These messages were received from couples who experienced deep misery (from infidelity to complete communication breakdown) have attended a Weekend in Durban and are reproduced here with their permission:
I think we did the course 2 years ago, and I was very anti and had moved out of Home. Retrouvaille changed our Lives ,and today we are strong Christians, and our marriage has never been stronger. We are having tough financial times, and are staying with our In-Laws, but we are seeing life in a different way now,and would never have coped without our newborn Faith.
Thanks again too all you guys that run Retrouvaille.
All the Best with the Wonderful work you do.
Steve & Michelle (May 2014)
Thank You for your dedication and faith in this Programme –We firmly believe that Retrouvaille is a “Gift from God” into the rediscovery of the Love you and your spouse once shared…
It opens up a whole new world of possibilities of Re-birth and Re-growth into a Re-newal of your Marriage. It helps you to communicate in an amicable way whereby all parties views and emotions are expressed – For us “Communication is Key” stood out the most as we were speaking to each other but clearly not listening or even trying to hear what the other was saying.
In today’s time we can get so caught up with “things” that seem more important and we often tend to neglect the “one thing” that holds everything together –Our Union/Marriage (which consists of God and the two of you) – Because if we’re not okay then all aspects in our lives fall apart.
We know and understand that the road ahead is not going to be easy but we are prepared to, with the help from God, to take the tools learnt at Retrouvaille in making our Marriage a success…
V and F, Durban (2013)
I know we've said it before, but we did want to thank you again for all you did for us a year ago. Without Retrouvaille and without your help and support in matters practical and emotional, (our new baby daughter) might not have been here today. We are so happy that she is!
M & S, Durban (2012)
It was an honour and a privilege to spend the weekend with you guys. It must take an enormous amount of courage to do what you do. From the bell to the hell to the light at the end of the tunnel. It was a journey none of us could have done on our own. Thank you thank you thank you
D and S, Durban (2012)
I thank God for directing us to Retrouvaille and for bringing continuous healing into our marriage. I would like to express my gratitude to the extraordinary team that brought me hope in our marriage. During the years we have been married I have tried hard to talk about my feelings, I so much wanted my husband to acknowledge them. What we have learned from you, is allowing me to succeed in doing so, now. As a result, I feel valued, and the understanding and the loving care I am receiving from my husband, are, slowly brushing away the pain from the past.I also know a lot more about my husband now. I have never felt this understood through our married life. This gives me security and a sense of purpose for my life. We are determined to do our best for our marriage. We are aware that there will be challenges, but you have given us the tools to overcome them.
Maria, Durban (2011)
I would like to thank the two of you from the bottom of my heart for allowing us to go on this programme. Words cannot express enough what this experience has done for us, emotionally, spiritually and how it has made us both see our marriage in a positive light. Things and feelings we both took for granted. How this ugly, negative atmosphere that we lived with for too long has damaged our kids, like Stuart had said, all we can pray is for them too see the beauty that Retrouvaille is going to bring into our home and hope that they forget the ugly past. It was amazing how all of your stories related to everyone of us in the room, we all felt like you were talking about us. It was a wonderful weekend and I enjoyed being with other couples who shared similar issues.
We will definitely continue with the program.
I just want to say another big Thank you to you both and to the team for this weekend. It has been a great and miraculous weekend. We both never had an example of what love is growing up as C’s parents separated when he was little and my parents used to constantly fight and after 30 years of marriage divorced last year. We love each other very much and this weekend has really opened up a new way of thinking and communicating more effectively.
We are even able to talk now without it ending up in an argument. What you guys do is truly amazing I applaud you both and the team for taking the time off from everything and helping others I am so deeply touched by the efforts put in by the team, We pray that God will bless all of you and your families in abundance with great and mighty things to come. In the world that we live in nobody really cares and society and the world has also let us down but Retrouvaille has restored my hope.
We will definitely be following through on the program and attending on Thursday.
