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Retrouvaille, for us?

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bionicgal posted 12/29/2013 12:51 PM

We have the chance to go to Retrouvaille fairly close to home, Valentines Day weekend. I even have a sitter lined up, but am wondering if it is for us?

Our MC was kind of noncommittal about it, and I am wondering if it is good for folks who aren't on the verge of divorce. We are solidly in R, and working hard, 6 months out from DDay. We have stuff to learn, for sure -- I was wondering what those of you who have done it, or know more about it, think the benefits are?

SisterMilkshake posted 12/29/2013 13:17 PM

Oh my gosh, GO! We were solidly reconciled when we went, or so I felt. But, the difference in our level of intimacy after (actually, started during Retrouvaille) is outstanding! We were able to communicate on a level that we never had before.

It isn't just for people on the verge of divorce but for people who's marriage has suffered a crisis. I can't recommend this program enough.

We went at almost 2 years past d-day. It was perfect timing for us, we probably could have gone a few months sooner, but it was fine when we went.

Flourgirl posted 12/29/2013 13:31 PM

We tried to go in Oct. but only made it one night. It was too soon for us. The emotions were too raw. Our MC said if we had asked her she would have told us to wait. If you think you are ready go for it! If your in MC ask if they think your ready.

blakesteele posted 12/29/2013 14:41 PM

We are signed up for one in February near us. We are 16 months out now, 18 months out when we go.

We went to a Weekend to Remember weekend about 6 months out....got some out of it, but might have been a bit to early....

Retrovaille is mandatory for some family courts before a D is granted.....must have some merit?

I have been advised to take a vacation day the Monday after....to rest.

God be with us all.

bionicgal posted 12/29/2013 14:49 PM

I have to tell a funny story - I was looking at the website and my son (9) was looking over my shoulder. He said, "Mom, why are all the pictures on the website of people fighting?" and I explained it was for people who wanted to make their marriages better. . .but sure enough, every time I clicked on a page, it showed another couple in distress, heads in hands, crying, etc. He shook his head and said, "I don't know Mom, I wouldn't make any friends there."

Oh, thanks for the endorsement, SM. That clinches it. And blakesteele, glad we'll have a "friend" doing it as well.

[This message edited by bionicgal at 2:51 PM, December 29th (Sunday)]

SisterMilkshake posted 12/29/2013 14:52 PM

Well, your son is right. You aren't there to make friends and you really shouldn't attempt to on the first weekend. It is all about you and your spouse. Of course, be pleasant at meals but it isn't a time for friend making.

At the follow up weekends is when we made friends with fellow Retrouvaillers.

Your son is funny and observant.

ILINIA posted 12/29/2013 14:59 PM

It was helpful in so many ways for us. It was a weekend where we could just focus on us without any distractions. As we progressed through the weekend, we had built true intimacy and the exercises we do after it has kept us intimate and forthcoming.

We did it at 4 months, which may have been early, but the feeling I had on the Sunday was overwhelming. I was a feeling of lightness and reconnection. Now, don't get me wrong I still have my moments, but I refer to that Retrouvaille feeling and I know happiness is there, I just have to keep working at it.

I think you have nothing to lose and the potential to gain something valuable, so go for it!

[This message edited by ILINIA at 3:02 PM, December 29th (Sunday)]

StillStanding1 posted 12/29/2013 15:04 PM

Definitely go! It's all about better communication and increasing intimacy. We went about 3 months after Dday and it was a very good thing for us. We didn't complete all the follow-up weekends and think we should try to find time to go back for the ones we missed.

There is not much interaction with other couples. The presenters share their own stories and give you topics to think about and talk about with your spouse. It's all what you make of it for yourselves. We really enjoyed it and felt so much more bonded after the experience. Mr. ShowNoEmotion actually broke down in front of the group at the final optional sharing moment - saying the weekend helped him remember all the reasons he loved me (and he was a real foggy waffler for a while after Dday).

And a GREAT suggestion to take Monday off. Our weekend was a couple hours drive away and we were emotionally exhausted after the intensity of the weekend. They don't give much "down time"! I REALLY wish we had spent a day at home together after it was over. Would have been wonderful.

(Hilariously, to keep costs down --ours was held at an Abbey, not a hotel, and we were given 2 rooms with tiny single beds. We felt like delinquents, sneaking out of our rooms at night to be together and cuddling in the most uncomfortable tiny bed. However, we'll never forget it!)

Enjoy it!

Skan posted 12/29/2013 15:17 PM

We did our weekend 10 months after DDay. I heard about it here on SI, proposed it to FWH, and we signed up. When we went, we felt like we were in a pretty good place, and our communication, especially about feelings, increased greatly. Thank God.

Because during our post-sessions, I found out that he had lied to me and was keeping Porn in the house. I left him and moved into a hotel for three days. We went to a post-session the day after I moved back home. It was agony. But throughout, we kept doing our exercises. When we would talk to each other, we used a lot of the tools that Retrouvaille gave us. And that helped a lot. When we finished the post-sessions, I still was not sure that we were going to R. But it helped us to draw back closer to each other.

