If you’ve looked around here for any amount of time, you will soon learn that I am a little bit crazy about books. Maybe. I mean, have you ever read 15 books in one month, or 75+ in an entire year, for that matter? Yeah, maybe I’m kind of all by myself on that front. Perhaps. But you know what — that’s okay. ‘Cause I love it. I am generally reading up to 4 books at a time — a devotional, a women’s study for our group on base, a long novel, and a short reader. And by long novel I mean hundreds of pages, like those amazing books that Francine Rivers writes. And by short reader, I mean something I’ll finish in one afternoon because it’s just oh-so-amazing that I can’t help but put it down — just a regular length for everyday books — like this book I’ll be introducing to y’all today. It’s helped me a lot, and it’s allowed me to re-prioritize different areas of my own mundane day-to-day life and duties, to see how everything I do fits into this life and eventual legacy that Marshall and I are building together.
That books is called the Happy Wives Club, by Fawn Weaver.
Please don’t roll your eyes! Hear me out here. Although, when I was getting the upgrade to my smart phone at the Verizon store about a month ago, I was reading this book, and a man next to me was so struck and curious by the title. He said he wasn’t sure his wife would read it just because of the title — it seemed a little cheezy, in ways. Perhaps I could see this. But come a little closer, and maybe overlook the title to see the true message, will you? Whenever I had this book with me when I was out and about — waiting for lunch, relaxing at the coffee shop, or waiting to get my phone upgrade — it struck up a conversation — the ONLY book I’ve ever read that has done so consistently. Having a club for happy wives seems a little silly at first — but is it? Well, no, I don’t think it is. With all that negative portrayal of marriage and the daily duties and activities of spouses on the media (I’m looking at you, prime time television, and basically every blockbuster movie out there) it is no wonder, perhaps, that it justseems silly. But it’s not— take my word for it, will you? Or better yet, just keep reading to see for yourself.
Fawn Weaver is a happily married woman and successful in the business world, who was just going about her days, when all of a sudden she realized something – why do so many people complain about their spouses? What’s up with the skyrocketing divorce rates, and shows like The Real Housewives of Orange County? (Which, if you watch any of those reality shows, you really should re-think your priorities in life, and what content you are actually condoning…). Everywhere she looked was a negative portrayal of marriage… Something isn’t right here.
So Fawn started HappyWivesClub.com on a whim, gained a following, and found what she was looking for — happy wives — they exist!!!! Then she left for this book project, on a mission around the world — through 12 countries, on 6 continents, with 1 mission — to find those happy wives out there, and see what it is that sets their marriages apart from the rest. Dozens of wives from all around the world were interviewed for this project, and wanted everyone to know that happy marriages and happy wives do exist -and not without compromise. It takes two to tango, after all. We know it’s out there, and maybe we want to commit at an even deeper level to our spouse – this book will show you how everyday couples of every kind of culture beat the odds and are happily married to their best friends, to this day.
Fawn travels to San Diego, Cape Town, Buenos Aires, Croatia, Manila, Perth, Winnipeg, London, and more. She meets everyday women with varying cultures and backgrounds, who all share similar marriage “secrets.” This book discovers those stories behind these happy marriages, and is literary proof that happy, healthy marriages do exist — and it’s not as complicated as the media tells you it is to attain. Seriously, forget the media! Please — it will do wonder for your relationships and perceptions. Great marriages are all around us when we take the time to search for them. I myself can think of a handful of couples out there who I would gladly interview in a similar fashion for their marriage secrets — they have stood the test of time, and many hardships along the way.
Are you waiting for some of those secrets? Well, wait no further, y’all! Here are 12 secrets to a great marriage which Fawn found in some form in every single couple she interviewed for the project.
(Note: These are all taken directly from the book, copyright Fawn E.Weaver, 2014. Emphasis mine).
12 Secrets of a Great Marriage:
1. Respect — Each couple interviewed had mutual respect for each other in all situations.
2. Trust — Trust was also essential to each relationship, and comes as a natural result of giving each other respect.
3. Belief in God — All couples interviewed believed in God in some form, no matter denomination etc, and have a healthy fear of disappointing God in relation to their spouses.
4. Laughter is the best medicine — Each couple haves fun with each other and laughs a lot — throughout the day, even. They don’t take each other or themselves seriously, and have lighthearted relationships in nature.
5. Keep outside interests — Each couple stated the importance of having interests, hobbies, etc, outside of the home and family. A separate identity is important and keeps from congestion, in healthy doses, with the relationship in check.
6. Create a daily ritual — Every couple had a daily ritual they’ve maintained for decades, as a way to connect daily and keep each other in tune with the other, allowing trust to build each day. This included things like morning coffee, afternoon tea, appetizers each night, etc.
7. Date your spouse — Regular dates are a must at all times, with or without children in tow. Maintain a weekly date night, out on the town or a movie night at home- whichever work best and fits your personalities. All couples continued to date throughout their marriage and impress or pursued each other as they were when dating initially.
8. Support your spouse — Each couple supported one another through school, life changes, career changes, hobbies, interests, goals and dreams, constantly building one another up. It doesn’t necessarily matter who is the breadwinner at the time, but that each respected and supported another in all areas daily.
9. Friendship is essential — Above all else, these couples are best friends, and each other’s number one confidant. Each have friends outside of marriage, but their number one relationship is with their spouse – no matter what.
10. Nurture your marriage v Each couple interviewed put marriage as the number one relationship in their lives, including relationship with children – your spouse always comes first. Your marriage will always be there; Children won’t because one day, they do grow up.
11. No Plan B — Each couple decided at the start that there will be no Plan B, no going back, this is the point of no return! By subtracting divorce from an end to marriage, they found much more patience with each other — disagreements don’t need to be solved immediately because common ground can be found over time — they will always be together.
12. Choose your friends wisely (I cannot stress how important this one is!) — All couples interviewed were incredibly selective about the company they keep. Surrounding yourself with others who build up your marriage rather than attempt to tear it down, for any number of reasons, is a must. This includes others who share the same faith and convictions — people who believe in love and a lifelong marriage were the ones allowed in the couple’s inner circle. This also meant sometimes cutting ties with those who were constant Debbie Downers and affected mood, action, words, etc., which in turn affected the marriage relationship.
13. Bonus: Happy Wife + Happy Husband = Fountain of Youth — This one is Fawn’s observation throughout the journey: the couples she interviewed are energetic, look young ,and are all extremely active. Research has shown that happily married people live longer than singles, and this truly showed throughout her travels. (Mom & Dad.. I’m looking at y’all here! More on that tomorrow…).
Well, there you have it! The “secrets” to a happy marriage from one of my now favorites books ever! This is really up there on the list, y’all, and yes, that is quite an extensive list of favorites I have. So, what do y’all think? What are your secrets to a happy marriage, or if you aren’t married, what do you think would be important?
NOTE: I was not compensated for this post. Book review posts are all chosen by me via personal interest, and for no other reason. All opinions are my own.
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