Retrouvaille - Rediscovery of Marriage

Since Father Arul Raj is ministering in this area and conducting seminars, I thought you might be interested to have some idea of what it is. TK

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Retrouvaille

... a lifeline for Marriages

A program to Help Couples Heal and Renew their Marriages.
  • Do you feel lost, alone or bored in your marriage?
  • Are you frustrated, hurt or angry with your spouse?
  • Are you constantly fighting? Or, do you simply shut down?
  • Have you thought about separation or divorce?
  • Does talking about it only make it worse?
    ... Retrouvaille provides marriage help!
     


What is a Retrouvaille Program?
 
The word Retrouvaille (pronounced re-tro-vi with a long i.) is a French word meaning rediscovery. The program offers tools needed to rediscover a loving marriage relationship. Thousands of couples headed for cold, unloving relationships or divorce have successfully overcome their marriage problems by attending the program.
The Retrouvaille Program consists of a weekend experience combined with a series of 6-12 post-weekend sessions over 3 months. It provides the tools to help put your marriage in order again. The main emphasis of the program is on communication in marriage between husband and wife. It will give you the opportunity to rediscover each other and examine your lives together in a new and positive way.
 
What the Program is not.
 It is not a retreat, marriage counseling, or a sensitivity group. There are neither group dynamics nor group discussions on the weekend. It is not a time for hurting; it is a time for healing.
Who is it for?
It is for couples with marital problems including those who are considering marriage separation and those who are already separated or divorced that want marriage help.
Some couples come to Retrouvaille during the initial signs of a marriage problem. Other couples are in a state of despair and hopelessness when they attend the program. These latter couples often consider the Retrouvaille program their final option.
Many lawyers and judges send couples to Retrouvaille as a prerequisite to filing for a divorce or rendering final decisions. Many marriage counselors send their clients to Retrouvaille as a prerequisite to marriage counseling. These professionals know that the tools of communication in marriage taught in the program are often what couples need.
The Retrouvaille program is not designed nor intended for couples in a co-habitating relationship.
What Happens During a Retrouvaille Program?
During the weekend phase, a team of three couples and a priest or three couples and a Christian minister & spouse give a series of presentations. The weekend is not a spiritual retreat, not a marriage encounter or marriage seminar although it does have characteristics of each of these and much more. You will, however, be encouraged to put the past behind you and start rediscovering each other.

The team presents a technique of communication that enables you to take a good look at most areas of your relationship. The team does not provide
marriage advice. The team provides practical tools for improving your marriage. They will share how they were able to benefit from these techniques themselves. After each presentation you will have a chance to reflect on it by yourself, then discuss it in complete privacy with your spouse.
The weekend is not a ‘miracle cure'; therefore, the post-weekend sessions have been designed to continue the marriage renewal begun on the weekend. The post-weekend phase is as crucial, maybe more critical, to the healing of marriage problems. During the post-weekend sessions, the technique learned on the weekend is further developed and is used to explore additional areas of the marriage relationship.
 
When and Where?
 
The program is offered on scheduled weekends beginning Friday evening, and closing with Mass or devotional service late Sunday afternoon. The post-weekend sessions last a minimum of two hours and often longer depending on the configuration presented in your local community. The post-weekend sessions are scheduled at various times of the week in each community.
The volunteers in your local Retrouvaille Community schedule facilities for both the weekend and the post-weekend phases of the program. Contact the Retrouvaille community closest to you for specific information about the location of the program. All contacts are held in the strictest confidence.
 
Do I have to be Catholic?
 
Retrouvaille is Catholic in origin. Couples of all faiths and those with no faith tradition are welcome and encouraged to attend. Christian Multi-Denomination (CMD) weekends may also be available in some areas. On CMD weekends, a Christian minister and spouse take the place of the priest on the presenting team.
 
Will someone try to convert me?
 
The program is not designed to promote a specific religion. Atheists, agnostics and those of various religions are respected for their beliefs and encouraged to attend for the benefit of their marriage.
No attempt is made to convert anyone to a religion. Saving a marriage is our focus. The ultimate goal of Retrouvaille is solely to help save marriages.
 
What does the Program Cost?
 
Each couple is asked to make a donation to help cover the cost of the program. This one donation covers all the expenses of the weekend and the post-weekend sessions. Weekend lodging, meals and materials are all covered by this single donation.
Costs vary from location to location. Contact the Retrouvaille community closest to you for specific information about the amount of donation they request. A registration fee is required when you register for the program to confirm your accommodations. Space is limited so early registration is encouraged.
No couple is ever denied the chance to heal and renew their marriage because of lack of funds.
 
How do I learn more?
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Vision, Mission, History and Logo

Vision Statement
We believe that every marriage, a union of one man and one woman, deserves the opportunity to survive, be healed and thrive as a covenant of life and love. Retrouvaille is the place where we, as hurting couples, found hope and so we are passionately committed to dramatically increasing the number of couples served in both new and existing communities worldwide.

