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The Marriage Effect - II

The Marriage Effect: How Being Married Makes You Happier & How to Keep It That Way

The Marriage Effect - II

Create the life you love with the love of your life.  That’s the tagline of one of my favorite marriage blogs, ModernMarried.com.

Life coach, Maggie Reyes, is the founder and main writer on Modern Married and I’m always tickled pink when she hops over to Happy Wives Club to share some of her boundless energy.

I know you love her as much as I do because some of the most popular posts on this site -like this one shared 245,000 times and counting- were written by Maggie.  

First she taught us about a daily vitamin, Vitamin F2, for our marriages and now she’s teaching us a slightly different version of the standard “Double D.”

Until Monday…make it a great weekend!

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We love a little research here at the Happy Wives Club and here is the scoop – study after study shows that being married not only results in more frequent and better quality sexual experiences, it also helps us sleep better and have significantly better mental and physical health.

That doesn’t mean marriage can’t be hard sometimes. A good marriage makes you happier but a bad marriage, as we all know, can have an equally profound negative effect on different areas of your life.

This is one of the reasons we celebrate, encourage and model what happy marriages look like. Because we don’t just want you to become a member of the club. We want you to remain a member for years to come.

If you are wondering how marriage makes you happier, beyond the obvious things we know and see every day, here is one fun side-effect of marriage:

Holding your husband’s hand relieves pain.

A study at the University of Virginia studied brain scans that showed that wives holding their husband’s hand reduced the appearance of stress and had calmed the same regions of the brain that an analgesic drug does (think Tylenol or Advil).

Great excuse to hold hands right now, right?

Overall, being married still has a huge impact on your happiness.

I know you can feel that every day, but scientifically, studies also show that for the average person, the quality of their marriage is the factor with the second highest correlation with their life satisfaction (behind genetics) – so finding ways to be happy in your marriage will affect your entire life.

Want to stay married and stay happy?

Go Double D: Date Nights & Deep Conversations

These two simple things will increase both your happiness levels and your marriage satisfaction.

It has been proven over and over again that couples that have new experiences together release the same chemicals in their bodies they had when they were dating – bringing back that newlywed feeling.

This does not have to be complicated. Even if it’s just going to the new burger place around the corner, trying new things will gradually increase both your set point for happiness and your level of satisfaction in your marriage.

Think of easy, doable things as simple as going to a different grocery store or driving back home a different way – whatever you ARE doing right now, see how you can tweak it to add some novelty to it. And I always recommend starting small vs. not starting at all.

Having deep conversations is also important because time after time we see that couples that have intimate knowledge of each other’s lives feel happier, more connected and stay married.

The latest research is not only about couples, but in general – small talk was compared to deep intimate conversations and people who engaged in the deeper conversations reported much higher levels of happiness.

YOUR TURN: Have you noticed a great side-effect of marriage in your life that you didn’t expect? Share in the comments on our Facebook community page where thousands of women connect with each other daily.


JOIN THE 1,000,000 MEMBER CHALLENGE: We’ve already surpassed this number…but let’s just keep going! 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.

21-Day Valentine’s Challenge: Extending the Romance Beyond Today

21-Day Valentines Day Challenge

Twelve years ago, Keith and I celebrated what was likely our last Valentine’s Day.  For weeks, I knew he had something big in the works and I was over the moon excited.

You see, in grade school, I was the awkward-looking girl who never got one of those neat candy grams with the red heart suckers and “will you be mine” notes.  So my entire life, I wanted to experience a beautiful Valentine’s Day.

So for our first Valentine’s Day as husband and wife, Keith meticulously planned the most amazing day I could possibly imagine.  It culminated with dinner in the city where he proposed, San Francisco.

At the end of our culinary delight, the waiter brought over the check.  As Keith was signing it, I caught a glance from across the table and let out an audible gasp.

It was at that moment I decided I never wanted him to feel pressured to create the perfect Valentine’s Day again.  

That’s why I love this post by HWC contributor, Christine St. Vil.  It takes this day that celebrates love and romance and extends it so there isn’t a pressure to do it all in one day.

So if you’re looking for a fun idea to continue the romance well beyond today, take this 21-day Valentine’s challenge.

Until Monday…make it a great weekend!

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I still remember the very first Valentine’s Day that my husband (then boyfriend) and I spent together nearly 17 years ago. He surprised me by cooking a steak dinner at home (and he by no means enjoyed cooking), and actually spent time going clothes shopping for me (he still doesn’t care to shop at all). The night was complete with chocolate, a teddy bear and lavender roses (my favorite).

