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How to Raise a Husband: A Whole Bunch of Ways to Build a Strong and Happy Marriage [NOOK Book]


"Because of the thoughts behind this book, I have realized my complete self. I never knew how happy I could be. I am so thankful. Did I get that right, honey?" -The Author's Husband 

How to Raise a Husband is not your average ?men are from one planet, women from another? kind of relationship book. Tonilyn Hornung offers an extremely personal collection of wisdom from six married women that?s like advice from your very best (and ...
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How to Raise a Husband: A Whole Bunch of Ways to Build a Strong and Happy Marriage

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"Because of the thoughts behind this book, I have realized my complete self. I never knew how happy I could be. I am so thankful. Did I get that right, honey?" -The Author's Husband 

How to Raise a Husband is not your average “men are from one planet, women from another” kind of relationship book. Tonilyn Hornung offers an extremely personal collection of wisdom from six married women that’s like advice from your very best (and most trusted) girlfriends. The stories shared are those that most wives tend to keep to themselves, inspiring the reader to rise to each challenge and learn more about themselves in the process. Through bonding over shared experience—never through "man-bashing"—readers will find inspired growth, happiness, and deeper love and respect with their spouse.

Today’s wives find themselves in uncharted marital territory simply trying their best to maintain—to maintain a loving relationship, a peaceful household, and an emptied dishwasher. Wives are continually on the lookout for that extra bit of insight that can take them to a new level of understanding or simply to help them get through a hectic day. 

Completely nag-free, How to Raise a Husband offers a unique approach by incorporating the honesty of six experts (real wives) with one unifying voice (the author’s) to assist and entertain, all the while providing deep and valuable insight into the less-talked-about issues of marriage. From honest communication to knowing the difference between when to compromise and if you are compromising yourself, and how to know when it's appropriate to wear your Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader uniform, How to Raise a Husband gives practical advice and encouragement on marriage that will unite women across the globe 

Tonilyn Hornung is one of Skirt! magazine’s most popular bloggers; she also blogs for Pregnancy and Newborn magazine. She graduated with a BFA in Musical Theater from Boston Conservatory and has performed professionally around the country. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, new baby, three pets, and never enough closest space. Visit her online at

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"How to Raise a Husband teaches the way to more love and harmony through the use of personal stories meant to inspire the reader. It's both fun to read and practical in the lessons it presents." --Jonathan Robinson, author of Communication Miracles for Couples and Find Happiness Now

"This book reads like the television series Friends. You grow to love the characters because you recognize yourself in them. The archetypes are funny, relatable, recognizable, and real. And even though I'd like to think of myself as 'a Sophie,' I am mostly 'a Christine.'" --Stephanie J. Block, star of Wicked and other Broadway hits, and Tony-nominated actress

"Get ready for some practical advice on topics you're likely to confront pre-"I do," like how to teach your boyfriend to come when you call, and post-nuptial, including how to take the raw material (a man) and turn him into a real husband (one who isn't ashamed of his "inner housekeeper"). Funny, witty, and wise, these women tell it like it is, with practical examples and lots of laughter." -Kristine Morris, Foreword Reviews

"Funny, brutally honest, and inspiring! And who knew?It turns out that my 'favorite person' is not the only one who is supposed to do the compromising in our marriage. (Although it might be a lifelong journey to decide who picks his socks up off the floor.) A great read!" --Robyn Okrant, author of Living Oprah: My One-Year Experiment to Walk the Walk of the Queen of Talk

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781609259495
  • Publisher: Red Wheel/Weiser
  • Publication date: 4/1/2014
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 1,304,627
  • File size: 732 KB

Meet the Author

Tonilyn Hornung is one of Skirt! magazine’s most popular bloggers; she also blogs for Pregnancy and Newborn magazine. She graduated with a BFA in Musical Theater from Boston Conservatory and has performed professionally around the country. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, new baby, three pets, and never enough closest space. Visit her online at  
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Read an Excerpt


By Tonilyn Hornung

Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC

Copyright © 2014 Tonilyn Hornung
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-60925-949-5


The Thrill of the Chase

How to get your boyfriend to come when you call

Tonilyn and Michael

My boyfriend doesn't come when I call.

