Retrouvaille for a very trouble marriage


#1

Hello,
My husband and I are both catholic, raised in catholic homes. Our parents have been married for over 40 years. I feel very very guilty for wanting a divorce from my husband. We have been married for 6 years and have two children, ages 5 and 2. I am in a verbally abusive marriage. We have gone to several counselors and my husband usually quits because he will not take accountability for his actions. For example: He has called me a very bad name and then will say it’s my fault that he called me the name because I didn’t do what he wanted me to. The therapist finally said we should probably get divorced because he will not try to make a change or get help. I think he has severe anger issues. I go to counseling by myself and I have tried to get his parents to help but they feel it’s normal that he punches walls and screams and yells. But, it’s effecting my oldest child. He is crying when he sees my husband scream and me and says he is scared. It still doesn’t stop my husband from doing it again. We are going to retrovauille this weekend and wanted to know if anyone else has attended it and if would help? I just can’t live like this anymore especially for me kids. I feel so much guilt and failure though. Does anyone have any advice?? Please pray for us.

Thanks,
J


#2

[quote="jennie61173, post:1, topic:234960"]
Hello,
My husband and I are both catholic, raised in catholic homes. Our parents have been married for over 40 years. I feel very very guilty for wanting a divorce from my husband. We have been married for 6 years and have two children, ages 5 and 2. I am in a verbally abusive marriage. We have gone to several counselors and my husband usually quits because he will not take accountability for his actions. For example: He has called me a very bad name and then will say it's my fault that he called me the name because I didn't do what he wanted me to. The therapist finally said we should probably get divorced because he will not try to make a change or get help. I think he has severe anger issues. I go to counseling by myself and I have tried to get his parents to help but they feel it's normal that he punches walls and screams and yells. But, it's effecting my oldest child. He is crying when he sees my husband scream and me and says he is scared. It still doesn't stop my husband from doing it again. We are going to retrovauille this weekend and wanted to know if anyone else has attended it and if would help? I just can't live like this anymore especially for me kids. I feel so much guilt and failure though. Does anyone have any advice?? Please pray for us.

Thanks,
J

[/quote]

My wife and I went to one, sometime in 2005, but for a different reason than yours. There is great sharing, exploration of each other, and the like. From what I can recall, there is a exploration of the decision to love one another, examination of communication with each other, and others.

I think you both will benefit from it. But commit to it and there are a lot of couples you can learn from that are in the program.

God bless....


#3

[quote="jennie61173, post:1, topic:234960"]
Hello,
My husband and I are both catholic, raised in catholic homes. Our parents have been married for over 40 years. I feel very very guilty for wanting a divorce from my husband. We have been married for 6 years and have two children, ages 5 and 2. I am in a verbally abusive marriage. We have gone to several counselors and my husband usually quits because he will not take accountability for his actions. For example: He has called me a very bad name and then will say it's my fault that he called me the name because I didn't do what he wanted me to. The therapist finally said we should probably get divorced because he will not try to make a change or get help. I think he has severe anger issues. I go to counseling by myself and I have tried to get his parents to help but they feel it's normal that he punches walls and screams and yells. But, it's effecting my oldest child. He is crying when he sees my husband scream and me and says he is scared. It still doesn't stop my husband from doing it again. We are going to retrovauille this weekend and wanted to know if anyone else has attended it and if would help? I just can't live like this anymore especially for me kids. I feel so much guilt and failure though. Does anyone have any advice?? Please pray for us.

Thanks,
J

[/quote]

Jennie,

 Hang in there, girl!  If your marriage can be fixed, I would think Retrouvaille can do it, or rather, God through Retrouvaille.  He needs to get his act together.  Satan has clearly gotten a foothold in his soul.  Don't give up on him.  Pray for him.  Fast for his conversion.  And, always come to one another as a servant.  Always.

God bless!

Scooby


#4

[quote="jennie61173, post:1, topic:234960"]
We are going to retrovauille this weekend and wanted to know if anyone else has attended it and if would help?

