A marriage workshop is an event that gives both spouses insight and tools to improve or enhance their relationship beyond what they might get from their couples or individual therapist. They can span a day or weekend and are often led by a therapist or relationship coach. A marriage workshop may require some time, money and a bit of vulnerability, but the investment is often worth it.
Why attend a marriage workshop?
Think of your relationship like a car. Without regular maintenance and oil changes, the car will eventually stop running. Relationships are the same way. Marriage workshops are a great way to maintain your relationship, fine-tune your communication skills and better understand each other.
Here are some of the reasons you might want to attend a marriage workshop:
- A fresh start – You’re in a relationship rut and you can’t find your way out. You love your partner, but no matter what you do, you can’t figure out how to communicate with them. You wish you could hit the back button.
- Back to the basics – The beginning of a relationship is exciting, but it can also be vulnerable. As your relationship moves forward, you may find that you both have changed. You may have different priorities, goals, and ways of communicating. A workshop can help you get back to the basics and begin again with a clean slate.
- An opportunity for self-reflection – Your relationship is both a reflection of you and your partner, and also a reflection of the way you interact with each other. It’s easy to get caught up in the everyday stresses and challenges of life that is married life and forget to take a step back and evaluate the bigger picture from time to time.
- A chance to connect with other couples – A workshop can be a great way to connect with other couples. You get to learn from each other and make new friends in the process. It can also be a great opportunity to meet other couples who are also struggling through challenges you may be facing.
- A roadmap for a better future – If you attend a workshop, it’s likely that your faciliator will help you lay out a plan for how to build a better future and a better relationship with your partner. You may even get exercises to take back home. A workshop can be a great way to set your relationship up for success.
How to pick the right workshop
When you’re choosing a workshop, keep the following in mind:
- Your budget – The cost of a workshop can vary widely depending on the length, location, and expertise of the facilitators. You may be able to find workshops near you that are less costly or even free.
- The length of the workshop – A shorter workshop may be less intense than a longer workshop. Plus, you may prefer to spread out your learning over a couple of consecutive weekends rather than cramming it all into one or two weekends.
- The location of the workshop – You and your partner may want to take a weekend getaway to attend a workshop, or you may prefer to stay close to home and attend a more informal workshop. The location may affect the cost and your level of commitment.
- The type of workshop you want to attend – There are many types of workshops available and many focus on different aspects of a relationship.
- Relationship workshops that focus on personal growth and development. These workshops may help you find clarity and direction in your own life.
The benefits of attending a marriage workshop
While we touched on a few of the benefits of attending a workshop earlier, here are a few more:
- You’ll gain a better understanding of your partner
- You may discover new things about yourself
- You’ll get new tools and insights for your relationship
- A workshop may help you identify the areas in your relationship that need work and offer you new insights and tools to help you move past those sticking points.
- Time away from your normal routine – You may have a busy life that is full of work and family obligations. A workshop may offer you the time and space away from those obligations to recharge and reconnect with your partner.
- Improved communication – A workshop can help you communicate more effectively with your partner.
How to prepare for your first workshop with your spouse
If this is your first workshop with your spouse, here are a few tips to help you prepare:
- Be prepared to be vulnerable – You may be nervous to open up and be vulnerable with your partner, but this is a natural part of the process.
- Be prepared to take notes – You may want to take notes during the workshop to help you process the information and come up with questions to ask your partner when you get home.
- Be prepared to work – The workshop may not be as relaxing as a couples massage. You may leave with homework that you have to do together.
- Be prepared to commit to change – You may leave the workshop with a new understanding of your relationship, but that doesn’t mean that the change will happen overnight. You have to commit to making those changes happen.
Final words: are marriage workshops worth it?
Marriage workshops offer you the chance to solidify your relationship and make it stronger. They can help you and your partner to identify and tackle areas where you both could use some improvement.