Why Your Marriage Needs a Weekend Getaway

Note from Mark Timm, CEO Ziglar Family:  This week’s blog post comes from our Ziglar Family founding partner, Bill Blankschaen.  Proud husband for nearly 20 years and father of 6 awesome kids, Bill is an author, entrepreneur, and founder of StoryBuilders. He’s worked with thousands of families as a school administrator, pastor, and counselor and draws upon his life experiences in business, education, and family to help craft content to empower today’s family. Get his free resource What God Wants You to Do Next: 7 Questions to Discover God’s Best for Your Life at FaithWalkers.com. 

Want a weekend getaway? I do!

How’s your marriage? Mine could be better, too.

A marriage retreat could be just the thing—if only you knew why and how to plan it.

Six kids and lot on our plate can cause me to lose focus on the important stuff in my marriage and family.

That’s why my wife and I take time to schedule a relaxing and romantic weekend getaway. Not just a vacation, but a marriage retreat with a plan and a purpose.

Over the course of our nineteen years of marriage, we’ve learned a few simple truths about why we need to make time for a marriage retreat. We’ve also learned how to plan it.

I share these truths with you—with my wife’s permission, of course—in the hope that you may take your own marriage retreat soon to relax and transform your marriage in a weekend.

Why You Need a Marriage Retreat

Maybe you already understand the need for a marriage retreat. Maybe you wish your spouse did. The rush of the 9 to 5—or, more likely, the 5 to 9—leaves little time to ask the simple question: “Are we going in the right direction?”

For many of us, life just happens without much of a plan. We stir from our relational slumber at key moments—birthdays, holidays, weddings, funerals, etc. Soon our kids are gone and we’re left wondering what happened and who is this person I married so long ago?

Guys, I think we men are especially prone to the temptation to keep moving forward without stopping to ask for directions. Just saying.

Remember the classic adage: “Blessed is the man who aims at nothing for he will surely hit it.” Let’s not go that way.  Let’s live our lives with a plan. Let’s get intentional about leaving a legacy we can be proud of.

A relaxing weekend marriage retreat intentionally weeds out distractions so you can take control of your destiny and your family’s legacy.

As Jim Rohn said,

“You cannot change your destination overnight but you can change your direction overnight.”

If you’re still not sure why you need a marriage retreat, ask your spouse. That should do the trick.

Get Over the Excuses

We’ve all got them—those reasons for not doing what we know we should do. Here are a few that I have heard or tried on myself to avoid a marriage retreat:

Who has the time for a relaxing weekend? We all have time for what is important to us. Our calendar reveals our values. Think about how you spent the last weekend. Which part of it was more important than the long-term success of your marriage and family?

We don’t need a marriage weekend. Our marriage is OK. If OK is the goal for your marriage, you may be right.  But why settle for just average when your marriage could be transformed into a legacy-leaving, world-transforming, passionate relationship with eternal impact?

We don’t have the money. Retreats don’t have to be expensive. They can cost no money if you want to get creative and plan them that way. It comes down once again to your priorities. Is your marriage important enough to take the time to transform it?  Money follows our priorities and reveals them, as well.

Who will watch the kids? While childcare can seem like a legitimate barrier to a marriage retreat getaway, it doesn’t have to be. After all, who is likely to benefit most from you and your spouse getting intentional about your family plan and purpose? Your children.

So get creative about childcare. If you have an awesome mother-in-law—like I do—then you’re good. Your children’s grandparents can be a great place to look for help. Ask friends. Explain what you are doing and why, and see if others don’t step up to help. If all else fails, ask your pastor or spiritual leaders for ideas.

I don’t know about you, but I’m aiming for a little better than just average with our marriage. Now that we’ve covered why you should plan a marriage retreat, start transforming your marriage right away by sending your spouse a link to this post—before another weekend gets away!

Have you ever taken a marriage retreat?  Share about your experience below! 



  1. Avis Owens July 8, 2017 at 6:19 pm - Reply

    Yes we have! We have gone on a few and Family Life was probly the best yet! We have been married for 35 yrs. and love each other very much! Jesus is the glue that has kept us together! Praying and reading God’s wor together is a daily thing! I am so thankful for my beloved!

