GREAT FALLS - As local events continue adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic, one service for struggling marriages statewide is going virtual this weekend.
Retrouvaille is far from couples counselling or therapy, though it’s designed to compliment those platforms, according to its official website, striving to improve people’s relationships through storytelling.
Instead of sharing your own experiences, you listen to volunteer couples and their struggles with pain, conflict and healing. It’s meant to help partners reflect as they work on better trust, intimacy and communication, especially when dealing with a pandemic and its own set of challenges.
“We’ve been hearing that marriages have suffered,” said Volunteer Rose Schuster, who helps with event registrations in the Treasure State. “You’re not only dealing with the fear of the pandemic, but possibly a job loss, especially some resulting financial difficulty. So all the typical stresses for marriage were just then exacerbated. ”
The online move is a safety measure against the virus, adjusting for different regions which may have different rules on reopening during the pandemic. While it may feel different from their usual face-to-face meetups, the group writes in a statement that, ‘When a marriage is hurting, a virtual experience is better than no experience at all.'
Of course, it’s no one-stop-shop, with post-weekend sessions and monthly support continuing the conversation.
Additionally, if you face any issues, Schuster recommends keeping your loved ones close, like friends and family, for a support structure you can lean on.