Relationship retreat: a Biola couple’s experience

The theme is healthy conflict, and conflict there may be.


Katie Evensen/THE CHIMES

Samantha Gassaway, Writer

Two couples anticipated growth and maturation from their experience at this year’s Center for Marriage and Relationships retreat.

Dealing with conflict in healthy way

The retreat, planned and produced by Biola’s Center for Marriage and Relationships, involved meals and sessions that couples could participate in. The retreat lasted two full days this past weekend, hosted on campus, and the sessions centered around dealing with conflict in a healthy way.

Business alumni Meredith Milosch and her husband, adjunct professor of communications Tim Milosch, went to the marriage retreat spring of 2015.

“If you take care of your own individual spiritual walk, and you’re growing individually as a person, and both people are doing that, then you can come together and really grow in marriage and in the relationship,” Meredith said. “You need to be open-minded coming in, and you also have to be willing to be vulnerable… You have to be trusting of the other person and of yourself.”

Ignoring conflict in relationships

The Miloschs advised couples attending the retreat to be honest with themselves on the theme of the conference: conflict. The married couple explained how ignoring problems that arise early on in engagement or marriage can only hurt the relationship later on.

“I think there’s a lot of misunderstanding about conflict in relationships, and in our society at large,” Tim said. “You don’t want to be married for a certain amount of time and then say, ‘Oh, I guess we probably have a conflict problem.’ You want to be setting those habits and practicing those habits while you’re engaged before you even get married.”

Senior psychology major Haley Wade and senior journalism major Josh Rosen were excited about their first time attending a couples retreat. Wade and Rosen have both considered the marriage advising offered at the Center for Marriage and Relationships.

“He and I have talked about pre-marital counseling and engagement stuff and we figured it would be a good kind of first step in the right direction. It just kind of fell in our laps at the perfect time,” Wade said. “I’m hoping to hear from people with psychology and theological backgrounds.”

A complete success

Katie Grebbien, junior communication sciences and disorders major, and senior rhetorical interpersonal communication major Eric Diomartich attended this year’s retreat and described it as a complete success. The two felt their relationship became more equipped to take conflict head-on in their future partnership. Diomartich also built a connection to one of the speakers prior to the retreat, professor of communications Tim Muehlhoff.

“He’s a really good speaker and he knows what he’s talking about when he’s speaking about relationships,” Diomartich said. “They made it really stand out that it’s not really about what the other person does for you but what you do for the other person… If something stings you in the moment, you confront that issue versus being like, ‘It’s something small, I’ll just let it go.’”

Couples both dating and married can learn from those thriving in relationships much longer than they have. The retreat offered honesty and growth, allowing couples to learn about one another in an intimate and wise atmosphere.

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