All these years later, while I love spending time together and celebrating Valentine’s Day, it has nothing to do with the actual day. I see it as a day to celebrate the love of my life and all the joy he’s brought me many years later (and of course, I love flowers!). Yes, Valentine’s Day is sweet, but every day is Valentine’s Day in our house. So I thought it’d be great to start a marriage love challenge to emphasize that our love goes way beyond one day of the 365 in the year.

21 Day Romance Challenge

Week 1

Day 1 – February 14thLeave a love note. Surprise your hubby and write him a short love note about why you appreciate him. Stick it in his lunch bag, on the seat of his car, in his jacket pocket, or anywhere else he’ll be surprised to find it.

Day 2 – February 15thHug and hug again. A good hug can be a powerful unspoken word. Take time today to snuggle up and cuddle with your man.

Day 3 – February 16thAsk him what he needs. When was the last time you offered your hubby some help before he asked you for it? Ask him what would make his day today and then be sure to help him make it happen.

Day 4 – February 17th Thank him. Is there something your husband always does that comes as second nature? Maybe he’s the one who always cooks, or he always collects the trash, or makes sure you get some time in with your girlfriends. Whatever it is, be sure to thank him specifically for that thing.

Day 5 – February 18thShow your husband some love. But show him in the love language that he prefers. Have him take the quiz if you’re not sure. Understanding my husband’s love language was a huge eye opener for me.

Day 6 – February 19thFlirt. Remember how you used to tease and flirt with your man before you got married? Get back to your high school/college flirty girl kinda days. Ask him to choose your bra & panty set for the day, whisper sweet nothings in his ear, or touch him where/how you know he likes to be touched. The sky is the limit.

Day 7 – February 20thKiss. The focus today is on kissing, so kiss like you did before you were married. Let’s see if you can get all 25 of these kisses in today.

Week 2

Day 8 – February 21stAsk for his opinion. Yes, your tastes may differ and you may not always like what he has to say about certain things. But take a few minutes to ask his guidance on an important decision or project you’re working on.

Day 9 – February 22ndPray for him. Is there something you wish for your husband? Is there something he could do to improve your marriage? Do you wish he would go get his physical or tell you he loved you more? Today, don’t tell him (or in his opinion, nag him). Just put it in prayer.

Day 10 – February 23rd Slow dance. Get out your wedding song, and when he least expects it, turn it on and take him by the hand. Be in the moment and reminisce on the day you exchanged vows. Put it on and repeat if you have to.

Day 11 – February 24thHis wish is your command. What is one hobby your husband enjoys that you don’t necessarily care for? Today, put your feelings aside and surprise him with his favorite hobby.

Day 12 – February 25thCook his favorite dish. And if you don’t cook, take him to his favorite restaurant. But you get to decide what’s for dessert *wink*

Day 13 – February 26thListen. No, really listen. Anytime your husband is speaking to you today, stop everything you’re doing and give him your undivided attention (yes that means stop tweeting, writing and checking Facebook messages).

Day 14 – February 27thText him. Send him a sweet text or picture message several times throughout the day (especially if you’re away from each other).

Week 3

Day 15 – February 28thLaugh. Laughter really is the best medicine. Find opportunities throughout the day to spend time laughing with your husband.

Day 16 – March 1stTalk to him. Use this day to share with your spouse any new dreams you have, and ask him about his.

Day 17 – March 2ndHave you taken any boudoir pictures yet? If not, find a place to make an appointment to get them done today, then surprise him with a photo book full of your glamor shots.

Day 18 – March 3rdGive. Today, focus on giving. Whether it’s an actual gift (big or small) or service, Give him a massage, a head rub, a gadget or maybe even just you. *wink*

Day 19 – March 4thWorkout together. Go to a gym or workout at home. Go for a walk or jog, or play a sport together. Get moving together and enjoy the cool down together too.

Day 20 – March 5thPlan a surprise date night. Is there a movie you’ve been wanting to watch or a new restaurant you’ve been wanting to check out? Make it happen tonight.

Day 21 – March 6thCompliment your spouse and shower him with words of praises. Let him know how much you admire him.

It doesn’t matter where you start in the challenge or how many times you go through each challenge. Just do it and enjoy the moments. And be sure to invite other happy wives to join in the challenge with you.

Will you be joining the challenge?


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 like none other.  Guaranteed.

7 Habits of Highly Happy Marriages

7 Habits of Highly Happy Marriages

7 Habits of Highly Happy Marriages

We all know that good habits can help us feel better, succeed at work, and get healthier. Happy marriages tend to have common practices just like thriving companies all do certain things well.

There are probably hundreds of little habits that help make our relationships healthy and happy – from putting caps on toothbrushes to saying good morning, but for today, let’s focus on 7 of the biggies.

Use these as a check list – if you are doing all of them, great! If not, pick one and start this week. And remember, habits can only be changed one day at a time.

