A week ago today Hope and I attended a couples retreat held at CLAS Ropes in Provo, Utah. To our surprise, it was an effective program that caused me to rethink some things about our marriage. Do not worry though, it was all positive. The challenges we partook in ranged from building a tower out of spaghetti and marshmallows, to blindfold tag; from classic challenge course activities to canoeing. I will brag that our spaghetti tower we built at the beginning of the retreat was the only tower to stay standing throughout the entire day.
The first thing I learned during the retreat was the value and importance of communication. There were several activities that required us to really talk about how we were going to accomplish the task. Because I work on challenge courses I went about working without telling Hope what she needed to do. I guess I expected her to read my mind. It should not be surprising that we struggled at first. Once we took the time to sit and strategize together, we became a force to be reckoned with.
The second thing and probably the take home for me was to celebrate success with my partner. For me it has become routine to accomplish difficult tasks such as walking across a cable leaning on someone, or jumping from a platform to a bar suspended in mid-air, or suspending myself thirty feet in the air. I casually get through it and am not super excited, because the thrill was spent on my first time. It is different for Hope. Some of those things were very difficult for her, and she needed my love and support to get her through it. And when she accomplished those tasks, I needed to celebrate with her. Actually I was reminded of my first times when I became excited for her, and all of those emotions came back to me. It brought us together when we celebrated together, and that made a huge difference in our relationship.