by Alisa

Dogs are more fun!

Dogs are more fun!


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I started this site because I didn’t want anyone to feel the shame, loneliness and despair that I felt when trying to fix what, to me, seemed like an impossible-to-save marriage. You are not alone. You are not a failure. You are not a bad person. Your life is not over. You deserve happiness and you can find it. I want you to know that. This is what else I’d like you to know:

  • I am not a counselor, professor, therapist, researcher, or academic. I am merely a journalist, one who saved her marriage and learned a ton in the process. If you want advice from someone with lots of academic letters after her name, this site might not be what you are looking for.
  • This site isn’t just about marriage. I also write about happiness, balance, spirituality, and parenthood. It’s my belief that they are all intertwined. Because of my study and practice of Buddhism, I often write about how to release negativity (envy, anger, attachment, pride, greed) and how to embrace positive thoughts, emotions and actions such as selfless giving, compassion, and equanimity. Those posts are often labeled “The Karma Project.”
  • I earn very little income from this site, and most of what I earn I reinvest into the site. As a result, I sometimes have a hard time balancing the needs of this site with the needs of my full-time work as a freelance journalist, my family, and outside interests (meditation, reading ,and yoga). Because of this, I post erratically and don’t always respond to all of my emails. I wish I were more consistent. Some day I hope to be.
  • Many people spell and say my name incorrectly. This does not offend me, but it often embarrasses others when they learn that they’ve been calling me the wrong name for years. My first name is Alisa (not Alison, Alice, Alisha, Alissa, or Alyssa) and is pronounced like Mon Alisa (Mona Lisa) or ah-lease-a. My mother, who grew up in the Bronx, pronounces it slightly differently, “Ah-lease-er,” but only she is allowed to say it that way. My brothers and people who know me from childhood call me Leace or Leacey.
  • Random facts about me: I love dogs and currently own one, a Beagle/Bulldog that we adopted from a shelter. She’s a very bad behaving dog and, as a result, makes her way into many of my posts. I have an on-again, off-again relationship with coffee. I meditate regularly, study Buddhism and teach meditation in the New Kadampa tradition. I love to read novels, memoir, science books, and books about meditation, consciousness and the inner workings of the mind. I also practice yoga.
  • Random facts about my career: I write a relationships column for Prevention magazine, a health column for the Morning Call newspaper and regular features for a number of consumer magazines. I’m also a ghost writer and co-author of many books. You can learn more about my writing at AlisaBowman.com.
  • Some random facts about ProjectHappilyEverAfter.com: The name of the site and the related book is Project: Happily Ever After (not Happily Ever After). This site was chosen as one of the 100 blogs to visit before you die and voted a top 10 marriage blog three years in a row. Reader’s Digest named me one of the most inspirational woman bloggers on the Internet.

More About Me

If you have a lot of time on your hands, you are welcome to read this 5 part story of my life. It’s about 5,000 words long and takes you on a journey from Fourth Grade, when I wanted to be President of the United States, until the summer of 2009, when this blog was 11 months old. Part 5 is a collection of my best life, writing and blogging advice. You can learn more about my career here. If you are an aspiring writer, all of my advice on how to become a professional writer is in this post.

The Story of Alisa, Part 1

The Story of Alisa Part 2

The Story of Alisa, Part 3

The Story of Alisa, Part 4

The Story of Alisa, Part 5


{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Amber Lewter May 27, 2011 at 10:53 pm

It is so inspiring to hear that you and your husband were willing to invest an entire year toward improving your relationship. As a relationship/couples therapist, I see so many couples that want a quick fix and think that things can/should be improved in a couple of weeks. If people spend years of their lives detrioriating or wrecking their marriages, it will take more than a few weeks to get things back to good. Thanks for taking your story and sharing it with others.


