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blakesteele posted 2/11/2014 06:00 AM


No matter where you are at....go. We just did ours this past weekend.

It is not a cure-all....but, from a man that has spent over a year of weekly counseling sessions and $4,500-$5,000 this is a unique experience worthy of attending no matter where you are at in R.

In some ways I am grateful my wife and I had done as much work as we had before our Retrouvaille made some of it easier and think we had a bigger grasp of what was going on. In some ways we did not get the big ah-ha moments I noticed in other couples around us.

Cost--$150 initial registration, which we did about 3 months ago. We then were able to donate $900 after the weekend....which is a bargain for what we gained from it.

We pay $110 per 45 minute session for, using that math, we should have paid more than we did for Retrouvaille...but we donated what we could and actually more than we thought we could.

If you are nervous. I was, my wife was. But go. Please go.

We all know families are at risk too....not just marriages. BS know this from the beginning, some WS are so removed from some of their feelings....the painful ones....while in their affairs that they simply can not fully grasp just what they are risking. This weekend had a delicate but powerful way of sending that message to us all.

You are NOT forced to share.

This is NOT group therapy in the traditional sense.

Somehow they managed to make a room full of 50 feel intimate.....the time you spend communicating is private.

I took the day off from work yesterday...the Monday after our weekend. Sunday evening I debated about using a vacation day....felt okay.

Monday morning I still felt okay....but around lunch something happened.....don't think this same thing occurred in my wife, so maybe its just a BS thing?

Wont go into detail but do recommend if at all possible that you take the day after. The smallest modification of a home improvement task appeared to great for me to work on.....concentration was tough, pain was strong...very glad NOT to be around the office.

God be with us all.

spond posted 2/11/2014 07:30 AM

Thanks blakesteele for passing on your experiences with your weekend... My wife and I have 2 weeks and counting. We are both excited and nervous at the same time.

Our registration was $75 and I think the suggested donation is $460.

catatonic posted 2/11/2014 07:31 AM

Thank you,
We have talked about attending. Looking at schedules.
Glad you had a productive weekend.

PinkJeepLady posted 2/11/2014 08:29 AM

We were wondering yesterday how it was for you, so good to hear.

Yeah, I think I do understand what happened to you Monday, I think that happened to me Sunday. I was surprised at MY strong emotions.

I hope you go to the post sessions too, we have found them to be very helpful. It's just an amazing tool isn't it?

We too felt we went at the right time for us, it seemed to bring to together all the counseling, books, information. But, I would say that if you feel like you should go at any point, then do it.
Follow your heart!
You know I am wishing you guys the best, do your homework!
Take care

MylarPineapples posted 2/11/2014 09:04 AM

I'm glad to hear it was a valuable experience for you and your wife. I prayed for you two this weekend. I hope you're able to attend the post sessions as well.

blakesteele posted 2/11/2014 10:36 AM

I hope you go to the post sessions too, we have found them to be very helpful. It's just an amazing tool isn't it?


We are going to do the post-sessions...but sadly we can't make the first one this Saturday. We will also have conflicts to resolve with regards to two others. They did say that even if just one can attend that we should.

It is an amazing tool. For me it did tie a LOT together from my personal journey. Not sure if it did for my wife because I have done more reading and searching it tied together MANY of the concepts and theories that I have had a taste of this past 18 months. I do think it brought some key parts together for my wife as well....just think she did not have as diverse range of exposure as I did going into the weekend.


God was with us this weekend.....your prayers certainly were felt and appreciated. You and Mr. MylarPineapples are one of many specific SI members on my personal prayer list!

PinkjeepLady...thanks for sharing that you felt this strong emotion too. I did not observe this in my wife....did you observe your husband experiencing any of it? Maybe just a BS thing?

Spond....will be saying a specific prayer for you each day of your weekend. Thanks for sharing what weekend you guys will be attending your weekend.

Keep the faith!

SoVerySadNow posted 2/11/2014 11:26 AM

Congrats on a wonderful weekend!

When I asked the contact person in my area about the follow up weekends the answer was that we could come when we were available and could check on the schedule to pick up the sessions we missed. (In our case, the post sessions are on Sunday afternoons and would interrupt our church groups and mission work. Those things are important to us too.) We are still discussing this.
I think, based on what I read here and elsewhere, the continuing sessions will be excellent for a couple to grow even stronger. Nothing untended can grow to it's best potential. It's good that you will be attending.

