The Gift of Connection

The views at Mo-Ranch.

Every marriage experiences moments of stress. What holds couples together during times of intense pressure is the strength of their shared story, or organizing principle, that binds them together. In the upcoming couples retreat that I’m facilitating at Mo-Ranch in a few weeks, one of our sessions will be devoted to helping couples identify this unifying concept that supports the health of their relationship.

In my own marriage, Connection is our watchword. I’ve seen this concept of Connection help my husband and me weather difficult experiences together instead of pulling us apart.

A few years ago, my daughter ended up in the hospital with a bone infection. In the end (which was several months later), all was well. But the first few hours and days, were critical, and we were in crisis-mode.

In hindsight, I learned some things about myself. One big a-ha moment was understanding how I function in crisis. For me, managing crisis is a matter of putting my head down, focusing, and getting through it step by step. In crisis mode, I do not see the big picture. I exist moment to moment. The upside is that I am relatively calm and centered in a crisis. The downside is that my world becomes teeny tiny and my memory short-term. Example: at one point during my daughter’s stay, I literally walked past the parent of a friend of hers and did not even acknowledge their presence. Thankfully, they were the understanding type, as I truly did not process their presence.

After it was all said and done, I did, of course, look up and around me. My world expanded again, and I was overwhelmed by the amazing community of friends and family surrounding us. Lucky! I also looked up and found my husband. For over ten weeks our sole interactions had been coordinating shifts at the hospital, intravenous infusions, doctor meetings and appointments, and rehabilitation. It was all we had discussed. Seeing him once life calmed down again was like walking out of a dark movie theater into the sun. We were strangers in some ways, our marriage had wilted in some ways, and we needed to reconnect.

What does this have to do with why you should come to a couples’ weekend away? Good question! Connection and reconnection are the guiding themes of my marriage. It is the DNA of our particular relationship. We know this about ourselves and our marriage. As we re-emerged from crisis, we knew what we needed, and how to do it. We have a little cabin that is our sanctuary, so we planned a weekend away. Once there, we were able to process all that had happened, to rest, laugh, eat, and reset. In short, we resurrected our marriage over our watchword: Connect.

Some of you may already know what makes your relationship tick. Some of you know exactly how and why you are a couple. Some of you may have no clue what that core DNA is just yet. But, whatever that core of your relationship is, it is worth discovering and rediscovering. Marriage requires nurture. It requires attention. That is hard in our busy world. And it is the reason why I invite you to a couples’ weekend away. Sure, a weekend away is a luxury. It is a gift. Maybe this year is the time, and maybe it’s something you plan for in the future. But, a chance to discover or rediscover why you are a couple is imperative to the life and health of your relationship. It’s a chance to just be the two of you; to play, to rest, to dream, to relax, and to reset.

To sign up for this couples retreat weekend on February 15-17, visit the Mo-Ranch website. I look forward to seeing you there!