Kel June 22, 2011 at 4:27 pm

I can’t believe I found this blog. I am right now feeling exactly what you described in your “about” page. I’m blown away. I thought I was a horrible, terrible person to feel like that. Just knowing that someone else felt that way is……saving my sanity.
I haven’t read much else yet. But that alone has made all the difference for me.
Thank you so much for sharing that.
I am so ready to start my own year long project. Any tips on where to start?


Alisa June 26, 2011 at 7:45 pm

Kel– Same for you. Welcome to the site. You are normal and in good company. I do a fairly regular Marriage Challenge once a week here on the site, so you might find those good as a place to start. Or look try the Save Your Marriage series (there are links to it from the land page).


Jennie June 25, 2011 at 8:58 pm

I read Project Happily Ever After this weekend and let me just say I’m not a fan of reading, but this one I couldn’t put down! You described exactly what my husband and myself have been going through. There are a lot of pressures out there telling couples to divorce, move on, and not look back. I believe that it takes more guts and strength to stay with it and make it work. thank you for showing me that I’m not entirely crazy! Thank you for your story!


Alisa June 26, 2011 at 7:43 pm

Jennie–You are not crazy. Or, if you are, you’ve got plenty of company. Welcome to the site and thanks so much for the kind words about the book. Hang in there! I wish you much success and happiness. If you feel comfortable doing so, the book could use some spreading the word. Tell a friend. Leave a review online. Tell folks about it on FB. Pick it for book club. Anything like that would really help. Thanks so much!


Cat August 17, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Oh my goodness….and here I thought I was the only one who was so morbid! My husband and I are having a tough time right now and I often think of how much easier it would be if he just disappeared.
Thank you for motivating me to work hard to make things right, as opposed to just sitting around hoping it will be taken care of for me.


Abby August 25, 2011 at 5:06 am

I’ve been married for 10 years, 10 long painful years in which I strangely never stopped loving my husband. I just reached a point where I knew I had given up on him because he didn’t know how to be a husband. I thought I was losing my mind with the horrid things that ran through my mind. Alisa, you’ve made me feel human again. I can’t thank you enough for being so honest about yourself. In doing that you’ve made feel not so alone anymore.

You showed me that it is possible to go from sheer desperation to having a good marriage again. You’ve given me some hope, and I wish you the best for your future. May it always go well for you.


Gilbert September 3, 2011 at 11:31 pm

I need help..and everything im trying from reading many articles and stuff doesn’t seem to work. Should I just let go


Alisa September 4, 2011 at 9:22 am

Hi Gilbert– no one can tell you what to do or not do. Only you have a handle on your own situation. I hope you find at least a little comfort in the community here. There are lots of people here who are in your same situation.


Brandy October 12, 2011 at 10:41 pm

OH MY!!! Just what I have been looking for. My husband and I re-married after a nasty divorce. Since then we have added a 2nd child and our marriage is going strong. I started my blog to tell people about what we went through and how we got over and past it! Thank you for sharing and I cant wait to read all your blogs!!!


Just in case my hubby ever stumbles across this blog October 20, 2011 at 3:35 pm

I’ve wished my hubby wouldn’t come home on numerous occasions! Probably too many to count! It will be interesting to see if both he/I can change with some reading (on my part – he won’t go down that path)! Looking forward to reading about your journey and how you got to where you are!


Nikki October 30, 2011 at 7:09 pm

I too was subconsciously planning/wishing for my husband’s exit (so sad to admit that). I am so happy that I found your site. A friend sent it to me a few months back after my husband and I separated of course I lost the information during my transition. Neither one of us wants a divorce, however we can’t live with one another at this time. Throw in three kids (two of which aren’t his) and a 3 year old with special needs it’s no wonder we’re apart. Your book is giving me hope that we can make things work if we both put in the time and effort.Thanks for sharing your experiences. I just ordered your book and can’t wait to power up my kindle.


Eder December 18, 2011 at 5:48 pm

Olá Alisa, muito obrigado pelos conselhos. Eu e minha esposa estamos iniciando nosso Projeto Felizes para Sempre. Temos fé que, assim como você, conseguiremos superar nossas dificuldades.

