February 10, 2024

Marriage intensive retreats

Couple enjoying a retreat



  • What are Marriage Intensive Retreats 
  • Benefits of Marriage Intensive Retreats 
  • Choosing the Right Marriage Intensive Retreat 
  • What to Expect during a Marriage Intensive Retreat 
  • Practical Considerations 
  • Alternatives to Marriage Intensive Retreats 
Happy Couple in Infinity Pool

Everyday life can take a toll on any marriage and it is important to keep investing in your marriage. One way to do this is by attending a marriage intensive retreat. In this article, I’ll share more about what marriage intensive retreats are like, their benefits, how to choose the right one for you, as well as other options for improving your relationship. 

What are Marriage Intensive Retreats 

Marriage intensive retreats are often multi-day counseling or education based events to help couples either repair or rejuvenate their marriages. The intensive retreats often involve learning new relationship skills and practicing these skills with the guidance of a trained therapist. This can help couples experience a supportive and neutral environment to work through relationship concerns while also allowing for an opportunity to emotionally reconnect as a couple.

No matter what stage of your relationship you are in, any couple can benefit from attending a marriage intensive retreat! I have done them with couples wanting to do pre-marital counseling to help them get on the same page with moving toward marriage. I have also done them with couples looking to heal after an affair, and with couples who who just wanted to make progress faster than they could in weekly couples counseling. 

Benefits of Marriage Intensive Retreats 

The benefits of marriage intensive retreats are very similar to the benefits of marriage counseling or couples counseling

  1. Improve communication and conflict resolution skills: Intensive retreats provide an opportunity to learn and improve your communication and conflict resolution skills. These skills are foundational to any healthy marriage and promote more understanding and empathy for each other. 
  2. Feel a greater sense of emotional connection and intimacy: As couples start to understand each other more, they are able to reconnect at a deeper emotional level. In marriage intensive retreats, couples often share more vulnerability with each other which naturally leads to a deeper sense of intimacy. This can allow couples to reignite both emotional and physical intimacy in their relationship.
  3. Learn to resolve problems together: All couple experience problems and challenges in their relationship. Some common ones include parenting conflicts, not being on the same page with money, rebuilding trust, and a lack of intimacy that leads people to feeling like roommates. Private marriage intensive retreats help you work through whatever challenges you are facing as a couple.  
  4. Getting a new perspective: It’s normal for you and your partner to see things from your own viewpoint. Taking a break from your daily routine to really work toward mutual understanding can help you see things form your partner’s point of view. It allows you both to gain perspective into relationship dynamics neither of you were seeing before so that you can navigate those relationship patterns as a team.
Happy senior couple at beac

Choosing the Right Marriage Intensive Retreat 

You will want to do your research on marriage intensive retreats so you make sure you are choosing thee right one for you and your relationship. Things to consider are the expertise, qualifications, and reputation of the provider. You will also want to know if the experience will be private with just you and your partner, or if it will be in a group of other coupes. Especially with group intensive retreats, they may be focus more on specific relationship challenges and be less customizable for your specific needs. If you choose a group intensive retreat, make sure to pick one that will address your specific relationship concerns. 

What to expect during a Marriage Intensive Retreat 

Before you attend your marriage intensive retreat, you will likely be asked to complete a meet-and-greet with the provider to discuss your goals for the experience and any concerns you may have about the process. You will also likely be asked to complete some relationship assessments and questionnaires to help the provider know how to best meet your areas of concerns. During the intensive retreat, there will be a structured schedule where you will complete therapeutic relationship exercises designed to help strengthen your marriage. There will also be opportunities for reflections one what you are learning through the experience. 

The beach is the perfect place for a couple's retreat

Practical Considerations

There are many benefits to marriage intensive retreats, and are absolutely worth it! At the same time they do take some planning and preparation.  For starters, you will likely need to budget for the experience. You will want to find one in a location that works for you and make sure that you have your hotel, flights, etc., arranged–this is especially true for destination intensive retreats. Making sure you have the details planned out in advance can help the process go more smoothly an with less stress. 

Alternatives to Marriage Intensive Retreats

If attending a marriage intensive retreat isn’t doable for you at this time, or you want to get started on improving your relationship fast, there are several options available to you. You could get started with marriage/couples counseling, read some relationship books (here’s what I recommend!), or check out some relationship podcasts (Mine is The Communicate & Connect Podcast!). These can even be helpful when you are waiting for your marriage intensive retreat to start!

Looking for a Marriage Intensive Retreat?

Elizabeth Polinsky Counseling provides online Marriage Counseling, as well as weekend-long Marriage Intensives, throughout the states of Virginia, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Nevada. Click the button below to schedule a complimentary consult. ​

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    About Author

    Elizabeth Polinsky is a Certified Emotionally Focused Couple Therapist (EFT) providing EFT marriage counseling in the states of Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Nevada. She also provides EFT training and supervision to therapists looking to become certified in EFT Couple Therapy. As a military spouse, she has a special passion for working with military and veteran couples, and is also the host of The Communicate & Connect Podcast for Military Relationships.


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