A LIFELINE FOR MARRIED COUPLES
RETROUVAILLE IS A PROGRAM DESIGNED TO HELP AND RENEW TROUBLED MARRIAGES
The word Retrouvaille simply means ‘to rediscover life’. Our program offers you the chance to rediscover yourself, your spouse, and a loving relationship in your marriage. Retrouvaille is a three-phase program. Phase 1 begins on a Friday evening at 7:30 pm and ends about 4:00 pm Sunday afternoon. On the weekend, a series of in-depth presentations are given to the attending couples. Each presentation is given by one of three married couples and a priest or a pastor and focuses on a specific area of the marital relationship. After each presentation, couples will have a chance to reflect on the topic and discuss it with their spouse in complete privacy. The post-weekend phase (Phase 2) is as crucial to the healing of a troubled marriage as the initial weekend experience. During the post–weekend phase the weekend concepts are further developed and combined with additional tools to explore other areas of the marriage relationship. The third phase of the program is CORE (Continuing Our Retrouvaille Experience). CORE begins after the post weekend phase is completed. It is perhaps the most important part of the program…a safe place for couples to meet and support each other as they continue to work on their marriages and the Retrouvaille concepts they have learned. CORE couples meet once a month. Studies have shown that couples with the support of other couples who strongly believe in marriage, are more likely to succeed in their marriage.
- Only first names are used throughout the program.
- You are never asked to share your problems with anyone except your spouse.
- The location of the Weekend Program is only given to registered couples.
THE FOUR STAGES OF MARRIAGE
Marriage is seldom the fairy tale we would love it to be. It goes through many life-cycles, which we in Retrouvaille call the four stages of marriage – Romance, Disillusionment, Misery, and Joy (or Awakening). Many marriages experience the first three stages. Marriages that end in divorce never make it to the fourth stage of Awakening.
In Romance, the focus is on you, the other person…we are thinking “You are absolutely divine and perfect”. Most of us are familiar with the first stage of marriage, Romance. Life is wonderful, we can hardly stand to live even a minute without each other. Our thoughts are constantly about each other. We have fallen in love and know that this is the person I want to spend the rest of my life with. Little differences between us were cute and endearing. Life couldn’t be better.
In Disillusionment, we start thinking; “You’re not who I thought you’d be.”, and we start to focus more on me. At some point, those little differences start to annoy us. We feel bothered by some of those same things that may have been cute not all that long ago. Some self-talk in the back of our mind starts wondering why our spouse couldn’t be more like us. We have entered into the second stage of marriage, the Disillusionment stage. During the Disillusionment stage, we start to realize that our spouse is not the perfect person that we had envisioned him or her to be. Sometimes, especially if our Romance stage had been particularly intense, we are deeply hurt by this Disillusionment. We realize that the expectations we had of the perfect marriage are not going to happen. For some couples, this realization is too heart-wrenching and they give up on their marriage. They divorce during the stage of Disillusionment.
In Misery, we become turned into ourselves completely. We start thinking “If I see you at all, I see you as the cause of my pain.” The Misery stage is often the time when couples find themselves considering a marriage separation or divorce. When children are involved, this third stage of Misery is particularly difficult on both spouses. Regardless of whether couples stay together or not, the effects of divorce on a child cannot be overlooked. The pain is so intense during the Misery stage that it is common to throw in the towel and call it quits. If a couple ends their marriage at this point and remarrys another partner later in life they are more likely to experience the effects of divorce with their second or third spouse as well.
In the fourth stage, Joy or Awakening, couples rebuild and recreate their lives together. Most people whose marriages end in divorce are not bad people. Rather, they are often people who never learned the proper tools for a happy marriage. This is where Retrouvaille can help. Teams of couples who have experienced all four stages of marriage present the Retrouvaille program. Instead of giving up on their marriage, they found solutions. In Retrouvaille they learned the tools they needed to live a happy marriage. They learned that marriage does not follow the Get Married and Live Happily Ever After formula portrayed in literature and media. Rather, they learn that there are certain learnable skills, attitudes and tools that they can use to deal with the inevitable problems of the real world. These skills, attitudes and tools give them what they need to move from the third Stage of Misery into the fourth stage of Awakening.
Don’t give up without learning about the fourth stage of Awakening.
Whether you are in the Disillusionment Stage (grieving the loss of that magical Romance Stage you once had) or if you have moved firmly into the Misery Stage, Retrouvaille can give you the help you need to rebuild your marriage.
Can you save your marriage by attending a Retrouvaille program? You will never know until you try. Call 1 (587) 598-4357 or send us an EMAIL and ask us those tough questions that keep nagging at you. The people answering the phone or responding to your email are people just like you who have been in your situation and pushed through to the fourth stage of Awakening. We will be able to relate to your feelings. We will do our best to give you the answers you need about this program.