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Discovering the Secrets of a Happy Marriage

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
June 10, 2021 6:00 am

Discovering the Secrets of a Happy Marriage

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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June 10, 2021 6:00 am

Fawn Weaver took a worldwide tour to learn the secrets of happy marriage, and now she’s sharing them with you! From stories of couples in Asia, Africa, and right here in North America, to Fawn’s personal marriage journey, you’ll be encouraged to seek the best in your spouse and choose happiness in your marriage.

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I was convinced that nothing can change what was going on in our marriage and I want to try anymore but my commitment to God, help me try one more time. We went to a hope restored marriage intensive and it was life-changing.

The counselors created the safest environment we could imagine so that let us really talk one a much different course now I believe we received a miracle that week received your free consultation and hope we should be the standard bearer for what a happy, loving, respectful marriage looks like when the world looks at us they should look at us and say what I want Wilpon Weaver has some great insights today on this episode of Focus on the Family spokes Pres., Dr. Jim Daly, thanks for joining us I'm John John. We met Fonda several years ago in her story captivated us the word over comers. The best way to describe her. She had such a tumultuous past. Growing up in Southern California. She is now a self-proclaimed happy wife. She is spreading the message of having a positive attitude when it comes to marriage and it is so refreshing the media and the culture tend to play up the negative aspects of marriage is no wonder younger generations are asking themselves if they really want to get married course we say yes and yes. But when you hear funds message a lot of that negativity is debunked and as believers we want to live in a lifelong commitment with each other and do so with joy and happiness. And guess what it takes energy and fuel to do that. And as we return to this program with fun. We were today were going to give you some ideas on how to improve in that area and make the most of your marriage and Fonda is a popular author blog are very successful business executive and entrepreneur and a marriage advocate. Obviously she's happily married to Keith and founded an online community called the happy wives club that has over million women participating in its dedicated to changing the tone of marriage. So let's pick up with this program is Jim, you were asking Fonda about happy wives club speak to thousands of over 1 million women almost on a daily basis. What are you hearing them say about marriage in the context of marriage, I get the most thank you for creating this because I am embarrassed to share it literally just got this email. I for so long did not want to share with other people how great my meritless because people are either posting or they think that you're trying to tear them down and really I just wanted a safe place to be able to speak positively about my marriage and that didn't really exist. Without this form and the reality is, is yes, a lot of people have really bad marriages but a lot of us have really good marriages and we shouldn't have to keep our mouth closed while you guys are talking a million miles a minute right now so if those who are not having great marriages are able to say everything that is on their mind. Why can't we get that same benefit. It's a great point, especially given from Christ followers. This is the way it should be those that are struggling should get encouragement there to do things differently. Why stay in the right of the broken marriage or an unhappy marriage that some of the Lord has for you. What he doesn't want is for you divorce.

You want to improve the marriage or in sick with it that you decided to take a trip around the world really that which is interesting in and of itself, why did you think you had to go to Asia and Australia, Europe and Africa talk about marriage overachiever. So when I started.

Happy wives club was, literally, it wasn't meant to be some big blog people had to tell me what I had was a blog and they tell me who should be posting articles. I think why this is just a club where I said I am happily married. My girlfriends are happily married. If desperate housewives and the real housewives of wherever you are and all these otherwise shallow if they don't represent your marriage if your husband is in a cheater and is in a buffoon like they still want just post on here.

I love being married. I am a happy wife and let's shine a positive spotlight on marriage.

That's all it was meant to be a bunch of women coming together to say hey this is a safe place to say my husband rocks and friendly countries at will at that time it was only my four girlfriend right that were all within a 20 mile radius and my mother she was going to have mom so it was, it was basically those five but now today hundred and 20 something countries but we moved into 22 countries in less than four weeks. When I first began and we were doing it by email, not by Facebook and all the social media stuff girlfriends sending it other girlfriends they knew who were happily married and just retired to seeing how poorly wives were portrayed on television it's actually amazing that were okay aiming for the lowest common denominator that the high yeah why not, why not talk about the good stories your worldwide tour you ended up encountering and interviewing couples. What did you find when you talk to these people and what were you looking for when you landed in Perth or in Tokyo. Just look for married couples could talk to know knew these were that it married couples. These are people I found online.

What I did is when I decided I wanted to share this message of happy wives around the world and what makes a marriage just good. We know enough about what makes America good.

I wanted to know what makes a marriage great and that's what I set out to do and I didn't think that it was fair to just stay in the US to because we experience different things in the US that are quite different. So what works here I thought would probably be different than what makes a marriage great and Africa are what makes marriage great in a shower makes it a great and Australia. I thought it would be pretty different.

