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. 151

    Tina says

    Thanks for sharing Arlene! Needed to hear this for this coming weekend. Got one of those choices to make—you encouraged me to adapt and be flexible.

  2. 161

    Katie says

    This is exactly what I needed in this very moment in time!! Thank you so much for the reminder and encouraging words!!

  3. 163

    Christine says

    Yes – intentional is a word that I hear quite often. I must intentionally refuse to give in to my nature and love my husband more than winning a fight, for example. Loving him like this deepens our relationship and, quite honestly, makes him easier to love!

  4. 167

    Goodin says

    I consider myself a very happy wife (and I think my husband agrees). However, that comment about being a constant learner and enthusiastic student — a little convicting — especially since that’s supposed to be one of my goals for 2014. 😉

  5. 172

    Heather says

    Thanks for sharing and giving me a different perspective, especially going into Valentine’s Day. My hubby and I have been on different wavelengths this week and haven’t been able to reconnect, so I feel like I really needed to read this today to change my attitude and fix this so we can enjoy our time together.

  6. 174

    Tracy says

    Sounds like a great book, would love a chance to read it. Don’t we all go through those episodes. Nice to know we are not alone!

  7. 177

    Heather E. says

    I’m pretty sure my husband would love it if I read this book. I’d love to be a happy wife and mother. Thanks for the giveaway chance.

  8. 180

    Sydney says

    Love to win this book. Making that choice to change your attitude can seem like a lot of work sometimes but can make a world of difference.

  9. 182

    Kathy says

    Perfect timing! It couldn’t have come at a better time for me as I was sitting here stewing about something my husband did. If I don’t win I am definately getting the book…both books :) Thank you for sharing!

  10. 187

    Jeramy Lee says

    Thank you. What a great Valentine reminder. I need be a flexible straw in more ways than one lately. Thank you for the visual.

  11. 190

    jodi says

    With 5 children aged between 18, 15, 8, 6 and 4, our lives are very busy, with many needs to be met, and lots of activities too!!! A lot of the time the relationship with my husband gets ‘pushed down the list’ and we barely have time together doing ‘fun’ things like we used to before having a family. This book sounds wonderful, to make our marriage a priority and put some effort and time into it. Thanks for all your wonderful articles on your blog, I really enjoy reading them.

  12. 192

    nadya kotik says

    hi. i just found your website. It seems like you are on a great adventure with God! just like He meant for us to be! The book sounds great. Haven’t heard of it before. I love Gary Chapman’s books

  13. 194

    Alisha says

    Sounds like a fantastic book and one I could really use. Who doesn’t want to be a happier wife? I know I do! Thanks for this opportunity!

  14. 197

    Jill says

    I would love to have this book. I just had a baby (our 4th) and I really want to make sure that I don’t neglect my marriage while raising young children.

  15. 198

    Becky Prasek says

    As time goes by, I realize more and more how important protecting and nurturing my marriage is to our family. It needs to be cherished and God needs to be in the details.

  16. 200

    Jessica says

    This is appropriate even for those of us who have husbands who are not interested in any kind of relationship with their wives. My husband feels that the act of getting married was all he needed so I have to work at staying happy when my husband has no intention of being involved in a marriage relationship or even in my life as a friend. God can give us the strength to carry on but we also have to choose to continue to love our husbands even when they don’t want it.

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