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Project: Happily Ever After: Saving Your Marriage When the Fairytale Falters

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What do you do when your marriage is so unhappy that you begin to fantasize about your husband’s funeral? That’s how bad it got for Alisa Bowman. . . So she launched a last-ditch effort to save her marriage. Project: Happily Ever After is her fearlessly honest and humorous account of how she went from being a “divorce daydreamer” to renewing her wedding vows—and all of the What do you do when your marriage is so unhappy that you begin to fantasize about your husband’s funeral? That’s how bad it got for Alisa Bowman. . . So she launched a last-ditch effort to save her marriage. Project: Happily Ever After is her fearlessly honest and humorous account of how she went from being a “divorce daydreamer” to renewing her wedding vows—and all of the steps in between.From bikini waxes to erotica, romance instruction manuals to second honeymoons, the silent treatment to power struggles, she goes where many marriage-improvement gurus have feared to tread. Equal parts funny, poignant, and most importantly, useful, Bowman’s story will give other miserably-married folks courage and hope. And in addition to telling her own story, she packs straightforward prescriptive guidance, including a “10-Step Marital Improvement Guide.” Readers will laugh. They’ll cry. And they can start on the road toward their own happy ending!


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What do you do when your marriage is so unhappy that you begin to fantasize about your husband’s funeral? That’s how bad it got for Alisa Bowman. . . So she launched a last-ditch effort to save her marriage. Project: Happily Ever After is her fearlessly honest and humorous account of how she went from being a “divorce daydreamer” to renewing her wedding vows—and all of the What do you do when your marriage is so unhappy that you begin to fantasize about your husband’s funeral? That’s how bad it got for Alisa Bowman. . . So she launched a last-ditch effort to save her marriage. Project: Happily Ever After is her fearlessly honest and humorous account of how she went from being a “divorce daydreamer” to renewing her wedding vows—and all of the steps in between.From bikini waxes to erotica, romance instruction manuals to second honeymoons, the silent treatment to power struggles, she goes where many marriage-improvement gurus have feared to tread. Equal parts funny, poignant, and most importantly, useful, Bowman’s story will give other miserably-married folks courage and hope. And in addition to telling her own story, she packs straightforward prescriptive guidance, including a “10-Step Marital Improvement Guide.” Readers will laugh. They’ll cry. And they can start on the road toward their own happy ending!

30 review for Project: Happily Ever After: Saving Your Marriage When the Fairytale Falters

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jill Gilbert

    I read an interview with this author and impulsively bought this book. The author and her husband went through a very low point in their marriage following the birth of their daughter. The memoir aspect of the book is okay - Bowman has a fun tone, especially considering she is exposing all the dirty laundry and heartbreak in her marriage. The how-to/self-help aspect of the book is less effective, particularly when she tries to draw life lessons from minor incidents in her marriage. That being sa I read an interview with this author and impulsively bought this book. The author and her husband went through a very low point in their marriage following the birth of their daughter. The memoir aspect of the book is okay - Bowman has a fun tone, especially considering she is exposing all the dirty laundry and heartbreak in her marriage. The how-to/self-help aspect of the book is less effective, particularly when she tries to draw life lessons from minor incidents in her marriage. That being said, there are some really good aspects to this book. The best is that she read and provides the highlights from twelve other relationship books, covering topics such as intimacy, sex, and communication. And she has such a hopeful tone that it feels like a chat with an optimistic pal. The aspects that I found hard to relate to were that she and her husband were so incredibly flummoxed and thrown off by just one kid, who by the end of the book is 5 or so. Also, she and her husband had "lost their spark" even though she tells us repeatedly throughout the book that she is "a size 6," "hot," "has a great butt," and "ended up smaller and fitter after giving birth." So when she wants to rekindle, she gets a bikini wax, buys sexy lingerie, and goes away with him for a weekend to New York. Which pretty much describes the life of most disgruntled, 40-something mothers, right? I left the book feeling like there were some kernels of wisdom there, especially from her experience with making pretty minor changes (like appreciating him more and being more open about her needs) and having major results. She will probably help many people with this book, and that's a good thing!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Holly

    An anecdotal self-help book about a writer of self-help books who turns to self-help books in order to fix her marriage. The pros: This reads more like a memoir than a self help books, though it does include little nuggets of advice, some of which are good. Though the author has a successful blog, it does not read like a collection of blog posts. Hallelujah! I like that the author turned to books first to solve her problems, as any crisis in my life is also met with excessive reading. The cons: The b An anecdotal self-help book about a writer of self-help books who turns to self-help books in order to fix her marriage. The pros: This reads more like a memoir than a self help books, though it does include little nuggets of advice, some of which are good. Though the author has a successful blog, it does not read like a collection of blog posts. Hallelujah! I like that the author turned to books first to solve her problems, as any crisis in my life is also met with excessive reading. The cons: The book title reads like a self help book, which I'm sure is intended, but I'm not sure that this is really a self-help book. The advice seems very specific to her own marriage and situation and not super generalized. *Her previous self help books are like, "The 7 Day Slim Down" or "The 90 Second Fitness Solution." Like Eat, Pray, Love, I grew weary of her self-centeredness. "I'm not happy. Why aren't you making me happy???" is boring to read about. I realize that this is commenting on her specific marriage, but still...referring to your husband as "clueless, blockead, or numbnut" is not productive.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra Grabbe