1. Talk about your day. Every day. By creating little moments of connection, you are ensuring the “communication highway” in your relationship is free of roadblocks. Having little conversations every day, makes it much easier to have big conversations when those moments come. Habits are done daily. This one is non-negotiable if you want a healthy, happy relationship.

2. Kiss. Every day. Notice a theme? It’s not “kiss when you go on date” or “kiss when the kids aren’t around,” it’s “Kiss. Every day.”  Marriage researcher John Gottman recommends a 6-second kiss every day.  It should be long enough to feel romantic and will be like a love vitamin – nurturing connection and intimacy in your marriage.

3. Defer Decisions until you can talk about them privately. This means, you make an agreement with your spouse not to accept invitations, decline opportunities or give an answer to anyone about almost anything, until you have talked about it and made a decision together.

Over the years we’ve been married, my husband and I are now both trained to say, “Let me talk it over with my honey.  I will get back to you,” whether it’s an invitation to the movies or a request to volunteer. This is a pro-active way to avoid disagreements, misunderstandings and resentment.

4. Prioritize. Make it clear to your spouse and to the world that your priority is your marriage. Knowing this makes it easier to make decisions every day.

Asking a question like “Will this nurture and develop my relationship or take me away from it?” or “Is this aligned with my priorities?” before you make a decision gives you the opportunity to step back and make sure you are moving in the direction you want to go before you make a commitment that can hurt your relationship.

5. Express Gratitude. Everyday. Expressing gratitude feels good to YOU because you are looking for the positive things to celebrate and acknowledge in every day. It feels good to your HUSBAND because he in turn, feels celebrated and acknowledged. If you are not in the habit of expressing gratitude, start with this step and read Fawn’s fabulous article about how to write a “Husband Gratitude List” here.

6. A.E.O.D: Accept Each Other’s Differences.  Fawn wrote a great article about how important this is back in 2011. In it, she said, “Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that the qualities that make our spouses different are also what make them great.”

It really is okay if you never want to go bowling and he never wants to do yoga.  I was recently interviewed for a podcast and we spent an hour talking about what to do when you and your spouse aren’t on the same page – the bottom line is that accepting each other’s differences is one of the keys to helping the relationship last, long after your passions for jobs, hobbies or other adventures has passed.  

7. Give some Vitamin F2 every day. What is Vitamin F2, you ask? Flirt and Fun. And yes, I just made it up.  We usually get instructions to *take* vitamins. How about giving some every day to the love of your life?

Think of marriage like a marathon, it’s long, you will get tired, and you need the water of motivation to keep you going. Laughing together and keeping that spark of flirtatious love alive will add a little joy to every day – even the hard ones.

These 7 habits will make the hard times easier to manage and fill the good times with so many happy memories that you can lean on those memories and good feelings when the hard times come. Now it’s your turn, what habit would YOU add to this list?


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the argument free marriage book


THE BOOK: Read the book that inspired the powerful TED talk and prompted author of The 5 Love Languages, Gary Chapman, PhD., to write the book’s foreword. Drs. Les & Leslie Parrott, bestselling authors of Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts said, “We’ve been counseling couples and writing marriage books for a long time, and we can say with absolute certainty, there has never been a book quite like The Argument-Free Marriage. If you think no such union exists, or if you’ve come to the conclusion that arguments are necessary in marriage, allow Fawn to challenge that notion and set you on a path to creating the greatest partnership in life: your marriage.”

5 Ways to Foster the Most Important Skill for a Happy Marriage

5 Ways to foster the most important skill for a happy marriage

When I look into my husband’s eyes, I fall deeper in love each and every day.  

Is it because he is without fault?  Of course not.

Is it because he loves me better each day?  Well, that certainly helps.

Is it because I know all there is to know about marriage?  Absolutely not.  

I’m not a marriage expert, I’m an intentional learner.  And it is my intention to learn all I can from those who have succeeded in marriage for decades and decades, and apply it in my own marriage.

One of the most effective lessons I’ve learned over the years is the importance of fostering this incredibly important skill set in our marriage.

It’s fascinating how making this simple attitude adjustment changes the way we view the world and all that is in it, including our marriage and our mates.

Life and parenting coach, Tamazin Heher with ZinHeher.com, shares her top five tips.

Until tomorrow…make it a great day!

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(P.S. Minneapolis Residents: I’m headed your way this Thursday (4/10)! See me on Twin Cities Live at 3pm and then meet me at 7pm. More Info Here.)


When you and I fell in love with our spouses, it’s likely we both adored and admired every little thing about them. 

Do you remember that?  

If you’re anything like me, the many wonderful things that made your husband special always trumped his idiosyncrasies and flaws.

But as with all things, once the newness wears off and time goes on, it’s easy to take the good stuff for granted and to focus more on what we don’t have than what we do.

