One Thing That Will Increase Happiness in Your Marriage TODAY

By Fawn Weaver on Wednesday, July 30, 2014

*Welcome to week 12 of this 12-week series based on the New York Times® bestselling book, Happy Wives Club.  Today, I’m concluding this series with one of the most important tips I’ve learned from the happiest couples around the world.*

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The one thing that will increase marriage in your marriage

This past Sunday was a picturesque day along the sunny beaches of Southern California.  Venice Beach, a small community whose shore I run along almost weekly, was bustling with people. 

Beachgoers soaking up the sun, licking ice cream cones before that delicious chocolate and vanilla swirled goodness dripped on the pavement below.  There was nothing unusual about this past Sunday, until it was.

Out of nowhere, a sunny day succumbed to monsoon moisture usually reserved for the mountain areas surrounding Los Angeles.  The sunshine, abruptly interrupted by a storm that lasted no longer than fifteen minutes but brought with it a deadly bolt of lightning.

“Boom!” was the sound scores of people recalled hearing while describing to reporters the lightning bolt they witnessed.  The sound was immediately followed by mayhem on the beach.  Lifeguards swarmed the waters pulling out as many people as they could reach. 

Smart phones and helicopters captured rescues and CPR being performed all across the sand.  But for one young man, only 20 years of age, it was a little too late.  His body had already gone cold.

That 20-year old, Nick Fagnano, was someone’s son.  The surfer who remains in critical condition, at a nearby hospital as I write this, is someone else’s son; likely even someone’s husband. 

Speaking to several hundred wives at a marriage conference this weekend, I shared the story of a wonderful friend of mine whose husband –at the age of 45 and at the height of his career- boarded a plane in San Francisco headed for New York to promote his newest book to never be heard from again.  

A perfect picture of health ended on that flight with a pulmonary embolism.  Imagine how his young wife felt when, in anticipation of his call from New York, she picked up the phone only to be told by the voice on the other end that her loving husband was gone and she was now the sole parent of two gorgeous little girls.

A hush went through the crowd.  “You don’t even know if the husband you just sat with for lunch and who is now sitting in the husbands-only seminar will still be there when we leave this ballroom,” I told the ladies as tears began to stream down many of their faces.

The one thing that will increase happiness in your marriage today is fully grasping this truth: Your marriage is not forever.

We tend to take for granted that our marriage will last until the very end of our lives.  But I can give you a list of young widows I’ve encountered who would trade the remaining years of their lives just to get five minutes back with their spouses.  Five minutes to share all the most important things they wish they’d said while their spouses were still alive.

There are well over 100 million widows around the world and you know how many of them took for granted the spouse they loved would be with them until the very end?  I can’t tell you an exact number, but based on the number of women whose eyes began to swell up with tears this past weekend as I shared my friend’s story, I’d say a pretty large percentage.

Your marriage is not promised another day. Today could be all you have remaining together.  Think about this every single time you and your spouse part in the morning and be grateful every time you see one another again in the evening.  Now is all you have.  

Gratitude is the gateway to happiness and being grateful for the spouse you have -right here, right now, in this moment- has the power to change your marriage forever.

Until tomorrow…make it a great day!

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**NOTE: All the posts for this 12-week series have been compiled on this Pinterest board for easy selection.

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Happy Wives Club Book

 

THE NEW YORK TIMES® BEST-SELLING BOOK: It’s been described as, “Like Eat, Pray, Love but not down on marriage.” Make sure to check out the Happy Wives Club book.  I had the great honor of traveling to 12 countries on 6 continents, interviewing couples happily married 25 years or more, with 1 mission only: to find out what makes marriages happy…and keeps them that way.  It’s a marriage book like none other.  Guaranteed.

Fawn Weaver is the USA Today® and New York Times® bestselling author of Happy Wives Club: One Woman's Worldwide Search for the Secrets of a Great Marriage, adopting the same name as the Club she founded in 2010. The Happy Wives Club community has grown to include more than 900,000 women in over 110 countries around the world. When she’s not blogging or working on her next project, she's happily doting over her husband of nearly eleven years, Keith.

 

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  • Charlotte Moore

    Very true!!!

    • http://www.happywivesclub.com/ Fawn @ Happy Wives Club

      Thanks for your note, Charlotte.

  • ecka

    Amen, That’s right Thanks

    • http://www.happywivesclub.com/ Fawn @ Happy Wives Club

      Indeed it is for all of us with eyes open to see.

  • Lauren Lawson

    Now I’m crying. Such truth.

