I had a surprise message on facebook the other day. A friend from SC said that she & her husband were considering going on a "Marriage Encounter" weekend for their 30th anniversary. She knew that CH & I had attended when YS was a baby, and she wanted to know if I still thought it was worth it. Let me put it this way: I like being married to CH.
When YS was a baby, CH & I went on an encounter weekend. CH wasn't too hyped up on going to it; I don't really even remember how us going even came about. I think we both knew we needed to do something. Marriage Encounter isn't for marriages that are in trouble; it's for marriages that maybe have lost that "spark" and need a little kindling. And, it's not just for Catholics. Other denominations have their own "versions".
In a nutshell:
You get there on Friday night. Our weekend was held at a hotel. You get started right away with the program: You're asked not to use the phones (I guess now they would request that you not use your cellphones.). For our weekend, there were 3 couple "leaders", and a priest. We really connected with one of the couples; their story was similar to ours. The weekend is a roller coaster of emotions: you are reminded of why you & your spouse got together in the first place. You're reminded of how to communicate with your spouse. You don't talk in front of the group; you only talk with your spouse. The priest put an interesting spin on things, too. The priest that we had was the Bomb. Simply incredible.
The weekend is over on Sunday afternoon. You're sent back into the world to practice what you learned during the weekend. The cost: You give what you want/can. It's by donation only. They will tell you how much the weekend would have cost, and ask that you give what you can. Some people can give more, some give what they can. It's completely confidential and private. Definitely a worth-while weekend.
A couple of years ago, OS & MS were cleaning the basement and came across a couple of our notebooks from the weekend. And, they did what any teenage boys would do: they read them! Oh, my! I have no idea what deep, dark secrets of ours they now know. But, I do know they got a glimpse into just how much their parents mean to each other. And that's a beautiful thing.