We Are We?
Retrouvaille of Tampa Bay is part of an international network of Retrouvaille Marriage Help communities that provides weekend retreats, follow-up sessions, monthly small group meetings and couple mentorship. We serve couples from anywhere, but focus mainly on Western Florida, from Naples up to Pensacola.
The Tampa Bay Retrouvaille community holds 4 weekend retreats, 28 Follow-Up Sessions, and 12 small group get togethers yearly, helping hundreds of couples per year.
Our team is vibrant group of volunteers that vary in age from Millennials to Boomers, diverse economic status and ethnicity, and varied degrees of marital breakdown that ultimately brought them to attend their own Retrouvaille weekends, and ultimately give back by volunteering their time and talents in order to help others as they have been helped.
We believe that every couple deserves the opportunity to survive, be healed and thrive as a covenant of life and love. Our program is the place where we, as hurting couples, found hope and so we are passionately committed to dramatically increasing the number of couples served in both new and existing communities worldwide.
Ours is a community of disciples committed to the continued healing of their marriages, sharing their stories, talents and gifts to promote and spread healing.
We are volunteers and non-profit
We are a true non-profit organization. Every person involved in the program is a volunteer. There are no offices and no payroll. Just loving and caring volunteers that have been helped so much by the program that they have chosen to donate their time to give back to it.
The primary goal is to provide help for couples who live in the disappointment and pain of a marriage problems; To help couples living in disillusionment or misery to find and keep the love they once shared, while achieving forgiveness, building trust, and improving communication.
The weekend provides a safe setting encouraging couples to achieve these goals without an intermediary such as a counselor, and without discussing issues with other people. In a nutshell, it is a system that provides tools and information that help a couple council one another in privacy while never airing their dirty laundry with others.
The post-weekend phase of the Retrouvaille program is as critical to a couple experiencing marital problems as the initial weekend experience. The degree of disappointment, deterioration and despair in hurting marriages cannot be healed in one weekend. Restoration takes time. The post-weekend sessions provide support as couples discuss concepts of the importance of communication in marriage, intimacy, and many other topics.
Today’s unchallenged acceptance of divorce suggests that many friends, families, church communities are providing only limited support for marriages. Retrouvaille is a program that is solely dedicated to providing the necessary support to help save marriages.
The Program Leaders
A team of three couples present the weekend, and clergy is available for those desiring. They are all strictly volunteers donating their time and energy to help hurting couples. The presenting couples have been exactly where the attending couples are, having also experienced the Retrouvaille program in the past.
These couples have grown through serious disillusionment, pain and conflict in their own relationships. They offer hope as they share their personal stories of struggle, reconciliation and healing. The team couples share the deep and personal hurts they have experienced, and share the stories of how their marriages deteriorated, and how they rebuilt trust and achieved forgiveness and awakening. This helps participants find the courage to express some of their own pain with their spouse in a safe and private place.
In sharing their values and insights, team couples offer a message different from society’s model of independence and selfishness. Hurting couples are invited to see how listening, communication, conflict management and forgiveness are healthy tools for building a stable and loving relationship.
What to Expect
The program begins with a weekend, which is either held at a hotel or a retreat center. It begins on Friday evening, and ends on Sunday afternoon. Your registration fee guarantees your room and all meals. You do not pay separately for food or lodging. It is important that this weekend be a private time for you, free from distractions, so children may not attend the weekend with you.
You will spend a fair amount of time in your room reflecting on topics presented by the team. These topics gradually become more intense throughout the weekend, as the presenting teams slowly help guide attending couples into more open communication with one another, breaking down many of the barriers that brought them there in the first place.
On Sunday, there will be a time when the teams ask for voluntary and anonymous donations. This is meant to help cover the costs of the weekend, as the registration fee is kept very low in order to allow more couples in need to come. That will be a one-time request, and is completely optional.
After a closing service, couples will be sent home with instructions for the follow-up sessions.
Typically, the follow-up sessions run once weekly for 6 or 7 weeks, and last roughly four hours each. It is the follow-up sessions that are the key to Retrouvaille’s success, as couples have spent a lifetime creating destructive habits, a weekend simply is not enough to change that.
Over the course of these follow-up sessions, the team couples will present on many more topics, while reinforcing weekend concepts and helping couples stay on course. Over the course of the follow-up sessions couples may stumble and fall back into old habits from time to time, and the help and support of the teams at the follow-up sessions help pull the couples back up and get back on track.
Taken seriously, this process over 7 or 8 weeks is usually enough to break the bad habits and reinforce new ones, while giving couples a deeper understanding and love for their spouses and their needs.
After the follow-up sessions are complete, couples are invited to continue to participate in Retrouvaille monthly small-group get togethers. Again, these are there to strengthen the marriage and provide support to help keep couples on track.
Once a couple has completed the program, they are forever part of the Retrouvaille family, and can repeat any of the follow-up sessions, anytime they desire, in any Retrouvaille community world-wide.