Love Is A Decision, by Gary Smalley: a book review

An excellent book I'd recommend to all married couples is Gary Smalley's Love Is A Decision. He claims that love is a verb, not an emotion. That tingling feeling you got when you were dating or newlyweds was hormones. True love comes from what you do. When the typical "honeymoon" period is over, and the body's juices stop flowing when you look at the one you've vowed to love, honor, and cherish until death, that does NOT signify the end of a relationship, but rather the beginning.

I remember hearing Gary Smalley talk about his book on the radio one time, and share some of the success stories from married couples to followed his advice.

One woman was married to an alcoholic. She wasn't sure she even still loved him, as his self-destructive behavior was affecting their whole family. She wanted a divorce. After counseling with Gary, she decided to ACT as though she still loved him. She LISTENED to him when he talked. She cooked for him, kept house, stopped nagging... don't remember what all else she did. And for weeks, even months, her husband was just taking all she had to give. But then one day he walked in to Gary's office and said, "I just love my wife so much. Whatever you told her, I don't know, but she has just been giving me so much. I feel special. And I want to do something for her, to show her how much it means to me. What can I do?" And Gary told him to get help with his alcoholism. And he did.

That story made me cry, and I was driving the car! I felt like such a fool, my eyes spilling all down my face, my nose too (I can never cry “pretty” like the actors do on TV), and all because of some soppy story on the radio! But the old adage, you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar, sure holds true today!


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Inspiring article


My husband and I really enjoy Gary Smalley. Thank you for your article it was indeed inspiring.

There is so much to Love and Marriage. It has not always been easy or even fun . From the time my husband and I met (in our teens) to now in our (50's) it has been quite a journey. Through the wedding, honeymoon, kids, dogs, Christmas, birthdays , anniversaries etc there has been a lot of life that has evolved.

I must say that I loved my husband when we were first married but through the years and all of the stuff I love him far more to day. I loved how that women in the story decided to love her husband and stick with him. She ended up loving him right back into wellness. Just think if more people didn't simply give up and tried what she did, more marriages might be saved.

She didn't give up hope no matter how desperate she was to end her marriage.

You know, there are times when it is okay to stop a relationship depending on how destructive it is. But it is truly inspiring to hear of a story such as this that gives hope. Love endured through the toughest of times with this couple. I am sure that love wasn't much of a feeling that she had for a long time. I imagine there was a crippling type of hurt in her heart that couldn't be extinguished. The pain had to be devastating. However, she decided to try again. I don't blame you for crying in your car.

It is wonderful to know that there are still happy endings in a world filled with chaos and tears. There still is a light at the end of the tunnel. Love, Hope, Peace and Joy and the greatest is Love. Love is a decision not just a feeling. But when you couple them together making the decision to love it creates a powerful experience and tremendous relationship.

Thanks for sharing.

Sweet story

But not often the case I don't think in such a situation as the lady you heard about.

Over the past few years I have read many such book, 2 or 3 from Mr. Smalley among them. They all basically said that same thing. Act the part. After 4 years it just couldn't be done. I left him and have since fallen in love with a wonderful giving man. Some people will only ever take. Its a beautiful thing if you try and do succeed. Just know when to draw the line.

touching story

Wow, that's really a very touching story. If I was listening to that story over the radio, I'm sure I'll also cry without even being aware of it... That's what you call love, no matter how hard it is to understand your partner still you're there to understand him and take him for what he is, and in time you'll get you're reward, that person will see the goodness in your heart and will realize the meaning of true commitment of marriage, taking a person for what he is, no matter what and fighting to keep that marriage intact. Nice story; I really love it.

Touching story?

Well, maybe, if you find abusive alcaholics touching. personally, I don't.

And I think the message of this book, that no matter how big a bastard a man is, if you are sweet and dutiful and submissive towards him he will suddenly change and become wonderful person, is frankly nonsense.

There are thousands of women who are doormats to abusive husbands, and it doesn't make their husbands reform and love them. I think the philosophy behind this book is highly dubious, and not consistent with a Taken In Hand relationship. In a Taken In Hand relationship, the husband puts his wife and their relationship first, and the wife is not a submissive dutiful doormat.