    In Project Happily Ever After, Alisa Bowman analyzes why she got to a point in her marriage where she wished her husband dead and explains how she then sets out to remedy the situation. I admire her candor and determination to save the marriage, no matter what that might take. The key to a successful marriage, it seems, is good communication, something people do not always realize to be missing. I appreciated the easy take-home tips and suggestions on how to rekindle romance. Reading this book w In Project Happily Ever After, Alisa Bowman analyzes why she got to a point in her marriage where she wished her husband dead and explains how she then sets out to remedy the situation. I admire her candor and determination to save the marriage, no matter what that might take. The key to a successful marriage, it seems, is good communication, something people do not always realize to be missing. I appreciated the easy take-home tips and suggestions on how to rekindle romance. Reading this book will help a lot of married couples who have lost touch with their feelings for each other after the birth of children. I wish it had existed before I got my divorce.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Andy Bigley

    I found the book very engrossing! Bowman does an outstanding job of keeping the pace up throughout as she writes about her marriage sliding to the edge of a cliff and how she turns it around. Using a combination of humor and chagrin, she walks us through the motivation for, plan, and implementation of the project. But don’t let the light-hearted writing style fool you—serious medicine delivered in an industrial sized dose brings hope for those that choose to adopt the advice.. What could be a dry I found the book very engrossing! Bowman does an outstanding job of keeping the pace up throughout as she writes about her marriage sliding to the edge of a cliff and how she turns it around. Using a combination of humor and chagrin, she walks us through the motivation for, plan, and implementation of the project. But don’t let the light-hearted writing style fool you—serious medicine delivered in an industrial sized dose brings hope for those that choose to adopt the advice.. What could be a dry-as-sawdust clinical approach to marriage self-help, or an entertaining but far fetched melodrama, is instead one of the best practical methods I’ve read on options to act upon when facing the prospect of climbing out of a really deep hole with a marriage that appears most likely over. If you’re reading the book, it’s probably because you’re looking for advice and (hopefully) hope on how to turn things around and build confidence in yourself, your marriage, and the future. You are in the right place.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Alisha

    I feel like this book should be titled "the story of my marriage that went from shitty to tolerable." This isn't really a prescriptive book. I suppose there's some advice, but it's predominantly a personal story of one woman's marriage issues and how she dealt with it. It wasn't actually that bad, but the narrator on audible irritated the crap out of me. I feel like this book should be titled "the story of my marriage that went from shitty to tolerable." This isn't really a prescriptive book. I suppose there's some advice, but it's predominantly a personal story of one woman's marriage issues and how she dealt with it. It wasn't actually that bad, but the narrator on audible irritated the crap out of me.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sam Meeks

    I pulled so much wisdom from this book. 100% recommend for anyone in a relationship or not and for any stage you're at in either state. I pulled so much wisdom from this book. 100% recommend for anyone in a relationship or not and for any stage you're at in either state.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte

