cover image Making Love Last Forever

Making Love Last Forever

Gary Smalley. Thomas Nelson Publishers, $21.99 (304pp) ISBN 978-0-8499-1194-1

In an age when the idyllic notion of everlasting love has been battered against the rocks of infidelity and divorce, ever-popular Christian counselor and writer Smalley (The Language of Love) offers his own tried and true methods for making love last forever. According to Smalley, the foundation of lasting love is falling in love with life itself. In the first section of the book, he explores principles for resolving anger, balancing expectations and reality and avoiding hurt. Using anecdotes from his counseling sessions and stories from his own marriage, Smalley fashions, in the second section of the book, a set of ""forever-love"" principles designed to help married couples improve their relationships. Some of the principles Smalley includes as essential ingredients for lasting love are better communication, understanding a spouse's personality type and using conflict to foster intimacy. Each chapter closes with a set of ""forever-love"" principles drawn from the topic of the chapter. In the end, however, Smalley's principles are not helpful because they are founded upon, and promote, conventional stereotypes of men as rational and aggressive and women as intuitive and passive. Unfortunately, only couples who accept these stereotypical gender roles are likely to benefit from his principles. (Aug.)