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Project: Happily Ever After: Saving Your Marriage When the Fairytale Falters Hardcover – December 28, 2010

101 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


John and Linda Friel, authors of The 7 Best Things (Happy) Couples Do, April 6, 2010
Project: Happily Ever After will get people talking about those aspects of marriage that most couples keep deep in the vault. With honesty and humor, Bowman writes about a journey of a marriage in recovery, and wraps it all up with the rarest of outcomes--a happy ending."

Ian Kerner, bestselling author of She Comes First and He Comes Next
"Sometimes realizing you are not alone—along with having a good laugh—helps you relax a bit and see an answer that was there all along. In Project: Happily Ever After, Alisa is just the confidante and comedian you need in the toughest of times."

Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D., nationally syndicated columnist, radio talk show host, and author of Emotional Fitness for Couples and
Emotional Fitness for Intimacy
“Much more than a relationship book, Project: Happily Ever After is a true-life love story. Join other readers in the sometimes serious, sometimes silly ups-and-downs and rebuilding of a couple. The really good news here is that Alisa has given us a road map to do the same for our own relationships. It’s never too late to have a happy ending.”

Kiri Blakeley, writer for Forbes, contributor for ForbesWoman, and author Can’t Think Straight: A Memoir of Mixed-Up Love
“Alisa Bowman gets to the funny, painful, buoyantly optimistic, scathingly truthful core of what it’s like to be disenchanted with your husband and marriage—and then tells us, in pull-no-punches prose and narrative worthy of a thriller—what to do about it. If you’d rather kick your hubby than kiss him, rather kill him than coo at him, read this book now!"
Pat Love, ED.D, author of Hot Monogamy
If you have reached rock bottom in your relationship, read this book. It’s sexy, savvy, and oh so hopeful.”
Charla Muller, author, 365 Nights
“I adore this book, and heartily recommend it to anybody whose marriage has gone from a sweet fairy-tale to a disaster drama. Alisa Bowman has a delightfully funny and honest voice, and shows how she was able to turn her own marriage around with the help of a willing partner, a lot of self-help books, and raw determination.”

Jonathan Alpert, psychotherapist and advice columnist
Alisa Bowman’s Project: Happily Ever After takes you from the depths of a marriage on the verge of collapse to a healthy and loving relationship. Alisa provides practical and powerful tips for taking control of your unhealthy relationship and making it happy again.”

About the Author

Alisa Bowman is a veteran self-help journalist who has coauthored or ghosted more than 20 books, including six New York Times bestsellers. A former senior editor at Runner’s World magazine, she has been a guest on several radio and television news shows and has been featured in First, Redbook, and Pregnancy. Since starting her “Free Marriage Advice” blog, she receives more than 50,000 visitors a month and has garnered national media attention. She lives happily ever after (most of the time) with her husband, daughter, and dog in Emmaus, PA.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press; 1 edition (December 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762439017
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762439010
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #252,507 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Alisa Bowman is a professional writer and book collaborator. Seven of her authored and co-authored books have made the NY Times bestseller list and sold millions of copies. She is the creator of, which was voted one of the Top 10 Marriage Blogs three years in a row. Voted one of the "most inspirational women bloggers" by Reader's Digest, she writes for a variety of national publications and has appeared on the TODAY Show, Discovery Health, FOX's Ask Dr. Manny, Better TV, and many others. Learn more about her at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 60 people found the following review helpful By William D. Curnutt TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 31, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have to give very high marks to Alisa Bowman for her humility in writing this book. She is vulnerable, transparent, honest and very introspective. Her book details the true adventure of her life with Mark and their daughter Kaarina. When she and Mark meet she falls in love and so does he. They start spending time together and find that they are fairly compatible.

After the marriage some things start to change. Alisa details how Mark lost his job and vacillated about what to do next. His obsession with bicycle racing and exercise seems to be taking the top place in his life and Alisa is now second to that, if not maybe even further down the chart. Her prince charming has definitely turned into a frog.

She talks about how things deteriorate in their marriage. Communication falls off, desire falls off, sexual drive falls off, etc. It's all Mark's fault, at least that is what Alisa thinks. She finds herself contemplating his death. She dreams about how to kill him and move on with her life. Surely all of this is his fault.

What is puzzling though is in her descriptions how she explains how easy going Mark is. How often he is compliant to her criticisms and complaints and willing to try and adapt or be more sensitive. I found myself thinking often, this guy is awesome, why doesn't Alisa see this?