As it turns out it's the same and if I have recorded all of it for proof. I don't think anyone would believe me that there are so many couples around the world and there really following the same principles. So what I did is as I was interviewing each couple I would just sit with them over dinner over coffee and I would just let them talk. I wasn't guiding the conversation right. But what I did to find these couples is I reached out to people that I personally knew around the world who I trusted and I said this is what I want to do.

I want to show couples that have not just been loving each other for 25 or more years but have been in love with each other for 25 or more years, point me to that couple that behind closed doors. They are the same people they are in public and so that meant that people were having to point me to those that were either parents or aunts and uncles that had to be someone who was intimately a part of their circle.

And here's what was funny. It was not difficult to find these couples because everyone knows a couple like this and we all kinda look at them and just think they're the unicorns and the thing is is that if we spent more time around them, then maybe we can all be more like them more successful in her marriage absolutely and that was the goal. If I could tell the stories and I didn't just interview wise. I interviewed both husband and wife because I wanted to see a few things. One, I wanted to see how they interacted that could not be told on a video or on paper. I wanted to see how they looked into each other's eyes how playful they were. What that dynamic was and I have to tell you around the world. No matter where they were born or their background. What makes a marriage great is the same so true you could relate to the story in 1992 we started the international division here Focus on the Family for years people written to us and can you bring focus to our country and would send back a polite letter saying no, but finally 1992, the board and Dr. Dobson agreed to start international division so we went on trips around the world through three of us. Pep Jackson was vice president at that time. I remember going to Kenya and I sat with Dr. Lillian Mahoney who was a psychologist in Kenya and she and I have lunch and I said you know Lillian would like to go global with focus but do you think it'll be relevant and she laughed and she said what's like an American think you invented the family and I laughed and said as long as you're sticking marriage and parenting. That's the universal language told me that a 92 and you really validating that the weather in the Philippines or South Africa or Europe. Guess what husbands and wives, moms and dads struggle with virtually the same stuff of village or rural village or you're in the big city of the world. It's all the same. Listen one of the couples I interviewed was an arranged marriage from India okay have that it went fantastic because they decided after the arrangement. They didn't want to have marriages like their parents where they didn't really like each other. They wanted to figure out how do we like each other so we started off with the I do. And now, how do we figure out if were going to be together for the rest of our lives, we really enjoy this and what I loved about the husband Abraham is. He said something that every man before him every husband before him said and he said I respected her from the beginning understand an arranged marriage. She doesn't have to do the chores exit.

He does not got the girl got the girl and everyone would support him to meeting her means that culture is not, at least in the time they got married, it's getting very different now, but at that time the man completely ran everything and he looked at her and he said what makes our marriage different from all the other arranged marriages is from the beginning. I respected her that made a difference is that you talk about another story.

I think it was Bonnie and Jerry came across what country were they and what was the time of the aha you had with them. They were in Winnipeg, Canada, and you know Bonnie and Jerry was very interesting looking at their relationship because one, they're the only ones that I interviewed that did not have children because again I was interviewing couples that were married 25 years or more, and they chose from the beginning not to have children, what I loved about their relationship is they wanted. They knew who they were and they wanted to help each other in life. From the beginning so he was a postal worker didn't enjoy his job so she really wanted to retire early. She was getting her degree in accounting and wanted to be a CPA, so they began on this journey side-by-side and said all right how I help you, and how to help you, and how to help you and they were able to both achieve their dreams together, working together, so he made this one joke that at one point when she was doing her getting her CPA degree. The way that he helped as well.

She would do things like cooking and things like that.

He would read the books to her and he said it was the most boring thing ever done in his life but he was committed to helping her get her degree and I tell people this all of the time when it comes to success. The thing that I learned about from interviewing all these couples is that couples have a built in advantage when they are on the same team when they are playing this field together and you for single person. You kinda have to figure it out all on your own. You have to figure out who you can trust. But when you are with someone you already have that worked out twice as much work done so for all of these couples. Interestingly enough, they were all successful, but none of them began their marriage.

