As we all know, the military lifestyle can--and quite often does--take a toll on even the best of marriages. But it doesn't have to be that way. If you and your spouse are in the Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard, and you'd like to enhance and improve your relationship, help is available. The Chaplains Religious Enrichment Development Operation (CREDO) program offers free marriage enrichment retreats for couples.
About the Marriage Enrichment Retreats
The CREDO program actually got its start more than 40 years ago and was designed to help sailors, Marines, and Coasties with substance abuse issues. But today, CREDO offers a variety of retreats and workshops dedicated to personal growth and development. One of their most popular programs is the Marriage Enrichment Retreat (MER). According to the Navy, 56% of all active duty servicemembers are married, which means that, "healthy marriages are vital in maintaining a strong, mission-ready military."
CREDO marriage retreats are designed to do exactly that: The goal is to help couples strengthen and deepen their commitment to each other and to gain a better of understanding of themselves and their spouse.
These retreats, which are open only to active duty servicemembers and their families, provide military couples an excellent opportunity to reconnect while learning valuable communication skills and problem solving techniques.
A typical retreat will include these (and other) topics:
- Understanding and appreciating your differences
- Building good communication skills
- How to have productive conflict
- Supporting one another’s hopes and dreams
Aside from that, during the retreats (which last about 48 hours), couples get plenty of free time to relax, reconnect, and enjoy moments (some of which might even be romantic...) alone together without the demands and interruptions that often occur in daily life.
Keep in mind that while these retreats are aimed at enriching your marriage and giving you and your spouse some valuable communications tools and skills, they are not a substitute for marriage counseling.
CREDO marriage enrichment retreats are held over a weekend at various locations within the continental United States and abroad. Click here for a map of all CREDO offices. Or, for specific details about upcoming retreats, please contact the CREDO location nearest you. Each one has either a website or a Facebook page.
- Camp Lejeune: 1-910-449-8296
- Camp Pendleton: 1-760-725-4954
- Europe, Africa, and South-West Asia: 1-314-626-5255
- Hawaii: 1-808-257-1919
- Japan: 1-315-243-8865
- Marine Force Reserve: 1-504-697-8101
- Mid-Atlantic Norfolk: 1-757-444-7654
- Mid-Atlantic Groton: 860-694-1144
- Northeast: 1-860-694-1144
- Okinawa: 1-315-645-3041
- Pacific Northwest: 1-360-476-3808
- Southeast: 1-904-542-3923/5645/1505
- Southwest: 1-858-268-2213 =
- Washington: 1-202-404-8830/8831
Updated by Armin Brott, July 2016