So how do we turn a “Honey-Do” marriage back into a Honeymoon marriage?

It will likely not come as a surprise to you that research shows fostering an attitude of gratitude may be the single most important skill for a happy marriage.  Of course, there are many other important skills you can foster, but gratitude always remains at -or very close to- the top of the list.  

So if you want to take your marriage from good to great, it may not take much; just an attitude of gratitude adjustment.

5 ways you can make a gratitude adjustment:

1. Nurture fondness and admiration.  Remember the first time you saw your husband doing something he was really good at? It was sexy right? Take the time to pay attention and admire his strengths and his passions. Make a list of these, from the highly skilled tasks to the mundane, and then take time to witness him engaging in these activities. Before long, you’ll become his biggest admirer (again).

2. Be mindful. Chances are you are surrounded by his actions of love, big and small, every day. Practice mindfulness by actively noticing the things he does on a daily basis. Even if the actual frequency of “acts of love” doesn’t increase, you will experience an increase: we see more of what we pay attention to in our lives.

3. Share your gratitude with him. Tell him in the moment, leave him a note, or write him a letter of gratitude. When we express gratitude to our partners we develop trust and respect, and a desire in our partner to reciprocate. Research has found that couples who have ongoing reciprocal appreciation report being more committed and have longer-lasting relationships.

4. Listen.  While expressing gratitude may not come as any surprise, what may not be as intuitive about gratitude is listening. Sacrificing your time to really listen to what he’s saying shows that you value him more than anything else in that moment. So make eye contact, lean in and ignore the text that just came in.

5. Give and you shall receive. When we express gratitude, we’re not only giving something to the receiver, but doing something for ourselves. When we say “thank you” we are also acknowledging “I’m worthy”. People who regularly participate in a gratitude practice report feeling more satisfied, are more optimistic, have fewer health complaints, and are 25% happier than their non-gratitude practicing counter-parts.

Question:  How do you show gratitude to your husband?

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5 Important Ways Marriage Has Made Me Better

5 Important Ways Marriage Has Made Me Better

When I first read this post by HWC contributor, Christine St. Vil, my first thought was, “If I had a dollar for every way marriage has made me a better person I’d be a very rich woman!”

For one, it has stretched me.  It has pushed me out of my comfort zone.  And in the process, made me a much kinder, less selfish, and far more patient and loving woman.

My husband is quick to point out that I was incredibly happy as a single woman.  I had no problem walking into a restaurant and proudly saying, “Dinner for one, please.”

I did not get married because I thought marriage would make me happy nor did I believe I needed someone to complete me.  

I got married because I’ve always believed marriage enhances your life.  That although we could probably make it through this cold world by ourselves, why would we want to?

My husband has made me a better person in every possible sense of the word.  A more loving and humble person.  Would I have arrived at this place without marriage?  Possibly.  But I’m so grateful it wasn’t necessary.

Until tomorrow…make it a great day!

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I am still on a marriage high from the launch of the Happy Wives Club book, and all of the amazing blog posts submitted for the blog tour. I haven’t gotten through all of the posts, but the ones that I’ve read have been so inspiring.

I’ve literally been thinking about all of the reasons I’m a happy wife, and how blessed I am to have a happy marriage. It’s been so refreshing to be a part of this community and to see the amount of love there is in marriages all over the world. These are the stories we don’t see or hear enough of, but hopefully that will change soon.

It’s so easy to take for granted what you have because it’s so comfortable and you’re so used to having it. But I literally give thanks every day for my husband and my marriage. I know we make each other a better, and I couldn’t help but think of the different ways that marriage has indeed made me a better person.

5 Important Ways Marriage Has Made Me Better

1. I’m more giving. For as long as I can remember, my husband has always been the type of person to give the shirt off his back to anyone that needed it, without asking any questions. And although I love to help people and give to people as well, I used to always want to ask questions first.  Witnessing the amount of humility my husband possesses has made me want to give more freely and openly.

2. I’ve learned to compromise. Growing up the sixth child out of seven, I got accustomed to fighting or arguing my way through situations. It was one way or another, and rarely anything in between. Marriage has taught me that we don’t always have to want the same thing but we should always be willing to give up something (even temporarily) so that the other can have.

3. I’m learning more patience. I talk about this all of the time because while I still have a little ways to go, I’ve come an even longer way in this regard. I used to be quick to jump to conclusions and quick to snap at anyone that I thought was challenging me.  Through my husband’s actions and guidance, I’ve learned to listen first before opening my mouth. Marriage has allowed me to grow in patience, which in turn has strengthened not only my marriage, but other relationships as well.

