(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.