    I liked this book. It's the story of how she helped her marriage when she didn't like it that much. It's a little graphic. I liked this book. It's the story of how she helped her marriage when she didn't like it that much. It's a little graphic.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    I thought it would be another interesting memoir account of how to fix problems on your own, like "Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin (which I enjoyed a lot). A couple going through a crisis, the wife trying to save the marriage. Sounds reasonable and grown-up. But then I started to read it and... URRRGH. Two thoughts kept popping up in my head - "What's wrong with that woman? Is she for real?" and "If I had a partner like that, I'd strangle her." Grown-up? Mature? Reasonable? Basic communicat I thought it would be another interesting memoir account of how to fix problems on your own, like "Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin (which I enjoyed a lot). A couple going through a crisis, the wife trying to save the marriage. Sounds reasonable and grown-up. But then I started to read it and... URRRGH. Two thoughts kept popping up in my head - "What's wrong with that woman? Is she for real?" and "If I had a partner like that, I'd strangle her." Grown-up? Mature? Reasonable? Basic communication skills? Try to treat others the way you want them to treat you? Our heroine is far from any of those things. /Some spoilers ahead/ She reads her husband's diary. WTF?!??? That's really impolite and mean. I can't imagine trusting a person who reads other people's private notes (and who was expressly asked not to do so!) Her husband loses his job and she thinks he's a loser. Wow. That's warmness and support for you. She treats him like dirt and is annoyed he doesn't do everything she tells him to do around the house. She bugs him about looking for a job every single day. When he does find a job, she's not content (again, what a surprise) because now he's no longer at home all the time. He breaks his leg - instead of feeling sympathy, worry and/or rushing to the hospital she thinks about how annoying it is. Yes, annoying, because the princess won't be able to go on a dream vacation. And - horror of horrors! - she will have to take care of him. Wow. Frankly, this is the kind of reaction I would expect from some kind of a distant acquaintance, and not the person who's supposed to be closest to you. Her husband doesn't want children and she's ok with that until one day she changes her mind. And then she's soooo surprised he doesn't jump from happiness when she announces her pregnancy. *Facepalm* I could go on and on. To be fair, her husband does not sound like a very nice person either but with a wife like that, I'm not sure I can blame him. Seriously, the way Alisa portrays herself in that book is selfish to the extreme, capricious, arrogant, mean, super self-centered and expecting the whole world to a) do as she says b) revolve only around her c) guess what she thinks by means of telepathy because she can't be bothered to say it directly. How do you expect marriage (or any relationship for that matter) to work if you behave in this way?? I wasn't able to get to the "happily ever after" ending of the book and I couldn't see any point in forcing myself to read further. The advice which the author gives is something you can read in any glossy magazine's article on relationships. There were some good points but mostly it was quite primitive and obvious. Like "Listen to what your partner says" or "Ask for help". Really? I'm so surprised. Here I thought you should never listen to other people and that's the only way to relationship nirvana, and now you're telling me that's really not so :) There are some really great books about relationships, how they work - and how to save them when they don't. This book is most definitely NOT one of those. Unless, of course, you want to know some surefire ways to ruin your marriage. In which case just read the first part and closely follow Alisa's example. You'll get to your divorce with an astonishingly quick speed then :)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    I bought this book months ago because I read somewhere that it was like "The Happiness Project" for marriage. While I wouldn't say it was like that at all, it was a really funny and engaging book about a woman who saves her marriage by putting in a little old fashioned hard work. I think this book is marketed as a self help book but it read more like a memoir to me. The writing reminds me a bit of chick lit but I did find it to be an enjoyable read with a few kernels of good advice about marriag I bought this book months ago because I read somewhere that it was like "The Happiness Project" for marriage. While I wouldn't say it was like that at all, it was a really funny and engaging book about a woman who saves her marriage by putting in a little old fashioned hard work. I think this book is marketed as a self help book but it read more like a memoir to me. The writing reminds me a bit of chick lit but I did find it to be an enjoyable read with a few kernels of good advice about marriage thrown in!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Laura Khare

    It felt good to read this book. I, too, felt like I was raising my children all by myself. In fact, at times, it would have been better had I not been married. My husband was a workaholic and very me me me driven. I am so glad that she was so honest. Her efforts to try and improve her situation were not lost on me. I think the younger generations are really going to need this book as they juggle career and parenting in this new age of me me me. Children are losing out on the close relationships It felt good to read this book. I, too, felt like I was raising my children all by myself. In fact, at times, it would have been better had I not been married. My husband was a workaholic and very me me me driven. I am so glad that she was so honest. Her efforts to try and improve her situation were not lost on me. I think the younger generations are really going to need this book as they juggle career and parenting in this new age of me me me. Children are losing out on the close relationships that families once had.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    I picked this book up on a whim while I was rushing to check out at the library. I was pleasantly surprised by how entertaining I found it. I tend to enjoy books that show a persons "journey" to finding happiness (Eat,Pray,Love anyone?) and I loved how honest Bowman is in this book. I think I found this book to be a realistic fairy tale about how relationships may work. Bowman does give a few more details than I wanted to read. I picked this book up on a whim while I was rushing to check out at the library. I was pleasantly surprised by how entertaining I found it. I tend to enjoy books that show a persons "journey" to finding happiness (Eat,Pray,Love anyone?) and I loved how honest Bowman is in this book. I think I found this book to be a realistic fairy tale about how relationships may work. Bowman does give a few more details than I wanted to read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Camille Pagán

    I expected this book to be more like a conventional self-help title—i.e. "steps to save your marriage"—but instead I found a touching, funny, brutally honest memoir that I could really relate to, even as a happily married person. Bowman creates a compelling narrative that had me thinking long after I put this book down (and by "put it down," I mean I immediately handed it off to a relative, who read it in two days and then proceeded to give it to her friend—it's that good). I expected this book to be more like a conventional self-help title—i.e. "steps to save your marriage"—but instead I found a touching, funny, brutally honest memoir that I could really relate to, even as a happily married person. Bowman creates a compelling narrative that had me thinking long after I put this book down (and by "put it down," I mean I immediately handed it off to a relative, who read it in two days and then proceeded to give it to her friend—it's that good).

