“We need to talk.” That can be such a scary sentence. The fact that we ‘need’ to talk means there’s work to be done. We can’t just continue on as we have been or pretend that everything is perfect. It’s a lot easier to ignore problems or just pretend they don’t exist at all. But the reality is that there’s always work to be done in marriage. A relationship is not stagnant — like people, it grows and develops and can decay.
My husband and I knew before we got engaged that we didn’t want to just let marriage happen to us. We’re both huge advocates of communication and always want to be able to talk about what’s going on. But that is definitely easier said than done. We’ve been married just about two and a half years (so long, I know), and it’s taught us a lot about what we want the rest of our lives to look like together.
We’ve decided to attend a FamilyLife Weekend Getaway to check the pulse of our relationship. Even though we may think we’re doing great, there is always value in an outside perspective and a chance to force ourselves to look honestly at where we are.
Here are seven reasons why I’m excited to attend this Weekend Getaway.
1. We get to talk about areas we might not normally consider.
Though we highly value communication, there are areas in our relationship that might go neglected. Perhaps it’s a small disagreement, like holiday traditions (we can put the Christmas tree up in November, right?), but not quite worth bringing up. I’m excited to learn more about my husband in a space that encourages us to talk openly and honestly. We know going into this conference that we’re here to work on our relationship together. There’s no battle — it’s us working together to improve ourselves.
2. It can help set the tone for the rest of our lives together.
We’re fortunate to be able to attend a marriage conference this early in our relationship, but it’s never too late or too pointless to attend. I hope to gain good habits that we will still be practicing 50 years from now.
3. It’s just the two of us.
Being pretty introverted, I was a little skeptical of this whole “talking about your relationship in public” thing, but you never once during the entire weekend have to talk to someone that you don’t want to. Perfection. We only ever talk to each other, which I think will make it a lot easier to be open and honest.
4. There’s a guide for conversations.
We don’t have to come up with every discussion topic, as the workbook and speakers guide us. During the sessions, we’ll fill these in with our answers and our thoughts, and we get to take them home at the end. We can use these later to look back on or even fill out again to perform check-ups on our relationship. It’s a good way to hold ourselves to promises we make when we’re feeling very emotionally close, which can be hard to keep down the road when the relationship might be strained.
5. We get to hear real stories from other couples.
Despite what my Instagram friends claim, no one’s lives are perfect, and everyone is going through some type of struggle. It’s refreshing to hear honest stories from people who have been doing this marriage thing a lot longer than me and learn that there is room to make mistakes.
6. There’s time to write love letters.
When I was studying abroad for a semester, my husband and I exchanged letters (in addition to our regular calls and texts) and there is something powerful about putting pen to paper and sharing your heart. There’s no interruptions and plenty of time and space to share what you’re thinking and feeling.
7. Date night!
Regular dates can easily be pushed back or even cancelled in the reality of regular busy life, but the Weekend Getaway intentionally sets aside an evening for a date. It’s the perfect excuse to splurge on a nice dinner and enjoy each other’s company, especially after a day of learning more about each other.
There are plenty of excellent reasons to attend a Weekend Getaway. If you’re still debating whether you truly “need to talk,” that’s what a Weekend Getaway is for. It opens the door for conversation. Even if you think things are fine, maybe there haven’t been quite as many conversations as you need. Maybe one person thinks things are great but the other has an issue that they’ve never wanted to bring up. This is a safe space where the first step, just deciding to talk, is already done. You’re here.