We had experienced many terrible hurts in our 19 years of marriage. I had severely neglected and mistreated my wife and she had ended up in an affair. Our marriage was filled with anger, distrust, and bitterness. There was no love, affection or closeness between us and were no longer soul mates we had once been. We’d been to several counselors but nothing worked. When I found about the Cornerstone marriage retreat on the internet we reluctantly signed up and went. With 3 children still at home and my wife feeling that our marriage was over, this was our “last resort.” We had lost all hope and even questioned whether we were meant to be together. When we went to the retreat we were nervous, but Roy & Sue, the founders of the organization and the main leaders for the weekend helped settle us down with their sincere, “real” and transparent approach. All of the counselors and the other workers there helped provide an atmosphere of acceptance and understanding as to where we were in our relationship. The marriage counselors and coaches we met with were caring and experienced.
Incidentally, the Hilton where it was held was nice and comfortable and was a quiet setting for us considering the tough, volatile and painful emotional state we were in.
Overall the retreat was well-organized and planned, but the schedule seemed a little tight but then again we had lots of work on our marriage that needed to get done. The retreat was structured with some group sessions and some private sessions. Both were conducted in a sensitive manner. There was no pressure put on us, or no time where we had to talk about our marriage problems in front of others in the group meetings. The counselors monitored our progress closely and one thing I really appreciated about the them was that they took extra care to create a safe environment for us to get the kind of personal help we needed to identify and work through some really tough issues that were tearing us apart for years.
All-in-all, the retreat was a real turning point for us. And by the end of the weekend, looking around at a lot of the other couples, you could tell it was a turning point for many of them as well. It was quite obvious, and you could tell by the way they were – the smiles and hand-holding and all. For us, the bottom line was- it showed us how we had hurt each other and it gave us the tools and the time and structure we needed to understand and work on and heal the hurts in our relationship. Of particular importance to me was that the weekend had a significant spiritual aspect to it that helped me and my wife to really forgive like never before, and to see by example and actually practice healthy ways of communicating, work through and resolve tough issues, reconnect with each other, and amazingly, to begin to feel the love again. We have now recommitted to each other and our marriage. For certain, we still have a lot of work ahead, but with confidence, hope and tools we are well on our way to re-building our marriage.