Muito obrigado


Stacie February 11, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Alisa, I can totally relate to your first line. I often think of how different my life would be without my husband. I recently just started a blog of my own as just a way to get my feelings out there. I am hoping to heal by doing so. I expect it to be a long journey.

I am glad you were able to work it out and I am working on it as well. I look forward to reading more of your blog.


Melody February 27, 2012 at 11:59 am

My marriage counselor recommended your book when I told him it would not bother me one bit to receive a phone call saying that my husband of nearly 20 years had died in an auto accident. I was so upset with myself for feeling that way. He immediately recommended your book. It was such a relief to know I wasn’t the only wife wishing her husband dead. I read your book in 3 days and had to remind myself that it was not fiction. I couldn’t put it down. Trying to save a marriage that I really have no hope for is the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do.


Marina June 26, 2012 at 1:45 am

I am reading your book about familly and I am happy that i find this book! I am from Russia.(Sorry for my English). Your story is real. It`s not psyhology, it`s a real life. Thank you!


Deena January 19, 2013 at 8:39 am

I am a 35 year old mother of 3 girls. Their ages are 6,2, 4 months. My husband and I love eachother very much. We became pregnant just 4 months into our relationship. Ever since I became pregnant, I had issues with sex. My maternal feelings completely overshadow any sexual feelings. My husband feels that if I desired him enough then that would quiet the maternal feelings down. He feels very rejected because I constantly fall asleep in my daughters beds and avoid sex with him. I crave the intimacy deeply yet find myself avoiding sex. I feel horrible. History wise, before my husband I never had healthy loving sexual relationships. They were simply sex and unfulfiling. Any advise?


Weronika April 5, 2013 at 8:54 am

“Plan zyc dlugo i szczesliwie” fantastyczna ksiazka dla kazdego!Kupilam ja w Empiku i czytalam jadac w aucie az zrobilo sie ciemno i akurat byl to moment jak Alisa wybrala sie z mezem do hotelu po polrocznej przerwie w seksie. Nie moglam wytrzymac, po 11 godzinnej podrozy w aucie moj maz i corka spali na dobre a ja zaczelam dalej czytac!
Poprostu swietnie!Teraz planuje kupic pare ksizek ktore Alisa proponuje!Bede probowac nie zabic mojego meza :-)
Alisa I love you!


Alisa April 5, 2013 at 8:57 am

Thanks! I translated your comment from Polish to English, but the last word I can’t quite figure out: “Plan to live happily ever after “a fantastic book for anyone! I bought and I was reading in Empik driving by in a car and on it got dark and it was a moment just like Alisa went with her ​​husband to the hotel after half-year break in sex. Could not stand, after 11 hours Travelling in the car, my husband and daughter slept for a good while I read further I started!
Just great! Now he plans to buy a few ksizek which suggests Alisa! I will try not to kill my mez.” I wish you much success and happiness. So thrilled to hear you are enjoying the book.


Monika June 23, 2013 at 11:27 am

Przeczytałam Twoją książkę. Trudno mi znaleźć słowa aby wyraziły jaka to świetna książka. Wiele zdań daje do myślenia. Dzięki tej książce wiele sobie uświadomiłam. Niestety za późno… Mój związek nie dało się uratować bo partner nie chciał. Żałuję, że nie miałam okazji wcześniej przeczytać tej książki… Chcąc podzielić się tą wspaniałą historią ruszyłam książkę w obieg moich koleżanek. Mam nadzieję, że im ta historia pomoże podczas kryzysu w związku, skłoni do rozmyślania, skłoni do ciągłej pracy nad związkiem i uświadomi im, że nie są same z tymi problemami i że można je rozwiązać. Dziękuję Tobie za napisanie tej książki i gratuluje Tobie i mężowi za odwagę. Pozdrawiam serdecznie


Renee September 7, 2013 at 3:21 am

Love your site Alisa! Keep up the good work! :)


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