Retrouvaille of Lansing at 4007 Wildwood, Lansing, MI 48910 US - Learn more About UsLearn more About Us
What is Retrouvaille Program?
The word Retrouvaille™ (pronounced re-tro-vi with a long i.) is a French word meaning rediscovery. The program offers tools needed to rediscover a loving marriage relationship. Thousands of couples headed for cold, unloving relationships or divorce have successfully overcome their marriage problems by attending the program.
The Retrouvaille Program consists of a weekend experience combined with a series of 12 post sessions over 6 weeks. It provides the tools to help put your marriage in order again, the main emphasis of the Program is on communication in marriage between husband and wife. It will give you the opportunity to rediscover each other and examine your lives together in a new and positive way.
What the Program is not. It is not a retreat, marriage counseling, marriage self help or a sensitivity group. There are neither group dynamics nor group discussions on the weekend. It is not a time for hurting; it is a time for healing.
Who is it for? It is for couples with marital problems including those who are considering marriage separation and those who are already separated or divorced that want marriage help. Some couples come to Retrouvaille during the initial signs of marriage problems. Other couples are in a state of despair and hopelessness when they attend the program. These latter couples often consider the Retrouvaille program their final option. Many lawyers and judges send couples to Retrouvaille as a prerequisite to filing for a divorce or rendering final decisions. Many marriage counselors send their clients to Retrouvaille as a prerequisite to marriage counseling. These professionals know that the tools of communication in marriage taught in the program are often what couples need.
What Happens During a Retrouvaille Program? During the weekend phase, a team of three couples and a priest or three couples and a Christian minister & spouse give a series of presentations. The weekend is not a spiritual retreat, not a marriage encounter or marriage seminar, nor is it a social gathering. You will, however, be encouraged to put the past behind you and start rediscovering each other. The team presents a technique of communication that enables you to take a good look at most areas of your relationship. After each presentation you will have a chance to reflect on it by yourself, then discuss it in complete privacy with your spouse. The weekend is not a ‘miracle cure'; therefore, the post-weekend sessions have been designed to continue the marriage renewal begun on the weekend. The post-weekend phase is as crucial, maybe more critical, to the healing of marriage problems. During the post-weekend sessions, the technique learned on the weekend is further developed and is used to explore additional areas of the marriage relationship.
When and Where? The program is offered on scheduled weekends beginning Friday evening, and closing with Mass or devotional service late Sunday afternoon. The post-weekend sessions last four hours and are usually the six following Saturdays after the weekend. The volunteers in your local Retrouvaille Community schedule facilities for both the weekend and the post-weekend phases of the program. All contacts are held in the strictest confidence.
Do I have to be Catholic? Retrouvaille is Catholic in origin. Couples of all faiths and those with no faith tradition are welcome and encouraged to attend. Christian Multi-Denomination (CMD) weekends may also be available in some areas. On CMD weekends, a Christian minister and spouse take the place of the priest.
Will someone try to convert me? The program is not designed to promote a specific religion. Atheists, agnostics and those of various religions are respected for their beliefs and encouraged to attend for the benefit of their marriage. No attempt is made to convert anyone to a religion. Saving a marriage is our focus. The ultimate goal of Retrouvaille is solely to help save marriages.
What does the Program Cost? Each couple is asked to make an anonymous donation to help cover the cost of the program. This one donation covers all the expenses of the weekend and the post-weekend sessions. Weekend lodging, meals and materials are all covered by this single donation. Costs vary from location to location. A registration fee is required when you register for the program to confirm your accommodations. Space is limited so early registration is encouraged. No couple is ever denied the chance to heal and renew their marriage because of lack of funds.
4 Stages of Marriage
There are 4 Stages of Marriage: (1) Romance, (2) Disillusionment, (3) Misery, and (4) Awakening. Due to the high divorce rate many couples never make it to the 4th Stage of Awakening.
Most are familiar with the 1st Stage of Romance. Life was so wonderful we couldn't stand to live without the other. Our thoughts often turned to the other when we were not with them. We had fallen in love and knew that this was the person we wanted to spend the rest of our life with. Little differences between us were cute and endearing.
At some point those little differences started to annoy us. We felt bothered by some of those same things that may have been cute a short time earlier. The self-talk in the back of our mind started wondering why our spouse couldn't be more like us. We had entered into the 2nd Stage of Marriage, the Disillusionment Stage. During the Disillusionment Stage we start to realize that our spouse is not the perfect person that we had envisioned him or her to be. Sometimes, especially if our Romance Stage had been particularly intense, we are hurt deeply by this Disillusionment. We realize that the expectations we had of the perfect marriage were not going to happen. For some this realization is too heart wrenching and they give up on the marriage and divorce during this 2nd Stage of Disillusionment.
Many people stick with and try to work through their problems during Disillusionment. They seek the counsel of family, friends, clergy and marriage family counselors. Some of these people find the key they are looking for from these resources. Many others continue to struggle and their troubles worsen. Often the marriage deteriorates more deeply due to drug, alcohol or other addictions. Sometimes a third party relationship in the form of extramarital affairs result. As the couple finds themselves in this 3rd Stage of Marriage they know they have entered the Misery Stage.
The Misery Stage is where many couples find themselves considering a marriage separation or divorce. When children are involved this 3rd Stage of Misery is particularly difficult on them. Regardless of whether the couple stays together in misery or divorce the children often believe it is their fault regardless of assurances to the contrary. The effects of divorce on a child cannot be over emphasized. The pain is so intense during the Misery Stage that it is common to only want it to STOP. Much like the pain of a toothache that consumes your whole being you cannot seem to think of anything else besides stopping the pain. One spouse may be pushing hard for the divorce while the other wants to stop divorce.
If the couple ends the marriage at this point and remarry other partners they are more likely to experience the effects of divorce with their second or third spouse.
Most people whose marriages end in divorce are not bad people. Rather, they are often people who never learned the proper tools for a happy marriage. This is where Retrouvaille (pronounced re-tro-vi with a long i.) can help. Teams of couples who have experienced all 4 Stages of Marriage present the Retrouvaille program. Instead of giving up they found solutions. In Retrouvaille they learned the tools they needed to live a happy marriage. They learned that marriage does not follow the Romance and Happily Ever After formula portrayed in literature and media. Rather, they learn that there are certain learnable skills, attitudes and tools that they can use to deal with the inevitable problems of the real world.
These skills, attitudes and tools give them what they need to move from the 3rd Stage of Misery into the 4th Stage of Awakening.
Whether you are in the Disillusionment Stage grieving the loss of that magical Romance or if you have moved firmly into the Misery Stage Retrouvaille can give you the marriage help you need to rebuild your marriage. Many tens of thousands of couples have turned their marriages around by giving this program a chance.
Can you save your marriage by attending and working the Retrouvaille program? You will never know until you try. Call the phone number or send an email to the caring Retrouvaille volunteers in your area. Ask them those tough questions that keep nagging at you in the back of your mind. The people answering the phone or responding to your email are people just like you who have been there and pushed through to the 4th Stage of Awakening. They will be able to relate to your feelings of hopelessness and loss. They will do their best to give you the answers you need about this program.
Be assured that all contacts are held in the strictest confidence