Marriage enounter or that other one?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-20-2005
Marriage enounter or that other one?
40
Fri, 10-24-2008 - 4:07pm

I know stuff about Catholic marriage encounter has been posted here along time ago but I have no idea how to find those posts. It's not like I'm going through all the back posts, lol. So I thought I would ask again. Have any of you been (I know you and Michael have Sofia). If so ~ did you find it helpful to your marriage? Would you recommend it to others?

I haven't really spelled all this out here, but the story is for us that we have been in a rut in our marriage. I have been married 21 years and we do love each other very much. So much time together we also get complacent. Sometimes it becomes all about the kids and no focus on us as a couple. I'm sure some of you can relate. It makes me thing that when the kids are grown and gone, I worry what we will have left. Also lately my dh has been under alot of stress with work which doesn't help. With the election coming up they are on high alert and it is stressful for him. Another stresser is our dd 16, who has caused many issues, some I have posted about here. She suffers from bulimia and anorexia. She is in therapy but she is still trying to lose weight. My dh doesn't have patience with her like I think he should. My dd's actions have caused conflict in my marriage. We also argue too much and my dh can be very moody. If the sky is gray on a bad day it's my fault. he thinks he knows best and doesn't take correction well. We also don't talk enough. We sat down and talked recently and it was a very emotional talk for both of us, but we agreed to renew our marriage and work o n it together before it tanks more than it has and we agreed we love each other and want things to be better so that is a first step. For me ~ I find marriage to be the most difficult thing, maybe even more then being a mom sometimes, lol. Anyhow, my dh is not open to going to counseling (typical man, right?) but he did agree to do marriage encounter. I know the church has at marriage encounter for people who are having marrital problems. I don't know if we fall into that category or not. The name of that marriage encounter escapes me right now so I couldn't google it. I know it starts with R if any of you know? I don't know if that is just for marriages with infidelity or on the brink of divorce, becasue that is not us. We need renewal and refreshers. We need to strenghten our relationship and work through our problems but we are not so badly off that we are thinking of splitting up. My goal is not to get to that point. I wondered if any of you could give me any advice as to whether marriage encounter sounds like it would help us or if we need the other one (whatever it is called) and also if you and your dh have been on marriage encounter did you find it helpful to your marriage?

Thanks ladies!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2001
Fri, 10-24-2008 - 5:01pm
Mary..CYE

 


 


iVillage Member
Registered: 08-26-2000
Fri, 10-24-2008 - 5:25pm

We share the same husband, so I've wondered this same thing, as well.


I know my SIL and BIL went through marriage encounter earlier this year (they've been married over 25 years) and she raved about it.

 


PJPIIadoration.jpg picture by Kimberly_sahm

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-11-2007
Fri, 10-24-2008 - 6:02pm
I worry a lot about the same thing.I don't even think dh would be willing to do a marriage encounter.It seems so odd tonight because Gab is at the movies with a friend so it is just dh and I.I am sure after we eat I'll end up going to watch tv in the bedroom.Its not that I don't think my marriage should be my #1 priority,but I can't force dh to talk about something he does not want to.We can talk about Gab for hours or his trips,but nothing else,if I were to be honest.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-20-2005
Sat, 10-25-2008 - 1:13pm

Retrovaille ~ that was the name of it, thanks! I could have written what you said. We seldom talk of anything of value. When I sat down with him to force him to talk about our marriage it was the first time, probably the first time we didn't talk about the kids or money too. I am worried in marriage encounter what will be said too. I am worried that it won't make things better, only worse. But since he agreed to go I think the Holy Spirit must want us to and I am going to run with it. Brad is not the most religious guy but he does go to church, has been Catholic all his life. He doesn't talk that much about religion and I know he disagrees with the church on alot of things, but he is a believer. I guess God can get in where he can. I would love to have a more spiritual marriage but i don't see that ever happening. I don't know whether we need retrovaille or ME. I guess I need to research more and figure that out. And lol about us sharing the same husband. It's nice to know I'm not alone!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-26-2000
Sat, 10-25-2008 - 10:22pm

Yep, same husband.