[This message edited by SoVerySadNow at 11:26 AM, February 11th (Tuesday)]

Skan posted 2/11/2014 20:18 PM

I'm so glad that you guys had a good, productive weekend! Mr. Skan and I said a specific prayer for you two each day, starting on Thursday.

Itsgoingtobeok posted 2/12/2014 00:44 AM

We also had a wonderful experience with retroville . There is a yearly retro conference in arizona that we are planing on attending . My Wife can't get enough of the retro experience . Once the post sessions are over you can go to core monthly meeting

blakesteele posted 2/12/2014 02:05 AM

Thanks Skan and Mr. Skan....we felt your prayers.

I will look into the core gatherins Itsgoingtobeok....see if we have them too.

My only desire to have changed our retro experience was to have a lead couple present where the wife was the fWS. Not a complaint....just a desire to have someone present who felt like I do. I do appreciate that BS all share similar pain and struggles....just don't feel as comfortable talking to a BS woman as I would a BS male. Call it a sexist stance, or weakness in character....but I still want to talk to a real life BS man. Sisoon, Bikingguy, Steadfasttrue and Still-Living are wonderful men whom I have interacted much with on SI....but to see and meet BS men in real life would have been very comforting to me. It was comforting to meet BS hear the pain in their voices, to see it in their eyes and body language, to hear and see their victory through this trial was amazing.......I found myself holding my breath as they talked.

I also got the unfair sense that this unbalanced presentation jived with what society tells us......that men are mostly to blame for adultery in American society. Something I myself subscribed to before it happened in my marriage. So it is a raw area for me.

This is NOT a knock on Retrouvaille....just a personal desire. I totally get that the human condition is just that....human.

On another note.....I sat in awe as I was in the conference room. Awe because had I not known why we were there, I would assume most every couple was just pleasant, smiling, courteous, etc...

It is awe inspiring to realize just how good we are at masking our true selves from each other.

God help us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 2:06 AM, February 12th (Wednesday)]

Itsgoingtobeok posted 2/12/2014 08:17 AM

You make a great point about there not bringing a presenter where the male was the BS . I'm also a BS and I wish there were presenters where the Wife had A .

MylarPineapples posted 2/12/2014 08:27 AM

Interesting point about the presenting couples. Our experience was similar in that of all presenting couples who experienced infidelity, it was the H who was the WS. If you go to the post sessions, you will probably meet several other presenting couples (we did) who will also present their stories, so you may still meet a BH/WW couple. We did not, but there was a couple in our group who voluntarily chose to share their story who were BH/WW.

After completing our weekend and post sessions, what really struck me was how common infidelity seemed to be, which really saddened me. But seeing all of the presenting couples who had experienced infidelity but were solidly in R many years later also gave me hope.

blakesteele posted 2/12/2014 11:44 AM

After completing our weekend and post sessions, what really struck me was how common infidelity seemed to be, which really saddened me.

Read north of 20 books on infidelity.....about 6 books into reading I was at this same point. Since then one of our close friends have experienced infidelity within it....and a hair dresser we know has had a baby from her AP....she is divorcing and is with her AP, my wife's fAP found another woman within 2 months of dumping her, I see an EA at work and know of 10 other people I work with that have had affairs.....and my "world" is small!

I live in rural Missouri, company has 62 total employees, and the 10 that are known probably aren't all that have taken one knows about the A affecting our M (I think anyway.....small town, who knows who knows).

Point is.....stats say 30-80% of all marriages have infidelity invited into them. My own small sample size shows how common it is. A committed, healthy M and family unit really is a rare creature today. I thought we had that....I was painfully wrong.

Look at the mix of people choosing SAHM's, high powered elected officials, rich and famous, poor and unknown, young and old, newlyweds and long term marriages, pastors and teachers.

I see how quickly and easily my wife was immersed into this fold.....watched her intentionally and deliberately fight to stay in that fold. Sadness hardly covers the depth of the pain I am in.....18 months into this, I still have fear of what is still in me yet to feel.....

