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Thoughts on Retrouvaille or B.A.N.?

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ILINIA posted 7/29/2013 06:37 AM

Has anyone tried either of these programs? If so, were they helpful?

BAN (beyond affair network) doesn't have a group in our city, so I was almost thinking about volunteering to be a facilitator, but I have no idea what it really entails or if it is a decent group.

I have been craving to actually meet someone that has been through our situations. I know I am not alone, as SI has been wonderful, but I think it may help me to physically "see" someone.

JustWow posted 7/29/2013 06:49 AM

We did Retrouvaille......twice - lol.

Once during false R, once during real R.

It is a really good program, but it is mostly about you and your spouse. You won't find much sharing between couples. I have no experience with BAN.

Deeply Scared posted 7/29/2013 06:53 AM

We did Retrouvaille and loved it

Even tho you're in a group setting, all your exercises are done in private and you're never asked to share anything unless you volunteer to. Don't be turned off the the religious tone, it's very mild and you're not obligated to attend morning Mass, but it's there if you choose to participate.

If you can, take the following Monday off, you both will be completely, emotionally exhausted and will need time to re-charge.

The whole point to the program is to give you the tools to communicate openly and honestly and really hear the other person. You'll carry the communication tools with you from here on out.

Everything is very private, you are never asked to share anything, unless you volunteer to do so. I highly recommend you take your favorite pen or'll be writting alot. Once a day or so the priest who was doing some of the presentations asked a sort of, "Anybody like to share about how it's going" type of question. People gave fairly general comments, but there were a few who got emotional. It was completely voluntary though.

You are never asked to read what you’ve written to the group. If you or your FWS is a private person, he doesn't need to worry a bit. At the end of the weekend, you'll be given an envelope, and you offer what you can afford.

Our weekend cost approximately $250.00 per person, this includes all your workshop materials, 3 meals a day and lodging. You are not required to donate anything, they only ask you give as much as you are comfortable with…it’s completely anonymous. If you can’t afford to donate anything, no one will know the difference.

MH and I were blessed with being able to pay for both our expenses and we covered partial cost for another couple…again, completely anonymous. This is all done in the privacy of your room.

Yakamishi posted 7/29/2013 12:31 PM

I triend BAN for a few meetings, but the one in my area was pretty much made up of people that were NOT in recovery. Either divorced, seperated,etc. They all seemed bitter, resentful. And I was looking for reassurance and positive motivation.

Quit after 3rd meeting.

Skan posted 7/29/2013 18:36 PM

I highly recommend Retrouvaille. While you are there for the two of you and it's not therapy per se, you do build bonds with the people you go thru the program with and the presenters have been there and done that relationship rebuilding wise, just like the guides and moderators here on SI. You have an initial weekend, then a series of post sessions, and at the end of that (which is where I am), they have monthly meetings called CORE which you can attend to continue on with your couples work and support.

I really think that this program is a perfect fit with IC and MC because it teaches you about feelings how to express them and how to understand when they are expressed to you. I think that it was a god-send to us.

sudra posted 7/29/2013 22:44 PM

I usually go to BAN every month. I find it helpful but I'm sure it varies from group to group.

jellybean22 posted 7/29/2013 23:03 PM

We attended Retrouvaille two weekends ago. We are not catholic and, though our group seems to include more catholic stuff than others report, it's not a deal breaker.

We went intending to take what we could from the weekend but skip the commitment of the post sessions. We have been in MC/IC since shortly after D-day. But after the weekend ended, we wanted to go to the post sessions.

Other couples who have graduated and choose to share are leaders and share their stories in relation to the specific lesson. It's not hard to see yourself in another couple and its encouraging to see how far they've come. We also made friends with a few couples on the weekend.

We are kind of Retrouvaille slackers though. We haven't done a lick of homework since we were on our weekend. But what we learned that weekend still helps us even though we don't follow it specifically.

I recommend it unless hearing anything religious would turn you off or cause a bad attitude.

It cost $100 for us to book and the donation at the end was voluntary and 100% anonymous. We stayed in a dormitory at a catholic retreat which was a huge turnoff for us at the start. But it was all good in the end.

We had 25 couples (as opposed to the April weekend we had hoped to attend but couldn't due to work that had only 7 couples) and the difference in attitudes and body language within many couples between Friday evening and Sunday morning was just unreal.

whatamess11 posted 7/30/2013 09:16 AM

Hi All, I looked into Retrouvaille a few months ago. It seems like it could be very helpful.

I have a few questions for those of you who know. I remember reading that it's a lot about communication. Is that true? Also, is infidelity a focus? I'm sure a lot of people attend who have issues not related to infidelity.

doesitgetbetter posted 7/30/2013 09:50 AM

We did Retrou 9 months after DDay. Here's what it's not. It's NOT a counseling program. It won't help you deal with infidelity, abuse, negativity, parenting issues, relational issues, etc. etc. etc. The people who host it are NOT counselors. They are simply people who've gone through Retrou and have been able to use it to improve their own communication which improves their marriage. Our weekend didn't have any presenters that had dealt with infidelity at all. One had a drinking problem, one was abusive to his wife, and the other couple was a workaholic who never communicated about anything. So infidelity was never even mentioned in our weekend. It depends on the issues your presenters have as to what will be mentioned.

Now, what IS it? It is a program designed to help you and your spouse communicate effectively. My H was a major compartmentalizer. Before DDay, he would see that something was wrong with me and just ignore it until I stopped talking about it. He would never ask me about it or work on it. After Retrou, he now sets aside time after the kids are in bed and he's done with all his tasks for the night to talk to me, work on a plan, and get things hashed out. He has also learned how to express his emotions, how to connect with those emotions, and where those emotions are coming from and why. Retrou changed my H's life, which has changed my life as well.

While I love Retrou and recommend it all the time, Retrou does lack a little bit of follow through for my taste. It helps you get your emotions out and express your feelings, but it lacks in the "resolution" department IMO. IMAGO by Dr. Harville Hendrix teaches the same communication techniques that Retrou does, but he follows up with a healthy dose of resolution as well. He also helps you identify where those FOO issues came from, what they mean, and how to overcome them. You can also do the IMAGO books at home at your own pace, and I highly recommend those as well!

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