Troubled marriages are relationships of extremes. 

Longstanding grievances, learning about an affair, endless trivial battles, or the deadness of pretending it's okay when it's not. All of them are heartbreaking. Couples come wanting understanding and relief.

A private one-to-one intensive marriage retreat is designed to help. 

Here are four presenting issues we frequently see in our intensives couples therapy:

(1) "Last Shot" Marriage Intensive

If your marriage is in severe pain you need more than just an hour-a-week therapy session with a licensed psychotherapist. 

Marriage counseling intensives help you to step away from your everyday life. The newness of the environment helps, as does the total focus on your relationship and what it means to each of you.

In addition, couples retreats are often a "Last Shot" for couples when weekly couples therapy hasn't helped.

If you are on the verge of divorce, you need a single laser-like clinical focus. You need a specialist, not a generalist. We use the Gottman Method of couples counseling which is research-based and addresses many specific issues couples struggle with.

Couples in a Last Shot Marriage intensive sometimes are beyond fighting. They're just too exhausted to fight anymore.


A two-day marriage intensive can restore hope.

But hope is not a method. You also want to know not only "can this marriage be saved..." but should it be. That requires the best that science can provide about how real couples get along and how they heal when in pain. You'll need an excellent high level of clinical evaluation. 

This marital evaluation we call a "State of the Union" assessment. It's done as a part of each marriage intensive we conduct. Designed by John Gottman, of the famous Gottman Institute, it provides a lot of detailed information prior to the day's intensive.

You'll receive in-depth, specific direction and explicit help from advanced couples therapists to help them figure out how to renew and revitalize your marriage...particularly if you have just about given up hope.

(2) The "endless fighting" intensive retreat

If you are in this type of marriage, each of you is blinded by the pain of repetitive hostility. Every word you utter seems to be taken the wrong way, with the worst possible interpretation. There is no goodwill between you. Neither of you gives the other the "benefit of the doubt."

Your spouse seems to believe you are out to get them, make their lives miserable, thwart and undermine their every action.

The slightest disagreement starts an argument and exhausts both of you.

Every effort to change the way you relate is a Herculean assertion that is seldom effective. Like crabs in a bucket, when one of you tries to climb out of the negative fighting cycle, the other one appears to pull you back into it. There is no "ceasefire," or downtime from being on edge and no rest. And it really impacts your nervous system and immune system. It drives good marriages to end.


Did you know that just two arguments a week keeps you and your household in a constant state of tension? Your entire family is on edge. There is no real peace, just an uneasy truce.

A therapeutic marriage intensive breaks the cycle. You'll have the time to delves deeply into the source of the conflict and to release the tension. You'll begin to talk honestly and directly from your heart.

You'll also learn new time-tested techniques to keep the conversation flowing freely and respectfully. You will learn how to keep conflict from turning into misery. Both of you will learn how to settle the disagreement when it arises quickly and effectively.

(3) "The Regrettable Incident" Intensive Marriage Counseling Retreat

A regrettable incident can be many things. Maybe you thought immediately about an affair, but there are many other types of betrayals.

  • It might be the private information you shared with someone else that deeply wounded your husband or wife.
  • It could have been the fight where you took another person's side against your spouse. 
  • Still, others are angry about that decision you both disagreed about, but you went ahead with it anyway without adequate discussion. It was a unilateral decision.
forgiveness after an affair

A regrettable incident could be an affair, a violation of trust, or a hurtful fight never forgotten.

Maybe it was finding out your spouse quit their job, or suddenly accepted a position in another state. And of course if one of you had sex outside the marriage, that's a regrettable incident. Even if you now consider it a "terrible lapse in judgment."

An affair can leave both of you angry, resentful, bitter, or distant. "Get even" affairs can be powerfully damaging. When a past even gets thrown out, time and again in a fight, like a vampire refusing to die, this is a regrettable incident.


The process of healing a regrettable incident is a hard process to explain.

One partner really "gets" why the regrettable event was so painful. They communicate this understanding in a new way. It is a moment-by-moment reality that a skilled therapist leans into.

These are not half-hearted apologies. You can feel their emotional regret. True sympathy and empathy can create acceptance, regret, and sorrow. The offending partner moves into and through their own blind spots into a deeper emotional resonance.

Healing occurs.

(4) Focus of a Marriage Intensive: "'Everything is really okay...'"

Couples are sometimes proud of the fact that they don't fight. Avoiding conflict looks like a good thing. You can compare yourself to other couples and feel lucky.

Often you don't feel entitled to your misery. "We should be happy" that we aren't like Frank and Marge next door, who struggle with unemployment, affairs, or substance abuse.

But there is a staleness between you.

True joy, laughter, deep satisfaction, and emotional or sexual vibrancy are absent. Even vacations can leave you feeling quietly disconnected. They can appear friendly and efficient, but passionless.

Both talk themselves into believing that they're" just expecting too much" from one another.

While there is no fighting between these couples, there is also no spontaneous joy. There is a staleness between them. They come to a marriage intensive to bring back the life, enthusiasm, and passion they're missing.

You may not know why they aren't satisfied. It is a puzzle even to you. Nevertheless, a lust for life evades them.


Our Marriage Intensives are a unique opportunity to pause and reset. You'll develop a deeper appreciation for what brought you together and what's keeping you apart. And what brings back the energy.

Reach out to learn more about these unique marriage intensives.