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#1154000 08/05/07 09:15 PM
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Hey Piecers!

I have a quick question: Have any of you gone through Retrouvaille AND counseling? Was one more beneficial than the other? Should both be done? Should only one be done?

A link to my sitch is at the bottom, briefly, I've been trying for a year to get M back on track after H's affair - which he has recently started and ended, again - and he has agreed to Retrouvaille but not full blown counseling...

thoughts?


Me: 34
H: 39
M: 7 yrs
H A 12/05-8/07

If what you say surprises me, I must have been assuming something else was true. - M. Wheatley

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Take what you can get.

IF H does not want counceling, Then at least the Retrouvaille should be of some help.

JAK


You don't get to choose how you're going to die. Or when, you can only decide how you're going to live now. ~Joan Baez
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My experience was that Retrouvaille was effective, counseling was ineffective. In counseling my quiet, reserved husband dominated the conversation and spent the whole time complaining about me. The therapist rarely moved the topic forward. We wasted time rehashing the past. In Retrouvaille the past was forgotten after the first morning. We never dealt with finger-pointing and incriminations. We dealt with feelings. We always had equal time to get our thoughts on paper and equal time to discuss them. There was no third party to take sides. Didn't need one. In Retrouvaille we spent an entire weekend focused on us, not an hour here and there carved out of the workday over a period of months. In Retrouvaille we could see the goal -- to be like the couples who led the sessions, and the loving way they interacted with each other. And Retrouvaille was a bargain; counseling was a financial drain.

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Sara,

I would be interested in Retrouvaille but I understand that both parties need to want to save the marriage. Currently, my wife hates me so I do not even know how to approach this. I did contact the leaders of this program this afternoon though and waiting for their reply. Maybe they or you can offer a selling point to see if my wife is interested.

Thank you
CY

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CY

That's it. The most difficult part is getting the spouse in the door. PonyGirl went through that, and she did succeed in getting the spouse there. I can tell you that I believe none of the couples sitting there the first night with me had both partners equally interested in saving the marriage. But they all stayed. And by the end, everyone was happier.

Selling point.... it improves your communication. Whether you stay together or not. You understand each other better, and you learn a way to communicate without anger. It's one pleasant weekend away from home, and it can only make things better. It cannot make things worse.

I think I was successful in getting my H there because I suggested it as a last resort when things looked their bleakest. We do this, and if it doesn't work, it's over. He didn't want to be there. And I think he spent most of the first night thinking about the car he had parked right outside. But he stayed. And it worked. And now our lives are fun again.

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Sarah,

Thank you. You described our problems perfectly, although I do not allow her or anyone to get me angry any more.

CY

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Sara - thanks for posting your experiences with it.

I was wondering, how much religious content is there?

H and I are both pretty much agnostic/non-religious. I'm not bothered much by being around it, but H would be really put off by much religious content.

There's one of these coming up in our area in October... which seems a lifetime away right now with the ups and downs, but I'm trying to get as much info as I can and see where things go and if we might be able to do this.


Me 35, H 38; Together 13.5 yrs, M 7
Bomb 1 10/07/06
Sep'd 1/14/07 - 4/15
Piecing: 4/07 - 9/07
Bomb 3 10/11/07: Never loved you, let's separate
2/08 slowly improving
7/08 Piecing (7/25/08 rings back on!!)
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Hi Sara,

I just found this thread and find a lot of hope in what your wrote about Retrouvaille.

If you get a chance to answer NikkiB's question above, could you also tell me whether there is a component in the weekend about "reigniting the spark of love"?

My wife has expressed to her friends and family that she feels like she does not love me anymore, and in contrast, I believe she is very infatuated with an OM.

I know we would not be ideal candidates for Retrouvaille (because of the OM in the wings), but there is going to be a weekend in the Boston area in six weeks, and this might be my last hope because we just met with a divorce mediator last night.

Thanks for any insights,

LG


Me 46
WAW 45
M 21 yrs

WAW: "I need to be alone" 12/06
W moves out 3/07
Mediation finalized 08/08

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Nikki and Lord Grenville,

About the weekend....the religious part. First of all, I am Jewish, so I don't really fit at a Catholic event. It didn't bother me. The way the presentations go, first the husband and wife speak, they take about 3/4 of the presentation time. Then the priest speaks. He doesn't preach or sermonize. He speaks to the topic at hand. So usually the priest spoke about families that he knew, or his family, and how the topic at hand affected him. I think he read some scripture once during the weekend. He made the point that he was there for confession from any of the Catholics who wanted to say confession to him. I thought of him as a resource there for the Catholics. And since they support the group economically, I felt he had a right to be there.

There was a mass on Saturday morning before breakfast, and it was optional. There was a closing mass, and my husband and I whispered goodbye to a few people and sneaked out before it started. We saw a couple of other couples in the parking lot too.

All in all, the religious part is in the background. For some people the idea of a spiritual connection between their marriage and God is important. It was mentionned. For myself and my husband, who is more anti-organized religion than anything else, that was not the valuable part of the weekend. But we got so much out of the weekend that we just let that discussion go by.

As for having an OM. She will be told that she must cease contact with the other man. And if your dialogues go well, she won't want to contact him anymore anyway.

For sparking the relationship...the weekend does it. There was a lot of sex going on during the weekend. We always had a lot of time alone together in the rooms. The retreat we were at had 2 single beds in each room. At breakfast everyone was saying, "Why are there single beds? We pushed ours together." The topics of the dialogues are so carefully chosen. They know how things are developing without having to know what anyone wrote. They move it along with increasingly important questions so that by the end of the weekend you have really opened your heart to your spouse. And they insist that you look into each others' eyes when you dialogue, so you see just what you saw 10 or 20 years ago. The young person who you loved.

The weekend pretty much focuses on learning to dialogue and practicing the technique. In the post sessions there is a section on building intimacy and sex.

I cannot recommend Retrouvaille enough. Now that things are going well for us I keep thinking that it doesn't cost any more to be happy and get along. I wonder why we fought. And yet we did. Retrouvaille should be required of all newlyweds. Any married couple whether happy or unhappy would benefit by attending the weekend.

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Sara - thanks so much for the info. Sounds like the religious part is not overwhelming at all.

How sad is it that this part:

"And they insist that you look into each others' eyes when you dialogue, so you see just what you saw 10 or 20 years ago. The young person who you loved."

terrifies me??

We've spent so long NOT talking... this intensity freaks me out.

Not saying AT ALL that I wouldn't want to go, it sounds like a great experience, but that is weird to me that this part sounds so scary.

Hope that we're able (and H is willing) to go in October. It sounds really wonderful.


Me 35, H 38; Together 13.5 yrs, M 7
Bomb 1 10/07/06
Sep'd 1/14/07 - 4/15
Piecing: 4/07 - 9/07
Bomb 3 10/11/07: Never loved you, let's separate
2/08 slowly improving
7/08 Piecing (7/25/08 rings back on!!)
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