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The Goals of Retrouvaille

To Help Struggling Marriages

Our primary goal is to provide help for couples who live in the disappointment and pain of marriage problems. The Retrouvaille weekend provides a safe setting encouraging couples to learn communication in marriage respectfully.


The post-weekend phase of the Retrouvaille program is as critical to a couple experiencing marital problems as the initial weekend experience. We know that the degree of disappointment, deterioration, and despair in hurting marriages cannot be healed in one weekend. The restoration takes time. The post-weekend sessions provide support as couples discuss concepts of the importance of communication in marriage, intimacy, handling conflict, and many other topics.

The final phase of the program, CORE (Continuing Our Retrouvaille Experience) allows for casual supportive small group meetings each month to continue to reinforce the communication tools learned on the weekend as couples continue to heal their marriages.


To Build Strong Marriages

Today's unchallenged acceptance of divorce suggests that many friends, families, and church communities are providing only limited support for marriages. Retrouvaille is a program that is solely dedicated to providing the necessary support to help save marriages, as we believe in the value of marriage and desire to promote its growth and reconciliation when possible. Although recognizing that all marriages cannot be saved, more struggling couples could certainly be helped by learning the effective tools of communication offered in the Retrouvaille Program.


Asking for Help Can Be Difficult

Asking for help and support when a marriage is in serious trouble can be a difficult task, as many couples don't know where to turn. Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. The Retrouvaille Program is an advocate of marriage counseling when needed, and many counselors and marriage therapists routinely send clients to the Retrouvaille Program before beginning counseling or if they reach a point of impasse.


Retrouvaille is Different

Divorce is painful, difficult, and expensive and should be considered a last resort for the resolution of marital challenges. Putting the pieces of marriage back together is not an easy journey, but certainly not any harder than divorce. Many couples claim to have “tried everything”, and usually find they have simply tried the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.

People can and do change and marriages can change for the better. The many couples that have participated in the Retrouvaille Program over the years decided to invest in each other to continue their journey of marriage. It can be a difficult choice, but in making your decision, consider the investment you have already made in each other. Reconciliation and healing are possible if you are willing to put the past behind you and look beyond the hurt and the pain, to rediscover each other in a new and positive way. Retrouvaille can be the fresh start your marriage needs.


A Proven Track Record

In December 2015, Retrouvaille International surveyed our program participants for the past five years. 5,236 program attendees responded, and the results show a proven track record of success in helping marriages.


Over 76% are still married to the same spouse on the fifth anniversary of their attending a Retrouvaille weekend.

Over 95% are likely to recommend the Retrouvaille Program to a struggling couple.

Over 95% felt heard, respected, and cared for during the Registration Process.

Over 97% consider the Retrouvaille Program to be affordable.

Over 96% consider the Weekend Experience time as well utilized.

Couples state that the top-ranking benefits of participating in the Retrouvaille Program are:

  1. Improved communication.

  2. Learned more about my spouse.

  3. Learned more about myself.

  4. Grew closer together as a couple.

  5. Improved conflict management.

  6. Improved relationship with faith.


Retrouvaille is very different from other marriage programs

Some spouses resist the idea of attending the program, out of concern that they will be required to expose their personal lives.  The program is not designed for attending couples to share their personal lives with others during the intensive weekend.  Some leaders will share their stories and what tools they used to work through their marriages.   The program is unique and most couples find that this is the very thing that worked when all else failed.  We are told constantly that this is one of the best-kept secrets in the world, and couples regularly comment that they wish they had done the program long before they did.  Having done so would have saved them so much pain and anguish. 

The Retrouvaille intensive weekend is NOT a Retreat, Seminar, Social Gathering, or Religious Conversion Experience

This is not a Kumbaya marriage retreat by any means, and there is never any attempt to convert couples to any religious belief system.  It is a structured program designed to help you and your spouse learn communication skills that will put you in tune with one another.

This is not a vacation weekend for the two of you, but rather a program to help your marriage get back to where it was meant to be.  You will be working on your marriage and communication skills, and there will be very little downtime during the weekend.  Our goal is to help your marriage, not to provide a retreat.

It is NOT Marriage Counseling

There are no marriage counselors in the program.  This is a peer ministry, presented by three married couples and a priest or pastor couple. The team couples are volunteers, who have experienced disillusionment, pain, anger, and conflict in their marriages.

They offer hope as they share their personal stories of struggle, reconciliation, and healing.  You will find courage and strength in the realization that you are not alone in your struggle.

The interaction is between you and your spouse, not a counselor.  There is no mediating of any kind.  While a marriage counselor asks you to share your troubles with them, our presenters will be sharing their stories with you. 

It is NOT a Sensitivity Group

This is not a program to make people more aware of their prejudices and more sensitive to others.  The weekend is about you and your spouse, and nothing more.

We do not have group activities, team building, or any other shared participation exercises that try to change you or make you into something you are not.  Rather, it is about you understanding your spouse, and your spouse understanding you.

It is unlike anything you may have seen on TV or in the movies, or any other conventional program you are likely to have tried or heard of in the past.

It is NOT Group Counseling

While there are other couples in the program, it is by no means group counseling.  You will not be asked to share your problems with anyone else. There are neither group dynamics nor group discussions on the weekend.

You will most likely not even learn the names of other couples during your weekend, and 100% of the two-way communication is between you and your spouse.  Other than that, you are hearing the powerful and moving stories of the presenting couples.

It is NOT for Profit

Family counseling, which includes marriage counseling, marriage seminars, and retreats is a $32 billion Dollar industry in the United States, with nearly 85,000 for-profit businesses established to improve marriages. Consider these facts about Retrouvaille:


  • It is a grass-roots, volunteer-run organization by couples that have been through the program, at every level.

  • There are no offices, no paid staff, and no payroll whatsoever.

  • For over 40 years, tens of thousands of couples have been helped and through their support, the program has continued to help others.

  • All of our expenses are paid strictly by donations.

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