GRAPEVINE –- The III Corps Chaplains Office hosted a Strong Bonds “Real Life Management” marriage retreat Friday through Sunday at the Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Conference Center.
During the retreat, soldiers and their spouses were provided with free lodging, complimentary dining and the tools they need to better their communication with one another while learning the basics of developing a healthy relationship by understanding how to become a better spouse, said Wayne Nance, author and guest speaker during the retreat.
“Our goal here is to ultimately stay happily married,” Nance said. “Half of the way you make choices in your relationship is because of your attitude, whether it’s positive, negative or in between. We here at Real Life Management want to help soldiers to not be set up for failure by providing them with the tools they need to understand themselves and their spouses better.”
During the three-day event, Nance instructed soldiers and their spouses on how to better understand their core wiring and how to make better decisions in the areas of health, finances and relationships.
“Time and time again, the top issue couples argue about is finances,” Nance explained. “One of our goals here is to better prepare couples with invaluable financial advice that they do not receive in high school or college, which will ultimately strengthen the couple’s relationship over time.”
Chaplain (Col.) Matt Goff, III Corps chaplain, said the Real Life Management skills taught to Soldiers and their spouses has benefited them immensely since being implemented this year.
“We certified 25 chaplains in Real Life Management in May,” Goff said. “These chaplains learned how to apply RLM in units to ultimately change soldiers’ decisions and attitudes. Marriage retreats are important to evaluate your marriage, and RLM gives soldiers the skills they need to assess it and improve it.”
Goff said the training has afforded service members the opportunity to gauge their lifestyles in order to build stronger, more grounded relationships.
“The primary impact of this training is soldiers’ increased self-awareness,” Goff said. “It helps them identify what stresses them out, and what distresses them and their fellow soldiers. RLM ultimately helps facilitate better communication, efficiency, and work habits.”
Pfc. Jim Henderson, Company B, 27th Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, attended the event and said the training helped him and his spouse, Tabithia, by giving them tools to better understand each other.
“This was excellent training, and I would recommend it to all of my battle buddies who are married,” Henderson said. “These classes let my wife and I know our personalities and how to meet the standards of what our spouse needs, as opposed to what we need.”
Henderson said the structured lessons allowed him the chance to see his relationship from a different view, while giving him the chance to better it in the future.
“It’s nice to see why we or any couple would have conflict because of our many different personalities,” Henderson said. “This training has really taught me how to get to common ground in order to solve issues.”