What is The Retrouvaille Program?

Discover Retrouvaille: A Lifeline for Marriages

Every marriage has its ups and downs, and sometimes, those downs can feel too heavy to lift. That’s where Retrouvaille comes in. The Retrouvaille Program is a lifeline for marriages, a safe haven where couples can navigate through their troubles and reignite their love. But what exactly is Retrouvaille, and how can it help your marriage? Let’s take a deeper dive.

What is Retrouvaille?

Retrouvaille, a French word meaning rediscovery, is a life-changing program designed to help couples reconnect, rebuild, and rejuvenate their marriages. So, what can you expect from the Retrouvaille program?

A Unique Approach:

Retrouvaille is not your standard marriage counseling. Rather, it’s a practical program that adopts a unique approach to relationship healing and strengthening.

  1. Self-guided Solutions: Retrouvaille empowers couples to find their own solutions. The program guides couples through a series of exercises, but the work is done privately, allowing couples to focus on their unique relationship dynamics.
  2. Anonymity and Privacy: Despite being a group program, Retrouvaille respects each couple’s privacy. Couples share their experiences only if they choose to do so. In the program, confidentiality is paramount.

Program Components:

The Retrouvaille program consists of three key phases:

  1. The Weekend Experience: The program begins with a retreat, but it’s not just a getaway. It’s an intense, focused time designed to help couples identify their relationship issues and start addressing them.
  2. Post-weekend Sessions: After the retreat, there are six follow-up sessions, usually spread over six weeks. These sessions deepen the lessons learned during the weekend and provide a community for ongoing support.
  3. Continued Support: Even after the program ends, couples can reach out to Retrouvaille team couples for ongoing advice and support.

The Weekend Experience

The Retrouvaille program kicks off with an intensive weekend experience. This isn’t a relaxed, vacation-style retreat. It’s a dedicated time for couples to confront the issues in their marriage and learn the tools to start resolving them. Here’s what the weekend experience entails:

  1. Friday Evening to Sunday Afternoon: The weekend experience lasts from Friday evening through Sunday afternoon. This focused timeframe allows couples to immerse themselves fully in the program without the distractions of day-to-day life.

  2. Presentations by Facilitator Couples: The weekend is facilitated by three presenting couples and a priest or pastor couple — all unpaid volunteers. The presenting couples have been in your shoes and navigated their own marriage issues, were helped by Retrouvaille as attending couples, and decided to volunteer to give back. They present a series of talks. These presentations focus on different aspects of relationship dynamics, communication, problem-solving, trust, forgiveness, and more.

  3. Private Reflection and Couple Discussion: After each presentation, couples have time for private reflection and discussion. Couples work on exercises to help them apply what they’ve learned to their own situations. You won’t share your issues or the outcomes of your discussions with the group or the presenting team. Your privacy is always respected.

  4. The Safe Environment: The weekend provides a safe, neutral environment where couples can focus solely on their relationship. The facilitators create a respectful and non-judgmental space where couples can feel comfortable exploring their issues and working towards resolution.

  5. The Start of a Journey: The weekend experience is not a quick fix. It’s the start of a journey towards a healthier and stronger marriage. It’s designed to kick-start the healing and rebuilding process by equipping couples with the necessary tools and strategies.

Remember, the purpose of the weekend experience is not to make everything perfect in just a few days. Instead, it’s about understanding the roots of your issues, learning to communicate more effectively, and beginning to rebuild trust and intimacy.

Retrouvaille Start of s Journey

Post-weekend Sessions

Following the intensive weekend experience, Retrouvaille offers a series of post-weekend sessions. These typically span six weeks and serve as critical follow-ups to the initial retreat. Here’s a closer look at these sessions:

  1. Deepening the Understanding: These sessions dive deeper into the concepts introduced during the weekend retreat. They offer couples the opportunity to explore these ideas further, ask questions, and really solidify their understanding.

  2. Expanding on the Tools: During the post-weekend sessions, couples continue to work on the tools and strategies they learned during the weekend experience. These sessions often introduce additional techniques for better communication, conflict resolution, and fostering intimacy.

  3. Supportive Community: Attending the sessions, couples get to be part of a supportive community. While privacy is always respected and sharing is not required, there’s comfort in knowing that you’re not alone, and that there are other couples who are also working to strengthen their marriages.

  4. Making it a Habit: An essential goal of these sessions is to help couples make these positive changes a part of their daily life. The period of six weeks allows couples to practice and reinforce their new skills until they become habits.

  5. Flexible Format: The post-weekend sessions can take various formats, including in-person meetings, online sessions, or even phone calls. This flexibility ensures couples can continue to participate in a way that fits their lifestyle and comfort levels.

Remember, the post-weekend sessions are a vital part of the Retrouvaille program. They provide the necessary time and space for couples to practice and internalize the skills they’ve learned, helping to ensure lasting change in their marriages.

