J & K, MT (A bit long but worth the read):
Two years ago in March 2010 my husband and I participated in a Retrouvaille weekend at the Ursuline Center in Great Falls, Montana.
We had been struggling in our marriage for quite some time and found the weekend a wonderful avenue for us to take. Like so many of the other couples in attendance we were at our wits end as to what to do to save our marriage…and what it would take. After a very hard decision, sadly we separated three months later and 4 months after that I filed for divorce. We have three children and it wasn’t easy on any of us and yet my husband and I made it a point to have family meals together whether at my “new” home or at our true home.
So many things failed us: first of all we failed each other; we lost “friends” who were our friends for a number of years. I can count on the two fingers those that stood by us through it all. And I hold them VERY NEAR and dear to my heart. We sought four different counselors in over a year’s span and none seemed to help. Oh, they helped to identify our weaknesses and our faults, which did help us to start peeling away at our pain, but it just wasn’t enough to make a difference.
I was lost and in despair and very easy prey for the devil. I literally felt his presence in my room one night as my cell phone started playing music at 2:31am for no reason. I shut it off, put my head on the pillow and instantly I felt the room go cold and a very long fingernail go slowly from the top of my foot down to the bottom of my foot. I knew instantly who it was. I kicked my foot, reached for my rosary on my nightstand and wrapped my arms and my rosary around my daughter who was sleeping with me. I had the house blessed the next day and after that, things started to change in our relationship. My husband found a new depth of faith that carried and sustained us. It was amazing to see and yet I was still skeptical of being hurt again. In all of this, I heard the voice of God speak to me telling me that He wasn’t so complex and I felt His hand on my face at night as I lay inconsolable in bed crying like a child. His hand was gentle and caressed my face and consoled me as you would a child who is hurt. You know those cries?
ANYWAY, through a ver long “Trial by God” ( as I like to call it) I halted the divorce proceedings that December right before Christmas and by the 2nd weekend in January I was back home with my family. I found myself scared of coming back but knowing that God, through my husband’s transformation in his faith, wanted me to be here. I could share much more about what happened to us, but after all the counselors it came down to one person…or should I say three….God the father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. It has been over year now and we are better than we have ever been…..even better that right after we married.
We learned that we still had a lot to deal with individually and as a married couple. I struggled from being sexually abused by my brother at 5 years of age and remembering it at the age of 37. That took it toll on our marriage more than what I wanted to accept. Everything came down on us all at once and we couldn’t carry it all…...I couldn’t carry it all. After my husband watch Fireproof, he came to me in tears and said “I get it!” and unbeknownst to me HE started the 40-day dare with me. It’s amazing the way God worked in the process through our very close friends by being messengers for Him. He never left us, but knew we had to find uor way back to Him if we were going to make it……and we did! And I am so grateful because I know of two couples from that Retrouvaille weekend who did get divorced and I’m so glad it wasn’t us!!!!! God and Retrouvaille reached us and saved us……..He did what no counselor could have done. I wanted to share this because I don’t know if very many hear good news updates. I wish we would have made our weekend AFTER we found our footings, but God knew we needed the weekend right then not later. It was a place to start and I loved that weekend and didn’t want to leave.
A & T, Great Falls, MT: I gained great insight into my personality and how it meshed with my husband’s. In doing so, we were able to grow, appreciate, and understand each other’s personality traits- both the good ones and the ones that irritate us.
J & C, Alberta, CA: In our professions we are constantly taking on courses; conferences and research. We are always trying to learn more and progress in our chosen careers but never have we done the same for our marriage. Retrouvaille has given us this opportunity to save our marriage and our family life. You have presented Retrouvaille for us not only in a professional way but never have we seen such candor and courage – unbelievable! You are very strong people. Your strength is inspiring and moving. At first, because of lack of knowledge we had second thoughts about the program but it is hard not to believe in it now after hearing from people, who like us, had so much to lose, but succeeded and believed so much in Retrouvaille that you put everything at risk. You are so willing to re-hash your stories again and again just for us to succeed. We are a long ways for ‘being out of the woods’ but believe it is now possible.
G & S, Bigfork, MT: This was the best thing we ever did as a couple! We are not Catholic and have attended other couple weekends, but Retrouvaille beats them all!