The Healthy Marriage Staff went to a Head Start center in Tucson. One of the Head Start parents who had been to one of our retreats found out we were going to be there and asked if she could share her testimony of her experience with our program:
“Our marriage was going down- hill. I knew we were headed for divorce, we were not communicating or getting a long at all and in fact were already leading separate lives living in the same home. Wanting to make things better, especially for my children, I heard about the Healthy Marriage Retreat from a flyer at head start. I told my husband that if he wanted to stay together and at least try to make things work he would have to attend a retreat with me as a last resort. If it didn’t help us we would go our separate ways. He agreed to go but thought there had to be a catch, that it was going to be like a time share, the program would then want them to purchase something or that it would be a joke. We went to the resort not knowing what would happen and how it was going to be. Just the first day of training completely changed the way we looked at ourselves, each other, and our relationship. I didn’t know I was such a bad listener, and he learned how to express his feelings. We had no idea we had been together so long and there was so much we didn’t know about each other. We have kept what we learned alive in our relationship and you can see the difference in our children too. Everyone should give this program a try, it is so worth it. It will change your lives for the better.”
It has been over a year since this couple attended one of our Healthy Marriage Retreats, and they are still together because of the ‘tools’ they learned to use at the retreat.
Ivy shared about the time they were struggling and did not have enough money for food; they did not know where to go for help. One of the other ‘Buddy' families found out and came along side them and bought the family groceries. But it doesn't end there, as a group; they discussed how they have great compassion for others going through the same thing. They also discussed how they can help others. If they get anything extra, they will turn around and help others. Participants in the "Families For FamiliesTM" program did a lesson on budgeting and different ways to save money when shopping for groceries.
Comments the staff received from PAIRS weekend retreats:
- “When we came here this weekend that was our last resort it was divorce after this if we couldn’t get it to help. This allowed us to see what the actual problem was – when we didn’t know what was wrong before – and it also gave us the tool to fix it. This weekend saved our marriage."
- “What I liked most was that we now know how to resolve our problems and talk to each other about them.”
- “When I got to the retreat I thought my husband was the problem, but now I realize I’m the one who needs to work on being a better listener. What we have learned is going to keep us together.”
- “I can’t wait to be a part of the Families for Families™ program and keep practicing what we learned this weekend. I don’t have any family here and I have made some friends this weekend. Thank you!”
- “This weekend was impressive, organized, substantial, ethical and respectful, I was so comfortable and it was a wonderful experience.”
- “I didn’t know how important it was for my husband to know how I was feeling. I tend to bottle up my emotions and this really helped me open up to him. This has really strengthened our relationship.”
- “This will help me to vent before arguing with my partner and how to approach him in the situations.”
- “It will help us to solve problems without having a huge blow up fight.”