Happy MilSpouse Monday friends! How was your weekend? We got the opportunity to participate in a Strong Bonds Marriage Retreat in San Antonio and it was amazing!
We have actually been hoping to attend a marriage retreat for some time now, so when my husband’s chaplain came to us with a last minute spot we were excited to jump on the opportunity.
Have you attended a military marriage retreat? If you are on the fence about attending one, I highly recommend hopping over the fence and going for it!
Marriage Retreat Classes
So of course a big part of a marriage retreat is the actual classes and lessons. While some people do not like sitting in a class for eight or so hours over the weekend, I personally got a lot out of it. If you go in with an open mind there is a lot to learn. As the Chaplain said, he doesn’t dive too much into “therapy” territory because that can be awkward in such a big group setting. But a lot of the lessons provided talking points to get us started having deeper conversations as a couple. Jump-starting conversations is such a helpful thing in marriage because I think it can be all too easy to fall into routines and patterns and just never get around to talking about the deeper stuff.
Getting away for the weekend
This marriage retreat took place at at hotel in San Antonio which was a great getaway for us. It was only a three-ish hour drive, but it was somewhere totally out of the ordinary so it felt like an adventure. Of course marriage retreat locations would be different depending on where you are stationed, but the general concept seems to be getting away from your duty station so you can really separate yourself from work while you work on your relationship instead.
As a military spouse I am sure you know how hard it can be to get a full weekend away. So having your getaway labeled as your spouse’s “place of duty” for the weekend is pretty awesome!
Time as a couple
In our case, childcare was provided. In fact, childcare was even provided for a three hour date night. And it was a total game changer. Oliver loved the childcare people and had so much fun while Charlie and I were able to spend quality time alone together. I can count on one hand the number of meals we have eaten without Oliver since he was born. Now obviously I love my child, but having time to refocus on my husband is pretty great too.
Meeting other military couples
The other couples at the marriage retreat are obviously going to be in different places in their lives. They may have more or fewer children. They may have been married for a longer or shorter time than you and your spouse. But you have a lot in common too. I really enjoyed talking to other spouses because it helps you feel less alone. The challenges that come with a military marriage are a lot more common than I realized before meeting and chatting with other spouses.
I really enjoyed the marriage retreat we attended and I hope to attend more in the future when the opportunity comes up. No matter how great your marriage is, there is always something new to learn and areas to improve. Throw in a fun trip out of town and quality time to reconnect with your spouse and it is a total winner!
Have you attended a military marriage retreat before? What did you think? If not, have you thought about going to one?