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the happy wives clubThe Happy Wives Club Discover the Best Marriage Secrets from the World’s Happiest Wives held some surprises for this reviewer.

Surprise number one;  The author is a business woman who can write! It’s a research book but it’s not boring, especially if you are married, interested in being married or wish you had known how to stay successfully married! This is a  well-written account of one woman’s travels to find happy couples and learn how they built their successful marriages.

I had “liked” The Happy Wives Club on facebook over a year ago, delighted to support the founder and author, Fawn Weaver’s, idea that it’s important to let the world know that there are a lot of happy wives in the world. And there ARE a lot of happy wives in the world, if the 688,000 members of THWC are any indication.

The book reads a little like a travel diary as the reader listens in on Fawns’ interviews with happily married couples across more than six continents and eighteen cities. Readers also get to vicariously enjoy the scenery, the food and the glamor of Fawn’s jet setting lifestyle as they read.

And, therein lies the books weakness (Surprise number two). As a successful businesswoman,  Fawn has been married for more than ten years and is childless (although she and her husband want children…now). Her interviews with happily married couples are helpful because her research reveals that the secrets to a happy marriage are the same in spite of cultural differences! Good to know.

However, this wife of thirty-three years believes that Mrs. Weaver overlooked some crucial couples in her research. What about those couples who have endured years of misery and come out on the other side, happy and more committed? What about those who haven’t had successful careers and have, perhaps endured great poverty and struggle? What about those with more than two children?

Studies reveal that couples who were on the brink of divorce but stayed married considered themselves happily married three or more years later! Sometimes, commitment to marriage is really all it takes.

As the reader gets to know Fawn a bit through her writing, Fawn shares some of her worries and insecurities about the effect that a child might have on her husband’s relationship. Her questions often probed couples to find out how they “shared” responsibilities. She continually highlights equal sharing and partnership in the married couples she interviews. Because Fawn is a Christian, I found this approach to be a bit disheartening.  Foundational to a Christian marriage is knowing that it is a covenant before God regardless of whether or not the responsibilities are equally shared. A shared-and-equal marriage will work until a child or two is brought into the equation and, then, that shaky foundation crumbles.

As the mother of eight children I wanted to tell Fawn that some marriages create a mini-nation where equal sharing becomes an impossibility. I wanted to tell her that for many years, outsiders looking into our family would have seen two exhausted parents just trying to make ends meet. During those hard years, those same outsiders couldn’t see the respect and esteem that were growing in both my husband and I (he, because he saw me transformed by the hard work of motherhood and I, because I saw him develop a strong work ethic to support the children of our marriage). There was no equality or sharing during those years…just survival.

I wanted to tell Fawn that there is something so much richer and deeper and more wonderful than an equal marriage with constant companionship. It is the knowledge that your marriage is building something far greater than best-friends-in-love.

That’s what I feel Fawn missed in her research. Not all happy couples are happy the whole time and many have endured long years of struggle but an understanding of the covenant of marriage causes it to endure.

Fawn’s observations of couples all over the world makes the book fun to read. In the course of her travels, Fawn delights the reader by sharing the wisdom she learns from happy and successful people all over the world.

the happy wives club

Fawn Weaver is an American black woman and rightly recognizes that black marriages are in trouble. Her research is encouraging to women of any color and nationality because the secrets to a great marriage are the same across all cultures.

I do recommend this book, I just don’t know if I would give it to anyone going through a really tough time in their marriage.

I received this book for review purposes only from HarperCollins Christian publishing.