Miss A Columnist

Melissa Wenzel is a freelance writer and public relations consultant. After graduating from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Telecommunications at Arizona State University, Melissa went to work for a boutique public relations/public affairs agency where she cut her teeth in the business by working on some of the state’s most polarizing elections and controversial public figures. Two years later, in need of a little soul cleansing, Melissa took a job with the American Red Cross where she worked media and crisis communications in the wake of local and national disasters, including Hurricane Katrina.
After her twins, Jonathan and James were born in 2007, Melissa returned to work part-time before starting her own consulting and freelance writing business in 2009.

When she and her husband are not chasing, or being chased by their four year old boys, Melissa can be found elbow-deep in cake batter or pouring over a new book. She’s currently trying to muster the courage to learn to scuba dive. Read Melissa’s musings on life with her light saber wielding twins at Musings of a Twin Mama. To learn more about her work, visit www.melissawenzel.com. If you have something for moms, children or families that you would like covered on Miss A, please email Melissa at melissa@melissawenzel.com.

Review Of Secrets Of Happy Couples By Kim Olver And Giveaway To Miss A Readers

As parents, we often fall into the trap of letting our marriages take a backseat to things like diapers and soccer practice.  And, with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season in full-swing, it’s even easier to let our relationships get lost in the shuffle. Secrets of Happy Couples is an excellent resource for achieving and maintaining a joyful marriage and serves as a fantastic reminder of why we fell in love in the first place.

Photo Credit: www.insideoutempowerment.com

Author Kim Olver, a licensed clinical professional counselor and life coach, writes about her quest to find 100 happy, satisfied couples – who have been together at least ten years – who took her anonymous online survey about their relationships. Their answers, coupled with Olver’s professional background, resulted in interesting and insightful information into what makes our marriages work and how to keep them healthy over time.

Secrets provides a comprehensive guide to relationships, starting before you are even in one and continues onto navigating the compatibility and maintenance stages of a relationship. Olver even offers tools on how to manage the grief of when a relationship ends, whether through death, divorce or separation. The heart of Olver’s work teaches readers to embrace her InsideOut Empowerment philosophy which centers around two major concepts:

  1. The only persona’s behavior you can control is
    your own;
  2. Whenever you are experiencing conflict or struggle, the best place to find the solution is through changing something you can control – such as your thoughts or actions.

Having been married for eight years myself, I was particularly intrigued with Olver’s philosophy in the importance of speaking your partner’s “love language” – the things you did for each other when you first met or fell in love. For one of her patients, this was dancing with his wife. After they got married, he no longer felt the need to take time out for dancing or sweep her off her feet – which was something that made her fall in love with him in the first place. Once Olver’s patient realized he needed to continue speaking her love language, the spark in their marriage returned. Reading this reminded me of what first made me fall in love with my husband 12 years ago – his quick wit and thoughtfulness (he used to get to work early to put a can of Mountain Dew on my desk each morning)!

It is clear Olver’s theories are well-researched as she cites a plethora of studies and books on the topic of marriage. She addresses the pressing topics facing couples today and does so with an excellent mix of optimism and honesty. With a title of, Secrets of Happy Couples, and having interviewed 100 happily married couples, I would have loved to have read real-life experiences of the actual survey participants – a “When Harry Met Sally” couples interview, if you will. Perhaps that would lend itself to another successful book for Olver.

What’s YOUR love language? “Like” the Miss A-Family page on Facebook and then tell us what your significant other did to sweep you off your feet and we’ll enter you in for a chance to win a free copy of Secrets of Happy Couples!

Secrets of Happy Couples is available for purchase on Amazon.

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