Hi everyone. THanks for the replies. I still am not totally convinced that making the trip would be worth it when we can sit and write to each other (like we do anyway) and discuss what we wrote and really open up to each other. Yes there are still some major issues in our relationship but neither of us are in denial that we have problems.
I think the difference between us and some of the couples that experienced retrouvaille is that when it really comes down to it, the words said by DH about divorce are the most hurtful things because I don’t like to hear them. In all reality, DH will not leave and I won’t leave. We’re like the Roses to a point in War of the Roses…firm in our resolve to stay in our marriage (first BIG difference…they wanted the house, not their marriage ). We watched that the other night and were laughing at some of the arguments because it sounds like us. DH hugged me and said I know we’ll always be together as long as you never say to me “When I look at you, when I watch you eat, when I watch you sleep, all I want to do is smash your face in.” We just laughed I told him that he’d better never say it to me either!
A lot of tears have been shed over my husband and I know that he’s cried many times over me too. But there is something about this marriage that even our counselor can’t quite put his finger on…he’s commented that he’s advised many couples in less serious situations then ours and they didn’t have the commitment or the foundation that we have to stay together. \
DH and I know that our communication (especially during arguments) could be better. If he says things or I say things that are misunderstood and cause hurt, we’ll talk it over after things have cooled. We ALWAYS express love to each other when things have cooled and it’s in front of the kids. Hugs, kisses, gentle touches or caresses and saying I love you, you may have hurt me but I love you and forgive you, let’s try again to be nicer when we’re upset…our fights have decreased from daily to maybe a couple a month (but they’re big). At least it’s not a big fight on a daily basis like before. So we are improving, it’s just taking time with some of the bigger issues that DH isn’t able to deal with right now. The smaller stuff we’re working out, I’m just not patient I guess…I want everything nice all the time right now
After all this being said, I have some more questions…
What are some examples of the topics of discussion at Retrouvaille? Is it like the ME experience where they say to write about something and give time limits to share the stuff you wrote? What are the things you talk about?
No one seems to want to share the specifics and that’s what I am looking for, not “You just have to go to understand”. Like I said, I’m not one to make a decision based on statistics alone, or success stories alone. A lot of infomercials offer those things and even Christian counselors, etc. do too (don’t forget I work in a Christian bookstore so we get lots of marriage books, some good, others not so good). The majority of the ones that we have (Ed Wheat, Gary Smalley, Willard Harley) all have common themes. I am wondering if Retrouvaille takes those things and just works those.
So would anyone be willing to share SPECIFIC examples, not just one example, of some of the topics of discussion, NOT HOW YOU OR YOUR SPOUSE RESPONDED, because that’s too personal.
For example, does it ask you to recall one moment in your courtship that made you realize that this was the person you wanted to spend the rest of your life with? Then you have to discuss your individual memories? I have a book called, Let Me Ask You This. It has tons of questions to ask each other to learn about each other, questions that aren’t always easily answered.
Is that what Retrouvaille is?
What happens at the follow ups? Are they just lectures about how to keep the communication open after the meetings are done? Is that what the weekend is? Lectures then writing time?
Sorry I’m being so inquisitive. That’s one of my faults I guess. You should’ve seen me before I made the decision to recommit my life to Christ in the Catholic Church…5 years of intense questions before I started relaxing .
You poor people! I’m sorry you have to endure these loooooong posts, but it’s important for me to know!