And that is why I am grateful for Retrovaille. It afforded me the opportunity to breath, to witness "runners" just like me who have run this race before....and are reconciling.

Retrouvaille has planted a seed of hope within us...

I pray for courage daily , many times a day. This is the single most painful, scary trial I have ever faced.....and I have had a daughter born prematurely, had a lived family member live in our home till her bring called home, and fought raging forest fires.......all experiences pale compared to this trial.

God help us all.

PinkJeepLady posted 2/12/2014 15:54 PM

Blake, I did see my fwh experience a tremendous change, it was amazing! It was like he was on fire. I think for him all the past reading, counseling, ect just all came together with retro. I was relieved to see it in his eyes, literally.

One of the presenters in the post was a BH and WW. Their story was compelling. I thought that all of the couples we heard from were unique but anyone could relate too. I know hearing other waywards speak was a huge help to my fwh.

We too aren't going to be able to make all the posts, but it seems like we have plenty of homework to keep busy! We heard about the yearly conference in AZ too, wish we could go, sounds great!
Even though things are going good, I too have to pray several times a day. I fight my reaction to just "go away" from it all.
I agree that retro plants a seed of hope that allows you to really give the work a try. Loved it!

ILINIA posted 2/12/2014 16:56 PM

Just wanted to chime in. You will meet more couples, so you may find one that you are able to relate to more.

During our weekend, two of the presenting couples involved infidelity and one was WW/BH and the other WH/BW.

At a post weekend, we had another couple that presented that was WW/BH. Actually, when I think about it the gender of the waywards/betrayed have been equally represented.

It was such an awakening for me. Life and marriage isn't easy and we all have FOO that will impact us. Stories about infidelity, addictions, loss of family, financial distress, and abuse resonate what the an authentic life really looks like. Even though our stories aren't the same, it is amazing how you can relate to each couple and how they touch your heart.

I will forever be grateful for the presenting couples and the program.

[This message edited by ILINIA at 4:58 PM, February 12th (Wednesday)]

Skan posted 2/12/2014 19:40 PM

Interestingly enough, of our three main presenters, one was a BW/FWH, one was a BH/FWW, and the other was a hardcore married-singles couple. I agree with y-all fully. It was SO COMFORTING to have someone standing in front of me, admitting that their spouse had committed adultery, and that they got through it. It was SO POWERFUL to hear them give their presentations and to see the tears and comfort they offered each other when one or the other would get emotional. And looking around the room, I felt such a kinship with many of the couples who had, I am sure, the same glazed look that I did when listening to these presenting couple's story.

Wish I could go to the Tempe gathering. That weekend just won't work for us. Hoping for next year!

And do check out the CORE groups in your area. Your post session presenters will start hooking you into that about 1/2-2/3 of the way through your sessions. Personally, I found it more helpful to get through the post sessions first then go to CORE. Part of that trusting the steps philosophy!

spond posted 3/3/2014 07:07 AM

blakesteele, I hope you don't mind me bumping this instead of starting a new post.

I 200% agree with blakesteele...We attended ours this last weekend.


I went to work Monday morning, so I will say each person might feel differently following the weekend.

The wife and I had already started talking better, but this weekend helped us reconnect some and communicate better!!!

anyways.... go already... I don't feel that there is a too soon and there definitely is not a too late.

Also, in my opinion there was not that much of a church overtone to it. I am not a church person and we did not attend mass afterwards. We just quietly went back to our room and packed our stuff and left.

[This message edited by spond at 7:08 AM, March 3rd (Monday)]

bionicgal posted 3/3/2014 07:11 AM

We are trying to decide if we want to go to the weekend in a city about 2.5 hours away in April and do all the follow-ups in August here, or wait until August and do it all here. (We can't do the follow-ups 2 hours away).

Any advice?

SisterMilkshake posted 3/3/2014 07:16 AM

I think both would work but, personally, I feel for the best impact and building on what you learned during the weekend, doing it all in August would be the better option.

spond posted 3/3/2014 07:17 AM

my opinion is, I would go as soon as you can. The post/follow ups are going to be important and we have plans on attending all of them. You will gain a support system that day as well to help if you need it since you wont be able to attend post right away. If you want an email address to one of the presenting couples that we had and you can ask them directly what they feel about it, just PM me and I will respond when I get home tonight.

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