And when I listened to my gut and caught him with his private browsing sessions, I saw a lawyer and we were doing an in-house separation. We dropped all of our exercises at that point, but were using the methods of communication when we talked to each other about necessary things. When he bounced, hard, off of the bottom, realizing that I was in earnest about leaving him, the tools allowed us to keep talking to each other. 'Twas Grace that led us back to each other, but Retrouvaille was a large part of that grace by giving us tools to seek understanding.

So no matter how solid you are, I think that this program can give you tools that you may need in the future. And there is a continuing community of support which we are plugged into. And whoever suggested taking the following Monday off is BANG-on! I was exhausted on that Monday. It's intense, it's eye-opening, and I highly recommend it.

So, I'll be saying a little prayer for you and blakesteele in February.

heforgotme posted 12/29/2013 15:37 PM

Omgosh, definitely go! I think you are in the perfect place. We were 10 months out when we went.

It focuses on communication skills, not on problems, so the A will not come up much (which is why it is hard to go if you are really close to Dday and still talking about "it" constantly).

Be prepared to work hard, this is not a leisurely weekend. And there are boxes of tissues all over the place if that tells you anything. But I honestly think you will be SO glad you went. And I think the first Valentine's Day is a perfect time.

MylarPineapples posted 12/29/2013 23:42 PM

We just went to a Retrouvaille weekend at the beginning of December, and are in the middle of our post sessions now. We were not on the verge of divorce when we went (although some couples were). We too had been going to counseling and felt things were moving along well with reconciliation before our weekend.

Both WH and I felt like we got more out of that weekend than we have out of any of the counseling we've done. I would strongly recommend going if you are able! Also plan to attend the post sessions - we've been getting a lot out of those too, and it helps us to stay on track with trying to practice the new tools we learned. I agree with the previous posters who recommended taking the Monday following your weekend off from work. We did, and we needed it! The weekend was great, but we definitely left there completely exhausted.

bionicgal posted 12/30/2013 09:21 AM

I signed us up last night! Is it weird to be excited? (What has my life become?)

steadfast1973 posted 12/30/2013 09:38 AM

I've been considering it. I think it's here in february, here. I requested info, but haven't received any yet.

Deeply Scared posted 12/30/2013 09:42 AM

Go, it's a wonderful program!!

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 pencil...you'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.

Skan posted 12/30/2013 18:55 PM

Here's another thing about the program. The couples who present to you have also been there and done that. They have been in the trenches with failing marriages. Adultery is only one of the reasons, so if you're a couple with other deep marriage problems, you're going to hear the stories of people who may also have had similar struggles. Like this site, there is a lot of BTDT attitude. It's not a theoretical program it's based in hard work and "handbook" principals that are true to all marriages.

2B1again posted 1/13/2014 11:59 AM

My BS and I have been reading SI a lot (she is addicted!), we really appreciate the care and support everyone has for one another.
We are only 5 months out from DD2 and my wife is beyond devastated. I am completely remorseful but she has not made a decision as to whether she wants to stay in the marriage (as agreed upon, we will look at our situation after 3 months since she moved back in - this will be February 8).
She has been a voracious reader of infidelity and I have tried to keep up with her (but not even close)also IC and MC -so we have good basic knowledge of the phases of the ruin that I have created.
We have an opportunity to attend Retrouvaille in two weeks but we both fear it is too soon. The next session is not until June but as she said "we might not be together by then".
Please help.

DixieD posted 1/13/2014 12:14 PM

IMO -- go. If you say by the next session you may not be together by then, what is there to lose?

In what way do you think you aren't ready? There are people who go and are in limbo and not sure if they will stay in their marriage.

I also ask that question to help us on our end because my husband and I are helping with the next Retrouvaille weekend here to help support couples attending for the first time. We are nervous too

Keep an open mind and know that a lot of other couples are in the same situation.

[This message edited by DixieD at 12:15 PM, January 13th (Monday)]

blakesteele posted 1/13/2014 12:22 PM

2B1Again......17 month out BS, SI active member.

Retrovaille is in our future.....3 weeks away to going. My wife took her A underground, broke NC, lots of lies AFTER DD's, slow to find remorse, defensive. So even though I am 17 months out from DD, it's probably more realistic to say we are just 8-10 months into R.


What was your journey like? How " quick" did you repent and find honest remorse?

My two cents to you is.....if your BS is up for it, go for it .

In Missouri, retrovaille is required by some family courts before a D is granted. One of my justifications to going is that we will at least hit that goal should we D. Romantic, huh?

I am "all in" for learning to R. I believe retrovaille is a healthy step towards that goal. I offer this lesser point as an "at the very least" motivation to going.

Adultery IS a valid reason for D. No sense in avoiding that fact.


What additional stress do you fear retrovaille will put on your struggling M that will push either of you to end it?

God be with us all.

blakesteele posted 1/13/2014 12:57 PM

t/j. DixieD....very kind and courageous of you and Mr DixieD to help out!!! Cool!

end t/j.

Kap12 posted 1/13/2014 13:32 PM

For the people who have been to Retrouvaille what approx. amount did you donate if any? Please you don't have to give an exact amount but a range would be good.

Thanks!

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