...good news!...I'm glad that you're remaining optimistic...and, secretly, I am glad that the deal with the ex blew up as painlessly for your marriage as possible...can I be nosy and ask what sort of marriage encounter weekend it was?..
It was the World Wide Marriage Encounter. If you google it, it will probably be the first hit.
I actually thought of you with regards to this weekend. If you could some how manage it, it may be of help. Just food for thought. The main focus of the weekend is expressing your feelings on issues and learning about your SO's feelings.
There is absolutely no focus on problem solving. Which can make for a stressful situation. But if you understand how someone truly feels, and you really do care for that person, then you will be cognizant of your actions and start to work towards a compromise.
Although WME is a Catholic Church Mission, they welcome all faith and non faith couples, legally married or not. No one asked for any kind of info about us. While there were some prayers and blessings, there was not a big religious push. Yes god and Christ get mentioned every so often, but I didn't see it as a constant theme.
I still think you should look into it. The cost was a donation. Although they tell you what it cost to provide you this service and they ask you to be generous, you give them what you can afford and it will not be discussed any further. While I thought it had been a failure for us at the time I was making the donation, I clearly saw the value of the program and wished we had attended many years ago. It wasn't till after the weekend and many days had passed, and we had continued with the program at home that things actually started to look more positive.
...I wonder if the encounter to went to was sort of a national thing...our parish held an encounter weekend during the holdays too...
Check your PM
Did a quick google. There are Jewish Marriage Encounters also.