4. I’ve learned to trust. When you go through different things in life and you’ve been burnt a time or two, naturally you treat everyone as if they are going to hurt you too. Marriage has opened me up to trusting in ways I was never able to in the past. It’s allowed me to truly understand what it means to trust completely.

5. I’ve learned to express myself. I am a first generation American, and grew up with very African parents deep rooted in culture. Talking back or forming an opinion that was against theirs was unheard of. Obviously, that’s all they knew as that was how they were raised.

Naturally, I always found it difficult to speak my mind and express my feelings, good or bad as I grew older. My husband is the one who made me feel safe and comfortable in sharing my feelings, which allows for more open and honest communication.

Marriage is beautiful. Marriage is amazing. Marriage has made me a better person in more ways than one.

QUESTION: What are some ways that marriage has changed you for the better?


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One Simple Idea That Makes Every Marriage Better

One Simple Idea That Makes Every Marriage Better

Love, love, love this idea by HWC contributor, Kim Hall from TooDarnHappy.com.  

For the first three years of this site, I was almost the sole contributor.  Then earlier this year, I invited other happily married writers to join me.

Best. Decision. Ever.  

As I’m traveling the country this week hosting meet-ups with local Happy Wives Club members in 12 cities, it’s wonderful to not only write but to be able to enjoy reading articles like this one that remind us all how important the little things are in marriage.

If you haven’t already done what Kim suggests below, give it a try.  I did something similar earlier this year.  It truly is one simple idea that makes every marriage better.

Enjoy the post and I hope to see you as I continue to travel the country in the weeks ahead.

Until tomorrow…make it a great day! 

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Do you remember those colorful puzzles where you had to find everything that was wrong with the picture?  Maybe the side-by-side pictures in some magazines that ask you to find the differences between the two.

We leave no stone unturned in our search to figure out what is wrong.

Oh, the joy: A misspelled sign, a flying pig, an escalator to nowhere!

There was such a solid sense of satisfaction as you discovered and checked off each error.

But do you remember ever noticing the joy in those images?

Probably not, because you had your internal search engine programmed to find every mistake.

What you pay attention to about your spouse is very similar.

When you focus on your husband’s faults, it distorts the bigger picture and chips away at your relationship.

The solution is simple.

Shift your focus to the good to improve your marriage.

I’m not asking you to ignore issues.

I’m suggesting a different approach.

I want you to focus on being grateful.

Just once a day.

Because gratitude is the spoonful of sugar that helps marriage in the most delightful way. (Tweet that!)

I wrote previously about Darren Hardy’s Thanks-giving Journal.

Following an argument, he decided to write to his wife to let her know how grateful he was for her:

While he struggled at first to look for those blessings, he found his attitude had completely changed to one of deep love and thankfulness once he finished with his message.

Believing he had stumbled onto a great idea, he began a year long project.

Every day, he would spend a few minutes noting just one thing about his wife that he admired, adored, or enjoyed, and wrote it down.

At the end of the year, he gave his wife this Thanks-giving Journal.

She cried and said it was the best gift ever.

What happened?

He was paying attention to the good, to the woman he fell in love with so long ago.

He detailed for her how she mattered, both to him and others.

Not only did it change his daily focus, but it improved the quality of his marriage.

Look for reasons to express your gratitude towards your spouse.

I encourage you to write it down daily, because gratitude is a matter of practice.

Say it out loud, too, with words like thank you, I appreciate that, I am so grateful when you do that!

You just might re-discover more to love about your other half, improve your marriage, be happier, and give the most amazing gift to your husband (and yourself)!

Question: How often do you let your husband know you are grateful for him?

May you find happiness wherever you are! Kim at Too Darn Happy


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5 Reasons Why I Still Believe in Marriage

5 Reasons Why I Still Believe in Marriage

5 Reasons Why I Still Believe in Marriage

When I think about marriage, and the impact you and this Club are having on changing the conversation surrounding it, my heart immediately jumps for joy.

Rarely does a day go by that I don’t receive an email or note from someone grateful for the encouragement this club provides by simply showing that happy marriages do, in fact, exist.  And giving them hope theirs can be one of them.

Next Sunday, the New York Times® will print their weekly Best Sellers list and you’ll notice a familiar name somewhere around the top.  

A week after releasing my first book, Happy Wives Club, my publisher received word that the book would debut at #3 on the New York Times Best Sellers list – only behind The Wolf of Wall Street and Lone Survivor.  Around the same time, it was also named a USA Today® Best Seller.

How amazing is that?  What astonishes me most is the realization that this book, as well as this club, could reach millions more around the world.  

The possibility of a new conversation about marriage -one that puts a spotlight on the positive side of it- warms every corner of my heart and sends my soul into jubilation.

During the launch week of the book, 200 wonderful bloggers joined me in talking about love and marriage on their own blogs.  

