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UPDATE - Helen P -

I would LOVE to share my story...

I married a man whose first marriage didn't even last 12 months!  I thought things would be different with me. 

Everything was different for the first 3 years; however, after that the cracks began to show.  Slowly the manipulating, bullying and verbal abuse started and gradually increased.  

It's funny how you don't feel like showing affection to someone who says these sorts of things to you.  And it didn't help that I became more and more "standoffish".

A few times I tried to tell my mum that I was unhappy, but she just kept telling me that no marriage was perfect (and no marriage is) but to try and stick it out and see if it will get better. She had to put up with my father, and she would tell me about all the other women she knew who had to put up with a lot from their husbands, so I was no different.  Both she and I were afraid to share my feelings with my father.

I told my husband a couple of times during our marriage that "I didn't want to be married to him anymore", which I know is not a nice thing to say, but instead of trying to talk about and solve our problems, he would just stomp off in a huff.  There was no conversation about what was wrong or what we could BOTH do to try and make things better.  There was no communication.  When we argued, it was always about him "winning".  He was the scorpion and he would strike me with a spiteful, vindictive remark and then would punish me by not speaking to me for 3 days afterwards.  I told him that we needed counselling, but he ABSOLUTELY refused.  I wanted to leave at the 20 year mark, because in my mind, that was the end of the "jail sentence" but unfortunately our house wouldn't sell and I couldn't afford to pay the mortgage and rent another place.

It was at this point that I watched Matthew Hussey on YouTube for the first time.  It was this episode: https://youtu.be/bCdFzjEuQrY  and it felt as if Matthew was speaking to ME.  So I made my interview appointment with John (who was awesome, by the way), saved up my money, booked my flights and took off on my first retreat!

It was INCREDIBLE!!  I finally went somewhere and met people who made me feel worthwhile and I hadn't had that for a VERY LONG time.  I didn't even know places and people like this existed!!  I truly had the time of my life!!  And if you are reading this and wondering if you should go to a retreat...DON'T WONDER ANYMORE, JUST GO!!!!

Upon returning to Australia, I knew what I had to do.  First of all, I sat down with BOTH my mum and dad and explained to them (without any tears) how I felt and what I was going to do regarding my marriage and my father responded simply with the word "Okay".  What?? I had been worried ALL of these years about his response for NOTHING!!!  The house sold a couple of months later, I moved out and I now live in my own place.  I AM FREE!!  I was so happy about finally trusting my instincts and making my leap that I booked and attended my 2nd retreat in May/June, and this time, I took along my 20 year old daughter.  This one was even more enjoyable than the first, and I honestly didn't think that was going to be possible. 

I met so many wonderful women from all over the world at both retreats.  Everyone is there for their own reasons.  Just like in the movie, 'An Officer and A Gentleman', the female cadet, Seegar's personal goal was to climb the wall. Well, each woman at the retreat has her own "wall" to climb too. In the movie, Richard Gere says to Seegar, "Let's do this together". Well, at the retreat Matthew says that to you too. "Let's do this together". He's your coach, your partner in climbing over your wall.

My next wall in my life is...moving overseas in December!!  I am going to try and spend at least 12 months living, working and travelling abroad in the UK and Europe!!  Go me!!  And Go You Too!!  Go to the retreat!  It will be the BEST thing that you will EVER do!! xx

PS.  I watched this scene https://youtu.be/hFZg7GXNr3c from the movie 'New Year's Eve' a thousand times before the first retreat.  I thought of myself like Michelle Pfieffer (not in looks, but in character. Stay with me on this;))  And of course Matthew was Zac Efron because in the movie, he encourages Michelle's character to take chances.  He helps her to achieve everything on her resolution list and she has to trust him.  While dancing, he takes her by the hands as if to say "Everything is going to be okay!"  I like the way she is reluctant to dance at first; however, by the end she is really going for it!!  This was me at the first retreat!!  And when Matthew actually played this song, OMGOODNESS, I couldn't believe it!!  And...at the 2nd retreat, he actually came over and grabbed me for a dance!!!

PSS. A BIG thing that I have learned since attending BOTH retreats is that THINGS START HAPPENING ONCE YOU STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE AND TAKE CHANCES!!

It has taken me a long time to learn this.