Unlike many popular self-help and motivational training programs, PAIRS isn’t about the presenter; it’s about the participant.
It’s not love we can honestly promise when we unite our lives. How can we promise a feeling that naturally waxes and wanes through the transitions and passages of our lives?
Can couples in a marriage and relationship skills training retreat learn to keep that loving feeling alive? Will those who lost each other years ago be able to rekindle what they once had?
Mike and Barb were no longer that young couple in love. They were in a weekend retreat searching for any last-ditch sign of hope for a marriage that had more years of sour than sweetness. For a moment, he remembered his sweet Baton Rouge. And there she was, sitting beside him.
“Seen this sky from the Afghan mountains, deserts of Iraq, Sinai and Saudi Arabia. Plenty of other places too. Even on the worst of days, it’s always been my place of peace,” Mike said. The pair sat in silence for a few minutes, quietly acknowledging the beauty and solitude in which they were embraced. Realizing the 15-minute break was about to end, the instructor broke the silence.
“I’d like the fighting to stop,” Barbara said. “I’d like the pain to stop. I’d like to stop feeling angry, scared and sad all the time. I’d like to stop suspecting him all the time. I’d like to either know we can make things better, like it once was, or, as hard is it might be, call it quits. I can’t take this anymore. I wont,” she said as the sobs began.
Evelyn smiled, not surprised that bringing her wife to the weekend marriage retreat would raise some eyebrows. The couple hadn’t expected anything to change in their relationship after they married. But something had changed.