Falling in love is the easy part. Staying in love is quite another matter. Some couples seem blessed with everlasting happiness. But what about the rest of us, who encounter problems once the honeymoon is over? We run into differences, disagreements, disappointments. Our buttons get pushed and we can fall into a downward spiral of reactivity. We may watch helplessly as our once deeply loving feelings fade in the face of misunderstandings and cycles of poor communication and disconnection.
What do couples blessed with lasting love know that we don’t? In a simple word, they know how to repair. And good repair is simple. However, most of us do not know the simple formula for it. But you can get the tools to do this in our couples retreat.
Healthy, happy couples are good at quickly attending to the glitches, both small and large, that every relationship encounters. Those of us who do not naturally know how to do this will have to learn — or otherwise we will suffer a gradual buildup of unrepaired ruptures. Like straws accumulating on a camel’s back, this buildup eventually leads us to feel unsafe or guarded with each other.
In a guarded state, our brains expect bad things to happen, and thus braced for this, we will then act in ways that become self-fulfilling prophecies. We will trigger each other without even knowing how we are doing it. Reactive cycles will become more common. Little things will trigger upsets way out of proportion to the actual events. And we will find ourselves feeling less relaxed, less intimate, and more alone. Emotional walls may build up. We may become increasingly distant.
This gradual erosion of loving feelings and connection is common — so common that many of us have come to consider it normal. But wouldn’t you prefer to take another path with your partner? What if you knew how to prevent poor communication? What if you could repair riffs skillfully and quickly? What if you could learn to heal relationship upsets in a way that deepens your intimacy and makes you feel more secure with one another? The ability to repair like this is a skill you can learn.
The tools you will acquire in our retreat will address the root cause of the reactivity that gets triggered in your relationship. You will learn how to use any upset or difference as a doorway to mutual healing and deeper trust. Here are some of the typical results you can get from a retreat:
- Understand what really causes blow-ups, shut-downs, stuckness, and reactive cycles (it’s not what you thought it was).
- Learn how to defuse conflicts, prevent upsets, and get back to feeling close again.
- Discover how to help each other calm down and be able listen, even when someone becomes upset.
- Know how to ask for what you really need in ways that will be truly understood and responded to.
- Learn how to create more security in your relationship so you are both far less likely to get upset or triggered.
- Be able to make sure your connection with each other does not get eroded by hidden resentments or unresolved upset feelings.
- Know how to work with past wounds and sensitivities as a team, in a way that promotes greater love and self-esteem.
- Start rewiring your brains so that you are more able to get your needs met and less vulnerable to upsets or ruptures.
- Have a well-practiced recipe for making up after a fight or misunderstanding in a way that deepens your shared trust, love, and sense of ease together.
You will learn how the nervous system is wired to react, and why our primitive survival brains can get triggered so easily by an unintentional act. You will learn how to spot early warning signs that you or your partner is triggered and how to immediately pause to calm yourselves and get back to being resourceful.
You will find how most of the upsets you encounter are based on complete misunderstandings. And you will learn how to communicate in a way that brings forth understanding. You will discover how to heal insecurities or sensitivities that give rise to reactive cycles. You will eliminate all sense of blame, replacing defensiveness with positive communication that keeps your connection alive and brings a sense of freshness to your relationship. Our marriage retreat offers you the tools to succeed in long term love.