WFMW: What I Learned About Marriage from a Fitness Guru {Giveaway}

I’d like to introduce you to my friend Arlene Pellicane. She is a speaker, author, wife and mom of three. She writes about creating a happy home in 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Wife and 31 Days to a Happy Husband. Find free resources to encourage you at and Take the Quiz to find out of you are a happy wife.

Congrats to random book winners: Krista and Heidi.

Guest Post:  by Arlene Pellicane 

Whether you’ve had a baby three months ago or 13 years ago, it seems like that baby weight is awfully hard to shake. I get this. I had 3 babies and 3 miscarriages in my thirties.

My go-to exercise solution with young kids in the house? Buying a fitness DVD that promised to change my life and waistline.

Like a motivated mama, I faithfully clicked play. I stretched. I jumped. I lifted. Then something the instructor said really caught my attention.

You have to force your body to adapt!

She persuaded, “Don’t give up. Tell your body you will keep going. You have to force your body to adapt!”

Huffing, puffing and desperately wanting to stop, I kept forcing my body to adapt.

boy dumbbell funny

I realized this saying wasn’t only applicable to my workout. It was perfect for my marriage.

Marriage is about being adaptable, isn’t it? Sometimes you have to force yourself to adapt. To flex with changing circumstances. To adjust to the quirkiness you used to love about your husband.

When James and I were married 15 years ago, there were many adaptations for both of us. Even vacations required adjusting to each other. You see, James loved to camp under a different spot under the stars each night in the tent he had lugged around all day in his backpack.

I liked to stay in a lodge with a soft pillow and running water nearby at all times.

Our first camping trip as newlyweds was a clash of expectations and emotions. Usually I am a bright and cheery wife, but on the two-hour trip to the campsite to meet couples from a new church, I was quiet. Sullen. Irritable.

Right before we entered the campsite, James pulled the car over.

“Are you going to be like this all weekend? Because if you are, we can just head back home. This is supposed to be fun.”

Do you know what I said?

“You mean, I didn’t have to come?”

Through tears, I realized that I needed to change my attitude about camping so the weekend wouldn’t be ruined. I had to force myself to adapt.

I can’t say I had the time of my life sleeping in that tent, but I survived. I learned a valuable lesson early in our marriage. Happiness isn’t about where I sleep or how out-of-my-comfort zone I am. It’s a choice I make and it not only affects my life, it affects my husband’s well being too.

Just like forcing myself to work out for the sake of my health, I have to force myself sometimes to stretch and adapt to the needs of my husband. When I’m more bendable and flexible (picture a flexible straw here moms), I’m happier and more easy going.

And easier to be with.

Make a commitment to force yourself to adapt, to push yourself further than you think you can go. Be a constant learner about marriage and an enthusiastic student of your spouse. This doesn’t happen by accident. It happens intentionally, by an act of your will.

So press play. It’s grow time.



Today, Arlene is giving away 2 copies of 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Wife. 

Leave a comment if you’d like to enter.

Being a happy wife works for me!


  1. 1


    Today my workout consisted of the rag drag cleaning the kitchen floor. I am sore all over! It was made all that much funner that the hubby and I cleaned together and rocked to the oldies… you know, the 80s. Thanks so much for hosting.

  2. 3

    Rachel says

    I would love to read this book! My marriage at times feels very blah, boring and forced. I suppose it will be that way at times. Sometimes I see others in their “perfect” marriage and I compare. I have to remember that comparison is the death of contentment. Please pick me!

  3. 8


    Wow! Definitely a book I would benefit from reading (provided I actually *applied* it instead of just *reading* it…)
    Whether I win a copy or no, I need to get my hands on this one!

  4. 11


    Thanks for the party and giveaway! I’m halfway through my packed on baby weight from two kiddos in under two years, and I just finished up a great Biggest Loser DVD that I’m actually giving away because I won another copy when I attended the Biggest Loser Finale!

  5. 13


    Breathing problems such as asthma and even snoring can be the result of dirt trapped in your carpet. For this reason, carpet cleaning can no longer be considered a luxury but a necessity for every home. It is recommended that vacuuming be done at least twice a week; however, this is not enough to get rid of all harmful particles. Professional carpet cleaning needs to be done after every six months especially for homes with children or pets. The benefits of this go beyond having a clean carpet. You also get health benefits from the same.

