There’s a way to make a seemingly good marriage even better.
The Worldwide Marriage Encounter (WWME) Movement has been offering weekend encounters for married couples for over 35 years in T&T. To keep up with the changing needs of today’s couples though, WWME has now adjusted its approach to serving married couples with busy lifestyles and commitments.
The International Board has approved several new options to share the principles of the WWME experience. Here in Trinidad & Tobago, we decided to adopt one of these new options called the Restore, Rekindle and Renew Experience – the ‘3RE’ Experience for short.
We are now reaching out to parishes to offer this experience to allow couples to restore, rekindle and renew their love through an eight week encounter with each other.
The first 3RE Experience was held April 14 – June 2 at Holy Trinity parish, Arouca, with 17 couples meeting weekly to learn a tested and proven communication strategy called dialoguing – listening with empathy and even sharing hidden disappointments and hurts.
The couples kept coming back each week, and not for the refreshments! The sessions were heart-to-heart encounters that covered a variety of topics for just two hours per week, not because people’s attention spans were short, but because life is demanding for all of us and options for babysitters, time off from work and general opportunities for space in our lives is limited in these times.
What made this journey so enriching for many of the participants was not only the deep and honest sharing of the couples of the presenting team, but more importantly, the homework! Geared with notepads and pens, participants left every session with tasks to accomplish and topics to discuss.
The success factor was that these busy couples all had to find the time after work to pencil each other into their schedules every day. Some couples shared that this meant shifting the family routine to create time to focus solely on each other first. No small feat when there are children in the mix, but this is how it was meant to be: the marriage relationship comes first. We’ve heard it said for years that children thrive when parents can comfortably work on and express their love.
Several couples said the 3RE experience rekindled their romance and gave them some badly needed ‘us’ time.
The results are in – the 3RE weekly sessions at the Holy Trinity parish were a success! The couples loved it so much that they are coming back for more! We are now going into phase two with them as they want to go even deeper into their relationship. Of course, happy retreatants always make for a good story, but this style of presenting the programme will reap benefits for the parish too.
Holy Trinity parish is a large one, with five communities, and when the couples connected with each other in this way we know that a good seed was planted by parish priest, Fr Ashton Pierre CSSp.
The Worldwide Marriage Encounter Movement still runs weekend retreats, and now couples in your parish can taste the sweetness of a restored, rekindled and renewed marriage with our eight-week programme.
For more information contact Deacon Malcom & Lynn Joab at firstname.lastname@example.org
– wwMEtt team