The Happy Wife: An Interview with Arlene Pellicane

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What does it take to have a happier marriage?

Just ask author and speaker Arlene Pellicane. You see, not only is it her personal quest for 2014, but it’s also the focus of her newest book, 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Wife.

It’s a book I had the privilege of reading before it hit bookstore shelves and Amazon shopping carts. And it’s one I couldn’t recommend more highly. Not only is it an easy read — organized into thirty-one daily readings — but it’s a great reminder that our daily choices matter to our marriages.

I recently had the opportunity to chat with Arlene about her new book. Here’s what she had to say.

What inspired you to write 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Wife?

Two reasons come to mind: There are so many wives who seem unhappy with their spouses and they tend to complain about their men. I wanted to help these women find an out — not through divorce — but through gratitude, being thankful for their marriages instead of letting resentment rob them. The second reason is to give young people the hope that marriage is something wonderful to experience, instead of something to be avoided. Children, teens, and twenty-somethings need to see healthy marriages modeled all around them.

The book is divided into five “becoming” areas. What are they and why is each of them important?

I’ve taken the word HAPPY and used it to express skills in marriage that we can improve to become more joy-filled:

H — Becoming Hopeful — this acts as the foundation for transformation
A — Becoming Adaptable — you’ve got to be able to roll with life
P — Becoming Positive — optimism has many benefits
P — Becoming Purposeful — keep growing as a spouse so you feel alive
Y — Becoming Yielded — allow God to take control of your heart and home

You introduce this idea of turning bothers into blessings. What does this mean and how is it helpful in the day-to-day of marriage?

Every day, your spouse will do something to get on your nerves and believe it or not, you will do the same to him! If you focus on the things your husband is doing wrong (or not doing at all), these weaknesses will grow large in your mind, leaving very little room for respect or admiration. So don’t think about the “bothers” (Why doesn’t he talk to me? Why does he leave his laundry on the floor? Why does he watch so much football?). Instead, focus on the blessings. What does your husband do right? What do you appreciate about him? My husband makes our family a green smoothie every morning. Some days it tastes good, other days, we’re just drinking to our health. But that green “bother” is really a “blessing” if I can remember to see it that way.

arlenepellicaneWhat does it mean to be a “professional wife”?

We have goals in different areas of our lives. At work, there are new skills to learn, sales numbers to hit. As a parent, you have certain things you want your child to master. But when it comes to being a wife, sometimes we are direction-less. If we can think of being a wife as our profession, we can ask some good questions: ow am I doing as a wife? What are a few areas of improvement for me to work on this year? What is working really well (ask your husband for feedback)? What’s a new skill I want to learn as a wife (it could be cooking, giving massages, or joining your husband on a morning run)?

As you were writing, did you find yourself convicted and freshly motivated in certain areas of your own marriage? If so, can you share one example?

Yes, I have positive peer pressure to be happy — no matter what is happening! The other day, James had the kids out later than I would have liked on a school night. When they got home, I was not very happy about it and that was plain by the look on my face. But then, I walked myself through the acronym HAPPY and asked myself, “Am I putting my hope in God? Am I being adaptable with how the evening turned out? What’s something positive I could think of about tonight? How can I be purposefully gracious to James? Am I yielded to God and James’ leadership?” I honestly run those questions in my mind whenever I am feeling unhappy, and it helps me focus on how to redeem a situation and make the best of things.

Before we close, I have to ask: What’s your favorite way to unwind?

Laying in bed with two pillows under my head, covers pulled up, and a great book in hand to read. In quiet! I also love vanilla lattes and good movies.

Enter to Win a Copy of 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Wife!

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We are excited to have one copy of Arlene’s book, 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Wife, to give away. Enter here for a chance to win this helpful and encouraging read!

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About

Ashleigh Slater is the author of Team Us: Marriage Together and the editor of Ungrind. As a regular contributor at several blogs and websites, she loves to unite the power of a good story with biblical truth and practical application to encourage others. She has 20 years of writing experience and a master’s degree in communication. Ashleigh lives in Atlanta with her husband Ted and four daughters. You can follow her on Instagram here.


  • :)I’m trying to build my christian book collectionn, and this looks like a great addition!

  • Amy

    I’d love to win. Always great to get new ideas and a fresh perspective! :)

  • Oh I’m really focusing on marriage this year & would love to win this happy title!

    • Congrats, Rachel! You are our winner. I’ve sent you a FB private message.

  • Angela O

    Thank you! These exact thoughts have been instrumental in turning around some huge “sticking points” in my marriage. I can honestly say I am a happier wife, thanks to God’s grace.

  • Melissa

    I’ve only been married for almost two years now, and I have lately been troubled by bad moods, and although I would never consider divorce, my husband worries that I’ll “wait till the kids are grown” (we don’t have any yet)… I really need this book! I would love to be a happy wife for him! And Him!

  • Alisa Ward

    So excited to read this book – I love the idea of turning “bothers” into “blessings”, something I need to remind myself of!

    Hope to win a copy :)

  • Lori Kennedy-Stewart

    Would love to win!

  • Marlo

    This looks like a great book!

  • Ann

    I would love to read this book! Looks very interesting indeed. Someone will be very blessed that’s for sure.

  • Sarah Keeling

    I would love to win your book. I am a Missionary on the field and so in Need of something to help me out, I feel so far away from good older woman and help in the hard things of marriage and someone to help me love this wonderful man that I call mine. Sarah

  • Peggy

    I’d love to win this book and put it to good use…always looking for inspiration to improve my marriage.

  • This sounds like a good book to read and live!

  • crystal

    Blessings!

  • I LOVE this! I love the idea of saving marriages and modeling healthy marriages for others!

  • Debbie

    Would love to read and apply this to my marriage!

  • Mary Jo

    Your book looks like just the one my homeschool mothers’ group needs to jump start some serious improvements in our marriages. Thank you so much for this giveaway and a chance to win! Blessings!

  • Sam

    This looks like such a great read! Enter me please :)

  • Stephanie

    This book sounds like a simply laid-out plan to rewire our behaviour, sounds like a great read!

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The Happy Wife: An Interview with Arlene Pellicane

by Ashleigh Slater time to read: 3 min
19