  6. 14

    Mary J says

    I’m a runner and I ran a 5k this morning so true!!! Push that body, never thought about that mindset for marriage thanks!!!

  7. 15


    Love the image of a bendy straw! Great post and very true – our attitudes can make the difference in how we live our lives everyday.

  8. 16

    Mandy S says

    Great advice. I have definitely learned that I need to adjust my attitude in a difficult marriage in order to make it as pleasant as possible. Thanks for the chance at a new book.

  9. 18

    Debra Lewis says

    I Soooooo need this book to read. After 25 years of marriage, I think I have forgotten how to adapt and how to be a happy wife.

  10. 19

    Angie N says

    I would love to read this book! My husband and I are grandparents, but still need to learn to adapt at times in our marriage!

  11. 24


    My marriage started out on very similar grounds – hubbie was the rough-n-rugged outdoorsy type, I was a soft-from-the-suburbs type. But we were committed to making things work and although opposites do attract, iron does sharpen iron and we are both better off than we were when we started – 30 years ago!
    Loved this post, looking forward to reading the book!

  12. 36

    Theresa says

    Happily married 19 years and raised 3 kids to 13, 10 and 8 so far with only minor mishaps and no clear indications of therapy needed (yet!) and still I learn from this blog every day and appreciate the encouragement to keep on keeping on. Thank God, thank you, and continue your good work!

  13. 38

    Wendy Dudley says

    Sounds like a wonderful book. I think I really need to work on my adapting for my husband. Would love a copy of the book to help me understand how to do so.

  14. 41

    Jennifer Heeres says

    I would love to win the book.

    My husband is always the first one to experience my grumpy days. And he seems to love me anyway. He deserves more effort from me.


  15. 48

    Kim T says

    I needed to read this today! Adapt adapt adapt! I like the bendy straw visual! Would love to win a copy of your book :)

  16. 49

    K Taylor says

    What an awesome post, this books really sounds great!! I would absolutely love to win as my husband is always nice to me and says it’s okay every time I hurt him or I’m grumpy or let things out on him even though it’s nothing to do with him! He surely deserves better and this books really sounds like it could help me become a better wife for my husband :-)


  17. 55


    I would love this book. I heard Arlene on Family Life Today and her talk really resonated with me. I let the stupidest things get me rattled. As I said to my husband one time, “So and so is about to drive me crazy.” He said, “Short drive.” Yikes.

  18. 57

    Brandi schattle says

    This sounds like a book everyone should read! It’s now on the never ending ‘to be read’ list

    And I am a lodge girl too while he loves a tent!

  19. 58

    allison says

    Just reading everyone’s comments helped me realize I’m not the only one feeling the way that I do! Thank you! This book sounds like a must read!

  20. 63

    Shannon Fox says

    So much truth! I’ve been married for 13 years now, and this is still a lesson I have to remind myself of several times a week. If only we humans weren’t so naturally selfish!! 😉

  21. 66

    Tonya B says

    Wonderful insights! I would be blessed to win this book and I would love to also share it with my own mom as my parents are struggling.

  22. 68


    I would LOVE to receive a free copy of this book!!!!
    After enjoying it and learning from it I would be sure to share with friends and let them know where they too could get there own copy :)

  23. 74

    Tabitha Smith says

    My life with 5 young kids is so full of being busy that I forget to put as much time in my marriage. This book would help I am sure.

  24. 83

    KIM says

    WOW–Nothing like a little helpful “nudge” in the attitude department first thing in the morning! God is so good about gently placing just the right words in front of me to help me see where I need to adjust! So glad He loves me enough to never let me stay the same!

  25. 87

    Alisa M. says

    I’d like to read this – I remind myself often that happiness is a choice. If you aren’t happy, you can make another choice.

  26. 89

    Brandis says

    I could certainly use some tips on being a happy wife! I love my husband very much but I feel like he doesn’t get the best of me.

