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Schriever couples cultivate relationships

Angelique Hopkins laughs during “knees-to-knees” with her husband, Senior Airman John Hopkins, 50th Security Forces Squadron, during the Center for Relationship Education military marriage retreat in Denver, Colorado, Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017. The Hopkins’ performed “knees-to-knees” and other exercises throughout the weekend to grow in intimacy and communication. (U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt. Darren Domingo)

Angelique Hopkins laughs during “knees-to-knees” with her husband, Senior Airman John Hopkins, 50th Security Forces Squadron, during the Center for Relationship Education military marriage retreat in Denver, Colorado, Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017. The Hopkins’ performed “knees-to-knees” and other exercises throughout the weekend to grow in intimacy and communication. (U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt. Darren Domingo)

Couples engage in a personality discussion during the Center for Relationship Education military marriage retreat in Denver, Colorado, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. The exercise tool broke attendees into six different color groups to help each other understand interpersonal skill and relationship strengths. (U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt. Darren Domingo)

Couples engage in a personality discussion during the Center for Relationship Education military marriage retreat in Denver, Colorado, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. The exercise tool broke attendees into six different color groups to help each other understand interpersonal skill and relationship strengths. (U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt. Darren Domingo)

Larry and Vicky Daub, CRE facilitators married for 26 years, teach a lesson about hidden issues in relationships during the Center for Relationship Education military marriage retreat in Denver, Colorado, Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017. Larry and Vicky engaged in group discussions and teachings to encourage connectivity and community with the military couples in attendance. (U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt. Darren Domingo)

Larry and Vicky Daub, CRE facilitators married for 26 years, teach a lesson about hidden issues in relationships during the Center for Relationship Education military marriage retreat in Denver, Colorado, Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017. Larry and Vicky engaged in group discussions and teachings to encourage connectivity and community with the military couples in attendance. (U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt. Darren Domingo)

DENVER, Colo. --

Four Schriever couples joined other Front Range military couples to cultivate marriages and committed relationships during the Center for Relationship Education weekend retreat at the Marriott Hotel, Friday through Sunday.

The military-focused retreat invited a diverse mix of couples to experience change by learning communication tools, conflict resolution strategies and more.

First Lt. Joshua David, 50th Operations Support Squadron, said he joined the retreat for more togetherness, alone time and to intentionally plan a date night. His wife, Angela, 21st Space Wing Civilian Personnel Office human resources specialist, echoed the sentiment.

“For me, I just wanted to be able to reevaluate our relationship and try to grow and be better as a couple,” she said.

Throughout the weekend, the couples shared meals and participated in personality tests, group discussions, forgiveness lessons, video studies and other exercises to encourage honest communication and intimacy.

The “knees-to-knees” exercise, a favorite among many attendees, had couples sit facing each other, maintaining eye contact and talk about the issue at hand, whether positive or negative.

“I liked knees-to-knees, just that whole experience - we’re gonna incorporate that,” said Joshua. “The intimacy of it, the connection. You’re physically touching, you’re emotionally touching as well.”

Larry and Vicky Daub, CRE facilitators married for 26 years, led the retreat through exercises and personal testimonies of life together. Vicky explained the lessons learned during the workshop are meant to extend beyond the couple themselves.

“It’s giving a chance for couples to reconnect, to give a lot of them hope again. (It also gives) their families hope that they’re going to be able to stay together and be a healthy family unit,” said Vicky.

Larry, an Air Force veteran, explained the military-focused retreat is a labor of love. Sometimes they meet couples who are dealing with serious marital issues, or suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries. The military focus is important to the Daubs’, who enjoy fostering that type of community.

“I like the chance to form community to get to know other military couples. Because in this retreat in particular, people are either stationed in Denver or Colorado Springs, so they can make friends and I like that part,” said Vicky.

“It’s a passion for us to (serve) military,” said Larry. “For me personally, it’s been the best thing that’s happened in my life probably besides marrying her. And I’m serious about that.”

The CRE offers the weekend retreat quarterly, however, the Daubs explained another resource couples and families can benefit from is Project Sanctuary, an extended 6-day retreat with a similar focus. For more information on upcoming marriage and family retreats, contact the chapel at 567-3705.