VERNON – What started as a conversation while dating his wife Gina, has turned into a published book for Former Washington County Administrator Hank Hamilton.
Faith, Finances and Friendship is Hamilton’s take on all the things that create a happy and successful marriage.
Hank and Gina had both spent more than 15 years in marriages to other people. However, at the budding of their relationship to each other, they discussed their mistakes in their previous marriages. Little did they know, the dialogue would lay the groundwork for a book about three keys to a healthy, happy and successful marriage.
The key: sharing the same faith as your spouse.
"When you share the same faith as your spouse, facing issues that call your faith into question become easier to handle and that is a key factor," Hamilton said. "When you have different faiths, it can sometimes lead to difficulties, such as, how to raise your children or how to face big issues that may arise in your marriage."
However, having different faiths will not necessarily ruin your marriage.
"While it is always better to share the same faith as your significant other, it is not impossible to have different faiths and still have a successful marriage," he added.
Finances usually play a major role in divorces. Hamilton covers the topic in the book.
"Finances are a big issue many couples face during their marriages," Hamilton said. "Being on the same page about money is a major factor in a successful relationship."
Although they are not certified counselors, Hamilton said they just want to impart to others what they have done to make their 12-year marriage a thriving one.
"We don’t have all the answers," he said. But, "we know what has worked for us and we want to help others feel the same happiness we do."
The couple maintains the close bond they shared prior to marriage.
"Gina is my very best friend, the one I want to share every thing in life with," Hamilton said. "A lot of couples lose sight of being friends after being married for a while and it is a vital part to a healthy relationship. Remembering why you like someone is so important in maintaining a great relationship."
The couple is working on opening a marriage retreat at their Vernon home. They are in the process of remodeling an old hay barn - affectionately called the ‘barndominium’.
While the barn will be their personal home, the other two houses on the property will host couples that come for the retreat, which is likely to open next spring.
Hamilton said he didn’t write the book to make a profit, he wrote it to help others build healthy marriages. He has also stated that the first quarter’s royalty check will be given away - no matter the amount.
"I want to bless someone else because I have been blessed," he said.
Copies of Faith, Finances and Friendship can be purchased on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books A Million and iTunes for $11.95.