Retrouvaille For Troubled Marriages
Retrouvaille began in 1977 as a French language weekend program for struggling marriages in Quebec, Canada, which was then adapted to English by the community in Toronto. In the following years, Retrouvaille began spreading to many other countries. Today, the worldwide Retrouvaille ministry has active communities throughout the world.
Retrouvaille is a French word meaning “to find each other again”. Retrouvaille is a non-profit and all volunteer program that helps couples restore their marriage and rebuild a loving relationship.
Retrouvaille offers a three-phase program for couples with marital problems who need marriage help:
- Phase 1: The Retrouvaille Weekend Experience
- Phase 2: The Post Weekend Sessions
- Phase 3: Monthly Support
The program is usually offered by churches or ministries to couples that are having serious problems or are already separated.
What Makes Retrouvaille Different?
What makes Retrouvaille for marriage problems different from other programs is that couples don’t just sit and listen to others lecture. Instead, the program is presented by other couples who have been through a Retrouvaille program in conjunction with a minister or counselor. You listen to a series of presentation over the two days and then spend time reflecting alone followed by honest discussion with your spouse. It is not a spiritual retreat. It is a chance for hurting couples to come together and discuss the problems which are destroying their marriage.
The whole purpose of Retrouvaille is to encourage marriage partners to come together again as a loving husband and wife. The program is usually attended by couples who have drifted apart, stopped communicating, are angry or ready to give up on the marriage. Many of the couples have either physically separated or are emotionally separated even though still living together. It is an interesting and productive weekend that begins the process of reconciliation. After the initial weekend, there are usually a series of follow up sessions in order to keep the process going.
It is easy for a marriage to disintegrate when it is neglected. Many couples can’t remember the last time they sat down together and had a heart to heart discussion about their marriage or specific issues of concern. Instead there is too much work to do and the children to keep up with and bills to pay and family to care for and so many other things that can take attention away from the marriage itself.
Friends and Lovers
In a marriage, it’s important to be friends as much as lovers. Over time, when the relationship is ignored at the sake of everything else in your life, the result is a gradual distancing that takes place. Eventually, it is as if you don’t even know each other anymore. Retrouvaille focuses on giving you and your spouse time to get to really know each other again so you can rediscover the qualities which brought you together in the first place. You rediscover the love and relationship you have with your spouse.
Because Retrouvaille teaches communication techniques, you get many communication tools for solving problems. You can take these tools with you and use them in your everyday life. But the whole point is that you and your spouse work together to restore the joy in your marriage. These techniques are great for any stage of marriage too. It doesn’t matter if you have been married one year or fifty years. In fact, older couples often need Retrouvaille because they have reached a stage where simple boredom is destroying what they have had for so many years.
Making Positive Decisions
When you have marital problems, it is sometimes difficult to understand what the exact problems really are in the relationship. It’s easy to let things just go along without taking the time to understand how each decision is impacting the long term health of the marriage. With Retrouvaille you learn how to make positive decisions in all the areas of your marriage. For example, you learn how to forgive instead of deciding to hold grudges. Or you decide to improve communication by changing how you present your opinions and concerns.
The fact is that every time you communicate with your spouse, you must make a decision as to how you will preserve the marriage in a positive manner. A good marriage has no room for thoughtless criticisms, constant cynicism and regular conflict. It is like chipping away at a brick wall one brick at a time until eventually the whole structure collapses. Instead, by making the positive choices you strengthen your marriage physically, emotionally and spiritually.
The Retrouvaille program has helped tens of thousands of couples throughout the world and has proven to be very successful. You can learn to let go of the anger, frustrations and ennui that is damaging the marriage. Together, a husband and wife can learn how to face problems as a team.
If you are having marital problems, considering separation, or already separated or divorced, you are encouraged to consider the Retrouvaille program. No marriage or relationship can be beyond hope! For more information on the Retrouvaille program, you can visit the official website of Retrouvaille.