    • http://www.happywivesclub.com/ Fawn @ Happy Wives Club

      Tears filled my eyes while I was writing it too. Thanks, Lauren.

  • http://www.osasandgodwin.com osas R.

    I literally had tear in my eyes why i reading this. sometimes we takes precious things and people for granted. i love my husband to the moon and back and i just CAN’T imagine my life without him.he is my bestfriend,my soulmate,my buddies and my everything.
    Fawn, thank you so much for this post. God bless you. and i am still praying for you and keith. God is never too late, He is always on time.HOLD ON TO hIS WORD

    Have a great day..

    • http://www.happywivesclub.com/ Fawn @ Happy Wives Club

      Thanks, Osas. You have a great day, as well!

  • jori

    Fawn, I love The Happy Wives Club and how it champions a strong, loving, happy marriage. You are right, the thought of not being with the one you love forever is devastating. But there is a way. For you or anyone else to know what it is, visit Mormon.org. You can be a family for eternity. It’s worth checking out <3
    Thank you for all of your uplifting, insightful, and fun endorsements of a good marriage. You are inspiring! :-)

    • http://www.happywivesclub.com/ Fawn @ Happy Wives Club

      Thanks, Jori! I really appreciate you approaching it this way because I got an email from someone of the LDS faith this morning saying they were deeply disturbed by this post. :( My response, “Thank you for your passionate email. The post I wrote doesn’t take away from your belief that marriage continues beyond this life. But the reality is if my husband dies tomorrow, I still have the remainder of this life to live out without him. Knowing we will be reunited would certainly give me some peace, but it’s gone from this earth and my remaining days will be without him. The point is to treasure the brief time you have together on earth. It doesn’t discount your time together in heaven.” So I appreciate you being able to see this doesn’t contradict what you believe and welcome you sharing your beliefs about remaining together through eternity.

    • Michelle

      Ditto to your post Jori. I love Fawn ‘ s description of how we need to appreciate our spouses and eachother and not take them for granted. But there is that possibility of being with them forever. I too am forever grateful for the knowledge and testimony of knowing I will be with my family forever! That knowledge helps me strive to be the best I can be each day and honestly had made my marriage stronger! Please visit mormon.org.

      Fawn every Thursday I look forward to your emails and appreciate everything you write. Thank you for beginning the Happy Wives Club and all that you do to inspire couples to have better relationships!
      Have an amazing day!

      • http://www.happywivesclub.com/ Fawn @ Happy Wives Club

        Thank you, Michelle! One of the things I love about this community is we have every race, culture and faith represented. We all agree that healthy, loving and long-lasting marriages are the backbone of a great society. Thank you (and your husband) for showing the world love and marriage still go hand in hand.

  • http://www.littlepocketbooks.blogspot.com/ Alysia @ My Little Pocketbooks

    Great post Dawn! I have been following along and I agree this is the most important. Thanks for your amazing work.

    • http://www.happywivesclub.com/ Fawn @ Happy Wives Club

      Outstanding! Thank you so much, Alysia. Appreciate you.

  • Alise

    This is very true, and timely as today marks seventeen years since my father’s death. He was 36 years old, and he wrecked on his way home from work. My grandparents lost two children in the space of nine days- his older sister had lost her battle with breast cancer a week before, and my mother was widowed at the age of 32, left to raise a seven year old and a five month old infant on her own. That morning, I was cranky to be awakened and taken to my grandparents’ house across the road. I threw a tantrum. Told my father I hated him and that I never wanted to see him again. Those were the last words I spoke to my father, and they’ve haunted me ever since. Life can change in an instant; never take anything for granted. Never leave a conversation in anger- and remember that you cannot un-say something.

    • http://www.happywivesclub.com/ Fawn @ Happy Wives Club

      Your story just brought tears to my eyes, Alise. And that last line is so important I want to highlight it again: “Never leave a conversation in anger- and remember that you cannot un-say something. Thank you for sharing this…truly.

  • Haley Bunselmeyer

    Not fun to think about, but this is a great reminder to us. Most days, even when the kids aren’t in school and I don’t *have* to get up for anything I still get up with my husband (he goes to work early) to help him prepare for the day and to give him a wave and a kiss as he drives off. One day this week I didn’t feel very good and stayed asleep. I regretted that all day long. Every day with those we love is a gift. Thank you for the reminder!

    • http://www.happywivesclub.com/ Fawn @ Happy Wives Club

      It is most certainly a gift. Every moment. Did you see Alise’s comment below? Such a powerful reminder for us!