It's strange. What boyfriend wouldn't want to respond to my siren-like calls of "HEY YOU!" echoing down the hall? There must be something wrong with his hearing. At first when I posed this theory to myself, it seemed unlikely. Michael can hear his phone ring from the next room, and he can make out the pizza guy's knock from the backyard. But then after watching Star Wars for the thirty-ninth time together, it finally hit me—the television.

My boyfriend's television set is turned up so loud it shakes the walls of the house and the brain inside my head. Maybe he really can't hear the subtle explosion of the Death Star. Maybe he has trouble making out Red Leader telling the X-Wing squadron he'd just lost his starboard engine. It's possible. This would certainly explain why I need earplugs to watch a movie with him.

Being the clever and fair-minded girlfriend that I am, I decided to conduct a little hearing test of my own. I wouldn't want to falsely accuse Michael of not listening to me if he couldn't, in fact, listen to me. So, I came up with what I thought was a foolproof test of my boyfriend's hearing.

I now know that at a distance of twenty feet, separated by an entire room, my boyfriend can make out whispered key words and phrases such as "dinner is ready," "the Dallas Cowboys," or "Lando Calrissian." When I speak these magic words, my boyfriend responds immediately, bounding into whatever room I happen to be in.

"Did you call me?"

His hearing is fine. Why then doesn't he come when I call?

Shouting his name doesn't work. There was a time I tried silkily shouting "Michael" lovingly and beautifully through the house after him. My light soprano-like trills echoed down the hall like Snow White singing into her wishing well. How is it then that my handsome prince of a boyfriend did not mount a dignified steed and immediately ride to my rescue? The only explanation: All the dignified steeds had been rented that day.

For a week or so, I tried disguising my voice and shouting a manly, staccato "HEY!" from his bedroom to the living room. I hoped I might be mistaken for one of his male roommates. Michael responds to their manly "HEY!" cries regarding pizza and socks much quicker than my more womanly bellows about date night and the guy at work who upset me. No matter how I tried to alter my voice, I couldn't get it right. I sounded like a cold-ridden version of Miss Piggy.

I've tried calling his name lovingly. I've tried calling his name urgently. I've tried calling him names. Nothing. I am shouting into The Darkness where tiny bathroom objects (like my elastic ponytail holders) and socks from the dryer are pulled in to disappear forever. My voice is lost in the cavernous Void.

What if it were an honest-to-God emergency? What if I were sitting in the living room and the window valance suddenly fell on top of me?! What if I were trapped with only mere seconds before the purple window treatment cut off my much needed air supply? Just to be on the safe side, along with hollering for Michael to come and rescue me, I think I'd also cry out for Robert Downey Jr. to come save me. I figure Mr. Jr. is just as likely to hear my wails and rescue me as my boyfriend is. (And autograph my Weird Science poster.)

It would be so much easier for me if I could place this issue high upon the Trivial Things in a Relationship shelf. Other issues on this shelf include endearing dating quirks like making sure I return his CDs to their original cases. For some reason it's important to Michael that his CDs be in the matching case. (My CDs tend to migrate from non-matching case to non-matching case, so my collection is full of surprises.) Or even smaller quirks like my having to place Michael's dental floss back the way I found it—behind the bathroom faucet, label side against the wall, like it's awaiting execution—lest I receive a long lecture regarding the proper placement of his things.

I can't seem to reach the shelf with this selective hearing foible.


In the silence, there is hope. For every scream that escapes my throat, I wonder if this will be the one that is answered.

When I was a kid, thunderstorms were not my favorite thing. (I liked them slightly more than the evil Skeksis from The Dark Crystal.) I would lie awake in bed thinking that this next lightning strike would bring about my instant demise. In an effort to allay my fears, my dad taught me how to "count the storm." I'd see the lightning brighten up my room, and then I'd start counting to ten, hoping I would reach past five. The higher I could count, the farther away the storm would be, and the safer I would feel. Once safely past the number five, I could breathe a sigh of relief. And happily return to my dreams of Han Solo.

