How to Fall Back in Love

by Gina Parris


For the past 19+ years, I have been married to the most attractive man I have ever met. That is a great feeling. What surprises people who know us, is that even in a marriage as wonderful as ours, the “great feelings” come and go!

I was amused last week to realize that both Mr. Parris and I have been equally influenced all these years, by the following story. It’s a story I’ve told dozens of times, but I don’t remember us ever talking about it. If there is a secret to our success, it lies in this tale:

One day there was a wife who was wickedly angry at her husband. She was hurting bitterly from years of unmet needs, and disappointment in her husband’s behavior. She dreamed of ways to get back at him, to make him hurt in return.

Somebody told her about a very old wise man, who sat atop the nearby mountain. Surely he would have a clever and sinister idea for her.

At the suggestion, the woman climbed the mountain and found the wise man.

“Sir,” she told him. “All I want to do is to cause heartache for my husband. I don’t think he even has feelings, but if he does, I want to hurt them!”

“Aaaaah, of course,” he responded with great empathy. “I will tell you what to do. For the next 2 months, I want you to just pretend that you actually love him. This is just for a short time, and there is no emotion necessary. Just ask yourself often, ‘what actions would I take if I loved him?’ and then do those things. Then, come back and see me, and I’ll tell you what to do to hurt him fiercely.”

“Okay,” said the bitter wife. “I guess since it is just for a short time, and no emotion is necessary, I can act like I would if I loved him. Oh, boy!”

In the following weeks, she enacted the plan wholeheartedly. She faithfully acted like she was in love with her husband, and then she returned to the sage on the mount, for the rest of the plan.

“So you followed my advice? Good!” said the wise old man. Ready? Here is what you do next. You climb back down that mountain and you just LEAVE your husband. That’s it. He will be so shocked after your kind actions, that you will break his heart!”

“leave!” gasped the woman. “I can’t leave now!”

“But why not?” he asked.

“Because…” she began, stunned at her own discovery. “…because now, I love him!”

“Aaaaah, yes.” smiled the sage. “I suppose you do!” and he said no more.

“Love is not a feeling – love is an action, an activity…true love implies commitment and the exercise of wisdom.” – M Scott Peck

So, what do you say? Do you have a secret to your successful relationships – or a lesson learned from love gone bad?  Please comment below.

In your corner,

Gina Signature

Coming Soon – The Romance Rescue


Gina Parris is an international speaker, performance coach, wife, mother of four, and a champion for the Sexy Marriage. She is dedicated to helping people heal their sexual and relational issues. Throughout the past 28 years, Gina has served on staff of several large churches and encouraged thousands of people -privately, in groups, through television, radio and other media. She also speaks to organizations on topics dealing with home and work balance. Gina combines the best of Sports Psychology, Energy Therapy and Biblical promises to help people enjoy a Love Life marked by victory.

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  • Paul

    You got the story all wrong. It was the Husband who was leaving his wife.

  • Gina Parris

    Paul…however it blesses ya!

  • paulttran

    I LOVE THIS STORY! It's a powerful reminder that it takes 2 to make it work or fail. It's a bit ill-intentioned on the woman's part, but that's besides the point – it shows that actions of love & commitment can go a long way and make life/world-changing results. Great story, Gina!

    • Oh Paul – what is so funny is that we were driving down the street and Mr. Parris goes, “You know, I always think about that story where THE MAN goes up the mountain to ask the wise person how he can come up with a way to get back at his wife!” I laughed out loud saying, “It wasn't the man, it was the wife!”
      But then I realized the beauty was that he remembered it in a way that affected him! Hey, whatever it takes.

  • Gina, this is a great story, thank you for sharing! As Paul mentioned, it takes two and if both are not willing, the relationship can not succeed; but with two, it can not be torn apart. Great post!

    • Thanks John – yeah it takes two, and lots of days just ONE needs to decide to act when they don't feel like it! That reminds me, I'm supposed to go take out the trash.

  • jrnuerge

    Gina, Thank you for a great story and a truly wonderful reminder!
    JR Nuerge

  • Totally awesome story, Gina! Reminds me of one of the best things that one of my spiritual mentors taught me years ago – that I haven't been doing – ack! So need to – and really needed to read this post, too! Anyway, what he taught me was that my husband and I should always touch. If you're walking past him down the hallway – rub his shoulder or just reach out to him. If you're near him, grab his hand. Just whatever – in the smallest way even. And most importantly, if you're having a 'discussion' – always hold hands. Man, that was some great advice, I've totally let it fall by the wayside. Wow.

    • Lisa, that is great that you mention the loving little touches. I agree. Those things mean so much to my husband, and you're right – its easy to forget (and I am affectionate to a fault – you know, hugging strangers and stuff!)
      You make me realize that my kids often complain about their siblings giving them UNloving little touches (shoves) whenever they walk by. It is so offensive to them and thankfully they've learned better as they've grown, but what I always pointed out to them, was how their actions were displaying their ATTITUDES. Hmmmm. Good input.

