2. My partner can’t attend the entire retreat. I can. Is it worthwhile for us to attend with my partner coming later? Or perhaps we should both join in later?

I am delighted by your interest in the retreat. Life is so busy these days for most of us, for you to even think about attending is wonderful and a reflection of how important you feel your relationship is. 

The couples who have attended the retreat in the past have taught me that it is important for both to attend the retreat in its entirely, from beginning to end. 

Early on I had a few couples who joined in on Saturday and missed the Friday. The retreat did not go well for them. They needed the grounding/foundation of Friday. 

I’ve also had a few instances where one partner has begun the retreat and the other has joined in later.

If you have the role of the partner who brings up issues about the relationship and wants to engage in dealing with issues and your partner has the role of peace keeper who finds it challenging to talk about difficult issues… It’s typically the partner who brings up relationship issues who also asks to attend with the other partner joining later. I address this dynamic very directly on Friday in a very helpful and gentle way for both partners…  

Sometimes I am asked if the one partner can pass on to the partner-who-joins-later what they’ve picked up. My response is this: You can “tell” your partner, but your partner will not have the “experience”. Couples tell each other a lot of things. It’s a felt experience that impacts a relationship, not a telling…  I help bring this experience about with a lot of video clips, and some very strong pieces on the deep, heart emotion…  

I am passing this on as a result of  more than a dozen retreat experiences I’ve facilitated.….Of course I am of the opinion that even some benefit is better than none… I just want to be up front and honest with people about the pros and cons of one . While I haven’t done a survey I suspect that a very high percentage of the couples who have attended would advise both of you attending the whole retreat. 

Hope this helps. And if you do attend (no fee reduction sorry) differently I will be eager to hear of your experience and I sure hope you’ll share that with me. 

Posted in: Retreat FAQs