Monday, April 7, 2014

A Birthday and a Book About Marriage

Yesterday was my birthday. I had a wonderful day. We started the day slow. Chris and the boys let me sleep in. Then Chris cooked me an egg, which I ate with fresh avocado while sipping on black coffee.

I received many messages from family and friends, wishing me a happy birthday. Abby called me from college, and we had a nice long chat.
Unfortunately, that left me with little time to fix my hair before Mass, so back in a twist in went.

After Mass, my mother stopped by for a visit. She brought me several gifts. She always spoils me.

I had a lazy afternoon, reading and hanging out with my family.

Then we had a tasty dinner or crab cakes, shrimp, french fries, and coleslaw, and cheesecake for dessert.

Then I read some more and went to bed early. It was a fabulous day.

All day long I found myself looking at my small family and marveling at how blessed we are, and how blessed I am.

My insecurities from my rocky childhood led to a rough start in my relationship with Chris. I did not grow up with a good example of marital love. My grandfather worked hard to provide a nice life for my grandmother and their children, and then for me and my cousin, but my grandmother was rarely happy. Looking back, I realize now that my grandmother suffered from depression, and she was distant and unhappy and frequently mean.

As I look back at the early years of my relationship with Chris, I can see how, at times, my behavior was similar to how my grandmother treated my grandfather. My love for Chris has always been deep, but negativity and hurt shadowed it. After finally coming out of the fog of postpartum depression when Thomas was almost a year old, we spent the next year trying to fix the damage that had been done to our relationship, but it was hard. Finally, over a year later, I packed a suitcase for the boys and myself, and drove all night from Delaware to Florida. Chris and I needed some time apart, or rather, I needed to get away, so I called a friend and made plans to stay with her and her family for a week. In my suitcase I had packed a new book (old book, but new to me) called Fascinating Womanhood . I stayed in Florida for ten days. I read the entire book. I did the assignments. I prayed. I called Chris and wrote him letters.

I came home to a happier man, and he was greeted by a sweeter and more hopeful woman.We worked through our problems.

Today we are a strong and happy couple, looking forward to the many years that stretch before us, God willing.

Yesterday I decided to revisit Fascinating Womanhood . *

I wanted to review the lessons I learned, and see if there were any areas that I should improve. My guess was that there were. I can always improve something about myself!

As I flipped through the book, I came across the Ideal Woman Chart. It lists eight qualities that men cherish. The first four of the qualities are labeled angelic and the other four qualities are human. The four angelic qualities are: understands men, has inner happiness, has a worthy character and is a domestic goddess. The four human qualities are: is feminine, radiates happiness, has radiant health, and is childlike.

The second assignment in the book is to make a list of the qualities, writing the ones you possess in pink and the ones you lack in blue. Honestly, I know I lacked in all eight qualities when I first read the book nine years ago. This time around, while I am sure all areas can be improved upon, I only found myself lacking in two qualities: radiant health and is childlike. I am currently working on my health. As for being childlike, I totally forget what the characteristics of that quality are, so I am going to re-read that section of the book first.

The first task in the book is to list twenty-five things you like about yourself. I am going to work on that list this week, even though I do not like making lists like that.

Have you read Fascinating Womanhood ? If so, did you enjoy it? Did you learn anything from it? How did it help your relationship?

*I wrote a short series discussing different womanly attitudes discussed in the book, Fascinating Womanhood. You can read the first post here

What We Wore Sunday

top: Kohl's
cardigan: Target
skirt: thredUP
tights: Kohl's
shoes: White Mountain 'Finesse ' Women's Flat

shirt: Kohl's
pants: Kohl's
belt: Kohl's
shoes: JCPenney

This post contains affiliate links.


  1. My mother was telling me about that book and now I can't wait to read it! I agree 100% with what little you wrote about it. I would love to implement and work those traits. Thanks for the suggestion!

    1. Please read it! I would love to know what your thoughts about Helen Andelin's standards and suggestions.

    2. I definitely will! I think I am going to have my mom send me her copy! Maybe Ill do a little blog post about it too, this was so inspiring. :)

  2. Fascinating Womanhood was so, so, so helpful to me. It really changed my whole perspective and made me a much more supportive wife. I think I read it five years ago, but it's probably time for me to revisit it as well.

    When I try to explain it to people, I always reference Belle from Disney's Beauty and the Beast. He changes for her, but not because she ever bosses him around. She accepts him for who he is, and supports and cares for him, and sets a good example. That's it.

    1. Yes! Belle from Disney's Beauty and the Beast is the perfect example. :)

    2. That's awesome Kendra. Makes me want to read it even more :)

  3. I did read Facscinating Womanhood years ago....and I do remember liking it. But, actually one thing I mostly remember is that I gave it to my friend (this was about 5 years) ago and everytime I sure her, she STILL raves about how much that book changed her life and her perspective. It

    1. That is a great story, Amelia. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I love this book! I am currently taking the online pre-recorded class and am trying very hard to put FW principles into practice!

    1. Hi Anonymous, I did not know there is a pre-recorded online class. I will have to check it out!


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