I wish you could read all the posts as so many of them were simply amazing.  But my guess is you barely have time to fold your own socks let alone read a ton of blog posts.  So I’ll do my best in the coming days to showcase several I think you’ll love.

Today’s post by Christine St. Vil’s is one of a few I’ve selected so far: 5 Reasons Why I Still Believe in Marriage.  I’d love to hear your answer to the same question in the comments section below.  Why do you still believe in marriage?

Until tomorrow…make it a great day!

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If I actually listened to what statistics say about marriage, I’d be in big trouble. There are so many scary statistics out there like “In America, there is one divorce every 13 seconds. That’s 6,646 divorces per day, and 46,523 divorce per week“. And then (from the same source) there’s: “The average length of a marriage that ends in divorce is eight years”. Scary right?

Well, I’m choosing to throw all of that out of the window because despite what people are saying, despite what statistics say, I still believe in marriage.

I always talk about the importance of guarding your heart against any outside threat to your marriage, and this would include all of the depressing info that’s out there on divorce. As in anything in life that you want, it all starts with what you allow yourself to truly believe in your mind and heart.

It starts with what you feed to your soul. If you want a happy marriage, you can’t feed it negativity, hate, jealousy, or mistrust. If you want to have a long-lasting marriage, it starts with what you feed it.

So despite what reports and critics are saying I still believe it marriage.

5 Reasons Why I Still Believe in Marriage

  1. I still believe in marriage because divorce is not an option.

    “Therefore, what God has joined together, let no man separate” Mark 10:9. Before my husband and I got married, I always knew he was the one I wanted to grow old with. Marriage was never something that scared me.

    I was never nervous on my wedding day, just excited to finally start living with the man I had fallen in love with six-and-a-half years prior. When we went through pre-marriage counseling, we focused on things we were going to do to ensure that we didn’t end up as a divorce statistic.

  2. I still believe in marriage because I truly love having a husband.

    Yes, it’s true that I’m a big girl and I can take care of myself. Yes it’s true that I don’t “need” a man. But I want a man, and I love having a husband. I love being taken care of. I love having someone to share my deepest insecurities with. I love having a husband because I love seeing the sunshine that he puts in our kids’ lives every day.

    I love having a husband because with him by my side, I don’t feel like there’s anything I can’t do or accomplish. He’s my biggest supporter and encourager, and I wouldn’t want to live my life without him in it.

  3. I still believe in marriage because my children are watching.

    I truly believe that having children has strengthened our marriage in more ways than one. We learned right away that we had to be the example that we wanted our children to have of a happy and healthy marriage. I want my children to know that regardless of what they may see and hear as they get older, marriage is still real, and a good marriage is still possible.

  4. Marriage has allowed my husband and I to grow in communication, love and support for one another. It’s strengthened our union so that we don’t just say we’re a team, but we truly are.

  5. I still believe in marriage because there is nothing like it.

    There is no other union as divine as the union created by marriage. I would marry my husband 1,000 times over if I could. Is everything peachy perfect? No, it never is. But I’ll choose imperfection in marriage any day. No matter what stress or overwhelm I’m going through, he’s there to hold me up and see me through.

  6. I still believe in marriage simply because…I choose to.

    Sites like Happy Wives Club and Black and Married with Kids breathe life and optimism into marriages all over the world. Sites like these, perfectly contradict what the statistics are saying and the negative messaging that certain reality shows are putting out there. The truth is, there is no real reason NOT to believe in marriage. It’s a choice. And the choice is yours.

  7. Question:  What are some of the reasons you still believe in marriage?


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12 Great Lessons for the First 12 Months of Marriage

12 Great Lessons for the First 12 Months of Marriage

12 Great Lessons for the First 12 Months of Marriage

Earlier this year, I was at a conference in Chicago and overheard someone sharing the purpose of their blog, “It’s all about doing exactly what you want to do in life; what you’re passionate about.  

“It’s about crossing everything off your bucket list long before you kick the bucket.  Living your best life now.  That’s why it’s called Why Not Girl.”

One week later, I received an email from a wonderful friend of mine who said, “There’s someone I want you to meet.  You’ll love her.”

Wouldn’t you know it, the woman was the “Why Not Girl,” Lauren.  

We were introduced over the phone, talked about love, life and marriage and I instantly knew I wanted her to write a guest article.  

If you are a newlywed, this post is just for you!  And if you’re not a newlywed, please consider sharing this with all those you know who are in their early years of marriage.  Enjoy!

Until tomorrow…make it a great day!

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I thought to myself, “What a great concept!  Encouraging women to conquer their fears and pursue their greatest hopes and dreams.”

