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4 Ways Uncovering Your Purpose Benefits Your Marriage

benefits your marriage

It’s been quite some time since I’ve had a guest contributor write on our home page.  Sorry I’ve been hogging up all the space as of late.  

Interestingly enough, this post by proud HWC member and author, Christine St. Vil, was written prior to me leaving on sabbatical in August and has been waiting to be read by you ever since.

When reading it, I was reminded of a conversation I had last week with organizers for an event I was asked to speak at next year with 550,000 women (yes, there really is a an event in the US that over 500,000 women attend annually).  

Although they initially inquired about me speaking solely to those married or engaged), there were two things I told them I’d also love to share with the single women attending:

1) Don’t settle.

2) Go after your personal dreams before and after you say “I do.”

That message isn’t just for single women, however.  It’s also for us.  Keep reading and you’ll see what I mean.

Until tomorrow…make it a great day!

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Not long ago I was living the definition of insanity. You know, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?  

In my instance the insanity was staying in my corporate job even though it was literally making me sick (anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure, and having Braxton Hicks contractions early in my pregnancy).  But in my mind, I thought that I needed to just stick it out…that things would eventually get better.  Well, after three years on the job, they only continued to get worse. 

Three years ago, I did the scariest thing I had ever done in my life.  I walked away from my corporate job when I was almost seven months pregnant with our third child…no plan B, no emergency fund, nothing.  After several months of agonizing over the decision (my husband was very supportive of me leaving), I realized that keeping my sanity and preserving the health of my unborn child was going to take a leap of faith. 

While I thought I knew beforehand, at that particular moment I was clueless as to what it meant to find and walk in my purpose.  Nor, did I think it had anything to do with my marriage.  And it wasn’t until nearly a year after I left, that I realized God needed to get me away from all of the distractions in order for me to clearly see my purpose.  Leaving my job was the only way I was able to shut out the noise in order to uncover my own purpose in life.

I’ve talked about the importance of being a happy wife and how it starts with you.  But part of being a happy wife is understanding what makes you happy?  Who is the happy, motivated and care-free person you used to be before you were married?  (Or if you were never there, then that’s a whole other post for a different day.)  How do you take time out to celebrate yourself?  How do you take time out to spend on cultivating your goals and dreams?

What I learned was that not being fulfilled was a big factor in my lack of happiness.  I wasn’t unhappy with my husband or in my marriage.  But because I wasn’t happy in general, it began to manifest in my marriage.  Looking back, I’m just glad I married a man with eternal patience and mercy.

In my new book, Whose Shoes Are You Wearing: 12 Steps to Uncovering the Woman You Really Want to Be, I talk about the importance of finding your God-given “shoes,” your purpose.  Here are 4 ways uncovering your purpose benefits your marriage:

1. It allowed me to dream again.  I didn’t really understand what it meant to “dream big” before I took that leap of faith three years ago.  But now, I have daily conversations with my husband on what our dreams are for our future and our family.  I fall in love again with my marriage on a daily basis.

2. It caused me to take better care of myself.  In order to find my purpose, I had to get back to loving myself, which meant taking better care of myself.  And in doing so, my husband and I take better care of each other.  We spend more time on loving and less time on fussing.  He sees the passion I have for what I do, and in turn, it ignites a fire in him.

3. It taught me how to say ‘No’.  Just recently, I was given the opportunity to spend an evening with some amazing celebrities (all of whom I am a fan of) and get VIP access for backstage interviews.  The only problem was it was a very last minute invite and it would’ve meant even more time away from the family evening that was already planned.  Three years ago, I would’ve jumped at the chance and not given it a second thought.  But I could tell that although he would never tell me not to go, my husband was happy that I said “thanks but no thanks”.  When you understand your purpose, you understand that opportunities will always present themselves.

4. It helped me to look better.  Uncovering my purpose allowed me to get back to taking care of my external presence. I don’t know about you, but when I look good, I feel good.  Loving who I am on the outside is just as important as loving who I am on the inside.  And of course, the starstruck gazes from my husband only magnifies the “feel good” feeling.

