CHAPTER 1 — HOW THIS STARTED (Let’s Start at the Very Beginning/It’s a Very Good Place to Start)
“The unexamined life is not worth living.” —Socrates
|OUR STORY: The Inaugural Event
Here’s how our initial retreat conversation went way back in 1996:
Richard: “Let’s spend a weekend away together planning for our future! Sort of like a corporate retreat! It’ll be great!”
Richard: “Yeah, we’ll spend the weekend talking about our values, goals, plans, budgets, and more.”
Amanda: “Are you kidding me?”
Richard: “Really! Trust me!”
Richard: “We’ll go to a hotel for the weekend.”
Amanda: “Hold on, I’ll pack my bags!”
The 48 Hour Relationship Retreat is based on a do-it-yourself retreat system we developed and have been using since 1996. It’s been truly transformational in our lives and we know it can be the same for you!
Originally Richard, the one with the management background and an unnatural addiction to business books, thought that if successful companies could benefit from getting together annually to reflect and plan, we could, too.
Richard has always been big into goal setting and planning and was immersed in the Franklin Day Planner system, so talking about our future seemed, to him, the most natural thing for two people starting a life together to do.
But Amanda wasn’t so sure. Introspection and long-range planning weren’t really her thing. She was more of a “face life as it comes at you” kind of a person. However, because she was “goofy in love” (and because it involved a weekend away at a hotel), Amanda agreed to the first retreat.
WHAT HAPPENED AFTER THAT
What started out as Richard’s idea eventually became the “can’t-miss event” of our year, and we’ve managed to hold a retreat annually since—well, except for the one year we missed, and that year was B-A-D!
Over the years we’ve found our annual retreat to be an amazing way to connect, assess our relationship, and make the changes we see as necessary to be able to reach our dreams TOGETHER. It’s made a very positive impact on our marriage and we feel it can help any long-term relationship, married or not.
Throughout the past couple of decades, we’ve expanded and tweaked our agenda, but the basic core has remained the same—get away, have fun, make positive changes in our lives, and proactively plan for the future. And we’ve always wanted to do it within our own parameters—without getting all touchy-feely and sharing our “issues” with other people.
When it comes right down to it, we feel we are the experts on our relationship. We know what our struggles are and we know what has worked for us in the past to fix our problems. And we believe the same is true of you, too!
You are the experts on your relationship. Sure, there are professionals who can ask you questions and guide you to uncover your answers (in fact, that is sort of what this book is about), but we don’t think you need to spend endless hours on a therapist’s couch to make progress. In the end, you know more about your circumstances, your goals, and your dreams than anyone else.
(When you buy the book you get to find out what happened next!)