2010-03-18 / Community

Wanted: 1 million happy wives

By Stephanie Bertholdo bertholdo@theacorn.com

STILL IN LOVE—Kevin and Fawn Weaver are  living proof that marriage can not only stand the test of time, but can flourish. STILL IN LOVE—Kevin and Fawn Weaver are living proof that marriage can not only stand the test of time, but can flourish. Is marital bliss underrated in America, dismissed as being oldfashioned and irrelevant?

Fawn Weaver, an Old Agoura resident, thinks marriage is alive and well, and has recently launched the Happy Wives Club, a website for happily married women that offers insightful tips on how to keep relationships healthy for years to come. The site was launched on Feb. 4, and so far more than 1,000 women have signed up.

Weaver hatched the idea for the Happy Wives Club after years of listening to women gripe about their husbands, their marriages and their lives.

Statistics show that half of all marriages end in divorce in the United States, Weaver said. She blames the media, in part, for the dismal state of marriage. She said shows like “Desperate Housewives” and “Real Housewives,” which depict shabby marital relationships, cheating and other marriage-busting actions, take a toll on the collective psyche of men and women and may push couples to divorce too soon.

“The fact that one out of two marriages don’t make it means people are getting married without the proper tools, or, once married, they buy into the negativity out there,” Weaver said.

Rather than allowing friends to endlessly kvetch about their husbands and less-than-perfect marriages, Weaver has helped them see the “little things” they can do to improve their marriage.

While Weaver doesn’t expect to save marriages, she hopes the website will help people to honor their vows and work harder when times get tough, rather than head for divorce court.

Weaver believes that women have the power to shape their marriages into fairy-tale love stories. She and her husband, Keith, a movie executive, have been married for seven years and are still giddily in love.

Some of Weaver’s marriage tips at www.happywivesclub .com may smack of pre-feminist America. She contends in one section that men have fragile egos and must remain the kings of their castles.

“It is our role to continue protecting his heart and sheltering his fragile ego,” Weaver wrote. “It is our responsibility to build him up when the world tears him down.”

Weaver, 33, is a businesswoman who works as the general manager of a local hotel chain.

“I get it, the whole equal thing,” Weaver said. “I rival the big boys (in my job). This was an idea that literally came out of being so irritated hearing about all the negative aspects of marriage.”

Weaver will not include information about what men should contribute to a marriage on the site because she doesn’t believe it is her role to tell women how their husbands should act. Nevertheless, Weaver says that women who give their best to their husbands can expect to receive the utmost love and respect in return.

Weaver’s views on marriage were influenced by her parents’ jobs as marriage counselors.

“I grew up to listening to all the couples battling,” she said. “I grew up understanding how narrow that line is between a happy marriage and ones that absolutely fall apart.”

Divorce, she said, always causes some kind of damage.

How does Weaver maintain a happy marriage? She said food is not the only way to a man’s heart. A steamy sex life is what men really want, she says on the site.

Keith Weaver, 38, is equally cheery about his marriage. He said his wife is “incredibly thoughtful and incredibly actionoriented,” qualities that he admired about her from the moment they met.

“One thing I’m drawn to is that she is so comfortable in her own skin,” Keith Weaver said. He also finds it captivating that his wife gives without expecting to receive anything in return, yet her actions inspire reciprocation.

The Weavers do not allow disagreements to carry over into the next day.

“A lot of folks allow little things to build up, and they think they’re talking about one issue, but in reality they are talking about issues A through Z,” Keith Weaver said.

The women who have signed up as members of the Happy Wives Club come from all over globe—22 countries in all. Some are newlyweds, while others have been married for decades.

Bette Frankel has been married for 65 years and wrote, “The best gift parents can give their children is to allow them to observe every single day how fantastically marvelous love and marriage can be.”

Sometimes marriage tips come down to practical matters. After 69 years of marriage, Katherine Trigg says her best advice is to “always have separate bathrooms.”

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