I’m new to the site… just found it today! I’m from the Dallas, TX area and have been married for… (counting in my head) about three and a half years. My wife and I recently had a little girl at the beginning of the year and everything is going pretty well for us. Last year before we got pregnant, we had some problems and when to some counciling and have since become a much stronger couple. However, there are always things that we can work on and I’d like to take an active approach to our marriage and not just wait until the next problem pops up. So I was thinking that going to a couples retreat through the church may be very good for us. I havn’t done much research into what retreats my local parish provides, but before I did, I was hoping to get some information about what goes on and what the general theme of these retreats are.
Let me give you some additional background about my wife and I. I was raised Catholic and always will be. My wife was baptised Methodist and was active in her youth organization up till about her sophomore year in highschool when she says that many things became geared toward and controled by money in the youth program. Her parents did not practice. We met in college and she started going to church with me. She then wanted to try going to a methodist church every other weekend. So one weekend we went to Catholic mass and the next we went to Methodist… I know this is against catholic teaching… please don’t lecture me. So this didn’t last long because she didn’t really feel a sense of fellowship at the new methodist church (which is apparently what she is looking for in a religion). Anyway, fast forward in time… we got married by her childhood mistister and got our marriage approved by the Catholic Church. We went to marriage encounter which she didn’t like because she felt that they trying to indoctrinate her and really the whole experience was kind of unnecessary. I thought we would have gotten more out of it had she put more into it and not been so resistant, but it didn’t really cover anything that we hadn’t discussed already. When our daughter was born, we were trying the every other weekend approach again and she decided that she wanted to convert and become Catholic so that we would not be spiritually divided. She went through some one on one spiritual instruction with my childhood pastor and didn’t attend RCIA because she doesn’t agree with all of the churchs teachings and upon speaking with my pastor about it, he thought one on one would be better. So my wife converted, my daughter was baptised Catholic, and we now go to catholic church every weekend.
But my wife is still the same person she was before and doesn’t want the church telling her what kind of Catholic to be. Now I don’t really want to start a debate about being a correct Catholic as there a few things that I have trouble with, such as the churchs view on condoms, but I chose to tell you about our history so that you could see that my wife still has reservations about the Church and I don’t want to push her away from it if the couples retreat is centered around “this is how you should be a good catholic couple”.
I have tried explaining the Church’s teaching to my wife and to try and get her more comfortable with its teaching. I’ve prayed for her to have the holy spirit come and touch her heart. And mine as well.
So any advice/experience with the couples retreat or converted spouses in general?