Most couples achieve positive shifts in a retreat — often quite dramatic ones. They learn new tools, repair old wounds, reconnect, and leave with newfound hope.
Experience has shown us that follow-up coaching offers a huge boost in helping partners solidly integrate these shifts into their lives back home.
Practice makes perfect. Like learning any new skill, coaching can assist you to practice using the tools you get in a retreat and become fluent in the language of love.
All couples are different, certainly. Some seem to easily apply the new tools and rules they get from their retreat. We’ve heard reports that some partners enter a second honeymoon after their retreat, and it continues for years.
Other couples report that they stumbled for a few weeks, but they got more competent over time, as they diligently returned to use their tools to deal with each challenge. They were self-motivated to practice, and no matter how far they fell, they kept going back to their tools and rules and slowly but steadily made progress.
Why Not Get Help?
Letting us help you will ease the task of mastering your tools, and ensure you get back on track more quickly when you fall. We can help you adapt what you learned in a retreat as life’s circumstances and “thirds” of all kinds intrude into your couple bubble.
Many couples start follow-up coaching immediately after a retreat. We help them apply what they learned to their ongoing challenges they encounter back home. They normally stabilize their new skill set in matter of a few months.
However, we also do hear from couples who don’t reach out for a long time. They wait until things go seriously off the rails. Such couples then have a much harder time getting back on track to the positive state they left the retreat in.
Frequently we hear from these couples that “the reatreat put them in a really good place” which lasted for a while. Then “life happened” and they stumbled and fell, many times, gradually ending up feeling disconnected or unhappy again.
Life does happens. It throws us all kinds of curve balls, whether it’s deaing with work, children, family, finances, personal issues, or emotional triggers.
Couples can easily forget that they are a team, that they can have each other as support. When they lose touch with two-party thinking and go back to operating as individuals they start feeling lonely again.
They forget the deeper meaning of each other’s automatic behaviors, core fears, wounds — and the childhood history driving their reactions. They lose touch with their own fears, core wounds and needs.
Couples can lose touch with their ability to really be there emotionally for each other, to repair ruptures and reconnect fully. They forget the rules and laws they made, the vows to each other during the retreat.
In the retreat we can experience deep vulnerability and taste that emotional support can be available to us — and we can construct a safe and secure relationship unlike our childhood home — where feelings did not matter or we felt invisible.
In a retreat we start to rewire the wounds and negative relationship habits from childhood. And we repair the hurts that got triggered in our relationship. These are things we need to practice in order to integrate into our daily lives. Practice does make “perfect” — or at least good enough!
The Keys to Success in Love
They say the three secrets to success in real estate are “location, location, location.” Without doubt, the three keys to success in stabilizing positive relationship habits are practice, practice… and practice.
We notice that couples who engage in weekly or bi-weekly coaching right after a retreat have an easier time integrating their new sets of behaviors into how they operate as a team back home.
Without losing momentum, they will regularly practice the new language they learned, using the new vocabulary that is available to them. They form new positive habits and over a few months become fluent in the language of love.
As “life happens” they put the new language and the new vocabulary into practice and start adding their own unique vocabulary, the one their unique partnership generates.
Previously we have been overly subtle in letting couples know about follow-up coaching — as we don’t want to sound like sales people. We also want to promote the idea that couples have agency, control and mastery in their relationship.
The Need to Learn
And yet there is a reason why a couple comes to a retreat in the first place. They usually do not seek out a retreat when there is no crisis. The crisis was the result of the growing pain from doing things the wrong way, over and over again.
Pain and suffering usually are the motivation — and if dealt with well, pain turns into a healing experience and generates transformation. For many couples this process of transformation takes longer than the few days of a retreat.
When there is safety and a stable, reliable holding environment is created in the couple system, all unmet needs have a place to be held by both partners.
Rewiring happens as couples demonstrate safe communication and redevelop deeper trust in the relationship.
Some amount of regular follow-up coaching helps the continuity of the journey, extends the healing space into the couple’s lives back home. When this turns into a regular practice, there is trust that upsets will be resolved and that their loving connection will not be in danger.
Generally we recommend getting coaching for a few months, then tapering off as you feel competent in handling “life” and all its complexities. We hope you don’t wait until things are really bad. Either way, we are here for you and want to help you on your journey of love.