[/quote]

I have never attended but I've heard (mostly through people here at CAF) that it's wonderful. I hope it helps!

:crossrc: for you and your family. :hug1:


#5

Retrouvaille has been a tremendous help for our marriage. We had a lot of problems with anger in the past, but Retrouvaille greatly increased our sensitivity to each other. God bless you and give you the strength to work things out. I'll say a prayer for you Friday when you start your weekend.


#6

Thanks so much for all your prayers. I hope through our faith and prayers to God that our marriage can be saved. I want our children to grow up with the love from us and I just hope that this weekend can help us. I have been in so much pain and dispair over this.... I have to put my faith in God that he will help us and help my husband.


#7

[quote="jennie61173, post:1, topic:234960"]
Hello,
My husband and I are both catholic, raised in catholic homes. Our parents have been married for over 40 years. I feel very very guilty for wanting a divorce from my husband. We have been married for 6 years and have two children, ages 5 and 2. I am in a verbally abusive marriage. We have gone to several counselors and my husband usually quits because he will not take accountability for his actions. We are going to retrovauille this weekend and wanted to know if anyone else has attended it and if would help? I just can't live like this anymore especially for me kids. I feel so much guilt and failure though. Does anyone have any advice?? Please pray for us.

Thanks,
J

[/quote]

Jennie...I forgot to tell you about this group...Couples for Christ...it is a lay catholic group (all volunteers) who have marriage encounter talks...here is their link. I do not know where you are, but contact one and you should be directed to someone close to where you are...

cfc--usa.com/v1.2/

This is their mission statement:

Couples for Christ (CFC) is a movement intended for the renewal and strengthening of Christian family life. The members have committed themselves to the Lord and to one another so that they may grow in maturity as men and women of God and fulfill their primary vocation of raising up families under the lordship of Jesus Christ and for the service of the Kingdom of God.

HOW DOES CFC INTEND TO WORK FOR CHRISTIAN FAMILY RENEWAL?

  1. Individual renewal. Before one can consider the whole family, the husband and the wife first need to renew their commitment to God. CFC takes the basic message of Christianity and proclaims it anew so that those who hear it can make a renewed commitment to God in a way that will allow them to receive a fuller experience of the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives.
  2. Family renewal. As couples renew their commitment to God, they also renew their commitment to one another and to their Christian family life. Gradually, the new life that they find in the Lord filters down to all their family relationships.
  3. Church renewal. As individual families are renewed, they form a network of equally committed families that not only support one another but also strengthen the Church of which they are members.

#8

[quote="jennie61173, post:1, topic:234960"]
Hello,
My husband and I are both catholic, raised in catholic homes. Our parents have been married for over 40 years. I feel very very guilty for wanting a divorce from my husband. We have been married for 6 years and have two children, ages 5 and 2. I am in a verbally abusive marriage. We have gone to several counselors and my husband usually quits because he will not take accountability for his actions. For example: He has called me a very bad name and then will say it's my fault that he called me the name because I didn't do what he wanted me to. The therapist finally said we should probably get divorced because he will not try to make a change or get help. I think he has severe anger issues. I go to counseling by myself and I have tried to get his parents to help but they feel it's normal that he punches walls and screams and yells. But, it's effecting my oldest child. He is crying when he sees my husband scream and me and says he is scared. It still doesn't stop my husband from doing it again. We are going to retrovauille this weekend and wanted to know if anyone else has attended it and if would help? I just can't live like this anymore especially for me kids. I feel so much guilt and failure though. Does anyone have any advice?? Please pray for us.