  13. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Nothing very insightful or original. I haven't read a ton of relationship, self-help books but this one was short and to the pont. My favorite relationship book to this day is How To Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It. If you're looking to improve your marriage or any relationship, I'd recommend this one above all others I've read. http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11... Nothing very insightful or original. I haven't read a ton of relationship, self-help books but this one was short and to the pont. My favorite relationship book to this day is How To Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It. If you're looking to improve your marriage or any relationship, I'd recommend this one above all others I've read. http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11...

  14. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    I read an article about this book and it sparked my curiosity. I figure reading a book about improving a marriage is never a bad idea. Right now, I have several close friends that are either on the brink of divorce or have already made that decision. I figure it's a good time to brush up on how to keep my marriage on track. So far, I'm really enjoying the read! I read an article about this book and it sparked my curiosity. I figure reading a book about improving a marriage is never a bad idea. Right now, I have several close friends that are either on the brink of divorce or have already made that decision. I figure it's a good time to brush up on how to keep my marriage on track. So far, I'm really enjoying the read!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kelli Hansen

    Loved this Book! She writes with so much humor and I felt like I could relate to everything she wrote. Great advise for bringing the spark back to your marriage even if it hasn't gotten that bad. Remembering why you love your spouse, how to show it and how to communicate better are things I constantly need to work on. Loved this Book! She writes with so much humor and I felt like I could relate to everything she wrote. Great advise for bringing the spark back to your marriage even if it hasn't gotten that bad. Remembering why you love your spouse, how to show it and how to communicate better are things I constantly need to work on.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sheba

    This book is SO awesome, and Alisa's blog is also fantastic (http://www.projecthappilyeverafter.com/). She had me laughing, crying, and screaming at her husband even when he had no idea why anyone would be screaming. I gleaned a lot from this book and her blog about how to participate in a marriage in a way that can get both partners what they want. I would recommend this book to EVERYONE! This book is SO awesome, and Alisa's blog is also fantastic (http://www.projecthappilyeverafter.com/). She had me laughing, crying, and screaming at her husband even when he had no idea why anyone would be screaming. I gleaned a lot from this book and her blog about how to participate in a marriage in a way that can get both partners what they want. I would recommend this book to EVERYONE!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    A humorous yet helpful and practical guide to keeping your marriage happy. Very engaging writing style. Loved her humor and one-line tips. Great tool to help u focus on all the things u love about your spouse rather than the daily frustration every couple feels.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Liz Ren

    To me it was just a basic self help didn't go too much into detail about the issues but gave okay guidelines to follow an steps to take to work things out. Seeing how the author went through a low point in their own marriage they want to share in what they learned in am assuming. To me it was just a basic self help didn't go too much into detail about the issues but gave okay guidelines to follow an steps to take to work things out. Seeing how the author went through a low point in their own marriage they want to share in what they learned in am assuming.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kirsten

    Quick, enjoyable, easy read.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Karissa

    Read this for my blog's Valentines feature. Great book. Couples should always be working on their relationship whether is is horrible, bad, good or FANTASTIC! Read this for my blog's Valentines feature. Great book. Couples should always be working on their relationship whether is is horrible, bad, good or FANTASTIC!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

    Not that I have a failing marriage, but reading this book can't hurt. It's always good to spice things up! Not that I have a failing marriage, but reading this book can't hurt. It's always good to spice things up!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lisbethlevine

    I'm still reading it, but this is the only self-help book I've ever read that I can't put down! Seriously, I'm up at night reading with my reading light until 2 a.m., it's THAT good. I'm still reading it, but this is the only self-help book I've ever read that I can't put down! Seriously, I'm up at night reading with my reading light until 2 a.m., it's THAT good.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Deb Hauer

    This book is a good idea for couples struggling to communicate. This gives ideas to try to improve your relationship.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jenmarshall

    Even a good marriage can use some work. This book gave me some ideas on improving communication and the quality of my own relationship. Highly recommend.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Aimee

    Read this with my Women on a Walk church group. Even though I am very happy in my marriage, I gained some awesome advice and life changing messages. Highly recimmr

  26. 5 out of 5

    Holland

    MUST reading for every married couple!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jackie Brown

    Not necessarily in a rough spot in my marriage but found this book to have good insight regardless. Easy read.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Green Butterfly

    Great and funny but true!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Champaign Public Library

    Anyone in a relationship, marriage, dating, etc., should read this book. It is hilarious, funny, witty and full of great advice!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Loreta Eggers

    I liked, pretty true to the different seasons of marriage. I married a great man, but that doesn't mean the marriage was always great. I liked, pretty true to the different seasons of marriage. I married a great man, but that doesn't mean the marriage was always great.

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