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This room is for supportive and informative discussion about divorce and/or the annulment process. All posters must have been previously divorced or annulled.

Saint Eugene De Mazenod is patron of dysfunctional families & Saint Fabiola obtained a divorce from her first husband prior to devoting her life to charitable works.
Learn More: Saint Eugene De Mazenod and Saint Fabiola

My former spouse and I attended Retrouvaille several years before divorcing. During my move last fall I found our notebooks and read some of the things we wrote to each other. Six months before attending Retrouvaille I found out that he was having a sexual affair with a four times divorced, former drug addict, "biker chick" he met in the liquor department at Safeway (he doesn't drink alcohol because his sister is an alcoholic). I was amazed at how "calm" and articulate I was in my journal while he was completely irrational. Why did I not notice his irrational behaviors and writing at the time? I do recall asking him if it would be okay to share our journals with one of the coordinators to get their perspective on our writing. The coordinator seemed rather shocked by what my former spouse wrote so he called his wife over and she very calmly explained to my former husband that what he was writing was not what was expected of him and that he should write more "like me". Well you can imagine after that night he never wrote in his notebook again.

What was your experience with Retrouvaille? Did you feel it "helped" your marriage? Do you feel that communication breakdown in your marriage had a negative effect on your marriage, thus causing the divorce?

I would really like to know just how effective programs like Retrouvaille are in "saving marriages". Of course for those who are advocates of annulments, in which case the marriage never was a sacrament, Retrouvaille is a waste of time and money. Right?
Feb 6th 2014 new
my husband and I went to one weekend. He never wanted to do the homework or wanted to talk about that topics. So I left ....
Feb 16th 2014 new
I have not posted on a forum before but obviously have strong enough opinions on this topic to post here.

We had been separated four months when I insisted on traveling to another state to participate in Retrouvaille after seeing it profiled in our Diocesan magazine. The weekend was a disaster, with my husband spending some of the speaking sessions in the bathroom or out smoking, refusing to try the writing exercises, and demonstrating coercive behavior. I approached the lead couple while alone--it helped that they were about my parents' age and had experienced with their daughter something my parents and I had experienced together--and asked for perspective. They had saved their own marriage years earlier and volunteered for 13 years helping others do the same. They told me, "Get out while you can." Before we could leave, my husband had an altercation with one of the volunteer leaders.

So, for me, Retrouvaille was pivotal in helping make the decision to continue with the divorce to protect myself. But, other participants at the weekend seemed moved in a positive direction, and I have heard of it supporting couples who are still married today. I wish topics discussed at Retrouvaille would be incorporated more into pre-marital preparation.
Feb 16th 2014 new
(quote) Joan-529855 said: My former spouse and I attended Retrouvaille several years before divorcing. During my move last fall I found our notebooks and read some of the things we wrote to each other. Six months before attending Retrouvaille I found out that he was having a sexual affair with a four times divorced, former drug addict, "biker chick" he met in the liquor department at Safeway (he doesn't drink alcohol because his sister is an alcoholic). I was amazed at how "calm" and articulate I was in my journal while he was completely irrational. Why did I not notice his irrational behaviors and writing at the time? I do recall asking him if it would be okay to share our journals with one of the coordinators to get their perspective on our writing. The coordinator seemed rather shocked by what my former spouse wrote so he called his wife over and she very calmly explained to my former husband that what he was writing was not what was expected of him and that he should write more "like me". Well you can imagine after that night he never wrote in his notebook again.

What was your experience with Retrouvaille? Did you feel it "helped" your marriage? Do you feel that communication breakdown in your marriage had a negative effect on your marriage, thus causing the divorce?

I would really like to know just how effective programs like Retrouvaille are in "saving marriages". Of course for those who are advocates of annulments, in which case the marriage never was a sacrament, Retrouvaille is a waste of time and money. Right?
I think that the Retrouvaille process is a helpful tool through which a couple, experiencing conflicts and difficulties in communication, can adjust their communication methods and see each other with new eyes--IF both spouses desire the marriage to succeed and recognize they need help in achieving that success.
It isn't a miracle cure where reluctant spouses are suddenly zapped with conversion.
At least it wasn't that way for me.

My husband's participation, in both the weekend and in the classes and writing assignments afterward, was reluctant, just as his participation in marriage counseling was. He expected me to do all the changing/adjusting/effort-making, as he viewed me as the problem. I tried both Retrouvaille and counseling with him with the hope that either or both would discover some valid reasons for me to stay in the marriage, or that the marriage would somehow be resurrected, as by that time the marriage, in my mind, was dead.

Communication, unrealistic expectations, immaturity, and weak spirituality were some of the causes for my marriage breakdown.
Feb 16th 2014 new
(quote) Nicole-911816 said: I have not posted on a forum before but obviously have strong enough opinions on this topic to post here.

We had been separated four months when I insisted on traveling to another state to participate in Retrouvaille after seeing it profiled in our Diocesan magazine. The weekend was a disaster, with my husband spending some of the speaking sessions in the bathroom or out smoking, refusing to try the writing exercises, and demonstrating coercive behavior. I approached the lead couple while alone--it helped that they were about my parents' age and had experienced with their daughter something my parents and I had experienced together--and asked for perspective. They had saved their own marriage years earlier and volunteered for 13 years helping others do the same. They told me, "Get out while you can." Before we could leave, my husband had an altercation with one of the volunteer leaders.

