General Information about the Retrouvaille Program

Retrouvaille (Ret-ro-vi) is a live-in weekend and post weekend program for married couples. The emphasis is on a new technique of communication between a husband and wife. During the weekend, a series of in-depth presentations are given to you and other couples like yourselves. Each presentation, given by one of three married couples and a priest, focuses on a specific area of a marriage relationship. After each presentation, you will have a chance to reflect on it by yourself, then discuss it with your spouse in complete privacy. The weekend is not a spiritual retreat, not a sensitivity group, not a seminar, nor is it a social gathering. You will, however, be encouraged to put the past behind you and start 'rediscovering' one another again. The weekend is not a miracle cure; therefore, post-weekend sessions have been designed to continue the marriage renewal begun on the weekend. These follow-ups review earlier concepts in greater depth, present new ones, and help you apply these concepts to your own marriage.

Sometimes it's helpful to watch a video that can touch off thought or discussion to help you and your spouse learn more about the Retrouvaille program. You can view some videos here and, here and here

No couple is ever denied the chance to heal and renew their marriage because they lack money. This concern should not influence your decision to come to Retrouvaille. On the weekend, you will be asked to make an anonymous donation to help lighten our expenses. This one donation covers both the expenses of the weekend and all the follow- up sessions. A small fee is requested when you register for the program to confirm your meals and accommodation.

Registration Phone: 703-351-7211
Registration E-mail:
Weekend Dates at this link.

If you wish to remain anonymous when calling for more information, you need not identify yourself. If you then wish to register for the program, please be assured that all names are kept in strictest confidence.

"We came to Retrouvaille thinking nothing would work, but it was the first time we really faced our problem as a couple and began to work on our marriage together. We have been given another chance."

"Retrouvaille gave me the means to look at myself honestly and objectively. We have been given a new meaning to our marriage and the ways with which to build our relationship."

"We are finally (after 18 years) getting to know each other in a new light. We like what we see and we are experiencing true love, as we never thought possible."

"Retrouvaille hasn't eliminated our problems or concerns, but has given us the tools to work with. It has given us a better understanding of each other and the maturity to talk things out instead of just fighting."

"We had drifted apart over the years, almost living like strangers together. Our love was buried under bitterness and anger- we rarely talked and mostly tolerated one another. We found we could begin again, forget the past mistakes we had both made and go on from here."

"We were separated. I was alone without any support. Counseling resolved many individual problems, but Retrouvaille helped us to face our marriage problems together."

"Conflict over management of teenagers, long working hours and financial worries had us both isolated. Retrouvaille showed us how to reconnect to the benefit of us and our children."

"After 27 years interspersed with physical violence and deceit, Retrouvaille gave us the hope and resolve that led to the peace and mutual support we now enjoy."

"We had both been unfaithful, yet Retrouvaille gave us the trust to find each other again."

"Our love was buried under bitterness and anger. The program dug it out."

"Retrouvaille was a miracle for me. It wasn't overnight. We did all the work, but someone told us how to do it. We had a good marriage, but something was missing."

Retrouvaille started in QuebecCanada in 1977. There were several Marriage Encounter couples who realized that there was a need in their community for a weekend for couples who were experiencing trouble in their marriages. It was originally developed as a French language weekend, but it soon spread to Toronto, where the community adapted it into English, revised it, strengthened the contents of the weekend and developed the post weekend program.

Retrouvaille was brought into the Washington metropolitan area in 1984 with much help, both training and financial, by some couples from New York. It operates under the Family Life Office in the Arlington Diocese. From 1984 through 1989, Retrouvaille of Arlington served WashingtonD.C., suburban Maryland, and Virginia simultaneously, but soon it became evident that expansion was necessary. A few couples and a priest decided to start Retrouvaille of Washington, D.C. and Suburban Maryland, and a few couples in Virginia continued serving Virginia couples under the name of Retrouvaille of Arlington. In 1993, Retrouvaille of Arlington was incorporated, created a set of by-laws, formed its own Board of Directors, and changed its name to Retrouvaille of Northern Virginia.

New communities are also beginning in ArizonaFloridaOregon and West Virginia. In general, each community tries to help each other. The Retrouvaille program has spread internationally to New ZealandAustraliaHawaiiGermany, the West IndiesSouth AfricaZimbabweIreland and the Philippines. It was later translated into Spanish, and it is now being offered in CaliforniaMexico,TexasBoliviaColombiaCosta Rica, and Honduras. Retrouvaille currently has a total of 122 communities all over the world.

For more information, visit the Retrouvaille International web site.