This counting system worked so well as a child that I decided to employ it with my boyfriend. After my beautiful operatic-like scream for Michael, I count. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten.... In this case, however, the opposite rings true—the higher I count, the worse I feel.

Still, giddy with anticipation, I wait. My stomach has that all-too-familiar excited feeling that it gets the night before the Black Friday Macy's sale.

Ears pricked, I listen for an answer. I wait to hear a loving, "WHAT?!" ring back down the hall. Or better yet, maybe my strapping young fellow will stop buying Star Wars action figures on eBay long enough to come see what I need.

Or not.

In the silence, there is also silence. I know my boyfriend can hear me. I know he is choosing not to respond. I know he is not choosing me.

"Why don't you come when I call?"

I hear the question in my head daily, but I can't seem to make my mouth form the words. It seems more like a question for my dog than my boyfriend. This would be why I haven't asked him—my boyfriend, not my dog. I know why my dog doesn't come when I call him—I'm not made of Milk-Bones. I don't know why my boyfriend won't come—but I'm afraid to ask and I'm afraid of his answer.

When Michael calls for me, I answer. I stop whatever it is that I'm doing because he is more important than my Project Runway watching and more important than Oreo eating—barely. I want him to know this. I want him to know that I'm there when he needs me—even if it's only to approve his t-shirt choice for the day. I come when he calls. Why doesn't he come when I call?

"HEY, Michael!"

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten ...


Walking down the hall in search of my wandering boyfriend signals my defeat. I trudge down the corridor trying to hide my disappointment.

I am chasing him.

I want to be chased.

Michael forgets to talk to me. Well, really it's not that he forgets to talk to me—it's that he forgets to listen to me. He forgets to ask about my day. He forgets to ask my opinion. He forgets. Enough that I notice. And that's when the yelling down the hall starts.

I'm calling so that I can share my day, or the random thought I had, or how I dreamt about Chewbacca speaking German again. I dream of a world where Michael hangs on my every word. (Or at least ten out of every 12,564 of them.)

"How come you never come when I call?" I practiced on my dog and finally got the nerve to say it to my boyfriend.

"What do you mean?"

"I mean, how come when I yell your name, so I can tell you something exciting and interesting, you don't respond?"

"I'm doing stuff," he answered while still staring at the computer screen, "I can't break my concentration like that. I have to get to a stopping point ..." His voice trailed off ...

A stopping point? Isn't a stopping point a stopping point? His stopping point always seems to be sometime next week. But now since we've touched on the subject, maybe he'll make more of an effort to answer.


One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten ...

Or not.

Are my conversational skills that mundane? I try to introduce subjects that interest both of us. Appealing subjects like why The Empire Strikes Back is the best of the original trilogy or boobs. I love Star Wars, and I have boobs. I can't think of a more winning combination than that for a guy.

Like a clever Victorian hostess, I add these subjects on at the end of my monologue about why I cried in traffic yesterday and why the lady who yelled at her dogs in the park made me so mad. My choice of closing topics ends our conversation with a brilliant discussion that leaves us laughing. I feel valued. I always leave my audience wanting more. So, why then won't he come when I call?


I see my mistake.

"Michael! The Empire Strikes Back is on ..."

It would seem that my boyfriend responds best to certain specific stimuli.

"Did you call me?"

"Yeah. But before we watch, let me tell you about the crazy dream I had last night ..."


Race to the Rings

How to survive pressure from your partner

Christine and Danny

The day I never imagined would happen is happening. My wedding day. I never imagined it would happen because I never imagined it would happen. Too bad my fiancé has already set the date, sent out our wedding invitations, and gone on our honeymoon. I didn't imagine this.

