What's interesting about Retrouvaille is that it's not counseling. It's also not group therapy, where people "share" their personal history. At Retrouvaille couples listen to other couples, who have volunteered to tell their stories about their marriages.
After hearing these accounts, couples then write a letter to their own spouse, following a certain form, which the Retrouvaille people explain. After the letter writing, the couple reads the letter, but only to their own spouse.
Sound easy enough? Maybe not, but it is very effective. And, yes, there is more to it than meets the eye.
This process goes on for an entire weekend! It involves a time of intense looking inward by couples at their own relationship. It's very hard work.
There are also six follow-up weekends, which are not nearly as intense. During the follow-up weekends, couples are walked through a series of subjects, including building blocks for healthy marriages, effective listening techniques, family of origin, how individual differences effect the relationship, issues of intimacy, conflict management, and issues of love, trust and forgiveness.
Is a Retrouvaille weekend worth the effort? Yes. Approximately 85 percent of the couples who attend Retrouvaille save their marriages. This is astounding considering that most of these couples have already filed for divorce or are seriously considering divorce. It is especially "worth it" when you consider the terrible cost of divorce not only to the husband and wife, but also to the children of the marriage.
What is the Retouvaille organization? It is a non-profit group whose primary mission is to save marriages in trouble. No couple is ever denied a chance to heal their relationship due to financial difficulties. Retrouvaille has been helping couples for nearly more than 30 years. They have experience and know what works and what doesn't.
So how do you get in touch with the Retrouvaille organization? Go to http://retrouvaille.org or call 1-800-470-2230. The next area weekend planned is Aug. 5-7 at Fatima Retreat Center in Indianapolis.
Is a marriage worth a weekend of work? Absolutely! Tell others about Retrouvaille. If you are the couple in need, make the call right now.
©2016, All Rights Reserved. James Sheridan died in early November; we are continuing his column at the suggestion of his family. Sheridan used only printed materials as sources, unless otherwise noted. This column is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinion of The News-Sentinel.