  • What a wonderful story, Gina. This principle could be applied to all of our relationships. Coming out of the gate, not seeming bitter would be a much better way to live.

    • Yeah, when we get bitter, we get this really AWFUL tone in our voices. (okay, I'm only speaking for myself! But I can even hear it when it comes out.) yuck! Thanks for sharing.

  • bettypressley

    GINA, GREAT STORY – THANKS FOR SHARING! Blessings to all you ladies with a husband and men with a wife! I am praying for GOD to send me my Special Christian man!

  • What a great story! I just may use this in a marriage conference we're giving next weekend!

    All marriages go through periods where we don't always feel love. But when we act in regardless, and focus on the good, rather than the bad, the feelings often return.

    Thanks for posting this!

    Visit To Love, Honor and Vacuum today!

    • Thanks for commenting Sheila. Yes, its a great story for events because it is so memorable.

  • Peta

    I read the book that went with Fire Proof, the movie, and it changed me, which changed my honey, I also learned a long time ago, men will try to give you the moon if you are nice to them and don't emasculate them especially in public. Also they can't be your everything some things you just need to take to God.Keep up the good work Gina, you ROCK my friend!

    • Hey Peta, I have that Fireproof book by my bed. That's awesome that you found it all so empowering! Paul and I both had tears rolling down our cheeks when we watched the movie. Good word about how most men are willing to respond when we don't “emasculate them!”

  • j steele

    First- congrats on 19 years! I'll hit 19 in April and wow, the stories I could tell (if I could remember) For me, there was this thing called SELF that kept me from loving like I should/could and I totally believe that love is a commitment expressed through action – even when “I” don't FEEL like it. Just do it. Put her needs and desires above mine and it's amazing how life functions better. It's like we were designed that way. Thank you so much

  • Rod

    Excellent story and I “love” the quote, Gina. I'm not married, but I can testify for the relationship I have with God . . . it definitely is an action and not just a feeling. One thing I've have learned through past (natural) relationships is that it really does take sacrifice of self to make it work. Good work, ma'am.

  • Awesome story, it reminds me some hard time that we had. But with God, we past by and we still in love with our 2 young kids.

    Regards,

    Mario

    • Oh thank you gentlemen! J, Rod, and Mario – I know that any relationship that we are in for the long haul require faith and action and unselfishness – whether that's a relationship with a spouse, a sibling, or even God. Bless you for stopping by and commenting.

  • “Love is not a feeling, it's an action” I must say I haven't thought of it in that light before 🙂

    I've been lucky, I don't think I've ever been angry enough that I wanted to cause my partner pain, I usually get over whatever it is that bothers me. But I'm also married to a kind, loving man who I think would do anything for me. Makes it hard to stay mad at him 🙂

    • Wow. Don't you just realize once in a while how special that is!! Thank you for sharing.

  • Gina, thanks for a beautiful reminder for keeping love alive in marriage. I'm so glad you are talking about this topic, because marriage seems to take quite a hit in the news and TV media. Yet it is the fabric that holds our society together. It's sacred and beautiful. So all the strategies, tips, and ideas you are sharing here are invaluable.

    • I agree that its so important. Thanks Steve!

  • tailwags

    Wow, did I need to read this!!! I KNOW thus stuff, but I haven't been practicing it. You've inspired me to get my head out of my anger and back into my love! 🙂

  • Just came to this post through “To Love Honor and Vacuum.”
    I actually read a similar story in Gary Chapman's “Five Love Languages.” I have spend the last week and a half trying to act out one of the love languages every day, whether I feel like it or not. So far I've done it 3 times lol! But I've got a renewed committment to showing my husband every day in different ways how much I love him. And over time, I know that we will “fall in love” all over again.

    • Hey Tessa, thanks so much for commenting. Wow, I commend you on acting out the love languages. I shared that book with Mr. Parris and he flipped through it saying, “You are every one of these. You just want to be loved in a myriad of ways!”
      It's true though, about feelings following the actions. Keep us posted on your progress.

  • Just came to this post through “To Love Honor and Vacuum.”
    I actually read a similar story in Gary Chapman's “Five Love Languages.” I have spend the last week and a half trying to act out one of the love languages every day, whether I feel like it or not. So far I've done it 3 times lol! But I've got a renewed committment to showing my husband every day in different ways how much I love him. And over time, I know that we will “fall in love” all over again.

  • Hey Tessa, thanks so much for commenting. Wow, I commend you on acting out the love languages. I shared that book with Mr. Parris and he flipped through it saying, “You are every one of these. You just want to be loved in a myriad of ways!”
    It's true though, about feelings following the actions. Keep us posted on your progress.

  • Pingback: Stay Self-Focused to Repair Marital Problems « Marriage Gems()

  • Jamal

    dear Gina, this is nice story, but actually this story is inspired by an old Chinese story..about relations between mother in law and daughter in law..

  • Pingback: How to Fall in Love Again | realtruelove()

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