By GREGORY & KATHLEEN FAST
Greetings to all of the messed up and constantly arguing couples out there. You know who you are. We’re not talking to you guys who are constantly posting Instagram photos of your perfect marriage — of all the flowers he gets you every Friday and those declarations of love you share on your timelines, and the cute wacky photos you like to take jumping in the air holding hands — yes, you’re adorable but you can’t sit with us.
We’re talking to the couples so beaten down by everyday life and the kids that they feel like someone hugging a tree for dear life while a tropical storm whirls around them — the ones living in a castle built of always beeping toys, a carpet of crumbs, laundry on every available surface and take-out boxes overflowing in the recycling bin.
We’re talking to couples who have been married for three, five, ten or thirty years, but it feels like an eternity (not the floating-on-the-clouds and closeness-to-God eternity). We’re talking to the couples who can’t wait for the last kid to graduate high school so they can finally split apart. We’re talking to the guys who live for their hunting or fishing trips with their buddies, away from the old lady and the ankle biters. We’re talking to the gals who live for their Bible studies, sewing circles and ladies nights out.
We’re talking to the wives and mothers currently giving the silent treatment to their husband because they said something insensitive in passing not realizing how paper thin your fragile filo dough psyches are after a long day of wiping behinds and trying to keep small children alive. We’re talking to the women who aren’t even sure if they’re really mad, or just plain tired — the ones who are so drained by the end of the day that they shoot daggers at a spouse who dares pull anything shady.
We’re talking to the husbands and fathers who don’t even understand why they’re in trouble but would like to make it right. We’re talking to guys who when they look deep into the weary eyes of their spouse having a nervous breakdown over the state of the living room and the purgatory that is the bedtime routine, can still see the person they married, so they hold on, not sure how much more they can take.
We’re talking to couples who have struggled with infidelity, abuse and neglect, couples who, if at least one of them hasn’t packed their suitcase to leave, there is at least one of them who has thought about it. We’re talking to couples who have been married for a short time or for a long time, but not sure how much longer they can keep going as the fires of passion turn to burned-out embers.
Marriage doesn’t have to hurt! Retrouvaille can give you the tools to rebuild your marriage. It can get better. Thousands of couples attest to that. When we first attended a Retrouvaille weekend, we could barely stand to look at each other. Sure we put on a good front and most of our friends had no idea how bad it really was. Since completing the program and working the tools Retrouvaille provides, we have rediscovered the joy of our first love and you can too!
Please consider registering for our next weekend (Oct. 26-28). We personally know the misery that we suffered in our own marriage before we found Retrouvaille. We also know the deep misery of many other couples who have since rediscovered the joy of the early days of their courtship and marriage. This program can help any couple who still wants to make a go of it. Please give this program a chance to help your marriage. Do it for you, your spouse and perhaps your children. To learn more, please go to helpourmarriage.com or call 907 863-8000 and register.
The writers are Retrouvaille of Alaska Coordinators.