They were only two and a half years into their marriage when Luc and Liz (not their real names) decided to attend Retrouvaille to give their marriage a second chance.
Luc and Liz told CatholicNews that the marriage programme helped salvage their relationship.
The expectations Liz had of a husband, as someone “totally supportive of me in all my choices and decisions, and someone similar to me in character and interests” were crushed when the couple had disagreements due to differences in thinking, she said.
Liz said she suffered from “feelings of repression and those arising from our character differences”. The couple also had financial problems, and all the “annoyances” built up to “wear down” their marriage, leading Liz to have an extra-marital affair.
However, Luc refused to give up and chanced upon Retrouvaille after some research.
Retrouvaille aims to help couples who are unable to cope with issues such as infidelity, abuse, addiction, low self-worth, financial matters and in-law problems.
The weekend awakened the love the couple had for each other, they said.
Liz said, “The weekend answered my question of ‘What is love?’ It struck me then, that I was still very much in love with the man God had given me to love and that I was actually not prepared to throw away my marriage.”
Luc said he benefitted from the personal sharings from the presenting couples and from using a communication technique that helped couples examine different areas in their relationship.
Fr Andrew Wong, the programme’s spiritual director, likens hurting marriages – characterised by quarrels and misgivings – to a car being stuck in the ditch but with the wheels still spinning.
The weekend helps couples examine their relationship in a “non-threatening setting”, said Fr Andrew.
The programme comprises a live-in weekend and follow-up sessions over six weekends that help couples look at their lives together in a new and positive manner.
The high point would be the couple achieving a breakthrough in a God-given “grace moment”, added Fr Andrew.
“No marriage is doomed for failure … beyond redemption … there’s always a light at the end of the road … it’s a weekend of graces and blessing,” said Fr Andrew.
The next Retrouvaille weekend is March 25-27. Other weekends for the year are July 29-31 and Sep 23-25. For registration and more information, visit http://www.helpourmarriage.sg