Thanks,
J

[/quote]

J, I relate to your feelings of guilt and failure, having suffered through 18+ years in an abusive marriage relationship. Then God performed a miracle and sent us to Retrouvaille...that was 20 years ago. It so changed BOTH of us that we decided to do whatever was necessary to help other couples realize the most open, honest, respectful and loving marriage relationship one could ever imagine. We remain very active in the ministry to this day because God EMPOWERS us with His amazing grace every day! Please know that the program is VERY PRIVATE...although you will be in a group of other hurting/struggling couples, you will NEVER be asked to share any of your struggles with others in the group. You will, however, be expected to attend the entire program and give 100% of all that is within you to help make your Retrouvaille experience a success. Remember, God EMPOWERS you to do this! And if He can turn our abusive relationship around in such a dramatic way, He can do it for you, too. After all, he HATES divorce. We will definitely keep you both and your children in prayer! Keep us posted!


#9

Happy Again,
Your story gives me so much HOPE. I didn't feel like this weekend coming up was going to change anything, but now I have hope that it will. I don't understand why my husband does what he does, I want him to realize that he can change and that we can have a wonderful marriage.

I know this will be a lot of work and I am willing to do it, I just hope my husband can be willing to do all the work too.

People think verbal abuse doesn't hurt like physical.........it has tore my heart to pieces and I see what it does to my son. My heart breaks because my husband won't see what he is doing. May God help my husband this weekend.

J


#10

[quote="jennie61173, post:9, topic:234960"]
Happy Again,
Your story gives me so much HOPE. I didn't feel like this weekend coming up was going to change anything, but now I have hope that it will. I don't understand why my husband does what he does, I want him to realize that he can change and that we can have a wonderful marriage.

I know this will be a lot of work and I am willing to do it, I just hope my husband can be willing to do all the work too.

People think verbal abuse doesn't hurt like physical.........it has tore my heart to pieces and I see what it does to my son. My heart breaks because my husband won't see what he is doing. May God help my husband this weekend.

J

[/quote]

Hi Jennie-
I have been through what you are going through now. No physical abuse, just screaming, screaming, screaming. In from of the kids. Foul language. Verbal abuse is terrible. And nobody believes such a nice guy would behave like that. You fell like you're going crazy. I had the same experience with counseling. He would quit going because he didn't think he needed to change. It was my fault he was screaming. The counselor finally told us we should divorce. And we did. You are very blessed that your husband agreed to Retrouvaille. Mine did not.

I'm praying for your success. I know what you are going through. :hug1:

Expect a miracle. The miracle won't be an immediate change. The miracle will be that you are BOTH open to change and growth.

:blessyou:


#11

My husband belittled me so much that I felt as small and inconspicuous as a speck of dirt on the floor. Screaming and yelling were the norm, but eventually I determined I was only wasting my energy, so I stopped communicating altogether. I had no sense of self-worth and no self-esteem. Getting to our Retrouvaille program was a miracle in itself, but the greatest miracle was that we BOTH realized that we needed and WANTED to change...we needed to DECIDE that our relationship was paramount because the strength of all other relationships -- with children, family, friends, coworkers -- were built upon it. For some couples the "miracle" happens right away, for others -- like us -- it took months. The time it takes to make the decision to trust again varies...some hurts are deeper than others...but it can come to your relationship IF you both put forth the effort. YOU are the only ones who can turn your relationship around...no one, not even counselors, can do it for you. Some have said that Retrouvaille has a 90 day guarantee: if your relationship doesn't improve by the end of the final Post Weekend Session, then you can have your old relationship back! Well, that is SOMEPLACE my husband and I DIDN'T want to go again. But remember, only YOU two can make it happen...with God's amazing grace and in His PERFECT time. Can your husband change? Yes! Mine did! And the fact that he is willing to go this weekend proves it. Just go with the flow and know others are praying for and with you!