That way, and none of them were given anything earned together such a great analogy of being on the field and on the same team on the field. That's when sports analogies and that's when sports breaks down right we are not working together. Yeah, it's true marriage you had a story from a taxicab driver in Mauritius. Lisa yet. He said did not do not is the secret to a happy marriage. What is that you get what you give, you get what you give, you get what you give. And so if you want love you give it if you want respect you give it whatever it is that you truly want is what you get this when you when you say that these are universal human truths. The irony is there. Also rooted in Scripture and very bold and blunt about that God has designed all this God has placed us here were made in the image of God, and that's where we Christians will make that connection to say. That's why these things are true no matter what culture you're in. These are basic human truths because the rooted in God's character right absolutely, we should be a standard bearer for what a happy loving, respectful marriage looks like when the world looks at us they should look at us and say that's what I want right now, the issue that we have is nobody wants what we have and that's that's to be a signal right and if we can put the same thing that I have had the pleasure of doing with a happy wives club is putting us positive spotlight on marriage, but keep in mind this isn't just Christian. This is people all around the world from every background. But really, truly, it is Christian couples that should be the standard bearer for what it's like.

Because the Christ laid out for us. Paul laid it out for us. He told us this is what is going to work. This is how you can be successful in marriage. And boy I don't know. We just ignore to our peril. There is nothing in this book and I tell people this all the time. Nothing in this book, earth shattering.

What is in this book are things that you already know they are things that you should already be doing, but likely have chosen not to do and so it's really a reminder by looking at all of these couples around the world and taking this journey with me.

It's really a reminder of what makes a marriage great and how to apply those things to your own phone Weaver is our guest today on Focus on the Family with Jim Daly we deferred to a happy wives club one woman's worldwide search for the secrets of a great marriage. We got copies of the website fun. You were in the Philippines are talking about the connection with God.

You met a couple there. That said, he's the most important aspect of the marriage relationship was Ben and Gloria, and I think they taught you that you gotta put God first. You know that was a pretty common thing. Here's the thing, and we've Artie said that I was speaking to people of different religions. The thing that was common across the board, and especially with the couples.

The majority of them were Christian couples, God being the at the top is what was most important. I think one of the places that we get in a little bit of trouble with marriage that none of these couples wherein is that we want to put God first and then we want to decide if the husband or the wife come second or the third and we want to kinda go down this line and that's just not the way that these couples operated you had God first and then you had husband and wife side-by-side, working together to make life great to raise their children, and the best way they possibly could.

So I think that that triangle is what was shown every couple that is good that you also met Barbara, Doug and Australia have tipped you off to a good great marriage idea in principle what was tell you something about Barb and because it's happened since I left.

She was in the beginning stages of ALS when I was there and when I was doing that interview and since then she has now been in a wheelchair and you seen her go down pretty quickly and I stay up with her and and Doug and her children and friends were all on Facebook so I've been able to watch this and to watch this man care for her. It is the most beautiful thing you ever want to see. And so when I look at different couples. When I think about is when I am 70 when I am 80 who I want to be there by my side helping me any challenges I might have to life and for me that's hands down Keith. So the way that I handle my marriage and now is beginning with the end in mind that's powerful to think of it in the context we had the interim president focused on her go.

Remember Don's wife Barbara tripped on the staircase tumbled to the bottom pinched her spinal cord and she was quadriplegic and so for the last for five years of Barb's life. Don had to basically do everything for her and he wrote them blogged about caretaking of his wife in that condition and it moved a lot of us to tears. That was unconditional love and to see that kind of caregiving and that ability and willingness to do it in their 70s was profound and quite moving and that he lost her a while back, but that to see that kind of love that's where the rubber meets the road.

Don's devotion in his tenderness toward her worse. So uplifting and inspiring and that's what you saw Singh and Duggan absolutely and the likelihood is that they had a great friendship before that period of time so him taking care of her.

It is his honor and friendship is still it was one of the other that really the other pillars of a great marriage as I traveled is these are friends.

They laughed together they played together, they jumped together they did not take themselves seriously. It was just like oh my goodness. Life is hard enough without making marriage heart but how you live fun in light of how hard marriage can be in life can be. How do you cultivate those friendship moments. I think one of the things is you look at life as being hard and you don't look your marriage as being hard, you look at the outside world and say how do we keep them out. One of when my husband calls me the song that plays on my phone is something by the Dixie chicks called easy silence in the line and it says the easy silence that you make for me keeping the world at bay and that's what he does for me is keep the world at bay and really I look at marriage and all of these couples look at marriage as their safe sound. It's the one place in the world that you actually have control of the environment. Nowhere else can you have that and still in your home if you want to create a home of peace homeless serenity homeless tranquility. You have the power to do that. There is a good word affect you and keep using the acronym EOD yeah what is it except each other's differences. Okay, why is it so hard for us. You know, I don't know because and it was a friend of mine said when reading this. She said I love this because when I look at different couples and they argue and one wants one to be like the other the other two people are identical. Then one of you is unnecessary, and that's what I look at when I look at these different couples when you accept each other's differences and don't try to change the other person or cause them to respond to you. The way that you would respond to you, you are accepting the fact that the two of you are different by design, and that is okay and really are you so great that you want everyone to be like you, that you want to just like you are you that awesome and you know maybe it's just me. I don't think I'm that awesome that I want my husband to be made in my image that's good you were brave enough to say to kids at some point in your marriage.

