Choosing between Retrouvaille and Marriage Encounter?


How would one go about deciding which is more appropriate to attend?

My understanding is that ME is basically a communication “tune up”, which makes great sense to me as poor or ineffective communication in a marriage is a big problem that leads to even bigger problems; whereas I’m seeing Retrouvaille more as helping couples who are on the verge of splitting or already have split. Yet I see some overlap between the two.

I guess what I’m asking is if a marriage needs more than a tune-up but less than a complete engine change (a valve and ring job, perhaps?), which is better suited?


Ask the experts.

Call the registration couple for one (or both) weekend and explain the situation in more detail – They will be able to assist you in deciding which weekend is appropriate.



I have been to both. The program is the same in format but the Retrouvaille is geared towards marriages in serious trouble basically on the verge of divorce or very seriously damaged -some couples are already seperated or even divorced. Marriage Encounter is more geared toward good marriages or marriages that have become stagnate or lukewarm.


Thanks, rayne. That does help to sort it out.


A marriage encounter, aside from what you’ve already been told, is only for a wknd. Retrouvaille is a wknd and 3 months of weekly follow ups.

I just started the Retrouvaille and it’s wonderful. It’s not just for those on the verge of divorce, it’s for everyone. It shows you great communication skills. If you’re not on the verge of splitting up, it helps a lot too. It helps you not get to that horrible point.

I just married last yr but went to Retrouvaille last wknd, and tomorrow I start the 3 month follow up. It is wonderful… it works miracles, but yes, it helps those who are even divorced to get back together. It’s just THAT GOOD!


Marriage Encounter has an optional follow up too, but it’s not as long or as intensive. Marriage Encounter teaches the exact same comminication skills presented in the same format as Retrouvaille.The starter questions they give you to comminicate in Retrouvaille are geared toward more troubled marriages, and the presenting couples generally are couples who had serious marriage problems. Also in Retrouvaille the follow up isn’t presented as optional.


I think another difference though, is that Retrouvaille is not religious per se. That’s the only reason why my husband was ok with going. Also, Retrouvaille is not just for married couples, which in a way is sad because it’s of Catholic origin. We had a couple who was cohabiting, 2 who were only civilly married, and the rest were married by the CC. The focus of Retrouvaille is the same as a ME but I believe a ME is just for those who are married in the CC and is very Catholic.

The only Catholic thing in Retrouvaille are the Masses offered. That’s the only part my husband missed.


Wow, your archdiocese must run a very different Retrouvaille because there were no co-habiting couples, it was all geared to restoring a marriage. You don’t have to married in the CC but you do have to be married (or a couple who is divorced from each other). I’m very surprised a cohabitating couple was allowed to attend.

There was a priest at ours just like at Marriage Encounter and Mass (and confession) was available both Saturday and Sunday for those who wanted to attend. Neither Marriage Encounter nor Retrouvaille would be considered a religious retreat or overtly religious but God is mentioned and discusssed to a degree in both -at least that was true for ours.

Marriage Encounter is not just for couples who are Catholic. It is open to all denominations or no religious affiliation and wasn’t anymore Catholic than our Retrouvaille weekend. We attended both (about 4 years apart) and the program is set up exactly the same except Retrouvaille is geared toward marriages in serious trouble.


Mmmm… I wonder then, because the priest who was there even said marriage was not just by the CC, that love made a marriage… I don’t know if our Bishop knows this then…

Oh, and thanks for the clarification on ME and Retrouvaille…

Off topic a little… Guess what I was told by one of the couples who was presenting? They said DH and I should let our future children decide what religion they want to follow when they are old enough to do it and not to baptize them or take them to any church (DH doesn’t want them to be Catholic)… I was appalled!! I told them that as Catholics, they should know it’s obligatory for a Catholic to try to raise the children Catholic… and the wife argued the Vatican II said otherwise…:frowning:


Good grief.:doh2: :mad: I’m sorry to hear that.


That is awful! I know that Retrouvaille is open to all faiths, but it is still Catholic based and should respect that!
So Yessi, ignore that and baptize those babies anyway! I’m glad to hear you made it to the weekend! Been praying for you! :smiley:

To the OP, if you are fighting a lot, if you don’t feel close to your spouse anymore, if all you do is argue–go to Retrouvaille. If you are basically ok together–rarely fight or argue, hang out a lot together, talk openly to each other frequently, then go to ME.** Retrouvaille is to fix problems that are already there, ME is to prevent problems from developing.**

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