Mission Statement

Retrouvaille is an International community of disciples committed to the continued healing of their marriages and, empowered by the Holy Spirit, sharing their stories, talents and gifts to promote and spread the healing ministry of Retrouvaille.
Patron Saint
The Patron Saint of Retrouvaille is
St. Joseph
History
Retrouvaille began in 1977 as a French language weekend for hurting marriages in the province of Quebec, Canada. It was adapted to English by the community in Toronto, who also revised and strengthened the contents of the weekend and developed the post-weekend programs. From 1982, Retrouvaille has spread through the U.S.A., South America and from 1991 into many other countries around the world.
Read the Full History

The Goals of Retrouvaille

The primary goal is to provide help for couples who live in the disappointment and pain of a marriage problems. The weekend provides a safe setting encouraging couples to learn communication in marriage in a respectful manner. The post-weekend phase of the Retrouvaille program is as critical to a couple experiencing marital problems as the initial weekend experience. The degree of disappointment, deterioration and despair in hurting marriages cannot be healed in one weekend. Restoration takes time. The post-weekend sessions provide support as couples discuss concepts of the importance of communication in marriage, intimacy, and many other topics. Today's unchallenged acceptance of divorce suggests that many friends, families, church communities are providing only limited support for marriages. Retrouvaille is a program that is solely dedicated to providing the necessary support to help save marriages.

The Programs Leaders

A team of three couples and a priest or three couples and a Christian minister & spouse for Christian Multi-Denominational (CMD) weekends present the Retrouvaille weekend. The presenting couples have grown through serious disillusionment, pain and conflict in their own relationships. These couples offer hope as they share their personal stories of struggle, reconciliation and healing. The team couples share the deep and personal hurts they have experienced. This helps participants find the courage to express some of their own pain with their spouse in a safe and private place. In sharing their values and insights, team couples offer a message different from society's model of independence and selfishness. Hurting couples are invited to see how listening, communication, conflict management and forgiveness are healthy tools for building a stable relationship.

Retrouvaille Logo
The logo indicates the "Lifeline" that is given to marriages, via Retrouvaille, to be healed through the Paschal Mystery of Christ's Death and Resurrection.
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 4 Stages of Marriage
There are 4 Stages of Marriage: (1) Romance, (2) Disillusionment, (3) Misery, and (4) Awakening. Due to the high divorce rate many couples never make it to the 4th Stage of Awakening.
Romance

Most are familiar with the 1st Stage of Romance. Life was so wonderful we couldn't stand to live without the other. Our thoughts often turned to the other when we were not with them. We had fallen in love and knew that this was the person we wanted to spend the rest of our life with. Little differences between us were cute and endearing.
Disillusionment
At some point those little differences started to annoy us. We felt bothered by some of those same things that may have been cute a short time earlier. The self-talk in the back of our mind started wondering why our spouse couldn't be more like us. We had entered into the 2nd 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 hurt deeply by this Disillusionment. We realize that the expectations we had of the perfect marriage were not going to happen. For some this realization is too heart wrenching and they give up on the marriage and divorce during this 2nd Stage of Disillusionment.
Misery

Many people stick with and try to work through their problems during Disillusionment. They seek the counsel of family, friends, clergy and marriage family counselors. Some of these people find the key they are looking for from these resources. Many others continue to struggle and their troubles worsen. Often the marriage deteriorates more deeply due to drug, alcohol or other addictions. Sometimes a third party relationship in the form of extramarital affairs result. As the couple finds themselves in this 3rd Stage of Marriage they know they have entered the Misery Stage.
The Misery Stage is where many couples find themselves considering a marriage separation or divorce. When children are involved this 3rd Stage of Misery is particularly difficult on them. Regardless of whether the couple stays together in misery or divorce the children often believe it is their fault regardless of assurances to the contrary. The effects of divorce on a child cannot be over emphasized. The pain is so intense during the Misery Stage that it is common to only want it to STOP. Much like the pain of a toothache that consumes your whole being you cannot seem to think of anything else besides stopping the pain. One spouse may be pushing hard for the divorce while the other wants to stop divorce.
If the couple ends the marriage at this point and remarry other partners they are more likely to experience the effects of divorce with their second or third spouse.
Awakening
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 (pronounced re-tro-vi with a long i.) can help. Teams of couples who have experienced all 4 Stages of Marriage present the Retrouvaille program. Instead of giving up they found solutions. In Retrouvaille they learned the tools they needed to live a happy marriage. They learned that marriage does not follow the Romance and 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 3rd Stage of Misery into the 4th Stage of Awakening.
Whether you are in the Disillusionment Stage grieving the loss of that magical Romance or if you have moved firmly into the Misery Stage Retrouvaille can give you the marriage help you need to rebuild your marriage. Many tens of thousands of couples have turned their marriages around by giving this program a chance.
Can you save your marriage by attending and working the Retrouvaille program? You will never know until you try. Call the phone number or send an email to the caring Retrouvaille volunteers in your area. Ask them those tough questions that keep nagging at you in the back of your mind. The people answering the phone or responding to your email are people just like you who have been there and pushed through to the 4th Stage of Awakening. They will be able to relate to your feelings of hopelessness and loss. They will do their best to give you the answers you need about this program.
Be assured that all contacts are held in the strictest confidence.
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