As an Author, Coach, and Motivational Speaker I read alot of books about people, their motivations, and their relationships. "The Secrets of Happily Married Women" by Dr. Scott Haltzman and Teresa Foy DiGeronimo gets an A for writing with clarity and humor, an A+ for stories that engage the reader, an A+ for the valuable information provided, and an A for the "Do Less" lessons at the end of each chapter.
I took this book on vacation with me figuring that I would read snippets when I had a chance. Once I started reading I found it difficult to put it down. I'm the kind of person that treasures books and almost never writes in them. My copy of "The Secrets of Happily Married Women" is covered in underlines, stars, and circles. Each marks a passage I think is must reading for my wife so that she could understand where I'm coming from. Also marked are discussion points for us to set expectations in our relationship.
There are 7 Secrets that Dr. Haltzman wants to share with women. After a brief introduction where he explains how he came to write the book, each secret is shared in its own chapter.
Secret 1: Know Your Husband
Dr. Haltzman explains the nature, needs, and challenges that men have in relationships.
secret 2: Nurture His Needs -- and Yours
Dr. Haltzman shares a revised serenity prayer "God grant me the serenity to accept the aspects of my husband's nature that I cannot change, but encouraged to direct his instincts in ways that will be mutually gratifying, and the wisdom to better understand who he really is." The "Do less" lesson at the end of this chapter is priceless.
secret 3: Fight Better
Conflict is a part of every marriage. Just because he doesn't fight the way that you do doesn't mean that he is wrong, it just means that he fights differently. Men and women physically react differently to conflict. Men are hardwired and then trained to find answers through logical analysis, women are more likely to be in touch with their immediate emotional reaction that pushes her to focus on her feelings and focused less on objective evidence. Typical areas of conflict for couples revolve around childcare, housework, money, parenting, and last, but not least sex.
secret 4: Talk Less
Happy couples recognize and accept the differences between male and female communication styles. The wives, especially, let go of the idea that he could be a better communicator if he wanted to. Certain biological differences suggest that he can't! Just because men aren't talking doesn't mean they aren't communicating. Pay much more attention to what we're doing than what we're saying and you're much more likely to see your husband telling you he loves you.
secret 5: Have Lots of Sex
For your husband, having sex makes him feel loved and makes him love you. It is a vitally important part of his marriage and for many men is the glue that makes the marriage stick. Don't expect your sex life to be like the idealized or traumatized version you see on TV. Work together to set your own mutual sexpectations and your sex life will improve.
secret 6: Take Charge of Your Own Happiness
Happily married women know the truth behind the Abraham Lincoln quote "people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." It may sound simple but when you choose happiness, your spouse is happy too.
secret 7: Heal Thyself
Put in place these 4 attributes of happy women:
1. Be surrounded by friends
2. Be physically active
3. Be involved in life
4. Be open to spirituality
An epilogue follows the 7 secrets entitled "When mom is happy, everybody's happy" to wrap up "The Secrets of Happily Married Women." I want to close with this quote from the book:
"Remember that your husband is hardwired and socialized to please you, and that you have the power to make him a better, nicer, more selfless, more giving man. As you know his nature, and start to work with, rather than against it, notice how your husband has become more respectful of you and is more likely to honor the differences between you. See how he begins to show an appreciation of your womanly perceptions, charms, and insights. See how all these positive consequences solidify your place at your husband's side."
I highly recommend "The Secrets of Happily Married Women" to improve your marriage today!
Kevin Decker, Marriage Coach and host of The Inside Romance Success show.