Context: Couple’s retreat – Lucy and Robert, married for 28 years, seeking to renew and revitalize their relationship.
Challenge: Lucy and Robert had been separated two times, unable to address certain core issues that continued to arise between them. Those issues arose from an ‘intimacy gap’ that remained intact through Lucy’s need for more space, and Robert’s desire to be loved and validated.
Approach: After speaking privately with each person, we designed a three-day private retreat for Lucy and Robert. The retreat included two one-hour phone sessions to gather information and co-create the retreat. The days were spent with the horses, together and apart, to learn about the language of boundaries, the relational aspects of negotiating ‘space’, and how to cultivate trust in themselves and in each other. We engaged break-out dialog sessions to explore the insights. The contract concluded with two one-hour follow up phone calls to support the integration process.
Impact: The couple was greatly benefited from this focused time. They recommitted themselves to their marriage, while committing to their own self-care. They emerged with the following:
- Increased ability to communicate difficult feelings.
- Greater trust.
- New tools for communication.
- Permission to be real and themselves.
- Greater understanding of how an‘intimacy gap’ works, and how to slowly close the gap while maintaining safety.
- The sense of seeing, and being seen by, the other.