose to experience The Healing Resort: At the couple’s retreat there are loving, respectful and protective ground rules. They are the same rules that protect and strengthen the relationship after the retreat experience. For example, the “New Dawn” couple’s retreat is a safe haven where you are not allowed to physically attack anyone, or even hurt each other with words. The retreat is not a place where people and relationships are torn apart, but where they are carefully, lovingly and respectfully put back together. 

7. Are you doomed if all you do is argue?

No. Couples who are flat and unresponsive and apathetic probably have already given up. If you are arguing, it is the perfect time to seek out a wonderful couples retreat to help you direct that passion in a healthier and more healing way.

Choose to experience The Healing Resort: Realize that if the two of you are still engaged with each other—even if engagement is defined by frustration, confusion, yelling and possible even name calling—you have a real chance (if you want to take advantage of it) to save your marriage.

8. There’s not one, ideal form of couple’s therapy.

Couples counselors come in every gender, every color, from many different schools of thought and with many different approaches. When you are talking about healing a marriage, or strengthening a relationship, one-size does not fit all. That is why a “New Dawn” retreat focuses on each personality and how those personalities best uniquely fit together.

Choose to experience The Healing Resort: Before you consider traditional “therapy”, before you end a marriage and tear a family apart, before you give in to your hopelessness, look into a vacation that can save a marriage. What have you got to lose to try it? Only each other.