Love has many different speeds, and Danny's is set on warp drive. My fiancé is super excited to tie the knot. All the bridal magazines Danny has given me tell me that this is a good thing. According to the latest issue of Today's Bride, along with lemon wedding cake being the hip new thing, wedding planning can actually make a man nervous. This is something I have yet to experience, so I'll take Today's Bride at its word. Why would the magazine lie about men or cake?

Getting married was never a subject Danny avoided—like one article Today's Bride explores, "Marriage: A Subject Men Avoid." The article goes on to discuss how some impatient girlfriends give their boyfriends marital ultimatums or deviously tape tiny photos of diamond rings to their man's deodorant in an effort to encourage a walk down the aisle. I never had to drop one single marital hint.

Danny was ready.

So was I. I thought.

"Christine, when are we setting the date?"

"I ..."

"Christine, when are we picking the church?"

"I ..."

"Christine, when are we going to register?"

"I ..."

"Christine, when are we going to have our engagement party?"

"I ..."

A plate of cooked vegetables freaks out my fiancé more than planning our wedding. If only Danny could eat his green beans with as much speed and gusto as he peruses wedding invitation fonts.

While I'm happily envisioning what our font might look like, Danny is asking, "How about this one," waiting for me to give him a final verdict. (I didn't even know there was a font called Plantagenet Cherokee.) I'm not ready to decide. I'm ready to dream!

Unlike the other nine-year-olds in my fourth-grade class, I never dreamt about my big day in puff paint, magazine clippings, and giggles. Why go through the hassle of planning a Hawaiian-themed wedding only to discover I'm not going to marry Magnum P.I.? I decided I'd start fantasizing once I met my fiancé. So, now I've met my fiancé. (Yay!) I'm officially ready to start dreaming! (Yay!) Danny is ready to start deciding. (Boo.) His usual Internet searches have changed from "Iron Man vs. Agent Mulder" to "Baseball-shaped groom's cake" and "Iron Man boutonniere." Our upcoming nuptials have lit a fire under Danny like I've never seen. The problem is I may suffocate from all the smoke. How am I going to survive all of this Partner Pressure?

In my estimation, Partner Pressure is a much more intense and slightly less subtle version of peer pressure. Like every straight-haired girl of the 1980s, I too experienced peer pressure in school. This stress took the form of trying to make my bangs defy gravity. It was nothing a teasing comb and massive amounts of Salon Selectives hairspray couldn't fix. However, taller bangs didn't prepare me for the kind of stress a bride-to-be can feel while trying to be a bride.

Today's Bride hinted that a bride can feel massive amounts of pressure while planning a wedding. Strangely, the article "Pressure a Bride Can Feel," alluded more to the bride's immediate family as a cause of tension. The article went on to say that sometimes even a mother-in-law can step in and give her opinion more freely than is comfortable, thus causing difficulty. I have yet to find an article on the groom creating unwanted anxiety and dizziness.

I've never been a person to make fast decisions. I like to feel things out. I like to take the problem home and sleep on it. My fiancé, on the other hand, knows what he wants and he wants it now—much like how he knew he wanted me.

In the middle of a party, a slightly drunken version of my now fiancé professed his undying love for me and our unborn children. We'd only been friends for a few of months, so this came as quite the campfire confession. It might have even been romantic except for the part where he was drunk. With lightning speed, Danny moved from the more accepted "Boy this fire sure is hot," and "Would you like another marshmallow?" campfire small talk to confessing that I was his soul mate with pretty eyes.

This was a lot of information to throw at a girl! I needed time to process. I needed to take that revelatory news home and sleep on it. Cuddle with it. Put it under my pillow—for a year. It took me one whole year before we went out on an official date.

All right, it could be I'm a little slow to process things. But I can make decisions. On the spot, I can decide what dessert to eat. I can decide what color pants to wear. I can decide to marry my boyfriend. Still there are some instances when I need that extra little space to mull it over. Today's Bride says it's all right to weigh my bridal decisions carefully—to take my time while deciding on chair cover colors. I wish my fiancé thought the same thing.

"Christine, we really need to set a date."

"Honey, can't we just enjoy being engaged?"

