Even while the overall divorce rate has been dropping, the divorce rate for senior citizens is climbing. There are distinct downsides to ending a marriage at this stage of life. If a couple considering divorce still has any interest in saving their relationship and staying together, an intensive marriage retreat may be an effective alternative to several months of couples counseling.
Factors Affecting Counseling Success
Marriage counselors understand how the dynamics of short-term and long-term marriages affect the odds that counseling will be successful. A couple that has only been married for a few years may not be as motivated to stay together, especially if they are still young. On the other hand, they haven’t had as much time to build up long-lasting resentments and anger that can poison a relationship over many years.
Looking to the Future
With people living longer than ever before, a 65-year-old person may feel despair at the thought of continuing an unfulfilling marriage any longer. The spouses may have stayed together for a variety of reasons that have little to do with love and admiration. Now, at retirement age, the possibility of a new life unencumbered by the marriage can seem very appealing. Why stay married another 10, 15 or 20 years, continuing to feel lonely and frustrated?
During an intensive program with an organization like Colorado Marriage Retreats, the couple is given the opportunity to communicate authentically without distractions. The therapist functions as a coach to a certain extent. The counselor helps keep the dialogue on track but mostly stays on the sidelines as the two individuals share their thoughts and feelings. Years of bottled-up emotions may come to the surface, surprising both spouses. They may not have truly listened to each other in a very long time.
Rejuvenating the Relationship
Marriage counselors have found that seniors who have been together for decades may take each other entirely for granted. They don’t express feelings of love and admiration anymore, and they don’t do little acts of affection that were common when they were first together. The retreat can rejuvenate the relationship and remind them of everything that originally brought them together.