Retrouvaille week-end


I just returned from a Retrouvaille week-end for marriages in trouble. My denial of my lifelong battle with anxiety and depression and my refusal to get help while I was married, led to a recent civil divorce from my husband. I am so filled with regret. My husband and I still have love for each other and have a beautiful 3 year old daughter together. I am now in individual therapy and my husband and I are in couples counseling. The Retrouvaille week-end was tiring mentally and physically, but well worth the time and effort. It is an awesome experience for anyone who’s marriage needs help. We learned a lot about communicating, putting God first in our life and forgiveness. We intend to continue with the Retrouvaille follow up sessions that last for 3 months. We are just so confused. In the eyes of the Church, we are still husband and wife. In the “real” world, we are divorced because a judge signed a very expensive piece of paper. We live apart, which is a good thing for now as I move forward in my treatment of my anxiety and depression. We don’t really know what to say to our families about what is going on. They watched us battle in court spending a lot time, money and emotion as we fell into the horrible divorce court system. Our families are definitely not going to be very supportive of us wanting to rebuild our relationship and our family after watching all that happened in court. It really was an awful year-long battle. Our situation is odd, but does anyone have any feedback? You’d think our families would be thrilled that we want to repair the damage and rebuild a family especially since we have a child together…but, I guess families want to protect their own and that is what is going on. They are afraid we will make a mistake and be hurt again. Please pray for us. This is a very difficult time, especially since I am just beginning to face my problems with anxiety and depression. Thank God I am able to talk about it finally without shame and embarrassment. My husband is being very supportive in all that is going on. We know we need to fill our lives with prayer and get down on our knees in order to keep moving forward. I just don’t know where we fit in right now!


I don’t think your situation is all that oddball. Lots of people have civil divorces but are still married in the eyes of the Church. I cannot imagine any Catholics would not support your efforts and understand your position. You did and are doing the right thing.

I guess your families are freaking out? They will get over it if you get back together okay, which I hope you can. Give them time. I will pray for your marriage. Bless you for making such an effort. Keep up with your treatment or meds or whatever…and all the best!


Hi Shirley,
Thanks for the prayers. It makes me sad knowing one of our biggest obstacles is going to be our very own families. If my husband and I really do work it out and can rebuild our marriage, you are right that in time, our families will probably learn to accept it. Especially if they see a change in us for the better and see that God worked a miracle in our lives. It would just be so nice to have them embrace us and give us their prayers and love and support in doing the right thing. I know God forgives us and we have forgiven each other, it is just hard knowing we don’t have the support of our families on our side at this challenging time. The civil divorce was a big, awful mistake, but we can’t change the past, only move forward and do what is right. I pray to God to give us strength.


We were in almost the exact same situation about 6 years ago. Divorced, actually never married in the Church at all. Then after the divorce I started studying the bible, and the weirdest thing happened! I converted to Catholic Church! As if my family didn’t think that was crazy enough, then my ex-husband, who had simultaneously reverted to the Catholic faith, asked me to go to Retrouvaille with him. I thought why not? One more chance to do what’s right for our son. So we went, and the next year, after I was confirmed and officially Catholic, we got married (remarried civilly) in the Church! We could never have done it without the grace of God and Retrouvaille. Please keep going to the follow-up sessions, and then to the monthly CORE meetings. And you’ll know if getting remarried is the right thing to do. People CAN change, I know, we both did. The family wasn’t happy, but now that we have been remarried for almost 4 years and have a beautiful baby girl and another one on the way, they don’t mind so much! Grandbabies do that. :wink:


My wife and I had a very hard time, we seperated and neared divorce but it never went through because we ran out of money to complete it.

When we got back together both of our families were traumatized. Her family (father’s side) literally disowned her and no longer speaks to her at all. My mother is kind of indifferent and cold to us both.

The way I chalk it up to is the divorce/seperation didn’t just affect us, it effected everyone who cared about us, emotionally, financially, and in any other way you can think of.

The biggest problem was not keeping quiet about the problems in the marriage, not the reconciliation. After two years of seperation and child support, and my wife speaking badly about me etc… Well I was probably the devil incarnate. Her father said she can’t watch her make such a huge mistake. My mother despises my wife for the same reason, after years of court battles and all the nasty talk, my Mom was left with no choice but to hate my wife, and just says she can’t get emotionally invested in our family or me, it’ll kill her to go through round 2 of our “toxic marriage situation” when it happens again.

I can’t blame either of them really, they had to put up with each of us acting out of our heads and like children for years, it must’ve been exhausting. It’s our mess we made, all we can do is hope things work out and time fixes things.


I really hope you and your wife go to Retrouvaille to find the source of your problems, and learn how to communicate better. If the only reason you are together is the lack of money for a divorce, the problems will resurface. That’s what Retrouvaille is for. It teaches new ways of communicating, and also how to really dig into the real issues, not just what you fight about on the surface. Please consider it, it has helped thousands of couples. See link in my sig.


Please pray for us as my husband and I will be attending a Retrouvaille Sept 22-24. We have been separated for 3 months, and he said he wanted a divorce because we fight too much. He says he loves me but he doesnt want to live with me anymore. I love him so much and do not want to bust up my family. He did agree to go to this however, so maybe there’s a glimmer of hope, although he said his intent was divorce. What are the odds when only one of us wants to save the marriage? I still hope for a miracle. Please pray for us.


As I said, we were already divorced. And honestly, at the time, I wasn’t thinking it would do any good at all. I thought, maybe we can learn to not fight as much in front of our son. I never ever ever expected to actually restore my relationship and get remarried. Never crossed my mind. But it happened anyway. God has this way of changing hearts even when that person thinks they don’t want to change. Keep praying for your husband, and we will pray for you both!


Thank you Thank you Thank you. Now if I can only hold on to that for 1 more week. We go Sept 22-24. I plan on using this upcoming week to pray, meditate, relax and be with healthy people who believe in the power of prayer because believe me, it will take a bonified miracle to save our marriage. Actually, I want to create a new marriage with my husband as our old one sucked. Your last line has given me hope. “God has a way of changing hearts even when that person thinks they don’t want to change.”. Please pray for a miracle. Our main problems are resentments and fighting. God has been able to repair marriages that had alot of more trouble than ours has. Please pray. I am a nervous wreck.


That’s what I said too. There was so much hurt there. All we ever did was fight. But now, it really IS like a new marriage. Both of us have changed, by giving our lives over to God, and so has our marriage. We don’t fight any more. We are able to talk about things. I don’t hold grudges and sulk, he doesn’t blow up. All by the grace of God, I know we weren’t strong enough to do it ourselves. If you open your heart to God, He will take care of you. He wants this marriage to work more than you do! He knows your pain. Remain in prayer. Talk to the saints. The peace of God is there for you. I will continue to pray for you as well! :gopray2: Hang in there!


I certainly wish you the best on your weekend.

I wish my wife would consider it. We haven’t lived together for nearly 2 years, and I have tried, tried and tried to get her to consider working on our marriage, but she considers that it is absolutely, totally, completely impossible to recover from what I did, so why try? It absolutely blows my mind that a woman who values marriage, values her family, who does not want to be divorced Catholic, will not even try. I have suggested Retrouvaille many times. She has visited the site. She has talked with the one of the coordinators at my suggestion, but her response has been that she can’t “commit 100% to it so there’s no use in trying”.

Seeing how people have benefited from it, people who are in their last throes of trying to save their marriage, only makes me cry. Cry because I have said I will do anything, try anything, work, work, and work and work to put it back together.


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