Thank you for a lovely weekend!!! Please thank the other team members as well. (My wife) and I were blown away!!! We are looking forward to our next meeting. Retrouvaille is run by people with heart and class!
This week-end has opened many different lines of communication for (my husband) and I and it really has made a difference in our lives and our marriage – we truly love one another and it took this week-end to realize it…
When we got home last night – the girls and my in laws could see the difference in our attitudes and our marriage – the girls are so happy and cannot stop talking to their father and me…but they are talking more to (their father) but that is OK because we share everything.
(He) cannot stop loving me and the girls and you can see & feel the love in our house and relationship.
We were met at the door when we arrived home after our Weekend, by the kids.They said nothing, until our eldest son looked at us and said..."and what now Mom and Dad?" We told them that we had decided to work at our marriage. As one they said..."well, count us in too then." Thank God we made the decision to confront our differences, our skin crawls when we think of what nearly happened.
I gave up on our marriage, and entered into a relationship with another woman. I could not face the misery any more. Then I saw the pain in my wife's face. I knew that I was wrong, and put an end to the relationship, but my marriage was now even worse off than it had been before. We went to Retrouvaille, although we did not believe it would help. We went, just to make our divorce more amicable, to be honest. We were surprised to find each other again. We learnt the tools we needed to forgive, to trust and to love. We have never looked back...We thank God for guiding us to Retrouvaille.
From a daughter
Thank you Retrouvaille for giving me my Dad back again.
Our Retrouvaille experience (April 2013) almost immediately touched us very deeply, and fundamentally changed the course of our married life. From the first evening of our weekend it significantly brought us back to the love we knew we had and longed for, but which became dismally entangled in the maze of life’s obstacles over the years. Even now, after completing all the post sessions, it is difficult to reflect on the depth, scope and conceptualisation of the Retrouvaille programme without some sense of bewilderment. Yet there are two key aspects that have left an indelible impression on us as being at the “core” of our experience.
As a child and young adult I often read in the Bible: “For where two or three are assembled in my name, I am there among them.” These words were nice to read, comforting to believe, but remained mere words that lacked in tangible experience both directly and indirectly. Yet this “ancient” experience happened there, at the Retrouvaille weekend. My wife and I left for home at the end of our weekend on the Sunday evening deeply moved by an experience that was so forceful, so powerful and so healing, that it could only be put forward as the direct intervention and presence of the Holy Spirit that embraced our group. At a personal level, I have never experienced it before, and those words I read in the Bible so many years ago could not have been further from my mind at any point during the weekend. And please don’t get me wrong, I do not have a penchant for religious fanaticism … I arrived at the Retrouvaille weekend with life-long spiritual awareness but at best so cynical towards most formal faith structures that it was a contributing ingredient in the breakdown that brought us to Retrouvaille. Now, with the weekend and post-sessions behind us, we are equipped with the tools we need to do the day-to-day work that has to be done … but what we experienced as the compelling intervention and presence of the spirit of God will always be a point of reference, a source of encouragement, and our anchor as we pursue the 4th stage of our marriage, our awakening and happiness.
Healing by Example
For any newcomer to a Retrouvaille weekend, it defies comprehension at every level why any couple would be willing to face a room full of strangers and expose to them their deepest and most personal secrets and hurts. During our weekend, these presenters cast an image of exceptionally courageous couples who knowingly discarded all the attributes and temptations of leading by example, choosing instead to bare their innermost secrets and vulnerabilities in favour of “healing by example”. It is not possible for anyone who has not experienced the full Retrouvaille programme to understand either the selfless courage or the divine purpose that motivates these presenting couples. But as our programme ran its course, our realisation grew exponentially that the divine intervention that had embraced us during our weekend was in fact the nurturing essence of the entire process … and with this realisation grew the understanding that the presenting couples drew, and continue to draw, their inspiration and courage from doing some of the most engaging work of God in modern times.
T&M (Durban, 2013)
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