  2. Winnifred July 8, 2017 at 6:28 pm - Reply

    After 27 years I have never taken one. I need a sponsor please.

  3. Kelly July 8, 2017 at 6:37 pm - Reply

    The email introducing this blog said there were solutions to our excuses – I thought there would be some creative ideas like exchanging childcare with another couple who would also appreciate a couple retreat, or having a “staycation” retreat with your spouse, where you stay in your own house but explore your own city/town/natural settings. It seems like the article just says we’re not giving a getaway enough priority, so stop making excuses…

  4. Kelly July 8, 2017 at 6:42 pm - Reply

    Okay, forget what I said about childcare in my previous post. Somehow my browser jumped past the childcare solutions…

  5. John July 8, 2017 at 6:47 pm - Reply

    My wife and I have made yearly treks to North Georgia to the wonderful WinShape Retreat in Mt. Berry, GA. It’s not cheap, but it is so worth it. We have taken many couples there over the years, and think it is one of the best in the country.

  6. Davina Hunt Bare July 8, 2017 at 8:05 pm - Reply

    Yes, I really like the focus on the family retreats. They are not costly and I’ve returned home a better spouse.

  7. Shireen July 9, 2017 at 3:05 am - Reply


  8. Baah Benjamin July 10, 2017 at 1:10 pm - Reply

    thanks so much

  9. Samuel Oballa July 11, 2017 at 7:51 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this wonderful resource.

  10. Adwoa July 14, 2017 at 9:04 am - Reply

    Thanks for sharing. Something to think about and try it.

  11. Kristin Downer July 24, 2017 at 1:24 am - Reply

    As parents of 13 children, childcare was definitely an issue! And so we’re finances. So we just started with “Special Dinners” at home… kids in bed early; a couple candles & the good dishes… of course the kids all began to anticipate these events and peek down the stairs to observe, but it laid a foundation which we reap not only in our own marriage, but in our grown-kids too, as THEY prioritize date nights and we, (this time as grandparents) babysit!
    It wasn’t until 11 years bro our marriage when we were finally able to make a destination getaway as a couple… and how special it was! It’s the fact that you actively engage in planning & preparation which helps enhance your marital prioritization! And it pays off. Even now, after thirty-eight years of marriage and just 3 kids left at home, the simplest of date nights or romantic getaways is still very important. It may just be a night in our own camper, only 6 miles from home, or a short drive to snuggle under the stars with a thermos of cocoa… we never stop needing the renewal, that’s for sure!! And every penny pinched to plan and pull it off is money well invested.

  12. Sheryl August 7, 2017 at 2:52 am - Reply

    I like it and would plan also for my marriage though money would be an issue… I’ll ask God to help us plan it without monetary cost but a time well spent together…. Thank you so much…

  13. Janice August 14, 2017 at 1:09 pm - Reply

    I have been praying about a weekend getaway for a long time now but I don’t have family or inlaws to watch my girls. They are 12 and 15. I have wondered if I should offer someone maybe $200 to stay with them, like a college kid or a youngish retired person or a single school teacher. They really just need someone in the house at night. Has anyone done anything like this? Did it work out or was it a disaster? I would want someone to just stay the night with the girls, they would hate to pack up and go to someone’s house. They stay at home alone already while we are at work or on a date.

    • Jen August 14, 2017 at 3:42 pm - Reply

      Hi Janice,
      I can say that yes, that is a great idea, if you can find a person such as you described to come stay. When I was a college student, there was a single mom (widow, actually) who paid me to come stay with her kids (young teens) overnight from about dinner time on, sleeping over, and getting them to school the next day. I appreciated the extra money, and older kids are fun to stay with – watch movies, play board games, etc. Go for it!

  14. Janice August 15, 2017 at 9:21 am - Reply

    Thanks for the encouragement Jen!

    • Jen August 15, 2017 at 1:00 pm - Reply

      My pleasure! 🙂 If you want to connect further, you can always reach me at jen@ziglarfamily.com !

  15. […] year, our Ziglar Family founding partner, Bill Blankschaen, shared “Why Your Marriage Needs a Weekend Getaway,” which covered four excuses we make for not investing in this important […]

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