Arlene Pellicane is an author, speaker, and formerly served as the associate producer for Turning Point Television with Dr. David Jeremiah. Her audiobook and website Losing Weight After Baby has helped many moms achieve their physical and personal goals. Arlene and her family make their home in southern California.
What does a man need most from his wife? Arlene Pellicane has identified five keys that will give wives a new appreciation and understanding of how to love and care for their mates along with practical instruction to motivate and equip wives to provide their husbands what they long for.
Are You Still Dreaming?
The year was 1999 and my big moment had finally arrived. I stood holding my father’s arm, ready to make my grand entrance into the church. James and I had decided to have one of his favorite seminary professors marry us. Ours was only his second
wedding to officiate, but we didn’t care about his inexperience.Just as I approached the door leading into the sanctuary, I was shocked to hear the sound of our professor’s voice, “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here to bring James and Arlene together in holy matrimony.” The only problem was, I was still standing in the hall with all the bridesmaids. Our professor mistook a break in the music as his cue to begin the ceremony.
I couldn’t believe my eyes or ears. Our dear professor got all the way through his introduction before realizing his error. When he got to that famous line, “Who gives this woman to be married to this man?” there was complete silence. Our friends and family didn’t know whether to laugh or be mortified.At this, my aunt started playing the piano, and I was thrust through the door of the church to join my ceremony in progress. I never thought in my wildest dreams that I’d miss the beginning of my own wedding, but it sure has given us many laughs over the years.
Do you remember the day you said “I do”? I hope the ceremony didn’t start without you. Remember walking down the aisle, feeling like the happiest woman in the world? Your heart was full of dreams for the future. Are you still dreaming today?
So many couples told us after we tied the knot, “Just wait until you’ve been married a few years. You won’t be so lovey-dovey anymore.” But there was one lone voice who gave us the opposite advice. “Never let the honeymoon end,” he said. “It’s
much easier to keep love alive than to try to revive something that has died.” We vowed to follow his advice.
Fast-forward the tape twelve years to our aha moment. James and I were teaching a young-marrieds class at our church. On the first day of class, we noticed there was not a centimeter of space in between these newlywed couples. Wives were
superglued to their husbands’ sides. Eyes were locked, hands were held, hair was twirled. I looked over at my James who was sitting about a foot away from me. We, the sage teachers, needed a refresher course on touch, affection, and
Most likely you know what I’m talking about. The heat of passion turns into the warmth of companionship. But that warmth, if we don’t take time to stoke the embers, can slowly turn into a cool disengagement between husband and wife. And
before you know it, you’re two roommates sharing a home, a bank account, and children.
I don’t want that dull fate and neither do you. Three kids later and in our forties, James and I are learning to flirt again. The good news is you can relearn how to do all the things you used to do when you were dating. Except that instead of being lovers on cruise control, you might have to step on the gas pedal once in a while for the ride of your life.
Time to Dream Again
I remember driving down the freeway and seeing a pickup truck with these bold words printed on the back window: “Happy to be here, proud to serve.” I’d like you to imagine those words hanging in a frequented place in your home. When you can say about your home, “Happy to be here and proud to serve,” your husband will want to hurry home every day because it’s the place he feels most valued and loved.
This book will help you create that kind of place for your man. It’s divided into thirty-one daily readings grouped into five simple sections that will help you demonstrate to your husband the love that hooked him in the first place. The titles for each section form the acrostic DREAM. After all, the marriage of your dreams doesn’t have to be a fairy tale that will never come true. You can experience the kind of marriage most people dream about by following these five guidelines:
D=Domestic Tranquillity—Your husband needs a peaceful haven (Days 1-5).
R=Respect—Your husband needs to be honored in his own home (Days 6-11).
E=Eros—Your husband needs a fulfilling sex life (Days 12-19).
A=Attraction—Your husband needs to be attracted to you (Days 20-26).
M=Mutual Activities—Your husband needs to have fun with you (Days 27-31).
Ask any husband if he would be happy having these five things in greater measure, and I can assure you his answer will be a resounding yes! And you just might find yourself enjoying these things too.
Notice Him, Nurture Him
It doesn’t take much time or effort to see that our culture is pessimistic about marriage. A happy marriage seems more like a fairy tale that Pollyanna dreamed up fifty years ago. Today’s wives are complaining left and right about their husbands’ many shortcomings. In fact, many women would never pick up a book like this. Why should a wife make her husband happy when he’s not making her happy? I like what host Bob Lepine of Family Life Today says, “Our role is not to figure out how to fix our spouse. Our role is: How do we reflect Christ in the marriage?”
