Couples retreat marriage

Private Couples Retreats - Couples

COVID-19 Update:  Drs. Gottman are excited to now be offering Private Couples Retreats online using secure video-conference software. For more information, please contact Kristi Content at [email protected], or simply complete the registration form here

Learn research-based tools for building and maintaining intimacy from the comfort of your own private getaway.

Have you ever planned a wonderful romantic vacation, complete with a lovely room, candle-lit dinners and white sand beaches, only to have your dream become a nightmare when tense quarrels and silence spoil the sunset? We have been listening to painful stories like these for nearly 40 years.

Now you can restore your relationship while on holiday. In an exclusive, small-group two-day couples retreat, you’ll learn new skills for deepening intimacy, managing conflicts, and enhancing your sense of shared meaning in a private, comfortable setting. The retreats are presented by the Gottmans online from their seaside and include lectures, role-plays, discussions, and exercises completed just with one’s partner.

The intimate setting enables couples to receive personalized, special attention from the Gottmans while enhancing and restoring their relationship.

During the Retreat, you will learn skills to:

  • Strengthen your friendship
  • Deepen your understanding of one another
  • Spice up your intimacy
  • Transform inevitable relationship conflicts so you can build solid bridges between the two of you
  • Unearth the values and life purpose you share

They would love to assist you in planning a beautiful getaway location for your Retreat. To do so, their event planner offers up her complimentary support in finding lodging, transportation, dining, and outstanding recreational opportunities.

The Retreats are limited to eight couples. We recommend that you register early.

To read more information about these retreats and to register for an upcoming event, please click here or contact Kristi Content with questions at [email protected].

Online Marathon Couples Therapy

In addition to providing Private Couples Retreats, John and Julie Gottman also schedule appointments with individual couples for private Marathon Couples Therapy Online.

In this powerful intensive therapy format, one couple meets with either John Gottman, Julie Gottman, or both for five hours a day on three consecutive days. Marathon Couples Therapy can thus accommodate clients traveling from other locales who cannot attend weekly therapy sessions. It provides an intensive, condensed and highly focused approach to relationship issues that can help couples move quickly through specific issues and learn important new skills in a short period of time.

Click here to learn more about Marathon Couples Therapy. To schedule an appointment with John Gottman, please contact Kristi Content at [email protected]. For appointments with Julie Gottman, please contact Kathryn Schwartz at [email protected].

11 Best Couples Retreats Around the World

Courtesy of Agriturismo Casetta

Marriage isn’t always easy. Whether you’re newly navigating life as a pair or have decades of experience together as a duo, a time will come where you may need a little help to revive your relationship. If you’re seeking salvation through therapy or simply looking to reconnect by getting unplugged, a couples retreat may have the answers you're looking for.

What Is a Couples Retreat?

A couples retreat is a designated time away for couples to refresh and reset their relationship. It is a time to be intentional about reconnecting with your spouse and take advantage of uninterrupted time together.

According to intimacy expert Leona Carter, there are five types of intimacy within every relationship that may need a rekindling every now and then, and a couples retreat can present the perfect opportunity to spark those flames.

Meet the Expert

Leona Carter is an intimacy coach who empowers couples to build intimacy through the power of dating again to enhance communication, from the kitchen to the bedroom.

What to Expect at a Couples Retreat

Many organizations or relationship experts host couple retreats where spouses can spend time together and engage in activities as a group to enhance communication and problem-solving skills. "A couple should expect a time of learning and growing together through relationship-building activities," Carter says. "There will be a balance of fun and laughter and deep conversations." Most retreats, she says, provide a nice variety of group activities and time to be alone with your spouse. Many feature facilitator-led discussions with outlined topics, while others may be as simple as an adults-only vacation with a self-guided itinerary dedicated to reconnecting the two of you on a deeper level. 

When to Consider a Couples Retreat

Most couples typically seek professional help or relationship-building retreats when issues arise such as infidelity or lack of intimacy. Carter suggests that retreats can also be preventative and can help carve out an opportunity to deepen connections in order to avoid feeling stuck in the relationship. In addition to regularly dating your spouse, she recommends to many couples that they should attend a retreat annually for that reason. However, most couples don't initiate a retreat until there is an underlying or recurring problem.

Average Cost of a Couples Retreat

Depending on the length of the retreat and the amenities included, Carter says costs may range from $1,500 to $5,000+ per couple. No matter what the bottom line is, she shares "it's always worth the investment because of the transformation your marriage experiences."

Scroll through these couples retreat locations to find the perfect place to reignite your romance.