Confusion spread across his face—like I'd just taken away his Happy Meal and offered him a vegetable stir-fry.

"Sure we can."

Ah, sweet relief.

"But we really need to set a date."

"We really need to set a date," has become the bane of my conversational existence. I can't have a conversation that doesn't begin or end with those six little words and a woozy feeling.

"Christine, we really need to set a date. What's for dinner?"

"Christine, we really need to set a date. Are we going out tonight?"

"Christine, which Iron Man movie are you in the mood for? We really need to set a date."

Every time the subject is broached, my face turns into a frozen mask (much like Iron Man's), and I stand there stiff and tense. Since Danny and I took so long to get to our first official date, maybe he's afraid I'll never make a wedding decision. It's a possible reason why he's in such a hurry to walk down the ... ahem ... run down the aisle. I want to give him the answer he so needs to hear. But I'd really like to take a second to get used to the weight of the engagement ring on my finger first.


Excerpted from HOW TO RAISE A HUSBAND by Tonilyn Hornung. Copyright © 2014 Tonilyn Hornung. Excerpted by permission of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents


Part I: The Pre-Husbandraic Ages: Before They Were Husbands,
Chapter 1: The Thrill of the Chase: How to get your boyfriend to come when you call,
Chapter 2: Race to the Rings: How to survive pressure from your partner,
Chapter 3: My Favorite Person: How to stay cool in a heated discussion,
Chapter 4: Testing the Tattooed Waters: How to apply a fake tattoo and test your new boyfriend's staying power,
Chapter 5: An Imperfect Match: How to deal with a competitive boyfriend and win,
Chapter 6: Will You Be Mine?: How to make Valentine's Day a romantic holiday Husband Raising 101,
Part II: Can You Please Turn Down the Stereotype?: When Husbands Act Like Guys,
Chapter 7: Role Playing: How to get your husband to move manly boxes and other girlie things,
Chapter 8: The Collector (of Messes): How to inspire your husband to pick up his toys,
Chapter 9: The Second Coming: How to deal with a threesome—you, your husband, and your mother-in-law,
Chapter 10: Doing It Yourself: How to clean and organize your husband,
Chapter 11: The One Thing Boys Want: How to bring more romance into your marriage,
Chapter 12: A Brief History: How to show your husband what the washer and dryer are for,
Chapter 13: Playing the Game: How to achieve a high score in your gamer's life,
Chapter 14: Tour L'Amour á la Kitchen: How to meet in the middle (or at least in the kitchen),
Chapter 15: Will Trade Sex for Clean Floors: How to "encourage" your husband's inner housekeeper out into your house Husband Raising 101,
Part III: Frankly, My Dear, I Want You to Give a Damn: Bringing Out the Love in Any Situation,
Chapter 16: Let Them Eat Cake: How to retain your sense of self while baking,
Chapter 17: Kid Stuff: How to get your husband to share parental responsibilities,
Chapter 18: The Husbandry of Mind Reading: How to read your husband's mind. (I knew you were going to say that.),
Chapter 19: The Marriage Sommelier: How to reignite a loving connection in your marriage,
Chapter 20: The Football Widow: How to feel important in your partnership,
Chapter 21: Not Waiting for Waits: How to stay true to yourself when your husband wants you to stay true to him,
Chapter 22: Money Matters: How to share one income between two people,
Chapter 23: For Better or for Worst: How to work through the tough times,
Chapter 24: The Puppy Gene Syndrome: How to bring out the puppy love in your husband Husband Raising 101,
Part IV: Raising 'Em Right: Finding Balance,
Chapter 25: Al Right to Cry: Finding your true self,
Chapter 26: Write All Along: Finding belief in yourself and in your husband,
Chapter 27: The Social Butterfly: Finding the support you need,
Chapter 28: A Woman's Work Is Done: Finding teamwork in your marriage,
Chapter 29: The One That I Want: Finding your best self through the support of your partner,
Chapter 30: Move Over Sally Field: Finding unconditional love Husband Raising 101,

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