I’ve met a lot of couples who believe the formula for marital happiness is rooted in things like chemistry, fate, or a one-in-a-million shot that you’ll discover your soul mate.
Here’s one that’s mostly overlooked: choice.
That’s right. In the same way that personal happiness is a choice, so, too, is happiness in marriage. It may not always be an easy choice or an obvious choice, but it is something we can choose regardless of whatever obstacles may be working against us.
Ask Fawn Weaver. If anybody could use her circumstances as an excuse to have an unhappy marriage, it’s her.
She grew up in an authoritarian household where children were expected to do what they were told without asking questions. That was the view her parents held not only for the household rules, but for their Christian faith as well. In their economy, “God is real. Jesus Christ is real, and He died on the cross for your sins, so live accordingly … because we said so.”
Some children fare better than others in that sort of environment. But Fawn was the oil to her parents’ water, and she rebelled against their strict, unyielding rules. So much so that she ran away from home at the age of 15. She clearly remembers what must have been an odd scene: Fawn, not yet old enough to drive or get a job, walking down the driveway, her lunch pail in hand, venturing off into the big wide world on her own.
And the world didn’t exactly welcome her with open arms. By age 19, she had tried to commit suicide twice. Her soul was thirsty, but she didn’t know for what.
After her second attempt failed, she decided to put herself under construction. For six months, she did nothing but work all day and read all night. No television. No radio. No music. She cut everything out of her life except self-help books and her Bible, which she read every single day.
She eventually accepted Christ and married her husband, Keith, but there was still a lot about her life that she had to figure out. At the top of the list was this: What was the secret to being to be a great wife and a great mom?
She noticed that most wives in television and movies were portrayed as unhappy. Add to that the daunting divorce statistics of real-life couples, and Fawn wondered how any marriage could survive, let alone thrive.
Then it hit her! She couldn’t be the only woman who enjoyed her marriage. Surely, there were others out there who considered spending time with their husbands one of the greatest blessings in their lives.
And so began for Fawn a journey to prove love and marriage still go hand-in-hand and happy wives really do exist. She was determined to find them and give them a voice.
She literally traveled the world to meet with happy couples from all different backgrounds, cultures, and social strata. She had only one basic question: “What makes your marriage work?” What she discovered were 12 traits common to every relationship. Here’s what she found:
- Belief in God
- Laughter is the best medicine
- Keep outside interests
- Create a daily ritual together
- Date your spouse
- Support your spouse
- Friendship is essential
- Nurture your marriage
- No plan B (divorce is not an option)
- Choose your friends wisely
Fawn Weaver will be with us on our broadcast today to share about her worldwide journey to discover the secrets of a happy marriage. We hope it’ll encourage you to see the best in your spouse by learning from happily married couples around the world.
Fawn is an author, speaker, and businesswoman. She founded the Happy Wives Club, a community of more than one million women in 110 countries who connect online.