Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Working It

Photo by Cathy Walters Photography. If you live in Colorado Springs, look her up.
Every time I hear couples (celebrities, for the most part) talking about how "marriage is work," I want to run around behind them saying, "No! It's not! It's rewarding!" Because they make it sound like a prison sentence. Having said that, I have to agree: all the best things in life require some effort on your part. Marriage included.

Steve and I have been married for thirty-one years and, in the past twenty years have taken periodic "retreat" weekends to really address our marriage and family with full focus.

These retreats started as little "mini-moons" just to, you know, sleep. But as our lives approached some key milestones (moves, careers, kids moving out), we applied some rigour to them. Since Steve retired a year ago, we felt it was time again to cloister ourselves and stop beating around the bush about a few things -- things that most couples have a hard time addressing.

  • spending
  • vacations
  • chores
  • home improvements
  • our kids
  • extended family
We wouldn't have made it this far as a couple if we didn't generally see eye-to-eye on most of these topics, but there are subtleties that get brushed aside in the higgledy-piggledy of life. We don't fight about them, but we both agree that we're due for some fine-tuning. 

Consider it preventive maintenance. An oil change.

We've tried doing this at home, just setting aside an hour or so to discuss a particular issue, but we always end up getting distracted or feeling rushed. Life happens. 

So our recipe is to go to a bed & breakfast for two nights and to use the middle day as a "work day." We don't necessarily draft an agenda, but we usually do have one or two topics that we want to make sure we discuss. 

We've tried doing it with just a single overnight, and it just doesn't work. That full day allows time to procrastinate, take things slowly, sleep on ideas, and, if needed, reconcile. It's long enough to take individual time and regroup to discuss further. 

And it's long enough to have a really lovely romantic dinner or two, enjoy some scenery, and fall a little deeper in love. 

So that's what we're doing this week. We're running away from home so we can make our home all that much stronger.


  1. I love this idea!!
    I saw a movie recently and there was a great quote about this whole "work" of marriage. The man said "there will always be struggle in life, you just have to decide who you want to struggle with. and then stick." I thought that was a great way to look at it - because no one and no life and surely no couple is perfect. I hope you have a lovely time.

    1. We did have a beautiful time and really addressed some thorny issues head-on. Now to bring it home!


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