Wednesday, February 28, 2007

...and now for something completely different

Think of this as a commercial break of sorts. I was reminded this past weekend of how very, very lucky I am to have such a great husband. I wanted to tell anyone out there who is having marriage difficulties about a program called Retrouvaille.

In the summer of 2002 I was 5 months pregnant with C and my husband T told me he didn't think he loved me anymore. I felt blindsided and completely devastated. He was miserable about it and told me he didn't want a divorce, but just wanted to fix things. We went to counseling, things seemed to improve, and by the time C was born in October, T was again telling me, "I love you". Along we went, seemingly okay, until January 2005. T was acting rather odd, but I had found out I had skin cancer on my eyelid and had to have some serious surgery, so I sort of attributed it to that. Unfortunately, two weeks after my surgery, T told me once again that he wasn't in love with me. He loved me, but wasn't "in love" with me. Part of me wanted to slap him and tell him to grow up. He seemed so incredibly miserable, however, and I felt lost. We started counseling again, but really felt as though we were treading water.

T became so unhappy that he moved out in early February. I'm pretty sure I never cried so much in my life. I completely lost my appetite and my clothes were hanging on me within weeks. My MIL, who worked for the Catholic church in their Marriage Tribunal office, gave T a pamphlet about a program called Retrouvaille. We'd never heard of it, but after looking it up online, I had hope that it might help us. I didn't really see how, but the website promised miracles. T and I were pretty much willing to try anything, so off we drove to our Retrouvaille weekend.

Let me tell you, our Retrouvaille weekend was a profoundly moving experience. We are not particularly religious -- until our daughter made her first communion, we hadn't gone to church more than a few times a year since we were teenagers. But we got a miracle that weekend. We started talking to each other in an honest way we had never done before. We truly rediscovered each other. T moved back in three months after our weekend. Today we have a “normal” marriage. We share our feelings, resentments, and daily happenings with each other. We disagree, but aren’t afraid to ask for what we need from each other. We enjoy each other’s company, socialize, and take joy in raising our daughters together. I feel as though something incredibly precious, once lost, has been found.

T -- a man who NEVER EVER wants to volunteer for anything, wanted to get involved in the Retrouvaille program after we finished. We are the registration couple for our community and we had a weekend this past week -- which is how I was reminded of what a great husband I have. Rather than giving up on his marriage and "moving on", he chose to work on saving it. We've been writing an "introduction" in preparation for presenting talks for Retrouvaille, and I was very touched by what he wrote at the end of his part of the intro:

"I finally felt she would accept me back home and when I asked, she said I could come back. I was as happy as when she said she would marry me. We continue to work on our marriage through CORE and I try to be vigilant in my efforts to keep S happy. The often say that true love comes but once in a lifetime. For me it came twice. Thanks to the miracle of Retrouvaille, it was with the same woman both times".

Isn't that the sweetest?


æ said...

that is supersweet, wifemom. It brought a smile to my face just reading about how dedicated the both of you are to your relationship and your family.

Now, I'm gonna check out that link!



Isabelle said...

What a lovely post. He sounds like a good man.