You can give us the timeline of this but you said Keith. On a scale of 1 to 10 how I do know husband wants to know, but he came back with an answer that didn't please your mouth and I was in Australia and this happened and why wanted to know the answer to that question was, and maybe that is not for everyone. I only speak on my own behalf, you can do what it with it what you will but for me I want to think that I was a 10 and my husband thinks in terms of how I am as a wife to him. I'm a five item 1 a five point different and I am strong enough to be able to take feedback. We want feedback in every area of our lives. I thought you responded well, but tell us the exchange and how he said it, and what he said you responded on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the best wife I could be. This is not comparing me to anyone else. 10 is the best I could possibly be. Where am I right now. And boy did he him and ha because I'm in and he just did not want to answer that question. I can't hear you answer the question I think about it now. That should've already tipped me off I can. I think about it and I once I asked the question and he didn't answer so for a few days and finally I went back and I said honey what is the answer and then he went through this process well if you compare yourself to so-and-so. Your hundred if you compare your size none I arty know they're really not great, why are you know they nag like crazy. That's not the question. The question is, is with a 10 being the best I can be. Where am I and he said I would say your seven. Can I tell you no wife wants to hear their seven road and at the time.

If you asked me the exact question I would've told you I was a nine did you hang up or did you know you know this is this is a grown-ups table right. Marriage is a grown-up thing you have to be able to take feedback and not lash out. If you asked the question you have to be able to receive it. And so I asked the question and so my next was please give me a list of the six things that I can do to increase my score to get that's incredible.

Not one to six for your lemon over to you so I want to know six things that I do to get closer to being the best wife I could possibly be ever a couple of those I you know what's funny not to be too personal, homeless, and you know me you can ask anything. One of them. The very first one that came very quickly from him was honey sometimes you think and speak simultaneously.

It would be helpful to do one before the other end would be the better want to go first and I thought it was going to be all of these things like you know it would be really nice if you cooked more or be really great if you cleaned up a little bit more. I thought it would be those quote on quote wifely duty things that people speak about so much, but really all the things that he wanted for me are things that I truly should have wanted for myself and they were all things that would make me a better person not spending as much time on business and reaching out to friends and family actually showing other people that I care.

Those were the kind of things that were on the list but that top one was learning to speak after I have thought through working on the discussion. That's a really healthy one and I give you credit for responding well I know you asked the question but I would say 90% of marriages popping the question leads to an argument or fight. Well let me tell you, and this is the beauty of that question is while he was writing down his six things I wrote down 12 I thought could possibly be on his six can I tell you how many were on one really so if I buy my own devices had decided I want to try to be the best wife I can be. So I'm going to do all these 12 things, 11 of them wouldn't matter to him. That's why the question is important is so powerful form. This is been really great and I'm glad that you took that challenge to say let's talk about great marriages would stop letting media define what marriage is like the drudgery of it. And many of us do have good marriages and I'm grateful for.

Thanks. Thank you for having fun. We were such a hard sure positive message, marriage, and it certainly came through on this episode of Focus on the Family trust that you been inspired to look for the best in your spouse and I hope so to John. This is why Focus on the Family exists. We want to uphold marriage and provide you with the tools you need to have a thriving relationship with your spouse that we have lots of resources to help you in that area like our free online marriage assessment.

I think over a million people were taken that it just takes a few short minutes you'll get a solid overview of what's working well in your marriage and some areas you might want to concentrate on. We also have funds book happy wives club one woman's worldwide search for the secrets of a great marriage and when you donate to the ministry of Focus on the Family today a gift of any amount will send you a copy as our way of saying thank you for helping others in their area of need and you could donate and take that marriage assessment get your copy of happy wives club all the details are in the episode notes plan now to join us tomorrow as we have a really powerful story of forgiveness between an abortion survivor and her biological mom. That was the moment when she read the words on the card that said thank you for choosing life for me it would be this redemptive breakthrough moment and I was met with most years I've ever seen in anyone Jim Daly and the entire team. Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller back once more help you and your family thrive in Christ. When a woman discovers her husband struggled. She needs a practical plan. The least book from Focus on the Family aftershock but professional counselor Joanne Conti will help you through the seven steps of self-care and learn how to deal with the emotions involved in the discovery of your husband's addiction doing Conti's timeless wisdom. If you hope, even while you're in your whole season of aftershock.

Learn more about aftershock

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