I figured out that I had to learn how to put myself back at the top of my list of priorities.  Some may call it selfish but I call it self-love and self-care.  You have to be comfortable and happy in your own shoes in order to be fully comfortable and happy in your marriage.

Now that I’ve finally found my shoes by uncovering my purpose, I know I’m a better and happier person.  My husband supports me and my heart melts when he tells me how proud he is of me.  He sees how happy I am which only makes him happier.

How has walking “in your own shoes” strengthened your marriage?

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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.

4 Important Reasons To Smile At Your Husband Every Single Day

4 Important Reasons to Smile at Your Husband

I’ve been looking forward to sharing another article from Carlie Kercheval ever since she gave us this popular post on free and frugal ways celebrate our anniversaries (that’s been shared nearly 150,000 times)!

As a military wife and homeschooling mama of three, time is scarce.  So that’s why I’m so grateful she’d take a moment out of her jam packed schedle to write this post for us.

Until tomorrow…make it a great day!

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Over the last 14-plus years of our marriage, I cannot think of a day that we were together that I didn’t smile at my husband.

To many, smiling is no big deal. But the truth is, it can make your husband feel loved, respected, empowered and desired. And I know for me, it is important that my husband feel all of those securities in our marriage (and more).

I remember the first time my husband made me laugh after our wedding. It was the first night of our honeymoon in Kaua’i. While he had made me laugh countless times prior to our first night as a married couple, something was just so fresh and new about it all.

I remember the smile on my face that night, full of love, respect, and desire for my new husband. And so does he. As a matter of fact he references it often. He tells me how he already knew I was the one he’d spend the rest of his life with, but that my smile that night somehow made it that much more concrete.

4 Reasons To Smile At Your Husband Every Single Day

1. Because you love him. It’s as simple as that. You love that man – and he loves you. What’s not to smile about? Even when you are going through a tough time in your marriage, don’t forget to smile at the one you vowed to spend the rest of your life with. It will help carry you through some of the roughest times with great joy and peace.

2. Because you want to empower him.  In this popular Ted talk, the hidden power of smiling was revealed.  Did you know that one smile can generate the same level of brain stimulation as up to 2,000 bars of chocolate?  ”Smiling can help reduce the level of stress-enhancing hormones like cortisol, adrenaline and dopamine, increase the level of mood-enhancing hormones like endorphin and reduce overall blood pressure.”  Smiling is contagious so becoming a smile inducer for your husband unleashes all the health and life benefits that come from this powerful facial expression. 

3. Because you respect him. I can’t think of another man on this earth that I respect more than my husband. I value him in a way that I didn’t think I could ever value another human being. I know for sure (because he’s told me) that when my husband is sharing his dreams with me or asking me to help him and I look at him and smile – he knows in his heart that I respect him as a man and as my husband. And that makes me happy!

4. Because you desire him. If you’ve spent any length of time here at The Happy Wives Club, you know that sexual intimacy is a large part of a happy marriage. And it should be. One of the wonderful blessings about being married to my best friend is the simple fact that I am also able to have physical and emotional intimacy with him! How awesome is that? And believe me, when your husband feels desired, it makes him excited to be an active part of your marriage!

YOUR TURN: How does your smile make your husband feel? I am excited to hear all about what a smile can do to brighten your husband’s day! Share with me in the comments below.


JOIN THE 1,000,000 MEMBER CHALLENGE: If you haven’t already done it, what are you waiting for? Join the club! It takes only a few seconds and, of course, is free.

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 line none other.  Guaranteed.

5 Proven Happiness Boosters for Couples

5 Proven Happiness Boosters for Couples

Drs. Les & Leslie Parrott make a confession at the start of their guest post below.  So I thought it only right that I make a confession of my own.

We are on day four of our Making Happy marriages series with only one day remaining, and this post so far, is my favorite.