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Courtesy of Agriturismo Caseta

It’s nearly impossible not to feel the romance in Italy. Tucked away in Tuscany, Agriturismo Casetta has an exclusive Enrichment Series for once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Run by a set of unique local connoisseurs in their respective fields, they offer a Transformative Equine Experience—private coaching sessions featuring a transcendental approach to therapy with a professional facilitator and horsemanship expert. The Enrichment Series prices vary as each program is customized to guests. 

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Courtesy of Euphoria Spa

Far from the frenetic pace of everyday life, Euphoria Retreat balances body and spirit through an ethos rooted in Greek and Chinese philosophies based on the Five Elements. Reconnect with the Euphoria Escape for Couples to remove yourselves from the stresses and strains of life and spend time together surrounded by natural beauty and dramatic landscapes of The Peloponnese. This weekend of luxury includes full board and six innovative spa treatments that will touch your soul and leave you feeling like newlyweds. Rates for the couples escape are around $640 per couple for 2 days.

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Courtesy of El Mangroove

Hosted by Rabbi Shlomo Slatkin and his wife Rivka, the founders of The Marriage Restoration Project, these intensive multi-day experiences help couples create a breakthrough in their relationship set against the breathtaking backdrop of Guanacaste, Costa Rica. During the Imago Weekend Couples Therapy Getaways, couples will spend five days and four nights at El Mangroove Autograph Collection with a team of relationship experts to learn about the psychology of relationships, how to better understand conflict, and sharpen the skills that help foster safety and connection.

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Courtesy of ​​The Estate Yountville

The Estate Yountville is a contemporary retreat nestled within a 137-year-old winery complex in the quaint town of Yountville, California. Here, couples can get closer with a Scents & Sensibility ritual. This extraordinary experience of the senses takes place in a luxurious private spa suite and begins with a relaxing lavender inhalation to bring you into the present moment. A curated blend of essential oils awaits as you are each lowered into a full bath soak and transported to a deeper dimension of peace and tranquility before indulging in a sumptuous 100-minute massage and mineral scrub. Tingsha chimes ring in the distance as you awaken from your sensorial experience with a refreshed mental state with your spouse at your side.

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Courtesy of Alila Ventana Big Sur

Perched overlooking the Pacific coastline, this iconic all-inclusive retreat offers a wide variety of exclusive Alila Experiences and elevated wellness-focused activities for reigniting connections. At Alila Ventana Big Sur couples can participate in astrology readings to define the essential stages of life’s journey through birth charts drawn from ancient practices. As a couple, these readings can bring clarity to areas of conflict, emphasizing each other's strengths and providing tools for managing life together in new and creative ways. Astrology readings start at $350 per couple.

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Courtesy of Sedona Soul Adventures

This retreat offers custom-designed retreats for each couple, as no two couples are alike. Sedona Soul Adventures places the focus on healing and is committed to the belief that when heart and soul are given time to realign with a romantic getaway, the mind and body will follow. These four or five-day retreats match couples with a selection of practitioners for one-on-one or two-on-one sessions, uniquely designed to take your relationship from where it is to where you want it to be.

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Courtesy of Miraval Berkshires Resort & Spa

Miraval Berkshires Resort & Spa welcomes couples to explore one of the resort’s various Journeys with Intention together, inviting partners to reconnect through their purpose as a couple. Through these Journeys, the team at Miraval creates custom itineraries for couples based on their specific interests in order to provide an unforgettable vehicle for reconnection and relaxation. Complemented by an array of dynamic fitness, yoga, and wellness programs, Miraval’s couples retreat activities range from "Connection Through Percussion" to "Chinese Astrology: Relationship Reading" to "Just Cook For Me Chef."

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Courtesy of Inns of Aurora

Set upon the pristine backdrop of Cayuga Lake, luxury lakeside boutique resort Inns of Aurora is an ideal place for couples looking for a place to relax and reconnect. Begin your days together with private restorative yoga, meditation sessions, or tarot card readings with the Director of Serenity before indulging in seasonal Ayurveda-inspired couples treatments at the property’s new spa. Explore an extensive selection of activities to take in the beauty of the region, bonding as you kayak, hike, or participate in a private fishing lesson with a resident Outdoorsman.

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Courtesy of Shou Sugi Ban House

Inspired by the principles of eastern healing and wabi-sabi—a Japanese worldview centered on the acceptance of imperfection—Shou Sugi Ban House is the only comprehensive wellness program in the Hamptons. Just a few hours outside of New York City, couples will feel like they’re a world away as they immerse in a Shamanic Healing session or Couples Hypnotherapy that focuses on deep personal growth and drawing wisdom from the subconscious.

