How To Fall In Love Again (updated 1/10/12)

I have no way of knowing whether or not you married the wrong person. But I do know that if you treat the wrong person like the right person, you could well end up having married the right person after all. It is far more important to be the right kind of person than it is to marry the right person.” — author and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar

This is a gorgeous story that I found on another website. . . .

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; real love is an action, an activity.  When we love someone our love becomes demonstrable or real only through our exertion–through the fact that for someone we take an extra step or walk an extra mile.  Love is as love does–not as love says.  Moreover, real love is a choice.  We don’t have to love, we choose to love.  If we are not loving, it is not because we are not feeling loving; it is because we have made the choice not to love.  Real love does not have its roots in a feeling of love.  To the contrary, real love often occurs in a context in which the feeling of love is lacking, when we act loving despite the fact we don’t feel loving.  The tendency to confuse love with the feeling of love allows people all manner of self-deception.  Many, many people possessing a feeling of love and even acting in response to that feeling act in all manner of unloving and destructive ways.  On the other hand, a genuinely loving individual will often take loving and constructive action toward a person he or she consciously dislikes, actually feeling no love toward the person at the time and perhaps even finding the person repugnant in some way.  True love is not a feeling by which we are overwhelmed.  When love truly exists it does so with or without a loving feeling.  Genuine love, therefore, is volitional rather than emotional.  The person who truly loves does so because of a decision to love, a decison to be a genuinely loving person.  This person has made a commitment to be loving whether or not the loving feeling is present.  If it is, so much the better; but if it isn’t, the commitment to love, the will to love, still stands and is still exercised.” – M Scott Peck, abridged from “The Road Less Traveled

Do not waste time bothering whether you “love” your neighbor (or your spouse); act as if you did.  As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets.  When you are behaving as if you loved someone you will presently come to love him.” – C. S. Lewis

You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”  — Gandhi

About John

I am a married, 46-year old, Midwesterner, with four children. My primary interest is in leading a very examined and decent and Loving life; my interests that are related to this and that feed into this include (and are not limited to) -- psychology, philosophy, poetry, critical thinking, photography, soccer, tennis, chess, bridge.
This entry was posted in C.S. Lewis, Conscious Love, Courage, Emotional Maturity, Gandhi,, Immature Love, Intimate Relationships, Love, Love is a Choice, Love is a Commitment, Love is a Decision, Love is an Act of Will, Love is Not a Feeling, M. Scott Peck, Mature Love, Mental Health, Real Love, Self-Extension, What is Love? and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to How To Fall In Love Again (updated 1/10/12)

  1. Pingback: Why Marriages and Long-Term Relationships Succeed or Fail | What Is Real True Love?

  2. danielle says:

    beautful beautiful beautiful John!! thank you.. such wisdom!! i’m so grateful to have found your site

    • John says:

      You’re more than welcome, Danielle! You certainly have a very nice warmth and enthusiasm about you. I’m glad you’ve found this site as well, and that something I’ve written or shared is resonating with you! 🙂

  3. Pingback: It changes EVERYTHING! | What Is Real True Love?

  4. Pingback: It Changes EVERYTHING! (part 2) | What Is Real True Love?

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