When was the first couples weekend?
We led our first Couples weekend in October of 1989 in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Wow. Was it really that long ago?
How many weekends have done?
We estimate there have been about 120 weekends with almost 1500 couples having gone through the weekend worldwide. We have been fortunate to bring the weekend to cities all across the United States including Hawaii as well as running them in Australia, throughout Europe, Canada and South Africa.
While we are honored to have brought this work to so many couples - we’d have to say that there is more work to be done and we hope, with the help of the couples we’ve trained to continue to lead the weekend, we can reach many many more.
Why should couples attend the weekend?
To see Rich cry. (only half-kidding)...
More seriously, our hope is that the weekend provides an opportunity for couples to learn and practice unique communication skills that are critical to creating a lasting, loving relationship. By participating in the exercises we do on the weekend, we hope couples can discover the hidden dynamics within and between them and begin to address these together in a safe and compassionate way.
Is there a reason why a couple shouldn’t do the weekend?
Although all couples would benefit from this weekend even if they are choosing not to stay in the relationship, the skills learned here are transferable to any future intimate relationship. If either partner is severely mentally ill or trauumatized and needs intense therapy or hospitalization, then this weekend is not recommended.
You have both been involved in personal growth work for many years – how did you get involve this type of work and why?
We experienced a painful, agonizing separation in 1984. This experience taught us how important it was for each of us to look at our own wounds and the baggage that we brought into the relationship. We realized that as we began to heal and start loving ourselves more deeply – we needed to do this work on ourselves before we could love each other in a healthy way. We also realized the importance of supporting and having compassion for our partner as they do this work and how that impacts the partnership.
Was there something that caused you to create the weekend? Why did you see the need for this? (Any story here you can relate?)
A Couples Weekend grew out of the creation of the personal growth weekends for men (MKP) and women (Woman Within). After a few years, we realized that relationships need their own set of skills. As we continued doing our own personal work, we realized we were drifting apart and needed/wanted something to bring us together—thus the Couples Work was created.
What do you hope couples will learn during the weekend?
How they – unconsciously or consciously -- block their relationship. We designed the weekend to allow couples to realize how the shadows of the past and their personal shadows impact their ability to be close and intimate with one another.
How long have you been together and what piece of advice might you give a couple considering the weekend?
We have been married since 1969. It is important to realize that a relationship is a 3rd entity that both partners need to constantly care for and to remember the higher purpose of why you were brought together.