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Courtesy of Atlanta Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy

Hosted by a team of licensed therapists from the Atlanta Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy, Hold Me Tight workshops are facilitated to help couples heal broken bonds and rekindle the spark that first brought them together. These two-day retreats were created for couples struggling with communication, intimacy, and security, with the aim to help you understand the real reasons you get into repeated conflicts while encouraging you to engage in conversations keeping your love alive and secure. Rates begin at $1195 per couple.

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Courtesy of Art of Living Retreat

Situated in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, Art of Living Retreat Center offers a rejuvenating wellness experience surrounded by nature, where guests can relax, renew, and discover inner peace. Year-round, the center offers Couples Wellness Retreats designed to help couples boost happiness, increase relationship satisfaction, and deepen their bond. With fresh mountain air, nourishing food, healing Ayurvedic treatments, and interactive classes that promote well-being, this escape will strengthen bonds while reinvigorating your body, mind, and soul. The all-inclusive package features a two-night stay in the Shankara Ayurveda Wellness room, daily meals, one treatment per person, and daily progressive meditation and yoga classes. The couples wellness escape starts at $1106.

Does Marriage Counseling Really Work?

advice from long-term couples

As we know from the classics, all happy couples are equally happy. But each family has its own nuances and little things that allow you to maintain relationships for many years. Here are tips from longtime couples on how to maintain trust and even improve relationships.

Vita Zorina


Relationship psychology

Psychologist's advice nine0003



  1. "When one of us is busy with something, the other one comes up and asks, 'Can I help you?' Many people think that after many years of living together you can understand everything without words, but sometimes it’s so nice that you are taken care of!” - 12 years together
  2. "It is important for us to have separate hobbies and personal time without resentment and jealousy" - 20 years together.
  3. "We try to have the same opinion on important issues and act as a united front. The child does not need to ask both parents if one has already said yes or no" - 20 years together.
  4. "Before leaving the house, we always kiss and say that we love each other. Life is changeable, don't waste it on disagreements" — 29 years together. We've made lists of what each one hates and the other one does. And it's so nice when they help you, and if they do a vile job... "- 19 years together.
  5. "We are always looking for ways to please each other. Not to please, but because we love each other and do not necessarily expect something in return" - 10 years together.
  6. "Never lose touch with each other, have the opportunity to discuss everything. If not by voice, then at least by letter" — 24 years together.
  7. "Our secret to a happy marriage? Different bathrooms!” - 11 years together.
  8. "When we quarrel, do not call each other by name, then everything passes faster" - 13 years together.
  9. "Do not stop doing together what you did at the very beginning. We love to dance and dance often, even in the kitchen while dinner is being prepared.” — 20 years together. nine0018
  10. "Use every opportunity to touch each other, hold hands, hug. The release of oxytocin is good!" - 12 years together
  11. "Always support each other and don't talk bad things behind your back" - 20 years together.
  12. "When the kids were little, we left them with grandma and went on a date on Friday evenings. Now everyone knows that this time is sacred for us. All the troubles of the work week recede. Friday dates are the glue of our marriage" - 11 years together . nine0018
  13. "After getting married, many people think that they are now half of a whole. But it is very important to continue to feel like a separate person, and not just half of a couple" — 20 years together.
  14. "Never laugh at your partner, laugh together. Don't take life too seriously, find time to smile, ”- 32 years together.
  15. "No need to transfer your stress to your partner. Think about what is really important to you and don't swear over the little things" - 30 years together.

How to save a marriage, 5 happy couples showed photos at the beginning of a relationship and now |

In the photo - Irina and Stanislav Razhev, a couple together for almost 30 years


When you meet your soul mate, everything somehow falls into place by itself. The world is becoming brighter, people are kinder, the air is cleaner. Breathing is really easier when you love and are loved. We decided to talk to couples who have been together for many years and asked them what is the secret of a long-term relationship, and also asked to see their first joint photos years later. Do not forget to sometimes review old photos to remember how it all began and what you were like. nine0059

— What is the secret of a long-term relationship? In compatibility and mutual understanding. The main thought that I took out over so many years of marriage, as well as watching other couples, is that nothing is perfect in life, including relationships. It is important that the basic needs of partners are met in marriage. People suit each other by 80% - ideally, but you still have to give in, adapt.

