Author, archer, and writing mentor, Brandi Megan Granett is our special guest this week and I could not be more excited to bring you marriage wisdom from her brilliant and articulate mind!
Brandi’s latest book, Triple Love Score, just came out and was described by Kirkus Reviews as, “An entertaining romance novel with an engrossing plot, a conflicted heroine, and a couple of surprising, poignant takeaways…”
Entertaining, engrossing and surprising, that sounds like my kind of book and I can’t wait to dig into it!
Brandi married her best friend after her first marriage fell apart and is proof that second chances can lead to a thriving, creative, loving life and marriage.
Tell us about yourself in 5 sentences…
I’m an author, archer, mother and wife. My third novel, Triple Love Score, which I wrote during my courtship and early marriage to my husband, Avram, was just released. When I am not writing or teaching or mothering, I am practicing archery. I recently received the all clear after a battle with Lyme Disease, so I am eagerly back to shooting my compound bow. Professionally, I love helping my students reach their dreams, whether it is in the college classroom or through private mentoring.
Tell us about your latest project…
My latest project is Triple Love Score, a novel about a poet forced to make some choices in her life. One of the choices she makes is about writing.
She started to compose poems on a Scrabble board. It starts off as playing, but it turns into something really meaningful to her. What I hope Miranda’s experience illuminates for others is the ability to start small.
I am working on a seminar to teach people how to tell one good story. Just the basics of telling a captivating story either to share a lesson, build their brand, meet a mate online, or as a precursor to writing a novel or memoir.
Why do you do what you do?
Very simply—I love helping people reach their dreams, and I love creating things.
I write novels to share my vision of the world and to explore new avenues.
I teach others about writing to help them express themselves and so they can reach their career and professional goals.
I also believe that writing skills can help people in their personal lives. Learning how to prepare a persuasive argument or critically think through a situation can really come in handy for a marriage!
One of my favorite management principles is “Stop, Start, Keep” the idea is that there are things we should stop doing, start doing and keep doing that will make us successful.
What should we “stop, start, and keep” to make our relationships stronger?
We should stop assuming we know what the other person is thinking. We should start talking. And we should keep having fun.
If you talk instead of assume, amazing growth and connection can happen.
If you build fun into your life, you give that connection a reason to flourish and grow.
The secret to a happy marriage is…laughing together and lots and lots of talking. If you find ways to have fun and express yourself, your union can add to your life in countless ways.
What I know is true about love is…that is can be easier than we are lead to believe. Love doesn’t have to be a hard fought thing; it can be found in the easy going relationships you might overlook.
The single most important thing we can do for the person we love is… listen. A basic human need is to be heard.
The biggest myth about marriage is… that it is hard work. I have an unpopular opinion that maybe marriage is so hard because we’ve bought into that myth; perhaps marriage (to the right person) can be joyful and easy.
Note from Maggie – I agree! It CAN be joyful and easy. You can do life and marriage hard and painful or joyful and easy…while you can’t control your circumstances, you can ALWAYS control how you approach them.
We all go through hard moments, but we don’t need to live hard lives. If marriage consistently feels hard, that is a sign that a different action or perspective is needed.
I can create a life I love by…making choices. Sometimes you need to carefully consider your life and prioritize what really matters to you—whether it is about your marriage, your family, or your profession. We have more choice than we allow ourselves to realize.
What is the best piece of advice you ever got? How did you use it? Go to bed at the same time. I never would have thought something as simple a sharing a bed time would mean so much, but some of the sweetest moments of our day come when we climb into bed together—and I don’t just mean sex!
What is your favorite thing about being married? My favorite thing about being married is terribly corny.
I love being with my best friend at night. We get into bed and talk over the day and invariably wind up laughing and stay up way too late.
Another note from Maggie – This is one of my favorite things too! It feels like a sleepover with my favorite person every night. I actually tell my hubby I can’t wait to see him again tomorrow just about every night.
What has surprised you the most about marriage?
I literally married my best friend. Avram and I were friends since we were 19 years old, only marrying after my divorce at 38.
After 19 years of friendship, I expected our marriage to be just an extension of that friendship. I never realized that we could find a whole other level to our relationship. I thought we already had a great relationship; marrying made it deeper and better on so many levels from the physical to the emotional.
And I feel like those years of friendship really paid off—our ability to talk through everything helps tremendously.
How do you stay connected to your spouse? I find that prioritizing physical connection helps us to stay connected. Instead of letting a week or two go by without being intimate, we operate under the assumption that physical intimacy is an option every other night.
While this doesn’t always happen, it is nice to start the evening with a possible yes than wondering whether one of us will take steps to initiate. Instead of being something we have to negotiate each day, the possibility of intimacy is a given.
We talk a lot on this blog about re-defining marriage – can you share something you and your spouse do that makes sense for you (but may not make sense to someone else)?
Since this isn’t my first marriage, and we are both older, we have seen a lot of marriages destruct. One of the big reasons for divorce and marital stress is the pressures that money and jobs create in a home.
We face these pressures with open eyes and a fairly obsessive system for planning income and tracking expenses.
We share an app on our phones of electronic envelopes and record everything we spend.
This lets us have a unified financial picture with transparency in spending and many conversations about budgets and decision-making.
We evaluate the budgets every year. This type of rigorous set-up might be a lot for some people, but I feel like taking away the power of money from our relationship helps us to focus on the more important things.
Brandi Megan Granett is an author, online English professor, and writing coach. She earned her Ph.D. in Creative Writing at Aberystwyth University and her MFA in Fiction from Sarah Lawrence College. Her latest novel, Triple Love Score, was just published by Wyatt-Mackenzie and is available now. When she is not writing or teaching or mothering, you will find her on the archery range.
If you want to read more about the book, click here to go to Triple Love Score’s Amazon’s page to read more and order online.
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