Retrouvaille & Marriage Encounter Acronyms


When you find Dialogue questions related to Marriage Encounter of Retrouvaille, you often find in the question whats appears to be a bunch of random letters.  Huh?  These are simply common acronyms meant to explain how to answer the question, and often we just speak them like words.  Someone may say out loud “Hidifama.”  So here is a handy list of what all of these actually mean.

OK, now Say it Out Loud: WAMFAMA!

Describe This Feeling

Describe feelings in loving detail.

How Do I Feel About My Answer?

How Does This Feel?

How Do I Feel?

How Do I Feel About…

How Do I Feel About That?

How Do I Feel Sharing This?

How Do I Feel Sharing This With You?

How Do I Feel Telling This To You?

What Are My Feelings?

What Are My Feelings About…

What Are My Feelings About That?

What Are My Feelings About My Answer?

These all may seem like the same thing with different wording.  To some extent, yes.  But each brings with it a nuance that makes the difference and informs the feeling you will describe in your letter.

So how does this actually relate to the dialogue question?  It may seem counter-intuitive, but the majority of your dialogue letter is usually going to be writing the answer to one of these acronyms, and not the question itself.

Take this question for example:

What is my most prized possession? HDIFSTWY?

HDIFSTWY – How do I feel sharing this with you?

This question is not so much about what my most prized possession is.  It is more about how I feel sharing this information with you.

So A letter may start out like this:

My most prized possession is my car. 

PERIOD.  It is my car.  I have answered the question!  Now I need to ask myself how I feel about sharing this with you.  I just told you my most prized possession is my car.  I am not going to tell you why.  That was not in the question.  All I want to do now is identify the feeling that is evoked by telling this to you, and that is the dialogue letter I will write.

I feel guilty sharing this with you. As a physical sensation, my guilty feeling is… and so on.

No more talk about the car.  Just the feeling, period.

You see, it is not about the possession.  It is about how I feel sharing this with you.  I may feel guilty telling you this for all sort of reasons. Or I may feel excited.  Whatever it is, the closeness between you deepens when you share about how this affects you and your spouse as a couple, not the item or issue itself.

As another example, let’s say we have the dialogue question: 

What do I remember most about our Wedding Day? WAMF?

So what are we looking for?  Identify what I remember most from that day, then describe “what are my feelings.”  This is asking me to describe my feelings in general.  Not necessarily how I feel about telling you this.

So my letter may start out with me saying that I most remember putting the ring on your finger.  When I think of that, I have a general feeling that is evoked.  What is it?  The entire dialogue letter after I mention that putting the ring on your finger should be all about that feeling, and not the ring.

But that same question might end with HDIFAT – “How do I feel about that?”  Now the focus of my feeling is not my general feeling about putting the ring on your finger, but rather how do I feel about the fact that I remember that above everything else.

After all, my most powerful memory of our wedding day may be about the wedding cake not being delivered on time.  At the time, I may have been infuriated.  Telling you about this may evoke no feeling, but looking back I may feel dumbfounded that I made such a big deal about it at the time.

What do I write about? The dumbfounded feeling I experience looking back at it.

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