Then comes Alisa's desire to make her marriage a success and she starts project Happily Ever After. She goes to Amazon and finds every book on marriage that she can find and orders them. She starts to read and low and behold she discovers something, maybe the problem is as much hers as it is his! That's a shocker to her.

Maybe she is part of the conflict. Maybe her selfish desires have gotten in the way.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By momofsix on December 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
From the moment I started reading Alisa Bowman's book, I felt captivated. Sometimes, rather than reading yet another marriage manual, it can be more helpful just to hear the inside scoop on someone else's marriage. And, since the kind of marriage issues I relate to don't fall in the categories of, say, infidelity, abuse, and so forth, I found this book and her story particularly helpful. There are issues, but in many ways they are mostly issues of mindset and communication. I think any marriage can benefit from improving on these two points - I know my own certainly can.

I loved Alisa's friendly tone. I felt like I was having an intimate chat with a friend as I read the book, and I couldn't wait to get to the next page. My most valuable take-away from the book was that everyone has issues. No marriage is perfect. It sounds like a cliche, and it's certainly something I knew in theory, of course, but it took reading about Alisa's journey - all the details, large and small - for me to really understand this fact and apply it, with positive results, to my attitude towards my own marriage. Thank you for putting yourself out there and writing this book, Alisa Bowman!
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Sandra Trolinger VINE VOICE on December 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Marriage in essence is a bond like no other that has a fixation on our culture and we gleefully watch Hollywood marriages go through scandals and come out stronger or lead to divorce which is covered in nearly microscopic detail.
Alisa Bowman just wanted to stop having vivid fantasies of her husband's funeral and get the divorce daydream out of her head and her marriage back on track.
The book details her journey and she bares her soul and gives a human glimpse into the highs and mostly lows that marriage takes on a wife and how she decides to try harder to get her husband back to that loving feeling.
Passages that resonated with me included: "It is better to fight that to be silent." Silence and lack of communication which most men struggle with can be a death knell and must be addressed. She states several times as do her fellow wives that "men are clueless" and if you must supply them with birthdays written on a calendar so they don't forget then DO it.
She also states, "I am not against divorce. I am against misery." She gives chapter by chapter advice on how to approach forgiveness, desire, intimacy, and chronicles how it affected her marriage as both spouses were trying to reconnect.
Her website is wonderful too and I highly recommend using it after finishing the book.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Brette Sember on December 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
As a former divorce attorney, I have to say that if more people read Bowman's book,there would be fewer divorces. Most people who end up in divorce court do so because their marriage broke down in ways that could have been prevented. Bowman's book offers solutions for those who are in unhappy marriages, looking for hope. Her ideas are down-to-earth and very doable. No, she's not a psychologist, but she's a real woman who turned her own marriage around. I think there are many people considering divorce who could learn a lot from her. Even if you aren't considering divorce, but feel just vaguely dissatisfied with your marriage, this book will help you fix that.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By TwoDaysAway on August 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I was hoping to find some good advice. I didn't mind the bit about the author's initial interest in her spouse dying (I didn't take it seriously), but as other reviewers have pointed out, it was presented seriously and wow. But let's put that aside.

I pretty much marched through the book. It's certainly entertaining, but often I would ask myself what I learned in the last few pages that would actually be useful, and would come up blank. However, I stopped reading it after reading Chapter 12, the happy ending description. I took me months to shake it off and finish the book--an exercise to make sure I heard everything she wanted to say.

In Chapter 12 she summarizes much of what she learned. For example, to speak up for herself and to "ask and ask and ask." She learned to tell him no (I want it my way). She explained how hard life is for a mother and that she deserves what she demands. For example, can you imagine that he was at a holiday party and did not leave and return home so he could, having anticipated the author needing help carrying in their daughter after a long drive, be there to assist. In discussing this with a male friend, he challenges her to which the conclusion is that she is complicated and her husband is clueless. Fortunately, "each fight shows me that he is willing to do whatever I want and need." Doesn't something sound wrong here?

Many times she describes being overwhelmed and ultimately it is the fault of her husband that he was not there to rescue her. "Some mothers could entertain a young child for an entire day without losing their minds or wearing themselves into exhaustion. I wasn't one of them." I just don't know where to go with this one. Many parents (both men and women) have had to deal with much more, not to mention more than one child.
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