#12

[quote="Happy_Again, post:11, topic:234960"]
My husband belittled me so much that I felt as small and inconspicuous as a speck of dirt on the floor. Screaming and yelling were the norm, but eventually I determined I was only wasting my energy, so I stopped communicating altogether. I had no sense of self-worth and no self-esteem. Getting to our Retrouvaille program was a miracle in itself, but the greatest miracle was that we BOTH realized that we needed and WANTED to change...we needed to DECIDE that our relationship was paramount because the strength of all other relationships -- with children, family, friends, coworkers -- were built upon it. For some couples the "miracle" happens right away, for others -- like us -- it took months. The time it takes to make the decision to trust again varies...some hurts are deeper than others...but it can come to your relationship IF you both put forth the effort. YOU are the only ones who can turn your relationship around...no one, not even counselors, can do it for you. Some have said that Retrouvaille has a 90 day guarantee: if your relationship doesn't improve by the end of the final Post Weekend Session, then you can have your old relationship back! Well, that is SOMEPLACE my husband and I DIDN'T want to go again. But remember, only YOU two can make it happen...with God's amazing grace and in His PERFECT time. Can your husband change? Yes! Mine did! And the fact that he is willing to go this weekend proves it. Just go with the flow and know others are praying for and with you!

[/quote]

[SIGN]You are awesome![/SIGN]


#13

God is awesome! I'm just someone who's been through the misery stage of a broken marriage and graced by God to make it through to the other side...that is the fourth stage of marriage we call "reawakening." There's really nothing wrong with misery in marriage...the problem is when we get stuck there and nothing we humanly try to do can break the hold Satan seems to have on us. Isn't it nice, though, to know that like Superman and Lois Lane, God comes to our rescue just in the nick of time! LOL! I really LOVE that picture of the Laughing Jesus. Before Retrouvaille there was NOTHING in life to laugh about, but now my husband and I experience much laughter and joy in our relationship. God is good all the time...and AWESOME!


#14

[quote="Happy_Again, post:13, topic:234960"]
God is awesome!

[/quote]

:thumbsup: Indeed he is an AWESOME GOD! :thumbsup:

I really LOVE that picture of the Laughing Jesus.

You mean the Kenny Loggins Jesus?

Before Retrouvaille there was NOTHING in life to laugh about, but now my husband and I experience much laughter and joy in our relationship. God is good all the time...and AWESOME!

:amen::blessyou:


#15

I have a confession to make... I am verbally abusive. I have tried to change with limited success. But your stories of how much that abuse hurts has CONVICTED me. I have been in counseling for a while and have recently asked my wife to join me. She is resistant since it is MY problem, but I ask for your prayers that she will have a change of heart.
Praying that Our Lady of Good Help will come to our aid! :signofcross:


#16

Here's something you may never have heard: Joseph and Mary were the first Retrouvaille couple! We look to Saint Joseph as our ministry's patron saint to guard and protect the family...a good role model for every husband! As for your confession, it is good that you have expressed it publicly...now it is up to you to let your behavior reflect your conviction to change. If your wife and others can actually "see" that you want a better marriage relationship, perhaps she will realize her role in the breakdown of your marriage...perhaps even be more open to change herself. I now see more clearly my own sins that led to the breakdown of my own abusive marriage. I responded to my husband's verbal assaults with almost equal intensity. But all the yelling and screaming wasn't going to resolve anything. I was the "innocent victim" and believed that the breakdown was all HIS fault. He needed to change...not me. Wrong!! I was as guilty as he was. We will pray that God softens both your hearts. May He open your eyes to see the beauty that first attracted you to each other, your ears that you may hear sincerity in your voice, and your mouths that you may only speak the truth with love and compassion toward each other. May He grace you with much hope and strength to endure the days ahead.


#17

[quote="rmartensjr, post:15, topic:234960"]
I have a confession to make... I am verbally abusive. I have tried to change with limited success. But your stories of how much that abuse hurts has CONVICTED me. I have been in counseling for a while and have recently asked my wife to join me. She is resistant since it is MY problem, but I ask for your prayers that she will have a change of heart.
Praying that Our Lady of Good Help will come to our aid! :signofcross:

[/quote]

That's a good start. It takes a lot of courage to make such an admission. I was not perfect in our marriage either, but I was willing to work on changing. I went to counseling by myself because EXH wouldn't go.

