Together For Good Marriage Retreat

Photo by Denny Müller on Unsplash

Marriages have been under fire for quite some time. Our national statistics show that 38% of marriages end in divorce. However, we tend to focus on the ‘half-empty’ side of this conversation. Do you see in this number that 62% of marriages are successful? What if we could change the conversation around marriage in our country? What if we could re-frame marriage as something good and healthy and doable, instead of something that’s out-dated or destined to fail?

Unfortunately, the current global pandemic is having a negative impact on our marriages. Divorce lawyers are reporting a rise of 20 to 40% in calls inquiring about divorce. Lockdowns, financial stress, and parenting challenges are taking a toll on our mental health and marriages. However, with all of the current restrictions and higher demand, many support services are unavailable. Marriage conferences are cancelled, counsellors are booked solid, travel is limited, and finances are stretched. How is a struggling couple going to get the support they need to change the conversation about their marriage? How can a couple, who has managed to navigate the pandemic, find tools to dig even deeper in order to grow a healthier, more joy-filled and more resilient marriage?

Ballast Lodge is working with FamilyLife Canada to run affordable, pandemic-friendly marriage getaways, helping couples stay together for good. This two-night getaway includes pre-recorded sessions designed to help couples discover how incredibly good marriage can be — for their own relationship, for their families, for their church, and for our country.

Here is how it works:

  1. Book a minimum two-night stay at Ballast Lodge.
  2. Add the extra Family Life Canada Marriage Curriculum to your booking. This includes the five 60-minute videos (which you will watch during your stay), two printed copies of the Together For Good marriage workbooks (which are yours to keep), and some dedicated conversation time with your hosts in order to debrief and dig a bit further into the material. The total cost for a 2 night stay plus the curriculum is $260 plus HST.
  3. Plan your meals (food service is not provided at Ballast Lodge), check the kids in with one of your Steady15 contacts, and arrive at the Lodge ready to change the conversation around your marriage.

You have the option to extend your stay to three or more nights, if you like. You could also invite another couple to join you for the weekend – one couple in the Guest House and one in the Cottage for complete privacy. Or if you’d like to reduce the cost overall, there is adequate privacy in the Guest House for two couples to share. You could even have 3 couples for a mini-conference if you like.

About FamilyLife Canada

FamilyLife Canada exists to bring help and hope to every marriage and family. At Ballast Lodge, we think this is a worthy goal and we are excited to partner in this way to see all of the couples who stay at the Lodge be fully Together For Good. FamilyLife Canada is a faith-based organization, and the Together for Good curriculum is presented in that context. However, you do not need to adhere to a Christian worldview in order to benefit from the content. The principles discussed can be applied wherever you are on your spiritual journey.

If this sounds good, book your stay at Ballast Lodge. We have included a few more details on the workshop material and a suggested schedule below. As always, you can contact us with any additional questions.

Additional Details

Here is a video that outlines what you just read. You can use this to clarify your understanding or share it with others who may also be interested.

Session One – Together for Good Sharol and Neil highlight the great good that comes from staying together for good — how it’s good for couples, kids, communities and country. Next, they introduce two forces — Differences and Drift — that couples must learn to navigate and counter as they journey together.

Session Two – Together for Good Tools Neil and Sharol dive into how to manage Drift and provide couples with communication tools to grow a deeper connection.

Session Three – Together for Good Tools Neil and Sharol unpack how Differences often lead to conflict. Couples are guided in how to identify their areas of conflict and they’re given communication tools to resolve conflicts while learning to appreciate their differences.

Session Four – Together for Good | A Good Gift Sharol and Neil guide participants in understanding the dynamics of their sexual relationship and provide a process for them to think helpfully about where they are at and how they might grow in physical intimacy.

Session Five – Together for Good | A Greater Good In the final session, Sharol and Neil begin by simply presenting Jesus’ invitation to follow him and to make him the centre of our marriage and families. They explore spiritual differences in the second half and suggest ways couples can be Together for Good spiritually.

The videos will be onsite and ready when you are, therefore you are able to choose the timeline that works best for you. However, if you need some accountability to stay on track, here is a suggested schedule;

Day 1 – Check in and watch Session 1. Enjoy a campfire, walk by the Bay or night-cap on the deck

Morning, Day 2 – Have breakfast and watch Session 2. Shoot some arrows in the archery range (bring your own equipment), go for another walk, have some coffee and discuss what you are learning in the session.

Afternoon Day 2 – After lunch, watch Session 3. Take a short break to play some cribbage or do a small puzzle while you continue to discuss. Watch Session 4 and cook your supper together.

Evening Day 2 – Your hosts, Pat and Anita will invite you for dessert where we can debrief with you how the weekend is going. We will have some questions prepared with a couple of subjects that are not fully covered in the pre-recorded sessions.

Morning Day 3 – Have breakfast and watch Session 5. Enjoy some more time on the property, continue your conversations as a couple or check in with your hosts for more debriefing.

1-2 weeks following – organize a ‘Date Night’ and spend some more quality time together.