This amazing couple and #1 New York Times best-selling authors give us a peak into their own marriage, and how these 5 proven happiness boosters for couples, improved their marriage.

Until tomorrow…make it a great day!

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We’ve got a confession to make. When we wrote Making Happy, we wrote it for ourselves.  Not that we were unhappy in our marriage. Not by a long shot.

We’re coming up on our 30th anniversary and could not be more grateful for our relationship. It’s been a blast. But we are maximizers. We want it to be the best it can be. And if there’s more happiness that can be had – the deep, meaningful, and abiding kind – count us in.

So we set off on a quest. We wanted to climb the gargantuan mountain of happiness research and see what we could find specifically for us. Well, we hit the mother-load.

We uncovered several counter-intuitive things we could do to take our happiness to new heights.

We put them into practice. They not only worked, they worked near miracles. We soon saw that just a minor adjustment could make a world of difference – not just to better our mood, but to better our relationship.

That’s why we’re so excited to share the news with couples like you. We want to show you how to make happy together.

It’s easier than you might think.

Here’s just a bit on the “happiness boosters” that have proven to move the needle in our relationship and we’re confident they’ll do the same for you.

1.  Get Grateful

Dr. Robert Emmons – who has been studying gratitude for more than a decade and is considered by many to be the world’s leading authority on it – says this: Studies show that practicing gratitude can increase happiness levels by around 25 percent. Think of that! Gratitude can instantly and measurably improve your relationship. We dare you to think of three things right now that you are deeply grateful for in your spouse. It’s sure to instantly make you happier.

2. Get Out of Your Rut

Dinner and a movie again? That’s fun. But researchers at State University of New York at Stony Brook tested to see what happens when you get couples to break the monotony of married life, specifically testing would it rekindle romance and boost their happy factor.

They had half of their recruited couples do a mundane activity together while the others did a crazy obstacle course while connected to each other by Velcro. Was there a difference between the two groups? You bet. The Velcro couples made far more positive comments and reported being happier.

3. Dream Together

The moment a couple quits looking to the future together is the moment they become vulnerable to dissatisfaction. This is not a sentimental saying. It’s backed up by research. A survey of more than 1,400 married people by Utah State University found that couples who regularly discuss their long-range plans are more likely to stay happily married. Why? Because talking about your shared future communicates that you both plan on being there together.

4. Master the Magic Ratio

In scientific studies of marriage it’s literally called the Michelangelo effect. In subtle ways, we reinforce patterns in each other via countless little interactions – positive or negative moments. That sculpting can either reveal more of your partner by celebrating who he or she is or it can hold them captive.

Happy relationships, noted psychologist John Gottman, are characterized by a ratio of 5:1. This means that for every negative statement or behavior like criticizing or nagging, there must be five positive statements given. Gottman calls it “the magic ratio” and he and his colleagues predicted whether 700 newlywed couples would stay together or divorce by scoring their positive and negative interactions in one 15-minute conversation between each husband and wife. Ten years later, the follow-up revealed that they had predicted divorce with 94 percent accuracy.

5. Be Intimate

Perhaps the lamest excuse we ever hear for a couple getting a divorce is, “We just seemed to drift apart.” Excuse us, but there is no drifting. It is a series of decisions, choices, and attitudes that distance a couple. “It is not a lack of love,” said Friedrich Nietzche, “but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.”

Incidentally, the social scientific evidence clearly shows that the vast majority of divorces occur in relatively low-conflict marriages. A malaise in marriage sets in. And that’s due to a lack of emotional intimacy. It turns out after reviewing hundreds of research studies on the various factors that predict stable, happy marriages, scientists are converging on an unexpected primary factor: friendship. In fact, emotional intimacy of friendship trumps romance.

Gallup’s research indicates that a couple’s friendship quality could account for 70 percent of overall marital satisfaction. In fact, the emotional intimacy that a married couple shares is said to be five times more important than their physical intimacy. Emotional intimacy is one of the most vital wellsprings of happiness a couple can ever find.

