April 23, 2005 at 6:58 pm #1934
I hear wonderful things about marriage encounters, but DH and I have never gone on one. His parents have and they liked it. I was just wondering if those of you that have gone on one if you would share you experience and maybe give your best and worst part of the weekend. Also, was it hard to get your DH to agree to go?
For anyone who has not gone – have you ever thought about going? If so, what is holding you back?
I would love to go , but DH says if he is going to take time off from work then it is going to be a “real” vacation. Also, he gets so little time with the kids he likes to spend his off time with all of us.
EricaApril 23, 2005 at 8:12 pm #2540
Bob and I just went 2wks ago to Retrouvaille..It’s a marriage encounter weekend.. It’s mostly Catholic based, but any religion can attend..I have to say that it saved our marriage..I was on the verge of filing for divorce from Bob..I was so close to it, it’s scary..Then my mom recommend Retrouvaille, because she saw it in our church bulletin..
I really didn’t want to go at first..But I figured I’d give it a try and if it failed (which I was hoping it would do) then I tried all that I could..Plus I was afraid of leaving my 3 kids for the weekend..Not so much that I didn’t trust my mom to take care of them, but that they would terrorize her..I looked up some information on their website (retrouvaille.org) and got in contact with the people in my city..They sent me some info and said if we were interested to call them..It’s a couple who has been through a weekend and post-weekends..You and your DH have to call seperately so that they know that both of you are interested..Then after a screening they send you out more info..Our registration fee was $75, but it’s worth it..
As for the weekend it’s self..It’s great!! You’re not supposed to bring watches, clocks, cell phones, or pagers..Although I brought my cell phone to check on the kids..You go to a retreat center..And you basically write and talk to your spouse all weekend..You dialouge and write your feelings down and then discuss them with your DH..I got to know Bob more in that weekend then in the almost 10yrs we’ve been married..That weekend changes you..You also have the option of going to confession and mass..It maybe different for different states..Then after your weekend you go to 7 post meetings and learn more..
I don’t know what the situation is with your marriage, but Retrouvaille could be an option for you..There were couples there who were divorced and wanted to get back together to couples who just wanted to communicate better with their spouses..It’s supposed to help troubled marriages..
If you want more info you could email me or check out the website..Just to let you know that it’s really hard work..It’s not a vacation weekend..But it helped us out tremendously..Some couples it takes awhile..
Well I hoped this helped you out..If you need to chat or talk about it you can always email me..
CarmelaApril 24, 2005 at 2:17 am #2541
I am so happy to hear that it saved your marriage. I am sorry to hear that you were having a rough period in your relationship, but I am glad to know you guys worked it out.
I have always been told that it was a retreat for married couples – with or without problems. Just a time to come together to connect and open up outside of the limited time you have at home around a busy schedule. We do not have anything to work through, we just don’t have have a lot of time. We could take a trip some place to see some thing, but then we wouldn’t be focusing on each other. Maybe it sounds silly, but I would love to have the time to really express myself to my DH. Even more so I would love to know what he would have to share.
A couple I know went there for their 1 year anniversary just to learn better communication skills. They loved it. My in laws went just to see what it was about. They liked it too.
Maybe one day…..
Thanks so much for sharing your story. I am so glad it had a positive effect on your marriage !
EricaApril 24, 2005 at 3:16 am #2542
I just wanted to say that I’m so glad you were able to go to the encounter, and that it helped you so much. What a wonderful outcome! And thank you for willingly sharing your story.
To answer the question about attending…I would like to go, but I think we need baby steps. Right now I’m trying to get dh to understand Christianity, maybe someday we can go to an encounter.April 24, 2005 at 6:00 pm #2543
Thanks Erica & Nikki for your kind words..It has been a real struggle for Bob & I the last few months..All I can say is that the devil really tried to get his hands on Bob..But with confession and communion and retrouvaille we really learned alot and our trying to get back to church..Not only for us but for our kids as well..I’m glad I met you gals..You have been a real inspiration for me..Take Care..
CarmelaApril 25, 2005 at 1:38 am #2544
You are the inspiration! Too many people do not make an effort to work through the bad times. You must be a very strong women. You take care of yourself, and always remember that you have friends here with us! I am always here if you need me… EricaMay 11, 2005 at 12:00 am #2545
My husband and I attended our encounter weekend in March and it was wonderful…not at all what I had expected!
We were pleasantly surprised by the outcome. Our marriage before our weekend was fine, we didn’t have any complaints, but I can tell you that after the weekend, it is even better. We came home feeling the same excitement that we had when we were dating!