  • Carol

    Dear Fawn – Nearly 10 years ago my husband went out as normal to join his walking group for their normal walk along the seafront here in Devon UK leaving me at home making cards. The telephone rang about an hour later which I left until later. On listening to the message sometime later it was from the A&E department of the hospital to call asap. I thought they had the wrong number but was told my husband had had a heart attack and I was to get there immediately. I am pleased to say he survived but we still have health issues to deal with but we are ‘hanging on in there’. Second marriage for us both and have just celebrated 25 years aged 74 and 76

    • http://www.happywivesclub.com/ Fawn @ Happy Wives Club

      Wow, Carol! Just thinking about that call you received gave me chills. Congratulations on celebrating 25 years of marriage and I’m certain you both treat every day as if it were your last. Thank you.

  • Anita M.

    I’m glad that I took the time to read this! It’s so very, very true. Being a Registered Nurse, I have seen couples dealing with the grief if losing their spouses. It’s like no other. Thanks so much for sharing this Fawn!

    • http://www.happywivesclub.com/ Fawn @ Happy Wives Club

      Thank you, Anita, for adding to the conversation. I can imagine the amount of tears you’ve seen over the years…

  • http://www.oysterbed7.com Bonny @OysterBed7

    What a heavy reminder, but important. As my marriage refines with age, I am becoming more and more aware how precious each day is.

    • http://www.happywivesclub.com/ Fawn @ Happy Wives Club

      “Refines with age…” I’m pretty sure I’m going to borrow that phrase from you, Bonny :) .

  • Mel

    It is so very real… 4.5 years ago my husband of 8 years, a 33 year old Sheriff Deputy went off to work and never clocked out that night. I was a 31 year old widow completely blindsided. Our last words were, “I love you” and I remember all the details of the phone conversations that day and days leading up to it like it was yesterday. I have since then remarried a widower who lost his 31 year old wife to brain cancer 3.5 years ago with 3 young children left behind and we are expecting number 4. God has a plan but it is not always ours :) . His death which felt like punishment turned out to be for my salvation and also many others!

    • http://www.happywivesclub.com/ Fawn @ Happy Wives Club

      Wow. Tears in my eyes… Thanks for sharing that, Mel!

  • Stephanie

    Very uncomfortable to read, but a grim reality for my dear friend who lost her husband nearly 2 years ago. One of the things she remembered as she shook her head looking at the floor remembering him was the only thing she fixed him for dinner the night before was fish sticks.

    • http://www.happywivesclub.com/ Fawn @ Happy Wives Club

      When it hits so close to home, it really becomes real, doesn’t it?

  • Glenys Gordon

    My second husband was a good deal older than myself, and even with ill health his sudden death was expected, but unexpected the day it happened. One minute we were laughing and joking and planning to watch a midday movie, as he went out to cut some kindling for the fire. The next he was lying collapsed in the wood shed, blocking the door. After getting the door opened by pulling it backwards through the opening, he failed to respond to EAR, and had been collapsed for at least 20minutes so I had to make the decision as to whether to begin CPR… luckily this was something we had previously discussed. I would strongly encourage everyone, no matter your age to discuss Living Wills and Enduring Guardianship so you are never in doubt what your partner wants in relation to their health.

  • Angel

    10 years ago, I buried my 26 year old fiancé. Now, married to my best friend, my fear of losing him is crippling. Every day he leaves for work, I fight back tears. (It doesn’t help that he’s an Army Infantryman where death is more likely, even during training exercises.) I’m literally petrified and it drives him crazy. If anyone knows how to maybe not be so aware of the liklihood of loss, I’m all ears.

    • Kathy Simmons

      Angel, there is always a fear of losing our loved ones,but ,with that said dear ,it also is putting a wall up for you and your spouse and living a good,happy marriage,know this Angel,if you do not know already, God is the one and ONLY one in control , He is the only one that knows these things, we take risks each and everyday we get into a car or walk in town ,having pets, we never know the outcome of individuals destiny. In losing a fiancé’ as you had,it had to be most devastating , life changing absolutely,but ,trust in The Lord Angel,and know that you and your husband are meant to serve Him,and make the MOST of your lives together for The Lord..God Bless You and join a bible believe church Angel as a couple it will teach you how to trust in Christ and not ourselves. My prayer for you and your spouse is to do just that and come to Know Jesus Christ as you Savior..and lean upon Him. Trust me ,your marriage will less stressful..take the control you feel you have on stopping tragedies and give them to God….

  • Kathy Simmons

    Fawn I am enjoying Happy Wives Club thank you for for this site..God Bless You

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