We had experienced tremendous 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, bitterness and criticism. There was no love, affection or intimacy between us and were no longer soul mates. We had been to several counselors but nothing worked. When 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 really helped settle us down as we sensed their sincere, "real" and transparent approach. All of the counselors and the others serving there helped provide an atmosphere of help, acceptance, and understanding as to where we were in our relationship. It was obvious the marriage counselors and coaches were experienced, professional and caring
Incidentally, the Hilton where it was held was nice and comfortable and provided a quiet setting for such an volatile and painful emotional state we were in. And the food at the hotel I thought was far above "the average run-of-the-mill hotel food. There were also several other convenient fast-food places, as well as a great little deli close by, and not to miss, was a quaint little Mexican Restaurant across the street that served some scrumptious enchiladas .
Overall I'd say the retreat was very 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 way the retreat was structured was 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. Things were closely monitored and one thing I really appreciated about the leaders and the counselors was that they took extra care to create a safe environment for us to get the kind of personal help we needed to work through the tough marital issues we were dealing with.
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. And 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- that it will be even better than it ever was before.
My husband and I attended the Weekend Marriage Retreat in the end of January '13. It was very good. The people in charge were very nice, seemingly sincere and helpful.
The weekend was planned out very well and the rest is up to the couple attending.The only sort of awkward moment is the first night when each couple is asked to greet 2 other couples,that's it!!! No embarrassing "confession group sessions" or anything like that. Basically, Roy and Sue are the Teachers and you and your spouse are the students. Listen, learn and use what they teach, that simple. Personally,I think the tools that Roy and Sue demonstrate and the basis of what they teach during the weekend are wonderful.However, AT THE END IF YOU HAVE DECIDED TO STICK TOGETHER; I MUST say that BOTH PEOPLE NEED TO BE ON THE SAME PAGE FOR THIS TO WORK LONG TERM. I believe this program can be EXACTLY what a dying Marriage needs.
Sadly, it only lasted for a few weeks in my husbands case. But while he was trying AND using the things/tools we learned, that weekend could have lasted us for a lifetime.
Overall, I would say that its totally worth it,if you and your spouse are BOTH willing to use what you learned. I totally recommend it.
*Additionally, for those who wonder; we stayed at the Wyndham Dallas Retreat, the beds were comfortable and the bathrooms clean. The place is decently nice without distraction. Which, in my opinion is perfect since you are there to work on serious life issues. There is a Corner Bakery across the street that I highly recommend you visit first and stock up on sandwiches, etc. because the room service is pricey(as like all RS) and not very tasty. There are a couple of other restaurants in walking distance but they close before the evening lets out at 10pm or so. The convenience store nearby is ok but limited as most of them are.