Irina and Stanislav met on the beach during the holidays


We often say nice words to each other, admire each other, show care. And in recent years, I have become interested in table setting. I can say with confidence that an exquisite feast strengthens the family. After all, when a woman cooks with pleasure, sets the table, creates an atmosphere, both her husband and children feel it.

The couple has two sons


Romance also remains. My husband can even get up at 5 am to take a picture of my sunrise table setting. Or dragging a heavy table into the field for a beautiful shot. Sometimes there are quarrels, rarely, but aptly. We always try to understand each other, find a compromise. After all, when a person is important to you, you want to make him happy. And we never hit cymbals because they are dear to me. nine0059

The couple considers mutual understanding and compatibility the secret of a long-term relationship


If you have just entered into a relationship, then try to immediately understand the basic needs of your loved one. Read the book The Five Love Languages ​​and speak your partner's language more often to make them truly happy. And one more thing: it is important for both a woman and a man to always take care of themselves, develop, have their own interests in life in order to feel at least a little independent from their partner. nine0059

- There should always be some common cause or hobby. As students, we worked on flowers together - we grew them on our site, and then sold them on the side of Nemirovich-Danchenko Street. They did everything together. They built the house themselves, I gave nails, he drove them in. Then everyone went their own career, we often discussed situations at work and helped each other. Relationships help to maintain patience, habit, a common vision of the future. Quarrels, of course, happen. After both calm down, we sit down to discuss what happened. It is important to voice what you did not like and offended in this situation. We try not to upset each other in the future, but we are people, and this does not always work out. nine0003

Lyubov and Andrey met at school, in the 10th grade


After the birth of the 2nd child there was a crisis. Then we decided that we needed to do something, and came up with the idea of ​​going somewhere once a week without children (it’s good that we have a grandmother at hand). It was a game: one week my husband figured out how we would spend the evening, the other - me. It was impossible to refuse. On my initiative, we went to the spa, went to Borvikha, swam in the pool. At the initiative of Andrey, they shot at the shooting range, went karting and went to a restaurant. When they let go and the children grew up, they began to travel to other cities every six months, came up with routes, studied the sights. My husband works in the field of stone processing, we practice trips together to his objects, when I have time, we go with music, we sing songs. We advise young couples to communicate more often with each other, discuss a joint future, engage in their own development and be independent emotionally and financially. It is also important to have a common cause or hobby. nine0003

Left photo — 1995


— My husband and I went to the same school, we have known each other for a long time. After the 9th grade, I moved to another school, there were often discos, we met at one of them and never parted. In order for relationships not to go wrong over time, you need to be able to give in. Promotes an active lifestyle, common views, support, humor. Love will not pass if you truly love. Romance over the years, of course, less, but it is. Quarrels also happen, especially at the beginning of a relationship, we rubbed each other for two years. Now we quarrel very rarely and put up quickly enough. Advice to give, in my opinion, is useless. I believe that in a relationship everyone should go their own way, listen only to themselves and draw their own conclusions, and not listen to the opinions and advice of others. nine0059

Yaroslava and Evgeny believe that the secret of a long-term relationship is the presence of common values ​​


— My husband and I have been together for half of our lives, 20 years. Our recipe for enduring love is a common profession (we are both fitness trainers), a common cause (we have had our own online fitness school for several years), common cats (4 pieces) and a common almost adult child. During this time, we have become so “intertwined” that we have the same views on the world, common values. As a marketer, I can say: it is common values ​​that make people related. If now, at the age of 40, I again entered the market of brides, then first of all I would look for a person who is physically attractive, trained, socially successful, with the same values ​​and the same level, equal. This is already quite difficult in our age category, because my husband and I hold on tightly to each other. nine0059

— My husband and I met in 2002, I worked as a secretary in a bank, and he worked as a PEO specialist. We had a large group of young colleagues. We went together to KVN-Siberia, to the Aquarium, to the cinema. We started dating in 2003 and got married in 2004. Now we have three children (all boys), three cats and a corgi dog. What is the secret of the relationship? We love each other and try to resolve all issues, problems, quarrels before sleep, in this day, we talk, come to a consensus, and the morning is wiser than the evening. Quarrels, of course, also happen. I believe that if people do not quarrel, they do not care about each other for a long time. Quarrels are almost always constructive in our case. We decide by conversations, persuasion, we come to a consensus. Respect, common values ​​and interests are a good foundation for strong and long-term relationships. And a sense of humor. nine0003

The couple has three sons, three cats and a dog


When everything is out of love, there is no tension. Not out of a sense of duty, not because it is necessary, but because you love a person, business, hobby. The romantic component, it is and will be.

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