Happy Husbands and Dream Marriages: An Interview with Arlene Pellicane

Q: What motivated you to write 31 Days to a Happy Husband?

Arlene Pellicane: I’m in the stage of my married life where kids can take over (mine are 2, 5 and 8). I see that’s the case for many wives who pour themselves into parenting or their career. Husbands can be put on the back burner indefinitely yet the marriage relationship is THE priority relationship for any wife. This book helps spotlight the husband!

Q: Why do you believe a wife’s affirmation of her husband is vital to a happy marriage?

Arlene: Your husband desperately needs a cheerleader—someone as a constant support in good times and bad. Words from others mean something, but over and over, I heard that the words from wives mean the most. We need to stop demanding perfection -making our husbands feel like they can’t live up to our expectations. Instead we need to look for things we can sincerely praise. Thank you for picking up dinner tonight. That really saved me some time and stress.

Q: What are the five guidelines regarding a D.R.E.A.M. marriage?

  • Domestic Tranquility: Your husband needs a peaceful haven.
  • Respect: Your husband needs to respected in his own home.
  • Eros: Your husband needs to be sexually fulfilled.
  • Attraction: Your husband needs to be attracted to you.
  • Mutual Activities: Your husband needs to have fun with you.

Q: How can a wife focus more on the positive aspects of her husband than the annoying qualities?

Arlene: Start by having a thankful heart. Remember how you and your husband met? What tugged at your heart about him? Chances are those characteristics still run strong in your man. Measure the good stuff, recognize the good stuff, and you’ll uncover many treasures in that man you live beside day after day.

Q: What are some ideas to keep the romance and intimacy alive in a marriage?

Arlene: If you have kids and/or a busy schedule, you must schedule time for sex! If you wait until the perfect moment, it may not come until next year. So talk about how you are going to make time for intimacy. Maybe one night a week is your special time to look forward to. I highly recommend a regular date whether it’s weekly or monthly, and an annual weekend getaway. Also, men tend to be more romantic than women. They buy flowers and open doors. We can also be romantic…writing love notes, coming to bed wearing something pretty, or cuddling up at every opportunity.

Q: You remind couples that it is important they plan some time together (without the children). Why do so many couples forget to do this? What can they do together?

Arlene: It’s easy to cave into the routines of life. You have to really make an effort to still date after you’re married especially if you have kids at home. My friend hadn’t gone on a date with her husband in years and finally they went to dinner without the kids. At first, dinner was awkward. They had forgotten how to be alone together without food to cut into tiny pieces or kids to hush. The first date was weird but the next time they went out, they were more comfortable and talkative. You have to keep making connections—just between the two of you. Keep having fun together in the same ways you did before you said “I do.”


Arlene Pellicane is a speaker and author of Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World (co-authored with Gary Chapman), 31 Days to a Happy Husband, and 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Wife. She has been featured on the Today Show, Fox & Friends, Family Life Today, Focus on the Family, K-LOVE, The Better Show, The 700 Club, Turning Point with Dr. David Jeremiah, and TLC’s Home Made Simple. Arlene earned her BA from Biola University and her Masters in Journalism from Regent University. She lives in San Diego with her husband James and three children. Visit Arlene at www.ArlenePellicane.com for free family resources including a monthly Happy Home podcast.

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