California Couples share their experiences of going through the four stages of marriage and the rediscovery that Retrouvaille has given them.
There are 4 Stages of Marriage:
Due to the high divorce rate many couples never make it to the 4th and final stage of Awakening. What you have invested thus far in your marriage is lost forever if you don't at the very least try to push on and give the Retrouvaille program a try.
If we take a minute and recall those early dating times when we went out for ice cream, talked about everything until the wee hours of the night and never tired of being together. We knew we were made for each other. When we were apart we couldn't wait to be back together, the longing and need just to touch was an ache that couldn't be filled. We were in love with a capital "L" and nothing would or could ever get between us.
We call this the First Stage of Marriage and it is filled with Romance.
Life seemed good until it wasn't. At some point those cute quirky habits that were so endearing in the beginning now started to grate on our nerves. We felt bothered and responded with sharp cutting words that were rebutted with more of the same. Our conversations were limited to short questions and answers to avoid conflict and not set off another fight. We questioned a lot of things, what changed? Was it you... or was it me? Did we grow out of love or just grow up? Are you trying to annoy me...or does everything you do just annoy me? Unbeknownst to us we had wandered into the 2nd Stage of Marriage, that of Disillusionment
At this Stage we start to realize that our spouse is not at all the perfect person that we had believed him or her to be. We are deeply hurt by this Disillusionment. All our dreams of the perfect marriage seem to fly out the window. At this point for some couples the realization is too heart breaking and they give up and move on, divorce can seem the easy way out at this the 2nd Stage of Marriage, Disillusionment.
Many couples increase their efforts and try to fix the broken parts of their marriage during the Disillusionment Stage. They search out the advice of family, friends, or clergy and seek out the resources of marriage family counselors through either their church or the public sphere. Sometimes these couples find the answer to what they are looking for from these resources. But for others the struggle continues and their problems intensify. Often the marriage deteriorates to a level they see as irreparable or hopeless due to drug, alcohol or other addictions. It is not uncommon for extramarital affairs that destroy trust and forgiveness and the results seem insurmountable in the face of so much brokenness. Enter the 3rd Stage of Marriage, the Misery Stage.
During this stage, marriage separation or divorce is a hot topic in the house and when children are involved this 3rd Stage of Misery is even more excruciating on them, they often believe it is their fault regardless of assurances from their parents. The long lasting effects of divorce on a child cannot be stressed enough. The pain is so strong at the Misery Stage that to STOP it at all cost is the mindset of both partners, but to agree on a plan of action can become just another point of contention. One spouse may be pushing hard for the divorce while the other wants to stop the divorce.
If the couple's marriage ends at this point and they remarry other partners they are more then likely to experience the effects of divorce with their second or third spouse.
People whose marriages end in divorce are ordinary people, in love and happy, on the day they said "I do" They had no idea their plans could go so drastically array and they someday... out in the future... would be left feeling so stranded, sad and sorrowful. No, they entered into that day confident and assured they could handle whatever lay ahead, otherwise why would they leave themselves so open and vulnerable to the agony of divorce. What they do have in common is they are people who never learned the skills for a happy marriage. This is where Retrouvaille (pronounced re-tro-vi with a long i) can help. Teams of couples who have experienced all 4 Stages of Marriage present the Retrouvaille program and reach out in understanding. Who better to share then those who have walked the path and have felt the pain of disillusionment and misery. Instead of giving up they have searched for and found solutions. In Retrouvaille they learned the skills they needed to thrive in a strong and happy marriage. They learned that the Romance and Happily Ever After formula portrayed online and in the movies is not real for most of us and this thing called marriage takes hard work and requires skills that are not inherent in the typical married couple. These skills are certainly learn-able and are acquired with the attitudes and tools that they can use to deal with the inevitable challenges of the real world. These skills, attitudes and tools give them what they need to transition from the 3rd Stage of Misery into the 4th Stage of Awakening.
No matter where you are in the stages of your marriage, Retrouvaille can give you the marriage help you need to rediscover your partner and rebuild your marriage. Many tens of thousands of couples have turned their marriages around by committing to and showing up for this program.
Will you save your marriage by attending and committing to the Retrouvaille program? You will never know unless you try. Call the phone number or send an email to your local Retrouvaille volunteers. Ask them those difficult questions that fill your sleepless nights. The people answering the phone or emailing you back are people just like you who have traveled this rocky road and pushed on to the 4th Stage of Awakening. They will be able to understand your feelings of hopelessness and loss. They will do their level best to answer your questions and help you along the journey to healing your marriage.
Be assured that all contacts are held in the strictest confidence