Discussing Marriage Help Options

Discussing the Program with Your Spouse

A willingness and desire by both husband and wife to improve the marriage is preferred, as participation of both is required for the Retrouvaille Program. Many times, either a husband or wife will see the need for improving the marriage, while the other may think that the marriage is fine or acceptable. There are several obvious signs that a marriage may be headed for trouble and is in a danger zone. These include, but are certainly not limited to:

  • You are constantly arguing or fighting.
  • Your relationship experiences coldness or lack of intimacy.
  • You have frequent unresolved conflict.
  • There is a sense of frustration, hurt, or anger by one or both spouses.
  • One or both spouses feel alone or distant from the other. 
  • One or both spouses feel anxious about your marriage relationship.
  • One or both spouses are disillusioned or bored in the marriage.
  • There is a lack of time or desire to communicate by one or both spouses.
  • One or both spouses are unable to see how to change the situation.
  • An infidelity has caused a crisis in the marriage.
  • One or both spouses are considering divorce or separation.

In other instances, perhaps the distance in the marriage has occurred over time and has been a gradual growing apart. Perhaps, when there is not an immediate crisis, such as an infidelity or sudden threat of divorce, one spouse may not see the need for attending. We offer a brief series of questions to assist in determining if the Retrouvaille program is for you.

Here are several areas of discussion you may consider having with your spouse to assist in making the decision to participate in the Retrouvaille Program.

On a scale from 1 to 10, how satisfied you are with your overall marriage relationship?

In every marriage, even healthy ones, there will be times when one or both of you feels unsatisfied, but if this score is consistently low for either spouse, you could benefit from attending the Retrouvaille Program. How you rate your marriage is usually a pretty good indicator of how your marriage is going. You can improve your relationship and re-discover the love you once had for each other.

How important is this marriage to me on a scale of 1 to 10?

If other activities and priorities take precedence over your marriage, that could be another sign of trouble. Every marriage, at times, has periods that other things take precedence over the marriage, but if this is the norm rather than the exception, you should consider Retrouvaille.

Think about your top three most important needs in your marriage relationship. Are those needs being met?

(As example: security, respect, affection, intimacy, financial stability)

Our un-met needs are not always the fault of one’s spouse. You may have neglected to articulate those needs to him/her, or perhaps you’re expecting your spouse to read your mind. Retrouvaille teaches an effective method of communication that could help your marriage get back on track.

Suggested Tips:

  • Get the conversation out in the open, even if it is a difficult one.
  • Convey to your spouse that though you have invested a lot of time and energy into the relationship already, you know it can be better.
  • Gently communicate your feelings (“I’m feeling frustrated and overwhelmed that we are not getting along better. Is that how you’re feeling, too?”) and put it all on the table. Sometimes, all it takes is to start that conversation.
  • Often a spouse is afraid or embarrassed at the concept of marriage counseling, or therapy. Let them know that Retrouvaille is very different. They will not be discussing any personal issues with anyone else.
  • Sometimes a spouse is concerned this will be a "kumbaya" experience. Please assure them that it is nothing of the kind. This is all about the two of you building a better relationship through better communication and understanding of one another.
  • Together, you and your spouse can look over the website and consider the benefits to your marriage of participating in Retrouvaille.
  • Finally, a hesitant spouse may respond to one simple question: "Is the hope of healing our marriage worth investing one weekend?"

If you or your spouse have additional questions or concerns if the Retrouvaille Program can help you, please call us at 1-800-470-2230 in the United States or contact a community near you.