It is also Catholic based…there is a priest on the weekend, but is for all denominations. I really couldn’t say enough about it…it is well worth it.May 11, 2005 at 4:46 am #2546
I have nothing but good to say about marriage encounters. Everyone’s experiences are different, but I know that you will grow in your relationship with your dh. My dh and I got to know each other so much better, and are truly blessed for having been able to attend a marriage encounter.March 15, 2006 at 4:10 am #2547
My hubby and I went on a Catholic ME weekend last March (2005).
We sort of had a bad attitude about it… thinking that it wouldn’t really do anything good for us… because we are NFP’ers, extremely strong in the Catholic faith, have had a strong foundation for marriage, etc.
And you know what? God really surprised us! We learned a lot and actually it was kind of funny because the weekend was harder for me than for my hubby!
The premise of ME is that couples need to communicate more effectively and more often. You will learn about the concept of dialogue and how to fight fair with your spouse.
The worst thing for me was digging up past things that I did not necessarily want to discuss with my husband, but those things were applicable to some problems I had been experiencing personally. It is emotionally draining, but I think it is necessary.
I would highly recommend that you pray about it and also, make sure to go on a Catholic weekend. You will gain a new insight to the priest who does the weekend along with the presenter couples. It was eye-opening to us.
Blessings to you!July 1, 2006 at 3:27 pm #2548
I’m an old mom, but new to this board. My dh and I went on our first ME weekend in 1989. ME weekends are meant for couples who have good marriages but want to improve communication. I think they are especially helpful when there is a transition going on in the marriage – such as after having children, husband returns from military or extended travel for work, move to a new city, tragedies in the family etc…
Retrouvaille, which was mentioned here, has a similar format to an ME weekend, but they developed apart from ME (and originated in Canada). Retrouvaille weekends are designed for couples who are struggling – are contemplating divorce or are divorced and trying to get back together. While the format of the weekend is very similar, Retrouvaille weekends have a lot more interaction between the couples and the leader-couples (all who have worked through difficult times in the marriages). On a regular ME weekend, there is no couple-to-couple dialogue. ME weekends are designed for the couple to work through issues with each other – not with the group or leaders. In ME, the leaders present stories about things they have endured and present questions for the couples to go back and write/discuss alone. In Retrouvaille weekends, the leaders interact with couples two-on-two for the dialogue part.
As for getting the dh to attend – I had the same exact response from my husband when I first mentioned it to him: “If I am going to spend money on a weekend, I want to be at a pool or resort somewhere.” However, we developed some real issues that required working on and I was insisting that we go to marriage counseling. Since he didn’t want to do that, HE suggested we go on an ME weekend!! We really needed to be on a Retrouvaille weekend at that point, but didn’t know about those retreats back then. We had a shaky start on the weekend – I had stored up all sorts of complaints to level at him with the very first Question we had to dialogue on!!! He, on the other hand, had a very short, neatly-written list of general points. Mine was 10 pages of emotional ranting and raving!!! You get the picture!
Well, we were ready to leave after the first question, but something happened. I think we both sensed that if we didn’t make the effort to get through it, we would be headed for divorce. So, we threw out what we had written and started all over. We walked away renewed and holding hands as though we were dating again.
We have been married 25 years now. We have had some tragedies and unusual circumstances that tried our faith and relationship in big ways. We have been on the verge of giving up several times but, once again, something kept us together and God gave us the grace to push through those lonely times filled with despair. It’s somewhat of a dance with God – when we are one and focused on Him, we can take on the world! But, when despair and depression take over, we lose hope and we lose sight of Him and our relationship falls apart. I do believe that we are “in it for the duration” now!
One word of wisdom that I wish I had heeded when we were first married: NEVER say the “D” word (divorce). Once you open that emotional door, a monster sweeps through it and can devour every bit of confidence you have in your relationship. Refuse to go there!
Kathy M.October 24, 2006 at 7:40 pm #2549
Steve and I used to give them. It is a wonderful weekend. Plus, many people go back more than once to charge up their marriage. To the woman who was still trying to understand Christianity–we once gave a weekend with a Jewish couple attending. Each weekend we reserve spaces for those who are not of the faith expression–Catholic…baptist encounter does the same thing, so does Lutheran. This past weekend we had a wife who was Buddhist. I think it would possibly not be a good idea if you were an atheist, but I think you would have a wonderful weekend regardless of the rest. Plus this is a good place to learn a little about Christianity. Just tell the folks giving the weekend and ask them to be sensitive to your faith–or have your husband do that. That’s what this couple did this past weekend!
for more information http://www.wwme.orgJune 18, 2007 at 4:33 am #2550
We will do our ME on September 2007.
We can’t wait.
We have never done a couple’s retreat and hubby’s never done an overnight retreat, but I have done several from Charismatic, to Cursillo, etc and have been encouraging hubby to help us do this together for the better of our marriage.
He’s very willing to do it and I’m so very happy for it.
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