Marriage Matters Retreat Reflection

Marriage Matters Retreat Reflection

Diocesan Director of Formation, Sabrina Evans, wrote a reflection after attending the Marriage Matters Retreat at St. Crispin's.

Marriage Retreat 2020

What would make 14 couples give up a Saturday and Sunday to spend talking about their marriage, shared values, and Sabbath? Couples who want to have stronger relationships, be able to discuss any potential issues in a safe and loving atmosphere, and have time with their spouse away from work, home, and children.

The weekend included working with music to set the session theme, materials from The Daring Way by Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW, and our Relationship House information from Dr. John M. Gottman and Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman, and then to Sabbath Planning.

I must tell you; my husband and I have been married for 41 years, and my reason for attending was to see how the retreat ran so I could share it with others. My spouse went “along for the ride” as he didn’t want to stay home on Saturday and part of Sunday by himself. The thought that we might learn something never crossed my mind. But I was wrong.

Our lives are much different that most of those attending. My husband is retired, and I am two years away from the same. We have no family in Oklahoma as we moved here from Alabama for my job. So, there are very few obstacles that keep us from being out of our house nightly. When the idea of a “date night” was discussed, I laughed. To me, every night was date night!

But reflecting on the session, I thought about how if we are at home, one is in one chair watching Netflix, and the other on the sofa watching television, and a computer open to Facebook. The conversations are limited and there are no discussions of what is seen or heard.

We decided that we wanted to have one-night set aside for movie night. We would be on the couch watching one movie TOGETHER and put all other distractions away. And as it turns out, it IS really fun to be together watching the same thing! 

The other thing I came away with is an understanding of division of labor and how that has changed. With my husband retired and me still working, there has been a huge shift. He assumes many of the chores that I used to do on Saturday, such as laundry. He makes daily trips to the grocery store to keep us stocked with our go-to items. I still cook or do the meal arranging but he will do the dishes. Life will change again after I retire but to recognize that he has assumed most of the housework was very enlightening. And to be thankful for his gift of time to be able to do these things is something I am most grateful for and want to celebrate this gift with him.

All in all, the Marriage Retreat ended up being a great blessing to my husband and I's relationship.  The intentional time to work on our relationship and acknowledge each other's gifts strengthened our bond and love for one another.  We highly recommend this program to ALL couples in the Diocese who want to grow together in God's love.

Sabrina Evans
Director of Christian Formation
Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma

 

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