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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
October 3, 1997     The Message
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October 3, 1997

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October 3, 1997 .The Message -- for Cathols of Southwestern Indiana i Retrouvaille ii!i;iiiiiiiii!ii!:::iiiii!!i:ii/!!i ii;ii i!! i!ii!! iii)i!iiiii!!i !!? :! //!! i '! i ?i i ii i .... / i_ .... " .... i : ! ': Program helps troubled couples build stable, loving marriages some headway. "We thought By MARY ANN HUGHES maybe this will work. I felt our Message staff writer eyes were opened." What a difference a day makes. Just ask Pollyanna Haas. She and her husband, David, recently traveled to St. Louis to attend a Retrouvaille weekend. In 24 hours, they buried their troubled relationship and unwrapped the feeling of overwhelming love that they felt when they were dating. The Haases have been married nine years, and they have four children, ages seven, six, five and three. "We had grown apart," Pollyanna admits. "We were married singles. He did his thing, and I did mine." Divorce wasn't an option, and they both knew that they "wanted the marriage we once had." A friend told her about the Retrouvaille program, which consists of a weekend experience and then a series of follow-up meetings. The program is offered by the Diocese of Owensboro, and in St. Louis and Louisville. Pollyanna and David decided to attend a Retrou- vaille weekend in St. Louis. The drive there was long and anxious, Pollyanna says. We were riervous because we knew we would have to face each other _ and we hadn't done that for a long time." When they arrived, they joined other couples in a conference room. They were each given a notebook and asked to answer the questions, "How do I feel about being here?" and "Why did I come here?" Pollyanna and David then shared their responses. inThrughout the evening, they continued to write their notebooks and then share their answers. "I learned things about David I had never known. And I'm SUre he learned things about me. We had never had the tools to communicate. saiTdheThPrgram has a Catholic focus, Pollyanna l" -'-" Couples are reminded that marriage "real- a you, your husband and God. They teach you ajove is a decision, that it's somethin you .*ue to do " '-" e were married singles. He did his thing, and I did mine. Th,,, "We'w Were both "overwhelmed" that first night. shoul, ere unsure, and still not where we felt we o . ,a ue. two couples left that evenin " oaturda .... g" Wear, r-' y morning was spent looking at "masks we oles we take on, and how we manipulate one another.,, By noon, they beginning to make were ,00eo le we care about Following is a feature in the Message; designed to help draw together the Peo- ple of God in southwestern Indiana. Readers are invited to submit information about people who may benefit by some extra prayers and attention. Happy Birthday! Joe Paul, a lifelong member of St. Wendel Church, St. Wendel, and a citizen of Posey County, celebrated his one-hundredth birth- "....EPAUL day on Oct. 3. Please send informat " "rnL r WE CARE ABOUT to Ma- . 7' ion]or r,,- . Ville "/Y nn Hughes, The Message, P.O. Box 4169, Evans- "  7724. Pollyanna was surprised by what she was learning from her husband. "I never knew some of the things he felt. Like most men, he doesn't express his feelings. "By noon, things were better, and they just kept getting better.. I felt like we were more open to learn." The afternoon sessions focused on problem-solving skills and offering the couples different ways to communicate. They were. encouraged to begin the daily habit of spending 10 minutes a day writing about their feelings, and then sharing those feelings with each other. Writing about feelings instead of speaking about them -- is a way to avoid attacks and to stay more focused, Pollyanna explained. By Saturday night, the couple could finally "laugh together again. And it had been a long time. I felt comfortable with him, almost like dating. There was the feeling of butterflies, that feeling that 'he's mine.' "That feeling of overwhelm- ing love, of passion, was back. The spark was back. Things were good." That night they looked at three favorite memories and "the best part of us." Then, they were told to find a way to "rekindle" those feelings. By Sunday morning, they were hold- ing hands again. "We felt so much better. It was so different." On Sunday, the cou- ple learned how to "continue their dia- logue. They were asked to talk about the most significant thing that had happened to them during the week- end." The ride home was "wonderful! All the way home, we really talked." Pollyanna said the Retrou- vaille weekend focuses on the present. "They tell you at the beginning to leave the past behind' and focus on nOW." Before the weekend, she says "we loved each other, but that was all. The com- munication was not there. The feelings were not there. We functioned, but that was it. "We needed a way to fix it. We needed a way for it to be better." The program reminded the couple that "God wants us to be happy and have a good marriage. The focus was on 'what can I do for you, how can I change so our marriage is better?'" She added, "It saved our marriage. It really saved our marriage." T i I F S S00v00e. Inc. I I )Ola,. nox 68 Montgomery, Indiana 47558 u I. aylor Phone: 486-3285 POLLYANNA HAAS AND HER SON BEN R00rouvaille: H 1 3 I I Ill I SO WASHINGTON-SHOALS-LOOGOOTEE I II III II Ill I I I I IIIII II RUXER I I Ill I II III I JASPER "} 482-1. I I I I [ I _l]lll LL I! FORD - LINCOLN - MERCURY I I I II II I I1[ I [I III I II]