  27. 91


    Love this post! My husband and I recently moved for his job change. I know God has big plans for us and this move, change in house, friends, job, and lifestyle has made me have to adapt in so many ways. I’ve had been fighting to adapt because I felt like I was the only one adapting in my marriage. My prayers were that God would help us both to adapt and not take our frustrations and loneliness out on each other but help us adapt together. Slowly God has been answering that prayer and we are both seeing differences in our attitudes and behavior. Even if I don’t win this book it’s going on my to read list! Thanks for being so authentic and open with the rest of us out there! Blessings!

  28. 101

    LauraJ says

    I’d love to read this book, my husband and I are still learning to adapt to the idea he won’t be deploying the next few years…maybe this book would help me!

  29. 107


    I’m not married yet, but I am in a serious relationship with a very awesome and Godly guy. I would love to have this book to prepare myself to be a good wife to him someday!

  30. 113

    Wind Firedancing Hilcove says

    I could really use a copy of this book as a newlywed! I’ve been learning so much about myself and really want to do my best to adapt and learn my husband! I love him!

    Thank you!

  31. 117

    Karina says

    This made me smile. The man I affectionately call “the Boss” is the oldest of three sons. I am the youngest of four daughters. He grew up camping, fishing and hunting; I grew up going to the opera, high tea, and ballet–overseas, no less. What a God-orchestrated adventure it’s been!

  32. 120

    Marie says

    Just what I need. I just started trying to commit to exercise and now have to have surgery next week! It’s so frustrating. I would love to win this book!!!

  33. 121

    Carol says

    This book would be very helpful for a young mom I am meeting with and seeking to encourage as she is busy with three pre-schoolers.

  34. 124

    Melinda says

    Does it apply to men too? I have adapted to some of the things that he’d rather do but he hasn’t to mine and we are going on 20 years now. Needless to say, I stopped trying and do my own thing when I can but it’s not making for a great marriage.

  35. 125

    Alexis N. Croff says

    So, so true. Thank you for that word today. This made me laugh. In two years of marriage we have had some of those “adapt” moments. It is a constant reminder that we are not here for ourselves, but an ultimate reminder from the Father to grow in Him. I would like to read more from Arlene!

  36. 127

    Jeanette says

    Just about to celebrate our 11th anniversary. I could use a “breath of fresh air” and a new perspective. :) there’s always room for more happiness!

  37. 130

    Traci says

    I love your blog! You have a very uncanny way of peering right in MY brain! I would love a chance to win this book. Over the last few months I have felt like something is missing in my marriage. I keep looking outside of myself for answers to problems that I just can’t quite put my finger on. However, the deeper I dig the more I am realizing that this isn’t a “husband” problem. The problems (and probably the solutions) lie within myself. I think this book would be just the kick start I need to explore the harder parts of being an honoring wife and mother instead of the one that complains all the time.

  38. 138

    Cinda says

    What a perfect post to read. I just started a new workout regime and need to get my groove on. The spouse happiness is even more important. I’m definitely going to read that book!! Ill cross my fingers and say a prayer I’m one of the winners!

  39. 139

    Michelle says

    Thanks for sharing Arlene with us. I was not familiar with Arlene and now I am feeling extra blessed by her website. Would love to read this book!

  40. 143

    Tracy says

    I am really trying hard to work on being more flexible. I find it is easier said than done. I would love to read this book!

  41. 144

    Amy says

    What a great analogy! Thank you for sharing your advice, it was refreshing to hear. It is very challenging in a marriage, especially once you add in those wonderful children! I would love to win a copy of your book!

  42. 146

    Robin says

    I would love a copy of this book. I definitely need to treasure my hubby more than I do and would love to learn some ways to do so.

  43. 148

    Liz Little says

    I’m a Christian wife married to a non-believer. My husband was a marine and was taught to that showing love is showing weakness. It’s tough for him to show emotion. I pray every night for him. I would love to be entered and and win this book! I could use it!!

  44. 150

    Tina says

    Thanks for sharing, Arlene! I’m proud of you for choosing to change your attitude on that camping trip. I’ve failed in that many a time, but the times I chose to change my attitude and be positive, flexible, adaptable…things turned out so much better and I actually had fun (or at least I was okay:) I’ve got another opportunity to choose this this coming weekend, so this was SO timely! I believe God gives us a special blessing then, because we’ve crucified our flesh. Blessings to you!….and to you too Kristen. Been really enjoying your blog. Appreciate your stand on technology and self entitlement, and your openness about your marriage.

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