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May 1, 2011

Family Vacation vs Couples Retreat

Divorce and General Articles

Summer Vacation….an escape from the ordinary, a break or holiday that often means a trip, a retreat or a rest.   Now is a good time to put a little thought into how to manage this time of rejuvenation for yourself, your spouse and your family.   What you decide to do during this summer holiday period is challenged by finances, work schedules, family composition and your own expectations.  

 One consideration is the type of vacation that would benefit the entire family.  It may mean however that you leave the family at home!  Relationships, especially the marriage relationship between you and your spouse requires some special treatment.  Is this the summer vacation a time to invest in strengthening the back bone of the family?   Perhaps it is well worth more than a thought.   

 Many therapists and counselors agree that taking time out to reconnect with your spouse is instrumental in creating and maintaining a healthy relationship; and that is the foundation of a healthy family.   Why then do many couples focus their time and finances planning the family trip in lieu of their own couples retreat?   

Spending time with your spouse and reconnecting one on one is a great way to clear away the clutter of work, family and household duties that interfere with your committed partnership.  Spending quality time together ensures we are there for one another through life’s inevitable ups and downs. It also keeps us rediscovering the things we enjoy about our spouse that initially drew us to him or her. 

Think back on the mutual interests and activities that brought you and your spouse together and use that as a basis to plan a memorable couples retreat.  Keeping in mind that a couples retreat is best served when both parties are involved in the planning; don’t schedule a SPA weekend if your spouse doesn’t like to be touched by strangers.  Do think out of the box and include ideas that may seem out of the ordinary for a “vacation”.  If you and your spouse met or enjoyed volunteer service in the past, take a long weekend together to help plant trees or build a house with Habitat for Humanity.  

What ever the activity, the focus is on doing it together and taking the time to be alone as a couple.  Time spent together as a couple is the best investment in your marriage

So maybe the kids, siblings and parents and friends can be included next time, this time, plan a summer vacation that is specific to you and your spouse and rekindle that special feeling of “I like being with you”. 

We’d like to hear from you.  Given that time and financial restraints are different for every couple, what examples of quality time vacations can you share with us?