My husband Chris and I just celebrated our first wedding anniversary last weekend.  While we were spending time together on the balcony of our hotel overlooking Monterey Bay I began thinking of the last 12 months of our lives together and everything that we’ve been through.

Not only had we been married, but we also decided to both take on new jobs (I was starting my own company as well as packing our bags to move from Chicago to the San Francisco Bay Area).  Talk about taking on a lot of change!

But with all of this, I realize that with each month that has passed by, we have both learned a lot about ourselves, the other and how we want to have a happy marriage.

12 Lessons for the First 12 Months of Marriage

Lesson from Month #1 (November): Sharing family time during the holidays is essential.  We’re lucky that we both get to see our families at Christmastime, but we made the decision to alternate families for Thanksgiving.  It’s definitely rough on the family that doesn’t get us this first time around, but it’s a fair way to see them when one set is on the East Coast and the other is in Southern California.

Lesson from Month #2 (December): Before you throw something out, ask first.  When you’re packing up to move 2,500 miles away, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the number of boxes that suddenly take over your apartment.

But even when you are so desperate to get the job done, it is a good idea to ask your husband if something holds a special meaning before tossing it to make room for all of the new dishes you just got off your wedding registry.  You may not know the hidden beauty of that “ugly” candy dish.

Lesson from Month #3 (January): You don’t always need to talk, especially in the car.  Just because you are not in constant conversation doesn’t mean that your husband doesn’t like talking to you.

Chris and I drove along Route 66 and there were definite stretches of time where we just listened to audiobooks.  I sometimes wondered if it was because he didn’t have anything to say to me, but I quickly learned that a great story narrated by Edward Hermann from Gilmore Girls is just too good not to listen.  (FYI, definitely listen to Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand.)

Lesson from Month #4 (February): Gifts don’t need to cost much.  Since I’m working on building my own website and have given up a steady paycheck, it was hard to justify spending a lot on a Valentine’s Day gift for my husband.  But I also didn’t want him to think that he is going to lose out in the gift department.  So I made him a handmade gift and it turns out that he loves it more than anything I could buy him. 

Lesson from Month #5 (March): Make your own party.  Being an Irish girl from the East Coast who lived in Chicago, I must admit that I was a bit disappointed in the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations here in San Francisco.  But with the help of my husband, we learned that we’re both really creative and can easily have a good time with some beer, green food coloring and each other.

Lesson from Month #6 (April): Celebrate our independence.  Both of us have lived on our own and lead pretty busy lives.  I think it’s safe to say that we absolutely enjoy being with each other, but we also appreciate the time we have to ourselves.  It keeps us who we are and also gives us tons to talk about over dinner.

Lesson from Month #7 (May): Take-out delivery is just a phone call away.  I’m not the best of cooks (fortunately my husband is).  But for those times that I have all intentions to cooking him the best meal after he’s been gone on a work trip and it doesn’t turn out as planned, it’s nice to know that both of us are not against having the great new Indian food place supply us with dinner.  Thank you, Grub Hub!

Lesson from Month #8 (June): Patience is a virtue.  This rule applies even on the golf course. While my husband is a spectacular golfer, he knows that I’m not.  We’ve learned that perhaps nine holes may take as much time as a full round and if a group comes up behind us, there’s nothing worse than a frazzled wife with a club in her hands.

Lesson from Month #9 (July): We may never become regulars of anywhere.  While we may want to one day have a place where everyone knows our name, we realize that it may not be anytime soon.  Right now we’re having a lot of fun exploring the area and doing as much as we can.

Lesson from Month #10 (August): There’s nothing like home sweet home.  Even though both of us like our independence, it’s always nice to get back to see the family.  It puts a lot of perspective on where you are now and where you hope to be 35 years from now.  Thanks, Moms and Dads for showing us two great examples of a happy marriage.

Lesson from Month #11 (September): Good things come to those who wait.  We don’t get summer now until September and while the transition in seasons has been hard on me, I do need to remember that we’re not shuffling through snow for five months out of the year here.  I need to stop complaining on how cold it is.  Heck, it’s not like we have to wear down coats here.

Lesson from Month #12 (October): Time flies when you’re having fun.  If this is the case, then this has been the most fun year of my life.  That being said, I think we both have made a mental note to savor every second that we have together.  If life is going to fly like it has been, then it’s up to us to keep pausing to remember how we felt a year ago and what we hope we feel forever.

 Question:  What were some lessons you learned (or are learning) in the first year of marriage?


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Teamwork Makes the Marriage Work

Teamwork Makes the Marriage Work

Teamwork Makes the Marriage Work

A mantra often quoted in the corporate world is teamwork makes the dream work.  What I’ve discovered in my own life is this is even more true when it comes to relationships and marriage.

