We really liked the weekend retreat setting of the engaged encounter. We did ours at the Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside, CA. There were two married couples and a priest giving talks. One couple had been married for a long time, the other just for a coupld of years, so we got to hear about different stages in the marital relationship. They all had a lot of really good insights.
After each talk, we would have time to journal separately on the topic in quesiton, and then time to share our writing with each other and talk. It was really helpful to us as far as learning to communicate as a couple. We already had a pretty healthy relationship, but I think it matured quite a bit that weekend. It was the first time I really got a feel for what it means to “feel married” I learned a lot about how my husband communicates and what makes him feel loved, and I make a concentrated effort to remember what I learned now that we are married. I think it really helped us to be a better married couple, and it made me even more in love with my husband than I was before.
We think that maybe, after a few years, we might give the “marriage encounter” weekend a try too!