Lifeline for struggling marriages

We went on a Retrouvaille weekend - it is French for rediscover.

We rediscovered each other - we rediscovered our love and why we got married. We found a lot of help to become “we” and not just “him and me”.

The love we found was not just romance - not that I think romance is all bad - I am a woman, afterall. :wink: But more than romance and more pleasant than “grit-your-teeth” or “love is an action word” kind of love.

Not only will you not find better therapy for your marriage for less - you will be particiapating in a Catholic process to save and preserve your marriage. Pray for the sacramental grace of your marriage to help you now.

All kinds of marriages and problems can be helped through this process - if the couple will commit to the weekend and commit to working the process as best they can.

We had couples on the weekend with us who had been married under 5 years and a couple who had been married 47 years and not sure they would make it to 50 years.

Some couples had to overcome sexual infidelity, physical and emotional abuse, or even just emotional infidelity - wandering attention or putting marriage too low on the list of what is important.

For us, it was too many of life’s stressors. The first was when our seven year old daughter died seven years ago. The grief work kind of led us in separate directions to heal ourselves and we started to neglect our marriage.

Then we adopted a child with mental health problems and he has helped us to grow apart even more. Getting time without him was rare - even in the middle of the night.:frowning:

My firbormyalgia and chronic fatigue symptoms worsened and my husband sees that as just being depressed or lazy. Pain and overwhelming fatigue just aren’t easy to describe. :shrug:

We did have some wonderfully difficult finanacial times after Claire died - my husband went back to school and our remaining child was at a somewhat pricey private school.

So if one adds in having to admit a six year old kid to the psych ward for being suicidal and my father in law dying and our older making his first holy Communion about 12 hours later - that was difficult to manage but …

The next spring was worse and we had to go to court to regain custody of the son with problems (I have to admit I was ambivalent at first that is partly how I got us in this mess) so 12K later I am the one who wasted that money, etc. :blush:

We didn’t fight - we put up walls and ignored each other. We wanted to remake the other person, but that wouldn’t happen, so we just resigned ourselves to trying to be polite and not precipitate the end of our marriage - like a good Catholic should. :o

As I wrote elsewhere we were tepid to each other not freezing cold or scalding hot. It wasn’t what one would want for their marriage by any stretch.

Now, here we are fresh off the weekend and in love again. We aren’t on the other side of the issue any more. We like each other and even like being with each other. It is amazing. :extrahappy:

I pray that other couples take the lifeline Retrouvaille extends - it is really a helpful process.

Now we are in the post retreat process and anxious to keep the momentum of improvement going forward.

I love your thread–thank you for sharing this! What a beautiful testimony!!!:slight_smile:

Thanks for posting. I had considered doing this with my husband but I’m not sure it’s the solution for us. We will be married for 2 years in June and have had a hard time getting along with each other since the day we moved in together after the wedding. Additionally, we both have explosive tempers. Do you think Retrouvaille could be helpful? We’re not dealing with any huge problems like infidelity or stressors like the ones you wrote about.


They are very important.

Retrouvaille is for EVERYBODY. Religious or not, young or old, divorced or married.

It is all about communicating. So many marriage fail because we do not communicate. In Retouvaille they will teach you how to communicate.

You don’t want to get to that point, right? Then you need to do something… this or a marriage encounter. They say the latter is for couples that already have good marriages. Retrouvaille is for those who are in trouble… You need to have the commitment of your husband to go… Trust me… years of a troubled marriage is nothing you want to endure. Fix things now so you can enjoy the rest of your life!

Hubby and I have been married for 7 years (almost 8) and have had our ups and downs. Never anything “serious” like infidelity or addictions or abuse, but enough to make us miserable on occasion. We were just taking about doing a Retrouvaille weekend but need to wait until our DD is a bit older.

But we just made it through a pretty serious marriage crisisFor your situation I would definitely and here is what helped:

praying (on our own and, most importantly, together). Praying together really can be more intimate than sex. It is really helping to focus us on our marriage and how to make it better.

the book “personality plus for couples”. Honestly I think all dating couples should have this book. We aren’t even half way through yet and it has already made a world of difference!

For your situation i would definitely encourage a Retrouvaille weekend. I have never heard one bad word about it. And even for those couples whose marriages still didn’t work, they don’t think it was a waste of time. Since you don’t have any “major” problems now you might want to do something before that happens…


I happy you found Retro. It is a lifeline for struggling marriages, but if you don’t follow with the post-sessions and don’t do the dialogue, it won’t work. Please, please try everything you can to make it work.

I went to Retro in June last yr, and had post-sessions for 6 months, but we didn’t practice the dialogue. I sadly have to say Retro didn’t do it for us because my husband wasn’t trying. I wish he had been so into it as I was, but when one person doesn’t want to work at it, the marriage fails. And we had just been married for 15 months when we went, now at 22 months, it’s worse than ever.

I know it works, because it did the first few months, and I know people who have gone thru bad physical and emotional abuse for many yrs that are now like newlyweds and lead the sessions, but it’s all because they did things the right way.

I’m glad you found it. Give it all you have. Try not to miss any sessions, they are all so important.

yessian, I am sorry things didn’t work out for your marriage - it would be hard if my hubby didn’t wanna do it too.

WE are going to the post sessions and getting a lot out of it. Our relationship has usually been better when we are spending more time with each other.

When asked by the attendees to last week’s follow-up what one thing we found to be most helpful for dialoguing - my answer was to be in the same room. :smiley:

I hope that those of you who have considered Retrouvaille will check into it. I mentioned the worst case scenarios just to be sure that no one thought their marriage was beyond the point of no return.

Better early than late. Don’t wait to get things going in the right direction. Also - if you need personal counseling - get it and then do Retrouvaille with the permission of the therapist.

They teach us how to communicate and even how to “fight” - solve problems.

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