Room with a view, or what?
I'm not going to go much into what you actually do at Marriage Encounter for a few reasons. One, I would do it a horrible disservice, I'm sure. If someone had told me the specifics beforehand, I think I would have scoffed and found it a bit cheesy. It's not, I assure you. Even the men, even the ones who had been dragged there, raved at our group meals about how amazing it was! Reason two is that I think it's just way more fun to discover it yourself! So anyways, Marriage Encounter is very couple-centric and involves learning a form of communication that I guarantee will be new to you. The only time you are really interacting with others is at meals. Other than that, you are either in presentations or directly working with your spouse. We loved that aspect of it... no pressure to socialize so we could just be together. It was exhausting mentally and emotionally but in such a perfect way. We'd get through one exercise and just hold each other in a tight embrace. It was amazing. Tears were shed, lots of hugs were given, and some powerful things were shared.
We had a little break time on Saturday (much needed since the day was 7:30am-9:30pm!) and we took a romantic walk on the beach. It was admittedly short since I start hurting after just a little bit of walking, but we put our toes in the water, took pictures, and talked. It was delightful! Other than that, we were enriching our marriage the whole time... 44 hours worth of work into this marriage I love with this man that I love.
Writing hubs a love letter on the balcony. Poor chap was in the conference room writing his!
One of my favorite things about Marriage Encounter is that they really push for you to not lose the skills when you get home. They give you really in depth resources, plus there are local circles of Encountered couples who meet regularly! There is one in our town so we are definitely going to attend as much as possible. And yes, we'll be back in 5 years, if we can wait that long!
I'll share one of my favorite parts of the weekend that actually happened during Mass. During the homily, the priest had us turn our chairs to face our spouse. We were to hold hands, gazing into each other's eyes while the priest spoke on wedding vows. He spoke as if we were speaking to our spouse and when he got to the part about lovingly accepting children, I was sitting there staring into Steven's eyes, holding his hands with our knees touching, and my baby kicking. It was about one of the most powerful and emotional moments. Of course I was crying! Right after that, we got to renew our wedding vows. I never thought we'd be renewing them 1.5 years in, but it was so special!
I swear I don't look this large in real life. At least, that's what I tell myself ;).
Neither of us wanted to leave the weekend, but we are already really loving incorporating our new skills into our marriage at home. Seriously, go. You will be so happy you did!
Nerdily excited about our certificate and candle!