Tired of the negative stereotypes about modern-day marriages that continually pop up on television and at the movies, Fawn Weaver has decided to make it her mission to locate 1 million happy wives over the next six months.
As she tells Sandy Banks of the Los Angeles Times, the purpose behind her site, HappyWivesClub.com, is "is to do nothing but say positive things." One look at the site itself confirms this, as women from across the country have signed up for Weaver's club in order to declare that they, too, are happy wives, as well as to post "quick tips" about marriage, like this one by a woman who has been married for 36 years:
"Love and RESPECT your husband! Compliment and thank him for those little things he does in helping around the house. When you or he comes home after a long day's work, say hello and embrace him and let him know you are happy to be home together again. Never go to bed angry and pray for him each day."
Weaver, who has been married since 2003, says on her site that she believes "there are millions of wives all over the world just like me and I'm determined to find them and give a voice to this seemingly rare woman conveniently missing from all forms of media and entertainment." But Weaver's site is less about breaking media stereotypes and more about promoting a marriage philosophy of sorts, setting up rules for women to follow in order to find happiness in their marriages.
The rules, as most relationship rules are, are a bit extreme: in one post, titled "The Platinum Rule," she encourages women to never consider a Plan B in life, as it simply creates doubts that might undermine Plan A, which is to stay married, no matter what: "I've interviewed many wives over the years and have discovered a common denominator among those with the most loving, kind and patient relationships," Weaver writes, "They have no plan B. No matter what, divorce or infidelity is not an option. For this reason, arguments are few, if any, because they know they have a lifetime to come to an agreement." Weaver seemingly never stops to consider that arguments might also be few because women who hold this mentality might also feel defeated and trapped, with no alternatives outside of an unhappy marriage.
The topic of divorce—and how it is not an option—seems to come up quite often on the site, which is a bit unnerving. It is one thing to claim that you want to celebrate happy marriages; it's quite another to infer that all married couples will find happiness as long as they stay together. There's also something quite disturbing about Weaver's belief that women should not complain about their marital issues to friends or family, as "They'll have a 'pity party' for you, and that reinforces whatever you're complaining about." It's as if Weaver wants women to find happiness through denial, silence, and submission, which isn't exactly the antithesis of the pathetic wife stereotype often seen on television that she claims to detest so much.
It's a bit frustrating in that one gets the sense that Weaver means well, and I do agree that the sad, desperate wife trope has become quite tired and overdone, but I'm not sure if her site is really going to balance out the sad wife stereotype so often seen in the media. Still, it seems that many women are taking up Weaver's challenge and gladly sharing their tips and tricks on her site. But I'm more inclined to agree with this LA Times commenter, who sums up the entire endeavor with a bit of humor and a lot of honesty:
I don't follow any of these dumb rules, but I've been happily married for 23 years now. Maybe it's because of medical marijuana, who knows. Or maybe it's because we're economically secure. Or maybe it's because my husband and I are close enough in personality and intellect to understand one another even when we fight. But it's not because I followed these rules.
[Image via SomeECards.]