Rekindling Love

couples couples retreat making love making love retreat menopause menopause and sex mindfulness perimenopause and sex Jun 30, 2024

"Menopause was my biggest excuse.

It's completely mind-blowing to me. To get from a zero ... like... I would run away. I would have every excuse. Menopause was my biggest excuse. So to go from zero interest to 100. And it’s real. What's just happened? I don't even know myself! 

And I feel so incredibly feminine now. I don't have to put up any walls or any excuses."

This is Tess speaking a month after her experience at the last Making Love Retreat in May 2024. After the retreat, I offered each couple an opportunity to have a 30-minute follow-up with me to use the time however they wished. Tess and Craig booked in and without any plan to do so, I asked permission to record the conversation, which they fully supported, because I wanted to capture something that Craig was saying. So this is completely unscripted.

In the video, Tess speaks about The Couple Bubble, a term, coined by the wonderful Stan Tatkin, relationship expert on Attachment and Neurobiology, in his book, 'Wired for Love'

At the Making Love Retreat, I encourage couples to stay in their 'couple bubble' to get the most out of the retreat. That is, to remain focussed on each other and their relationship, not on what is happening outside of that, on anyone else, or distractions such as phones, computers, and devices that all too easily bring us out of our bodies and into our minds. And... away from their partner and their relationship.

All these distractions create a kind of ABSENCE which can be painful for the other partner. You're there in body, but you are not really there. You are unconsciously caught up in your mind. In the dramas of the outside world. Which makes you absent. And... a long way from your heart. When you embrace PRESENCE, through simple practices such as eye contact, moving from Mind to Body, being more conscious in your movement, and touch with each other, it automatically brings you to your Heart. And this is where the magic happens.

CRAIG: I don't know what switches were changed, but clearly there were some big switches that moved during the six days. It was really special.


This can be such a heart-breaking aspect of couple relationships. The elephant in the room. The unspoken desire or expectation of one and the avoidance by the other. Each is very valid.

Yet the tension of the dissonance can be very painful. Emotions then run high. Conflicts can reign.

Or, there is just silence. You just become 'good friends'. You both exist. In a quiet vacuum that is undernourishing and can be soul-destroying.

Or, like Tess and Craig, they 'friend-zoned' each other. Fairly well-functioning individuals. The Love is there, but it is buried deep. You find it hard to feel it. Yet, each person yearns for it. Because ultimately it is Love that sustains us. It is Love that gives us life, and Love that makes our spirits soar.

Craig speaks about unconscious sexual tension:-

"I think that tension permeates throughout your life when you don't realise it. Lke everything you do - without realising it is connected in some ways, and it permeates through the relationship. Because you don't know when you can say something or when you can't say something, because your body, in the back of your head is thinking, Well, how do I get to that point of being intimate because I'm too scared to say something during the day, or, I don't know how. Now it doesn't matter. It's kind of like, well, whatever. Let's just be honest and open and caring and understand where we are at and put ourselves at the centre of the relationship for the first time ever. And everything else kind of revolves around that." 


UPDATE: About a week after I released this blog, Craig sent me this in an email:-

"The best Three Months of my life"


"I am not generally someone who talks about his feelings, although I know I am an emotional man. I wanted to send you a message and say thank you, but also to share where I am at and where we are at, thanks to you and my learning from your MLR. 


I was in a “not so happy place”. Desperate for physical contact, just touch and a hug would have been enough. I was not sure where our relationship was at.  I understand now that that was a culmination of years of frustration and not knowing. 


Not knowing what intimacy really could be like, not knowing what Tess needed and wanted at her stage in life and not knowing what I could do to make it right - after all I always need to fix something. 


After the last 3 months, and a week in Noosa with yourself, I feel connected - connected and a feeling of constant togetherness that I do not believe I have ever felt with Tess. Slowing our relationship down, slowing our intimacy down and focussing on our connection has truly made me feel a warmth and constant connection - a tightness (in a great way) as a feeling of connectivity from my chest (I suppose you would say it’s my heart) that seems to be tied to Tess - connected in an energetic and almost tangible embrace - a feeling of being wrapped around Tess - always - to the point that it leaves a gap when we are apart. 


I feel so grateful to you for creating the opportunity for Tess and I to connect through your work. I feel so loved by Tess and I feel an intimacy I did not know was possible. We struggle to separate, and when we are together I feel a bliss, a tranquility an internal warmth that I believe now is true love. 


In the retreat I referenced looking in the “gratitude jar” and now I feel every morning when I wake up and see Tess next to me, my gratitude jar is overflowing. More importantly I feel a warmth and lovingness from Tess - a feeling I believe she is now truly able to share as well. I feel a lovingness in our relationship that is so immense it is something that everyone ought to be able to experience. So perhaps I (we) have had this opportunity to experience and learn - thanks to you Janet, and I now too can share in this love and joy. 


I wish you well as you launch into your next retreat and again I thank you with all of my heart for your caring, warmth and teaching."  Craig


DISCLAIMER: Symptoms described by Tess regarding Menopause and relief from a frozen shoulder, are not a guarantee that such results will occur for others. Please seek medical advice for physical, mental, and emotional symptoms regarding Menopause. Even though what Tess and Craig have shared and the results of implementing The Making Approach as taught by Janet McGeever at The Making Love Retreat in Australia are common and have been so for the 30 years that The Making Love Retreat has been taught by its founders Diana and Michael Richardson in Europe, a couples' attendance does not guarantee the same result. In our experience, when couples apply the simple yet effective teachings and embrace humility and curiosity, they have very effective and often life-changing outcomes.



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