Couples Retreat

Published March 31, 2010 by Patty Brisben

After a busy month, I wanted to find a movie to kick back and relax. Making my way down the DVD aisle, I saw the latest Vince Vaughn movie, Couples Retreat and threw it in my cart because he never fails to make me laugh! At the time, I had no idea that I would learn something from this comedy or even find the message as important as to include in my next blog. But here, we are!

If you haven’t seen it yet, I would even recommend you watch it two or three times because each time you will probably pick up on something else and really learn a lot about relationships and how we operate. With four different couples at the center of the film, any couple can probably find themselves in at least one presented in the movie. Although a light-hearted comedy, their issues are very real issues that plague many of us at some point in our lives.

Below are some significant messages that resonated with me and represented many of the concerns we see every day at Pure Romance. (I have to warn you before you read on, however, if you haven’t seen it yet: Spoiler Alert!)

Dave & Ronnie: One look at Dave and Ronnie and you would think they were the perfect couple. Like many pairings out there, things appeared all in working order, not only to the outside world, but even to each other. Yet, as the story unfolded, you began to see that there would have more than likely been trouble for them down the road.

There were so many opportunities for them to grow as a couple on a whole another level. Their relationship showed that people can always benefit from taking the time to give back, and no matter how perfect things may seem there’s always room for improvement.

Jason & Cynthia: Jason and Cynthia’s issue really hit home with me. They shared everything in common and had fallen deeply in love, but efforts to conceive had interfered with everyday romance and they found that they began to lose that spark.

This is such an under-addressed issue in relationships today which is why my 501c3 non-profit, The Patty Brisben Foundation for Women’s Sexual Health is currently funding research with the University Of Cincinnati School Of Medicine, Department Of Obstetrics and Gynecology regarding intimacy issues related to infertility. In this case, this couple chooses to work on rediscovering this spark through the Couples Retreat; they show that if you stay focused and are both committed to doing whatever it takes to make things work, you can get back to that place with one another you never thought was possible.

Shane, Trudy & Jennifer: Shane and Trudy comprise the classic rebound scenario. Like I’ve said in many blogs past, sometimes it’s best to take time to heal and resolve emotional baggage before jumping into a new relationship. Even when you think it’s just for fun.

Buying a motorcycle and running around with a girl half his age (who he admittedly cannot keep up with) are two ways he tries to distract himself from the fact that he is still in love from his newly separated wife, Jennifer. He wasn’t facing his issues head on, but when the smoke cleared, he came to terms with his feelings for his wife and where he truly wanted to be.

Joey & Lucie: Joey and Lucie were High School Sweethearts who got pregnant on Prom night. 18 years later, they had both strayed from their marriage and were counting the days until their daughter was of age so they could divorce. I can’t tell you how many times I see couples who stay together because of the kids and then split as soon as they are grown and out of the house. Although this is a noble commitment, sometimes the best present you can give to your children is having them see both of you working on your relationship and living happily together.

How many years had they wasted not committing to do the work it takes to have a healthy relationship and just co-existing for their daughter? Where did they go wrong? For one, they weren’t communicating and had given up on their marriage and the passion that once brought them together. They failed to grow together and as a result grew apart. Do couples sometimes grow too far apart to return to where they once were? It happens. However, in this case, they were still very much in love but just needed to make the decision to really talk to one another – opening up about whom they were and how they felt as the people they had grown into today.

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