1And check out this insight from one husband:
When a woman is engaged to be married, she pours all her nurture into her man. She holds him, kisses him, and talks sweetly to him. They have fun together, do interesting things together, and enjoy the physical affection of first love. Then after
they marry and have kids, all that nurture that went originally to the husband is suddenly transferred to the children. The kids benefit from all the maternal instincts and become the primary focus of all her tender nurture. The husband is just as needy for that nurture, but he is too proud to admit it.
When you look at your husband, you’re probably thinking he looks pretty self-sufficient. The other people in your life vying for your attention are truly needy (your children, grandchildren, aging parent, depressed friend). Look again. Your husband craves
your affection and care but doesn’t want to ask for it. He bites the bullet because he’s supposed to be the strong one. Yet he desperately wants tender loving care just as you do.
How to Get the Most Out of This Book
The thirty-one happy husbands I interviewed for this book will serve as your insider guides for the next thirty-one days. Here are a few suggestions for how best to glean their insights as you read through this book: Commit to reading a chapter every day for one month. Choose a month to soak your husband in tender loving care. Maybe choose his birthday month or your anniversary month to make it extra special and more memorable. But don’t worry—if you want to start today and his birthday isn’t for months, I’m sure he won’t mind! If you fall behind one or two days, don’t give up on the “Happy Husband” month. The
chapters are short so you can easily catch up and get back on track.
Read it in five chunks. Maybe you want to tackle more than one day’s reading at a time. Once you’re settled in your comfortable chair to read, you want to keep going. Then I suggest you divide your reading into sections. Begin with Days 1-5, which cover Domestic Tranquillity. This way you can concentrate your focus on one key DREAM factor at a time. After you’ve completed the action steps suggested, you can move on to the letter R for Respect (Days 6-11), and so on.
Read the affirmation for happy wives aloud once a day. You’ll find this daily affirmation on page 179. Put your affirmation on your bathroom mirror and read it out loud every morning. Expect to feel uncomfortable doing this at first. But after a
few days, not only will you believe the words you are saying, you will be living them out. It’s tempting to skip this step, so when you’re done reading today, turn to page 179. Photocopy, scan, or type out the page and put it on your bathroom mirror tonight.
Start a “Wives of Happy Husbands Discussion Group.” Read the book together with a group of friends who also want to add some sizzle to their marriages. Use the discussion guide on pages 185-192. Plan to meet weekly for five weeks to discuss what you’re learning. I promise these will be lively coffee dates or meals together!
Do the action steps. If you just read the book without trying any of the action steps, your husband probably won’t be able to tell you’re reading a book about how to love him better. At the end of each day’s reading, you’ll find these two recurring
Notice Today —You’ll be invited to take a close look at your husband. It will take only a few moments, but it will make a big difference. When you notice something positive about your husband instead of taking him for granted or rehearsing his faults, you’ll experience a change of heart and greater warmth for your man.
Nurture Today —You’ll get to put your attitude into action through the daily steps to nurture him. Remember, if you don’t do anything differently this month toward your spouse, your thirty-one-day journey to marital bliss isn’t much more than wishful thinking.
Every day of your life, you’re either building your husband up or tearing him down. Proverbs 14:1 says, “The wise woman builds her house,but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.” In the next thirty-one days, you’re going to launch a full-force, no-holding-back, life-changing building program for your marriage. Let other things slide while you make your husband the number one priority for the next thirty-one days. Your only agenda is to overwhelm him with attention and affirmation.
Roll up your sleeves. It’s time to build and dream again.
Do You Have a Happy Husband?
Before you begin reading Day 1, take this self-assessment to discover what areas in your marriage need the most attention. Be honest in your answers. You’re not trying to impress anyone here. Your goal is to gain valuable insight about your
husband’s current level of happiness in your marriage.The environment of my home is warm and peaceful on most days.
I drop other things (even with my kids) to make time for my husband if he needs anything.
I never say unkind things about my husband to others.
If there’s a decision to be made, my husband has the final say.
I enjoy having sex and look forward to making love to my husband.
My husband and I talk regularly about ways to improve our sex life.
I make an effort to look attractive with my clothes, hair, and makeup even on days
when I see only my husband.
I am a healthy body weight and exercise at least three times a week.
My husband and I go on a date at least once a month.
We still enjoy romance, kissing once a day for at least five seconds.
Total the number of
1-4: Your relationship is on shaky ground. There are some critical areas of unmet needs that you must identify both for
yourself and your husband. Reading this book is perfect timing.
5-7: You have some good habits and attitudes to build on. As you make a few key changes this month, you and your husband will be laughing, flirting, and enjoying each other’s company more.
8-10: You have a happy husband. By the time you finish reading this book, he will be ecstatic. You’ll be moving from good to great (or great to unbelievable). Be on the lookout for other women to encourage and mentor.