Ice breakers for marriage retreats

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Ice breakers for marriage retreats
For many couples, attending a marriage retreat helps to enhance their relationship. (marriage image by Allyson Ricketts from

Marriage retreats usually involve weekends away from everyday pressure that are spent with other couples. The objective is to reaffirm marital love through different activities both as a couple and with the rest of the group. Usually, the couples participating don't know each other prior to meeting on the first day of the retreat, which is why those organising the retreats often use ice breakers to encourage everyone to relax and be more comfortable with each other.

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2 Truths and 1 Lie

This ice breaker is a lot of fun because you not only have the opportunity to introduce yourself to the rest of the group, you can have some fun with your spouse. The group sits in a circle, and everyone introduces themself. When it is their turn, each person begins by stating two truths, and one lie about themself. Spouse excluded, everyone else tries to guess which of the three sentences is the lie. It can get pretty crazy if everyone gets into the game. And the moderator can start the ball rolling by going first, offering the most incredible statements about himself.

Ladder Name Memory Game

This is a wonderful way to get to get to know everyone, especially those who struggle to remember names. It does not matter how the group is formed, as long as there is a logical progression of how one person follows another. The first person says his or her name.The next in line than says the name of the person before him than adds his name. The list gets longer and ends with the first person who is able to say everyone's name in correct order.

Scavenger Hunt

The usual scavenger hunt involves finding hidden objects. This ice breaker has a bit of a twist. Everyone is required to write something interesting and unique about themself on a piece of paper. All the pieces of paper are put in a bowl and mixed. In groups of twos, or fours, each person gets an equal number of papers. They are challenged to find the person described and write that person's name on the paper. The first group to finish wins. There are many other ways you can play this game, depending on how big your group is, although this version usually works best for a small group of 20 to 25 participants.

Spouse to Spouse Introduction

Finally, to help ease into the purpose of the get-together--the marriage retreat--you can ask everyone to introduce their spouse to the group. Each one should say at least five nice things about their spouse. This ice breaker lets you end this first session on a positive note, and will set the tone of casual admiration coupled with real sense of value for the couples.

Ice breakers usually get off to a slow start because people are hesitant and unwilling to open up. Thus, if you are the moderator, try holding the session in a very casual setting like a garden. Put together some trigger questions like: If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?What do your treasure most among your personal belongings? Why are you here today? You could also serve snacks afterward to help keep the momentum going before breaking up to start the marriage retreat in earnest.

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