A couple weeks ago, my Facebook status read, “London for meetings, Chicago for a conference, Bahamas for a wedding, New York for meetings, San Francisco for a friend’s 50th birthday – and that’s all within the next 4 weeks. Go Team Weaver!”

This is our life.  A bit crazy, utterly hectic, and absolutely wonderful.  We know we can do everything, as long as we do it together.  

Team Weaver is how we’re known to our friends.  Over the years, I’ve truly come to appreciate that title more and more.

I can think back over the past ten years, all the out of reach goals we’ve set for ourselves, the “unrealistic” dreams we put front and center.  Even some of the prayers we sent up, most would probably think might come back down with, “Uh, are you kidding?”  

But we weren’t kidding.  

We have a profound faith in one another.  We have a desire to see the other succeed even more than we desire success for ourselves.

Years ago, my former colleagues invited me to join them for a 5K race for charity.  The company was sponsoring a group of runners and I was asked to be one of them.  Here’s the problem.  I didn’t know how to run.  

I know, in theory, running is just about putting one foot in front of the other with greater frequency than you might for walking.  

That is in theory.  In reality, nearly every runner will tell you that running is about training; it is about endurance.  It is about learning to breathe properly so you don’t get winded.

When I explained why I couldn’t join the team, one of the gals said, “Oh, don’t worry about any of that. You’re only going to need to run one leg of the 5K.  This is a relay.”

If we look at marriage as a relay, we can easily see why teamwork makes the marriage work.  You can run at least twice as far.  You can climb at least twice as high.  You can bear at least twice the amount of weight.

Have you ever tried doing a seated leg press on a weight machine at the gym?  It’s not my favorite machine, that’s for sure, but it is incredibly beneficial for my glutes so I use it every now and then.  When I sit down, place both of my feet on the metal plate and push, I am able to press approximately 250 lbs. But when I reduce the weight to half and attempt to do the same with only one leg, I can’t even move the plate.

It would stand to reason that if I press 250 lbs. with both legs, I should be able to press 125 lbs. with one.  But just as that is not the case with this interesting little contraption at the gym, that’s not the case in life.  Teaming up with your spouse doesn’t just multiply the effort and results by two, it increases your ability to do everything far more than you could possibly think.  

The next time you’re shooting for an out of reach goal, team up with your spouse and see how quickly something can go from being impossible to absolutely possible.

Until tomorrow…make it a great day!

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The One Thing You Should Know About Marriage

The One Thing You Should Know About Marriage

The One Thing You Should Know About Marriage

A few days ago, I received the following note from Cheryl on our Facebook community page:

“Just wanted to take a minute to thank you for being here. Hubby was unemployed for 17 months. We lost all our retirement savings (we are both close to 60). Went without food, electricity, sold our belongings just to survive.

I had a lot of residual anger over the whole thing that ended up pointed toward my husband because he was the only other person in the house.

My therapist said that I should write a long letter that I don’t send to get all my anger out and I did start the letter. That same day, I ran across your Facebook page.

I realized it would take the same amount of effort to be angry at him as it would to learn to love him again. So I ‘liked’ your page, put the letter in the trash can and started focusing on loving my husband again.

We are still in a bad place financially and might lose the house, but we don’t care. As long as we are together, nothing else matters. Thank you so much for coming along when I needed your help. Angels show up in the most interesting places. Blessings from Kansas.”

I read the note to Keith that morning and his reaction was pretty much the same as mine (albeit, without the added tears that filled my eyes), “That is awesome, Honey!”  Then he paused a moment to further ponder what I’d just read.  

The Happy Wives Club is doing exactly what we set out to do.

No one gets married hoping one day it’ll fall apart (at least no one I’ve ever met).  But life happens and those small things many were once willing to overlook -quirks, idiosyncrasies, imperfections, failures- all of a sudden become the main focus.

A world full of broken, jaded and hardened hearts is a dangerous world to live.  A place where broken homes are the majority is a disheartening existence.  But you can help change that.  You already have.  

By remaining positive and optimistic about marriage, sharing your wonderful experiences of love, you’re causing people to look at their own marriages and figure out a way to fix what has become broken rather than turn and run the other way.

You may not realize how many people, like Cheryl, you are encouraging just by having a happy and healthy marriage.  You likely have no clue how many you have healed just by being you.  But I want to encourage you that it’s more than you think.

The one thing you should know about marriage is how much yours matters.  You, my friend, are changing the world.  Your loving marriage heals hearts and the homes in which they reside.  Keep loving.  Keep shining.  And never forget how important your marriage is to those around you.

Until tomorrow…make it a great day!

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MARRIAGE MONDAYS Link Up Party: Bloggers, join us here every third Monday of the month for our fabulous link-up party!  Join us July 15th for our next Marriage Mondays!