He was yelling and screaming at me in front of the kids. My then 5 year old would say, "Daddy, please stop screaming at Mommy." That's when I knew changes had to be made. I didn't want my daughter to think it was normal to be screamed at. Kids model what they see at home.

Divorce is hard. Very very hard. It makes my blood boil when I hear people say, "Divorce would have been easier" or "I'm basically a single mom because my husband travels so much." They have no idea how hard it it. :( I would have done ANYTHING to save my marriage. I kept giving him chances when he begged me to stay. He never followed through.

God bless you, I'll keep you in my prayers. Be patient with your wife.


#18

Christine,

You are absolutely right! I wonder how many divorced persons reading these posts agree with you. Perhaps if couples really could see what the future holds for them as a divorcee, they might just decide to fulfill their promise they made to each other, to God and to others on their wedding day to be faithful to each in good times and bad...till death. We go to the altar with the best intentions, but somewhere along the way, when the bad times get really BAD, we (either or both spouses) decide they didn't really "mean it" and they want to "bend the rules" a little bit to make their life easier.

We've all heard that God's way isn't always the easy way, but in marriage God knew that it really does take two ... a husband and a wife ... to survive in this world, and God even blessed them on their wedding day with as much amazing grace as they need to not only survive, but to thrive in their relationship.

In Retrouvaille, we know that we have an 80% success rate...that is, after five years 4 out of every 5 couples who attend the program are either still together or back together again. This fact is based on two separate studies conducted in two large cities in two different states. So, perhaps for some, divorce was the best decision they ever made. Or, it was the only decision they could have made (such as in case of extreme mental and/or physical abuse). If that is the case, I'd be very interested in hearing their story.

*Thank you, Christine, for sharing your story with us! *


#19

[quote="Happy_Again, post:18, topic:234960"]

We've all heard that God's way isn't always the easy way, but in marriage God knew that it really does take two ... a husband and a wife ... to survive in this world, and God even blessed them on their wedding day with as much amazing grace as they need to not only survive, but to thrive in their relationship.

[/quote]

It takes three, God has to be in the equation.

In Retrouvaille, we know that we have an 80% success rate...that is, after five years 4 out of every 5 couples who attend the program are either still together or back together again. This fact is based on two separate studies conducted in two large cities in two different states. So, perhaps for some, divorce was the best decision they ever made. Or, it was the only decision they could have made (such as in case of extreme mental and/or physical abuse). If that is the case, I'd be very interested in hearing their story.

*Thank you, Christine, for sharing your story with us! *

Sometimes I feel guilty, like I should have tried harder. I second guess myself. But seeing the men here who have turned their lives back to God and gone to Retrouvaille, I know EXH would never have gone to Retrouvaille. He wouldn't even come to mass most Sundays. The days he did go to mass, he was so mean and abusive, I would secretly hope he wouldn't go. It was like the Devil in him got riled up by being in the presence of Jesus at mass.:(

Reading the stories of the people here renews my faith in marriages. I used to feel sorry for married people. :blush:


#20

[quote="qui_est_ce, post:19, topic:234960"]
I know EXH would never have gone to Retrouvaille.

[/quote]

**With God, all things are possible! **

For two years my husband refused my many requests to attend Retrouvaille. He always countered with: "If anyone has a problem, it is you...if you would only get your act together, straighten up and fly right and do things MY way, then life would be perfect!" In truth, HIS life WAS perfect because I bent over backward to meet/exceed HIS every need at the expense of my own and our children's well-being. Twice I nearly walked away from the relationship, but God must have thought I could still endure...and after two more years of hell-on-earth, and in God's PERFECT time, He touched my husband's heart and we ended up in Retrouvaille. (Just GETTING to our Weekend was a miracle all its own; but that's a story for another day.)

Just a side note: we know many divorced couples who have attended the program and have remarried. It all happens in God PERFECT time. He NEVER abandons us, though we may forget that at times. He is love...he is "patient" and "kind."


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.