“I just want to be happy”, is an utterance said by many. Nobody actually teaches us how to be happy. We stumble our way on our life’s path until we bump into someone who can join us in the pursuit of happy. We then get married and hope for the best.
As a collector of wisdom and a new wife, I really appreciated guidance from people who are further along in the marriage journey. The “Happy Wife for Life” series was based on interviews from happy wives from around the world. Fawn Weaver’s book, Happy Wives Club, is a collection of wisdom that threads amazing marriages together.
I like practical tools that can be applied to daily habits. The following is a review of the secrets from the book, Happy Wives Club, and an overview of what I learned:
Secret #1: Create a Daily Ritual – I started drinking coffee because my husband wanted me to share in this ritual with him. Having a mindful routine that reconnects on a daily basis brought us closer together.
Secret #2: Date your Spouse – We used to ‘try to impress’ when we were dating, however, once married, we still need to invest the effort to seduce the person who promised us their life. My lifetime courtship begins with the habit of shaving my legs.
Secret #3: Have Outside Interests – Passion is sexy. When I do the hobbies that I love, I get excited about life. My husband isn’t a book reader. He gets to enjoy the passion that radiates from me when I tell him something impactful I learned from a book. When I’m committed to being more of myself through my outside interests, I allow my husband to keep learning about me on a deeper level.
Secret #4: Friendship is Essential – Being best friends doesn’t mean we have to be joined at the hip. Best friends play together, laugh, and share inside jokes. My husband is the only one who seduces my unfiltered goofy side to make an appearance on a frequent basis.
Secret #5: Nurture Marriage – I have seen the repercussions of what happens when marriage isn’t a first priority. Spending my best moments on my highest priority, my husband, helps our connection stay strong.
Secret #6: Choose Friends Wisely – Picking healthy companions to share in our marital journey is vital to feeling supported. I learned that it is important to know where the boundaries are in deciding how much to share and when to protect marital privacy.
Secret #7: Support your Spouse – My husband needed to go on a motorcycle trip recently. We negotiated an agreement that would work for both of us. I gave my blessing without any complaining afterwards. I got to enjoy my time alone. When I helped my husband grow into more of who he is, I show him I accept the whole package.
In Gay Hendrick’s book, The Big Leap, he writes, “If you can learn to take time off from the relationship consciously…go on solo walks, movie by yourself, open afternoon. Battery-charging alone time gives you the ability to master longer periods of closeness when together [vs. sabotage into arguments or withdraw].” Taking time to recharge my own batteries allows me to have an abundant supply of energy to give to my husband when we reunite. Supporting my spouse means giving him space to do the things that recharge his battery without it feeling like a threat to me.
Secret #8: Brave to get a Wife Grade – What I think is expected of me as a wife is not the same as what my husband expects. I learned what is on the score card from his perspective when I stopped to ask, “how am I doing as your wife?” His answers have slowly slipped out over time of where I can improve. It is a humbling experience and a necessary process to make sure I’m investing in the right things that are important to my husband. This sometimes means that I need to stop writing my blog at the moment because he has an exciting idea that he wants to share with me before he forgets. I taught him the phrase that will trigger a response in me, “can I have ALL of your attention right now so I can tell you something?” This request pierces my single-focus to get results. It reminds me that I need to give my best moments to my highest priority, my husband.
In Weaver’s Happy Wives Club blog, she writes, “The one thing that will increase happiness in your marriage today is fully grasping this truth: Your marriage is not forever.” This past week I was reminded how fragile life can be. One day someone is alive, then they are not. A recent family death made me want to cling tighter to the person who makes every day a joy because I get to spend it with him. I was reminded to see the bigger picture of what matters. It helped me continue to try to release the small annoyances that create tinges of frustration. The small things that really matter are the daily habits of expressing love and appreciation as we enjoy a lifetime of moments together.
Bonus Secret: Commit to Being Happy – Every good man just wants his woman to “be” happy. He wants to provide the things that help her be happy. Knowing what makes me happy, then sharing that information with my husband is like giving him an instruction manual. The key is to then express appreciation when he does “THE thing” I said would make me happy.
I took Alison Armstrong’s life-changing Man-Seminars to enhance my appreciation of men. I got clarity about what I need so my husband can provide it (e.g. alone time for reading). I also got clear what makes me unhappy so he can protect me from it (e.g. messy home). When my husband does “THE thing” that makes me happy, we both understand what it means. I get this surge of appreciation all over my body. My husband gets to see the twinkle in my eyes that tells him he has a Happy Wife for Life.
Thank you for joining me in this series! Sharing what I learn with all of you helps me appreciate My Journey to a Fulfilled Life!
Reflect & Share: What can action can you take that will show your commitment to being happy?
The Big Leap by Gay Hedricks (book)
“Happy Wife, Happy Life” Alison Armstrong & Dennis Prager (July 31, 2013, 35 Minutes, podcast).
Alison Armstrong’s Man Seminars (free first step)