You’ll find more about all of these tips and many, many more in our new book, Making Happy. Not only that, we’ll provide you with a 21-Day Happiness Plan that makes it super easy to put all of it painlessly into practice.


JOIN THE 1,000,000 MEMBER CHALLENGE: If you haven’t already done it, what are you waiting for? Join the club! It takes only a few seconds and, of course, is free.

7 Ways to Make a Good Marriage Great

7 Practical Ways to Take Your Marriage From Good to Great

7 Ways to Make a Good Marriage Great

Here is one of the things I love most about this club.  We run the gamut from women in powerful corporate positions to stay-at-home moms to entrepreneurs to women pursuing every passion project imaginable.

When I first met Courtney Joseph, I was amazed at how much she loved being a stay-at-home mom.  And I mean she LOVES it!  

The pleasure she gets out of doing the dishes, folding laundry and cooking dinner, is the same pleasure I get from being an entrepreneur.  

When her husband comes home, it’s usually to a clean house with dinner on the table.

When my husband comes home, it’s more often than not to a “straightened up” house (if I get to it before him) and I’m a master “take out” chef.  

How we take care of our homes couldn’t be more different but how we love on our husbands is exactly the same: Just the way they like it!

Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or a corporate raider, this post has wisdom for us all.

Until tomorrow…make it a great day!

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Back in November of 2009, I was featured on the Rachael Ray Show.  I was not featured because I had some depth of wisdom on marriage but rather I was “Exhibit A” of a “Happy Wife”.  Their producers zeroed in specifically on how I shared that it was a joy for me to take care of my husband. 

They sent a camera crew to my home to record me cooking, cleaning and taking care of our children with a smile.  It certainly didn’t feel television worthy, but to Rachael Ray, I was an anomaly.  During our interview, she sought to understand how a girl with a college degree could find fulfillment in this.  She even went so far as to ask the audience, with a show of hands, how many found this offensive?

This will only be offensive if you are comparing your marriage to my marriage.  But since you are unique and your husband is unique; then you have a unique marriage.  It’s important that we learn what works best in each of our own marriages as we seek to please our own husband and no one else.

Here are 7 practical ways to take your marriage from good to great.

  1. Tell your husband you like him!  This is different than just saying you love him.  It can be so habitual to say “I love you”, that it loses its meaning.  But truly does he know that you like and enjoy him as a person?  Have you told him lately?
  1. Praise his good decisions.
  1. Be gracious with his bad decisions.
  1. When you disagree with him, discuss it in private – not in front of the kids or friends. The respect you give him will draw him nearer to you.
  1. Work toward not being critical of your husband – compliment him. Your husband married you because you made him feel wonderful.  Continue to make him feel this way.
  1. Listen –- every husband is different. Open your heart and listen intently to his frustrations,     worries, and fears.
  1. Kiss him like you mean it!

This list takes a lot of selflessness and you may feel like your husband will never reciprocate – but a great marriage with deep intimacy doesn’t happen overnight. It takes practice and developing healthy habits that enrich both of your lives so you can reap the blessings that God desires for you and your marriage.

So do it — try number one right now!  Text, email, facebook or tweet your husband and tell him you like him.  

Then when you see him next – praise him for a good decision he has made. Surely you can think of at least one – he married you right?  That’s a good decision!  He will walk two inches taller. 

Proceed to numbers 3, 4, 5 and 6 and trust me – he’ll LOVE number 7 and I bet you will too if you are practicing the first six.

Need more encouragement in your walk with God, marriage, parenting and homemaking?  Then join thousands of women who have begun the journey through my newly released book titled, Women Living Well: Finding Your Joy in God, Your Man, Your kids and Your Home. Don’t forget to download your free Companion Study Guide >> here <<.


JOIN THE 1,000,000 MEMBER CHALLENGE: If you haven’t already done it, what are you waiting for? Join the club! It takes only a few seconds and, of course, is free.