The first step to a happy marriage is to understand that all life is governed by law--nature, music, art, and all of the sciences. These laws are immutable. To live in harmony with them produces health, beauty, and the abundant life. To violate them brings ugliness and destruction. Just as unwavering are the laws of human relationships. These laws are in operation even though you may not understand them. You may be happy in marriage because you obey them, or you may be unhappy because you violate them without an awareness of the laws in operation.
Through ignorance of the laws of marriage relationships, much unnecessary unhappiness exists. We find one woman happy, honored, and loved; and another--no less attractive, no less admirable, no less lovable--neglected, unhappy, and disappointed. Why? This book explains why, for it teaches the laws she must obey if she is to be loved, honored, and adored.
Fascinating Womanhood will teach you how to be happy in marriage. There are three essentials in reaching the goal:
1. Love: Since the cornerstone of a happy marriage is love, you will learn how to awaken your husband's love. These teachings apply, no matter what your age or situation. Love is not limited to the young or the beautiful, but to those who have qualities that awaken it.
If your husband doesn't love you, you are likely doing something to cool his affections, or have lost something which awakens his love. You may have begun marriage lovingly but romance is fading. Why? Could it be that you have changed? Take a good look. In most cases a man stops loving a woman after marriage because she stops doing things which arouse his feelings. When you regain your charming ways, love can be rekindled.
In winning your husband's love, it isn't necessary for him to know or do anything about it. This isn't to say that he doesn't make mistakes or need to improve, but when you correct your mistakes you bring about a loving response in him. Frequently his response is so remarkable that it exceeds your highest expectations.
The art of awakening a man's love is not a difficult accomplishment for women because it is based on our natural instincts. However, in our highly civilized life many of our natural instincts have become rusty due to lack of use. You need only to awaken the traits which belong to you by nature.
2. Self-Dignity: Essential to happiness in marriage is self-dignity. Does your husband ever speak to you harshly, criticize you unduly, treat you unfairly, neglect you, impose on you, or in any way mistreat you? The important thing is not what he does but how you react. Do you shrink back as if struck by a lash? Do you go into your shell? Do you pay him back with a cutting remark? Or, do you fly off the handle with an ugly temper? If you react in any of these ways you will cause yourself unnecessary grief and lessen your husband's love for you.
No man likes an ugly temper, nor does he want a woman he can walk on, or one who will retreat into her shell and feel sorry for herself. He wants a woman with some spunk--some hidden fire, a woman he can't push around. Some men even admire little spitfires, women who are adorably independent and saucy, whom they can't put down with even the most degrading remark.
In Fascinating Womanhood the method of handling wounded feelings is called childlike anger, spunk, or sauciness. It will teach you how to handle a man's rough nature without pain, without friction. You can, in a flash, turn a crisis into a humorous situation, so that the man may have the sudden impulse to laugh. Instead of hurting marriage, childlike anger can increase love and tenderness.
3. Desires: If you are to be happy in marriage your desires must be considered. I am referring to things you want to have, places you want to go, something you want to do, or something you want done for you. This is not to suggest selfish whims, but worthy desires. Unfortunately, you may have gone without these things for years because you didn't know how to motivate your husband to do these things for you.
As a consequence, his feelings for you have likely diminished. We love whom we serve. If your husband never does anything for you beyond the call of duty, he may lose his love for you. In Fascinating Womanhood you will learn how to obtain the things you need and deserve without causing a marital stir. Your husband will want to do things for you and will love you more because of it.
Although the teachings focus on building a relationship with your husband, the principles apply in building a relationship with any man--father, brother, son, teacher, student, employer. Take care, however, that you don't use them unrighteously, to win the affections of a married man. You would be guilty of a cruel sin and would destroy another woman's relationship as well as your own. In relationships outside of your marriage, apply them only to eliminate friction and to build harmony and trust.
The teachings are also helpful to the single mother who is rearing a family without a father present in the home. She becomes the feminine image for her children to view, as essential to boys in developing their manliness as to girls in developing their womanliness. She should also teach them about masculinity by providing them with a male image to associate with--her father, a brother, or another male person.
Within these pages you will learn principles to follow if you are to be happy, loved, and cherished. The study centers around the ideal woman, from a man's point of view, the kind of woman who awakens a man's deepest feelings of love. Within your reach is the possibility of a happy marriage. You can bring it about independent of any effort on the part of your husband. So, you hold the keys to your own happiness.
In accomplishing this you lose none of your dignity, influence, or freedom, but gain them, and it is only then that you can play your vital part in this world. The role of a woman when played correctly is fulfilling, fascinating, and full of intrigue. There never need be a dull moment. The practice of this art of womanhood is an enjoyable one, filled with rich rewards, numerous surprises, and vast happiness. Many years of experience teaching thousands of women has proven this to be true.From the Paperback edition.
Excerpted from Fascinating Womanhood by Helen Andelin. Copyright © 1992 by Helen Andelin. Excerpted by permission of Bantam, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.