The Lifelong Benefits of Retrouvaille

Retrouvaille doesn’t just offer short-term solutions for couples. It’s designed to provide lifelong benefits, acting as a beacon of hope for struggling relationships, and a fountain of support for couples that want to keep from struggling. Here are some of the enduring benefits of the program:

  1. Improved Communication: One of the key focuses of Retrouvaille is enhancing communication within the marriage. Participants learn new techniques to express their feelings and thoughts openly and honestly, leading to a deeper mutual understanding, and therefore a deeper love. This improvement in communication often extends beyond the marital relationship, positively impacting other areas of life, including children and extended family!

  2. Strengthened Bonds: By focusing on understanding, empathy, and forgiveness, Retrouvaille helps couples rebuild trust and reignite the spark in their relationship. If the trust was not lost, it helps create a system of checks and balances to keep it that way.  This renewed connection can lead to a deeper, more fulfilling marital bond that lasts a lifetime.

  3. Conflict Resolution Skills: Participants gain essential skills in managing disagreements in a healthy, constructive way. These skills can help prevent future conflicts from escalating, contributing to a more peaceful, loving, and supportive relationship.

  4. Personal Growth: Many participants find that Retrouvaille encourages personal growth. By learning more about themselves and their relationship dynamics, individuals often discover new perspectives and insights that extend beyond their marriage, leading to overall personal development.

  5. Supportive Community: Participants of Retrouvaille become part of a supportive community. This network can provide ongoing encouragement, shared experiences, and additional resources for maintaining a healthy marriage in the long term.  This community is called “CORE” (Continuing Our Retrouvaille Experience), and is available all over the country, and in many nations.

Remember, Retrouvaille is more than just a program—it’s a journey towards a healthier, stronger, and happier marriage. And the benefits of embarking on this journey can last a lifetime.

Who Can Benefit?

Retrouvaille is designed to help couples in various stages of their marriage:

  • Struggling Couples: Retrouvaille provides tools and strategies to couples whose marriages are in crisis, helping them to navigate their issues and rebuild their relationship.
  • Marriages on Solid Ground: Even couples with healthy marriages can benefit from Retrouvaille. It serves as a proactive way to strengthen a marriage and avoid potential issues down the road.
  • Newlyweds: Retrouvaille can serve as marriage insurance for newlyweds, equipping them with the tools to deal with issues they might encounter in the future.

In a nutshell, Retrouvaille offers a comprehensive, practical approach to revitalizing marriages. Its unique structure and methodology empower couples to take the lead in healing their own relationships, supported by a caring and experienced community.

What Does Retrouvaille Cost?

Investing in your marriage through a program like Retrouvaille is invaluable. However, it’s natural to be concerned about the financial aspects of the program. Here’s what you need to know about the cost:

  1. Registration Fee: Most locations require a registration fee to cover the cost of materials and administrative expenses. This fee varies depending on the location and the specific Retrouvaille community. It is usually much lower than the actual cost of the weekend, but helps cover initial costs.  Keep in mind that as an all-volunteer program, Retrouvaile has extremely low overhead.

  2. Donation-Based: Retrouvaille operates entirely on a donation basis. After the weekend experience, couples are invited to donate to the program. This contribution is voluntary and can be made based on the couple’s ability to pay. The philosophy behind this is that every couple should have the opportunity to heal their marriage, regardless of their financial situation.  The goal for the Retrouvaille facilitators is to cover the entire cost of the program.  This includes the hotel rooms, the food, and the costs for the volunteers to put on the program.  They are not paid, but are also not expected to pay for their attendance.  If they get more in donations than the cost of the weekend, this is generally put in a fund to help fund weekends in which the costs are not covered, and to help the less fortunate attend.  Retrouvaille volunteers receive absolutely nothing, and there are no outside donations or grants.  Similarly, Retrouvaille makes no donations to other organizations.

  3. Financial Considerations: The suggested donation amount may seem significant. However, when considering the cost, it’s worth comparing it to the financial, emotional, and societal costs of divorce. Many couples find that the investment in their marriage through Retrouvaille is far more affordable and beneficial in the long run.  It is a small fraction of the cost of counseling.

  4. Support for the Program: The donations received go directly to cover expenses such as the program materials, the venue for the retreat, and ongoing support activities. Donations also help ensure the program is available to other couples in need.

Remember, the cost of Retrouvaille is an investment in your marriage, your happiness, and your future together. It’s a priceless investment that can yield dividends of a fulfilling and loving relationship.

How to Find a Retrouvaille Weekend

There are multiple Retrouvaille weekend happening all over the world, on just about any given weekend.  The Marriage Rediscovery Website is operated by the community based in Tampa, Florida, which holds three retreats per year.

If you live in the Southeastern United States, most weekends are listed on this website. Simply click here to see upcoming weekends.

If you would like to find a weekend in another area, you can visit the Retrouvaille International Website for all upcoming weekends worldwide.

Remember, it’s never too late to take the first step towards healing and strengthening your marriage. Finding a Retrouvaille weekend is the start of a journey that can transform your relationship and bring you closer to your spouse.

Scroll to Top