Two weekends ago, Josh & I went to a marriage conference here in San Antonio, at the Hill Country Hyatt, called "Weekend to Remember." We are so glad we did, & plan on going back every couple of years. The three-day conference discussed things like communication, conflict resolution, roles of husbands & wives, etc. I know it sounds like some kind of book you could read... so why go to a conference? They have projects that you do based on a couple of the topics, & throughout each session there are questions that force you to make it personal - Josh & I became aware of things that we weren't before, & now we can focus on them (like remembering who our enemy is - not each other! & how to communicate about differing opinions without anger). Saturday evening is a date night, so you get to talk about the things you've been learning, & enjoy spending time together. We really enjoyed it, & learned a lot. Our marriage has already benefitted from it. As the pastor I work for said, "Of all the ways to invest your time & money, this is worth it."
(Oh ya... Friday night of the conference, we quickly had to make sure our attitude was not one of, "Wow I hope my husband is hearing this!" or "Gosh if my wife would get that down that would be GREAT!" No elbowing allowed!)
At the end of the conference, we heard a few testimonies of some of the people there (there were 1000 people in attendance) - they all said something they had learned, or how their marriage had changed. One woman said that she had filed for divorce the week before the conference, & throughout Friday & Saturday at the Conference, she still wanted a divorce, but Sunday morning, she realized there was hope for her marriage, so she was going to rip up the divorce papers. People & their marriages are transformed at this conference.
That's why it's worth it to us to go back every couple years - jobs, friends, church, eventually kids make life busy & it's so easy to get distracted from your marriage, & all of a sudden issues pop up, bitterness is harbored, intimacy is gone. We don't want that. We want to do everything we can to keep our marriage based on Jesus, & to love each other more than ourselves. It's much easier said than done.
We encourage you married couples to go to the conference as well. You can go to http://www.familylife.com/ & check out the dates, cities, & schedule of the conferences. You can go to one in a city near you, or you can go to a "destination" conference & really go all out! Next time we go to one, I'll let you all know - you can sign up under a group coordinator (which I was this year) & pay less for the conference.
Whether you're having some issues, or you have a great marriage & want to keep it that way, I can guarantee you will benefit from it!
No I was not paid to write this... we just believe in it that much. :-)