 


PJPIIadoration.jpg picture by Kimberly_sahm

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-31-2007
Sun, 10-26-2008 - 11:12am

Mary,


Tons of people get to where you are in your marriage. Today is my anniversary:-)23 yr WOW WE ACTUALLY LASTED LMBO J/K, (so don’t worry I will be working on my siggy




Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Mon, 10-27-2008 - 4:40pm

My understanding is that Marriage Encounter is for those who have healthy marriages and want to go deeper into their relationship with the Lord together; Retrouvaille is more for marriages that have some cracks or need some healing. There are web sites for both ME and Retrouvaille.

DH and I did an Engaged Encounter weekend 19 years ago, and it was a HUGE help in getting us ready for marriage, much better than the pre-Cana prep days our friends did. We'd already been together for 7 years, but there were lots of things we hadn't talked about. We were so talked-out by the end of the EE weekend that we went out to dinner afterwards and just looked at the other restaurant patrons without speaking to each other, LOL! DH, even though he is agnostic, thought it was a great weekend in the way it helped us talk about difficult subjects and set priorities, and we both recommended it long afterward. But he did tell me that NO WAY would he ever go on a Marriage Encounter weekend!

Kelly

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 10-27-2008 - 6:05pm

As you know, Mary, Michael and I did ME a few years ago, and I can't say enough good stuff about it. We had done Engaged Encounter when we were engaged as well, and found it amazing. The thing about ME was---when you've been married as long as we have (15 years), you have probably covered most of the topics anyway. But what was nice about it was the spiritual renewal, the chance to focus *just* on our marriage, and the time we had together. And even though we are famous for shutting down restaurants and staying up all night talking ;) we still walked away feeling closer than ever. I would highly recommend it!

That being said, as I told you in my email, I think probably Retrovaille is more what you guys need. Not that your marriage is falling apart, and I know there's no infidelity, or any serious problems, but ME is really all about your love for each other, strengthening your communication, deepening your existing sex life and passion for one another, etc. It is about rekindling what's already smoldering. If the glowing embers have turned to ash in any of those areas, you might need a new match and some kindling, and my thoughts are that Retrovaille would provide that better. It is better to attend ME without tension between you, and without existing conflict and hurt.

We have not done Retrovaille, so perhaps there is someone (Lurker? Board member?) who has, and can offer you better advice about it. But from the little I do know---I don't think it is just for couples struggling with infidelity. I think it is a way to heal existing problems, whatever they may be, and re-spark the flames that have gone out. JMHO.

You know I am praying for you and Brad. You are always in our prayers. Elizabeth is too. And just because you think I have an awesome marriage, I am here to tell you that you are right---marriage is NEVER an easy ride, and we have overcome our share of bumps in the road and insecurities as well. What makes it possible is the love and connection between the couple. When you truly are "One Flesh", anything is possible. And I think that is true for you and Brad as well.

((((Hugs))) to you!! (CYE)

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-26-2000
Mon, 10-27-2008 - 8:06pm

I will just chime in to say that Retrovaille isn't just for infidelity.

 


PJPIIadoration.jpg picture by Kimberly_sahm

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-04-2007
Thu, 10-30-2008 - 2:22pm

I have never been to either Marriage Encounter or Retrouville, so I have no opinion about which would be better for your situation, but I look forward to finding out which one you choose and hearing all about it.

I have been married for 12 years, and I have recently started to feel some of what you describe. We have already said all there is to say to each other. I feel like we never talk about anything more substantial than who is going to pick up the kids. Most of the time when dh is home, he walks around with earbuds in his ears listening to his iPod or he is on the computer. If he wants to have an in-depth discussion, he does it with someone online. Theology, music, movies, politics - he has online buddies who share all those interests and he doesn't need me.

We have both come to the decision that 4 children are all that we can handle, and unless God changes our hearts in the future, their will be no more babies. I think this decision has contributed to the stagnant feeling I have. First falling in love, then engagement, then marriage, then babies. Now what? Where do we go from here? I am terrified that by the time the children are grown we will be complete strangers. If going to Marriage Encounter were important to me, he would probably do it reluctantly. He hates anything that remotely feels like holding hands and singing Kum-bi-ya, so I would have to be able to assure him that it is not like that.

IMO, the first step to fixing a problem is to admit that there is one, so at least you are on the way! And it is wonderful that you discussed it and Brad also wants to work to make it better. Having problems with a child can bring stress into the best of marriages. I hope Elizabeth is improving. I have been away from the board for a while, so I'm not up on the latest. It seems like a lot of people on the board are in similar situations in their marriages. Maybe you and Brad can get back on track and be an inspiration to us all!

- Mandi

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