LAS VEGAS — I take you, to have and to hold, for better or for worse, to love and to cherish.
I remember saying these exact words to my husband on our wedding day. That day, everything was right in my world and nothing meant more than being together. It was the happiest day of my life.
Fast forward almost two years into our marriage, and it has been anything but a cake walk. Some attributes I used to find so attractive in him seemed to be the very same things that now drive me insane and vice versa.
We realized this was happening and both agreed going to the 99th Air Base Wing Chapel’s Marriage Care retreat was something we needed and could benefit from in order to grow in our relationship. Getting away from everything and everyone for a weekend at a beautiful resort couldn’t possibly make anything worse.
Throughout the weekend, there were four marriage sessions available designed to strengthen a marriage. In addition, there was also time dedicated to help reconnect couples by going on a date and spending quality time together.
During our first session, we focused on the words “I take you,” meaning when you get married you are taking all of the other person’s baggage to include their habits, traditions, family rules, culture, etc.
Before we were married, I didn’t realize there were going to be so many differences in the way we do things. Tasks as simple as doing the dishes were hot topics of discussion in the beginning of our marriage when deciding who was doing it the “right” way or not.
Learning to talk about large or small issues with my significant other and compromise differences are the key to understanding each other a little bit more.
Sessions two and three targeted “to have and to hold” and “for better or for worse” in the vows. These topics focused on reframing conversations towards the positive and working on communications skills.
These sessions had the most impact on my husband and me because learning to communicate, listening and actually understanding what the other one is saying is quite challenging at times.
Him asking, if I’m okay and me callously replying “Yes, I’m fine,” in an argument clearly means I’m fine right?
Instead of blaming each other and speaking in code, telling each other how your feeling and why has really worked for us.
The last session was “to love and to cherish” which focused on love and forgiveness and the different ways to apologize such as expressing regret, making restitution and genuinely repenting.
I’ve noticed when my husband apologizes to me, he takes responsibility for his actions. I really appreciate when he knows he has done something wrong and is attempting to do better.
With all of the information we learned from the Marriage Care retreat, I feel we took our first step into bettering our marriage and getting back to the happiness and joy we felt at the beginning of our relationship.
If you or your spouse are interested in attending the Marriage Care retreats, call the chapel at (702) 652-2950. The next retreat is scheduled for May 16-18.