BMWK: Keith, what would be your one or two marriage tips for the husbands out there (or future husbands) for having a successful and happy marriage?
Keith: Even before we were married, one of the things that I value tremendously now, and would highly recommend, is premarital counseling. Men and women communicate differently as a general matter. As individuals, the way we were raised might be very different. Sorting through things like the facilitation from accounts, financial matters, how we think about sexual relations with each other; it’s critical to have those conversations beforehand. What do we think about raising kids? What do we think about our faith? When couples are in their courtship stage and presumably enamored with each other, that’s when those difficult questions need to be sorted out.
Fawn: I think you know this, Christine. I talked about it on HWC, is that so far we’ve not been able to have kids. And for a lot of people, it’s a really tough road when there are fertility issues. And for us, it’s never been an issue. And I think a part of that is, we talked about it in premarital counseling. That was one of our ‘what ifs’.
We played the ‘what if’ game a lot while we were dating, and I think it’s great before marriage and even after marriage. It was just ‘what if’ followed by any random question. One of the ‘what ifs’ was, “What if we can’t have kids?” Talking about these things ahead of time prepares you so that when it does come your way, you are able to address it, and you’ve already come to an agreement as to where you’re going to stand. Will you adopt? Will you not? And so then you end up not having that struggle because of it.
BMWK: So going back to the book, how did the idea for the Happy Wives Club book come about? Especially the idea to travel the world?
Fawn: It came from the HWC Facebook community. The one thing that I would do is just pose questions to the couples married 25 years or more. I would ask the wives “What is your secret to a happy marriage?” or some variation of that question. And what I found was, every time I posed the question, no matter where a person in the world lives, their answer was almost identical.
It was like you’d meet people that were raised by the same family in the same country in the same household, but I knew that wasn’t the case. They were all over the world. And so the idea came from looking at this and thinking “Is it possible that there is a universal secret to a happy marriage?” and the only way I’d be able to find that out is to go on their turf.
BMWK: Do you have any last words of advice or encouragement that you want to share with the Black and Married with Kids family?
Keith: Marriage is fantastic! We recommend it. Just communicate with your spouse.
Fawn: For the African American community specifically, I do not believe that we are going to ever be able to get to where it is that we are destined to be. We can fight, we can blame, we could do whatever we want, but until we get to a place where we are building solid families and building generational wealth, we’re never going to catch up in this country. So if we want to propel and to be successful and really start keeping up with the Jones’, we need to stay married and we need to raise our kids.
BMWK: Amen to that. I love it. I love it! Well thank you guys so much. This was so fun.