Stanley Hotel's Ghosts Obvious Companions for Marriage Retreat Exploring Unfinished Business

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The documented history of paranormal activities at The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, CO, makes it the perfect place for Being Heard's Marriage Retreat, Hunting for the Ghosts of Your Past, a Halloween retreat exploring unfinished business. Couples readily understand the metaphor about “ghosts” in their relationship; those unfulfilled expectations and silent resentments partners keep hidden from each other. The resulting tension is sensed by anyone who’s around them, just as there are people who can sense the presence of someone (or something) just by walking into a room. A partner's "unfinished business" can damage trust within a relationship. Couples at Being Heard's Marriage Retreat learn to recognize resentments and to talk about them productively, making partners able to complete their “unfinished business”.

When people feel listened to and understood, it makes all the difference in how others are heard in return.

I can't conceive of a thriving relationship without mutual trust. Even a crook wouldn't partner up with someone untrustworthy.

The business of being together becomes complicated when partners realize that "relationship" means "relating to each other." President of Being Heard and Relationship Coach Kathe Skinner knows this. "The idea of two-ness rather than one-ness can be startling when partners experience their relationship as having two minds that often think differently about themselves, each other, and the relationship. A marriage retreat at The Stanley Hotel at Halloween, Hunting for the Ghosts of Your Past, will explore how each partners' personal ghosts affect the relationship and may cause them to withhold themselves from of each other."

Being Heard's Marriage Retreat sets marital expectations straight: Finishing each other's sentences, liking the ocean better than the mountains, and preferring cats over dogs often gets taken as a sign of being meant for each other. Newness is forgiving of everything -- it doesn't matter that the bedside lamp is on past midnight, or that morning sunlight streams through wide open shades.

The truth is that each person is born with a certain personality and is shaped by separate experiences. Neither partner is a mirror of the other, even when it feels like it. That dewiness is nature's way of keeping us bonded to each other long enough to continue the species.

Also true is that many people have an interior that is kept private and protected. It's this interior that's threatened when disclosing unfulfilled expectations and silent resentments. Rationally, it's no big deal to express yourself but unfinished business is seldom about being rational.

Unfinished business is about the belief that the interior parts of us will be judged and found deficient, laughable, foolish. Ouch. Generally, we've been hauling unfinished business around for years. Imagine the energy it takes to do that.

The concept of "unfinished business" is often used to explain how some people become trapped between two places – the here and the there. Anyone who’s seen a ghost can testify that spirits, when they show themselves at all, are hard to see. The same is true for couples. Working very hard to keep disappointments hidden puts more energy into invisibility than disclosure ever would.

Finishing up our unfinished business is what the marriage retreat at The Stanley Hotel is about. By looking at The Stanley's ghosts, couples readily see the long-term result of failure to resolve the issues each brings to a loving relationship.

Kathe Skinner puts individual emotion into a relationship context. “Remaining closed is about lack of trust," she maintains. "Every one of us is wise to practice self-protection. There are lots of creepy people out there. But do you really believe the person you've chosen to be with for the rest of your life is one of them?"

"When we think about qualities that describe an ideal relationship, "trust" is always on the list," she continues. "I can’t conceive of a thriving relationship without it. Even a crook wouldn't partner up with someone untrustworthy.”

Reframing "fear" into "lack of trust" shifts perspective, Skinner will tell you. That's another closet door that creaks open when couples go on a marriage retreat. What couples find is that they really don't mistrust their significant other; instead it's a case of unfounded beliefs that have traveled with them a long way.

Buddha said that with our thoughts we make the world. It could easily be said that with our thoughts we make a relationship. Dysfunctional thoughts are the platform for a relationship’s unfinished business.

A marriage retreat needs to be a safe place where people examine the personal pain, suspicions, and fears that are impacting their relationships. Being aware of preconceived notions and learning how to recognize them can stop us from further hurting ourselves as well as wounding each other. When men and women choose the wholeheartedness of relationship rather than disguising themselves within it, that's the business of being together.

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Kathe Skinner
Being Heard Now
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