So, for me, Retrouvaille was pivotal in helping make the decision to continue with the divorce to protect myself. But, other participants at the weekend seemed moved in a positive direction, and I have heard of it supporting couples who are still married today. I wish topics discussed at Retrouvaille would be incorporated more into pre-marital preparation.
I think if I had spoken to the lead couple separately they might have said the same thing, but we had four children and been married 23 years at the time, longer than the lead couple. He wrote some very immature and hurtful things in his notebook; not at all what they were "teaching" us. He was very unengaged during the talks and spent a great deal of time in the restroom as well. I was very concerned that he was going to stand up and start yelling at the couples presenting the program, from what he was writing in his journal, so I was just relieved that he didn't cause any drama. He did continue to go to the evenings afterwards, but it was all just a game to him.

I would just like to know the real figures as to the "success" of the program.
Feb 16th 2014 new
At the time, I felt that the 2 weeks after finding out about the affair that it was Godsent that we were able to attend a Retroveille weekend somewhat locally. That was the year 2002.

It definitely put a huge band aid on the marriage and lots of tears were shed and remorse was a plenty from my husband. I unfortunately was not able to continue the lie ( meaning his fakeness jekyl hide, lies, and just more and more crap0 and by 2006 and I was seeking an atty. I never filed at that time. By 2010 I filed. BUT -dropped the case within 2 weeks due to my coersive spouse and he agreed to settle with out the war of dueling lawyers. another lie, so I was forced to refile may 2011 and by that time we had both just given up and moved on, he did not fight he walked away, got a divorce in 3 mos by default ( he never showed up to court and had been moved out). SOOOO, I cant say much about it but I am now in the latter phases of my annulment.

Feb 17th 2014 new
(quote) Rebecca-767861 said: At the time, I felt that the 2 weeks after finding out about the affair that it was Godsent that we were able to attend a Retroveille weekend somewhat locally. That was the year 2002.

It definitely put a huge band aid on the marriage and lots of tears were shed and remorse was a plenty from my husband. I unfortunately was not able to continue the lie ( meaning his fakeness jekyl hide, lies, and just more and more crap0 and by 2006 and I was seeking an atty. I never filed at that time. By 2010 I filed. BUT -dropped the case within 2 weeks due to my coersive spouse and he agreed to settle with out the war of dueling lawyers. another lie, so I was forced to refile may 2011 and by that time we had both just given up and moved on, he did not fight he walked away, got a divorce in 3 mos by default ( he never showed up to court and had been moved out). SOOOO, I cant say much about it but I am now in the latter phases of my annulment.

That is exactly what I felt it was, a huge band-aid, without ever addressing the real issues. Our issue was not lack of communication (which is what Retrouvaille teaches as the reason people get divorced), but lack of respect on his part. He did not respect me and I did not demand respect of him. I too met with a lawyer in 2002, after finding out about his affair. She recommended that I not file for divorce because of the ages of our children, so I sought marital counseling. Unsuccessful with counseling he agreed to attend Retrouvaille, however did not cooperate. Another affair surfaced in 2007 with the married mother of our son's friend and this time I said "get out and don't come back". He tried to come back multiple times after that, even making an appointment for us to see a marriage counselor. He refused to sign the legal separation papers and in the meantime moved in with yet another woman. A week after our youngest turned 18 he filed for divorce declaring that he had "won" because he didn't have to pay child support. We haven't seen nor heard much from him since.

For me the saddest part is that the kids missed out on a very important part of their lives (teenage years) as a "family" because their father was in a "midlife crisis" (midlife bipolar disorder). I honestly wish that I had filed for divorce much sooner and not gone to Retrouvaille and counseling; it just prolonged the inevitable as he had no intention of remaining faithful. His only purpose in dragging out the marriage was to keep from having to pay child support. Yeah, in the end "he won" (no child support), which is all that mattered to him.
Feb 17th 2014 new
If a person has Valley Fever or tuberculosis, the diagnosis might be made by a primary care doctor, but the treatment will most likely be handled by a pulmonologist, not a podiatrist. And the effectiveness of the treatment has a lot to do with how much the patient follows the prescribed regimen. Even then, some diseases may not be cured.

Retrouvaille is one of the options available to couples experiencing marital problems. It is very effective in the particular cases for which it was designed. It's not a miracle salve for all failing marriages.

Perhaps CM is the wrong place to ask about Retrouvaille? We are here on CM seeking a spouse. If we'd participated in the Retrouvaille process, that means it didn't work for us. It means NOTHING worked for us. The more proper venue for questioning the effectiveness of that program would be in a group of married people, would it not? to see how many of those marriages were saved through methods of Retrouvaille? (which, again, all depend upon the desires and willingness of the participants to make it work)

Mar 4th 2014 new
I tried several times to get my ex wife to attend a retreat. I took filing for divorce and several close friends of ours to persuade her to go. She never had any intention of ended third party contact so for me it was a waste of time. It allowed me to see my faults in our marriage but as the saying goes, " It takes two believing in One," I believe it's a great program but both partners need to put in an equal effort. Without that, there's no use.
Mar 25th 2014 new
I attended and have never regretted it. It was the most gut-wrenchingly difficult weekend of my life and no, we did not leave a happy couple but that wasn't the program's fault. It was ours. I was all in, he wasn't. He maintained a third party relationship (unknown to me at the time) and due to his not being vested in our relationship the marriage failed. He chose not to participate as he should have in this and in counseling. While we were the only couple at the weekend who left not smiling, it taught me so much about communication and, ultimately, myself that I haven't regretted it a bit. I was able to express issues that long needed to be talked about and I think he understood me better that weekend than in our whole marriage, but his mind was elsewhere and focused on another life so going through the motions was very much all I received for his part. I think it was a wonderful program while it may not work for all, certainly worked for many and definately worked for me personally in being able to fashion better relationships with loved ones in my life and for (perhaps????:-))some special fella in the future. I think aspects of this should be a part of pre-wedding counseling.
I have to agree with another poster in that this probably isn't the place to hear about who it did work for. After all, this is a singles site.
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