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The Most Powerful Love Story I’ve Ever Heard – What Working For Your Relationship Really Means

The Most Powerful Love Story I’ve Ever Heard – What Working For Your Relationship Really Means
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Did you ever find that you had to lose everything to understand what you truly had?

That’s the story of Bob and Gloria Farley and their incredible love story that survived even after a car accident robbed Bob Farley of his memories, making him forget he was a husband and father of two children.

I had the privilege of meeting with the Farleys in an interview for the OWN Network. After hearing their story, I was compelled to meet them. A family man myself, I had to know how a love survives, endures, even thrives after a 32 day coma, years of rehabilitation, a couple having to fall in love again and a man searching for his place in a family that – to him – appeared to be strangers.

When Bob and Gloria Farley got married, they had no idea they’d have to fall in love twice to make their relationship work. Watch as they share how they overcame an unimaginable accident and reveal the secret to their 42 years of marriage.

The most remarkable thing – the one that stood out to me the most – was how Bob and Gloria actually described their marriage as drifting apart a bit as both were busy with kids and careers (she was a nurse, he was working for the Los Angeles Police Department). But out of the pain of that accident they remembered what mattered the most – their family and the things about each other that had emotionally and spiritually bound them from the start.

Both say they have a much stronger relationship now than they had before the accident.

You don’t have to lose what Bob lost to keep your love strong, but there is much you can learn from this couple when it comes to staying together.

1. What we want takes work but what we want to keep requires harder work: Bob constantly says that couples should “fight to understand.” For them, it was fighting to re-learn each other after such a crisis, but the same can be said for whenever we start to get distracted and lose focus on our relationships. We have to fight to keep them strong and close. We can’t let them wither without putting in the work.

2. Asking “what can I do for you”: Every single day when Bob wakes up, he asks Gloria “what can I do for you?” I found this to be so profound I immediately started asking my wife the same thing. The first few days she thought something incredibly bad had happened that I waiting to tell her. Then for the next few days she was still so surprised I was asking she had nothing for me to do. About a week later, when she realized I was consistently asking, she started dolling things out. But then what happened next is the real lesson from Bob and Gloria: My wife reciprocated at a higher level, which drove me to deliver at a higher level, which rose her ante creating a cycle of love, caring and emotional reward.

3. Daily 15-second kisses: This is something Bob told me off-camera, right before we started taping. He said, “Watch this,” and walked right up to his wife and planted one on her. What struck me about this was a few things:

A) Fifteen seconds is actually a long time.

B) When I tried this with my wife the first time, I found myself consciously counting the seconds (I’m not a big kisser) but after a few times, it felt like a mini-escape and actually made me enjoy kissing. I found it actually “takes you away” from the stresses on hand.

C) Physical intimacy is very important. I noticed that bob couldn’t keep his hands off of Gloria, and I’d never before seen a man in his 60s act this way towards his wife. It was incredible.

4. Surround yourself with people who love you: As a result of the accident, Bob and Gloria found out quickly who their truly supportive friends were. They then methodically closed ranks. To this day, they maintain a small circle and keep them very close, even moving in their daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren.

5. Never stop learning: What I truly adore about Bob, in particular, is that he wants to learn more. He fights to be better every day. Ultimately, this is the underpinning of why he’s made such substantial progress and also why his relationship with not just his wife but also his children continues to grow.

When you look at the love in your life, ask yourself: Am I willing to work for it?

Falling in love seems so light, exciting and easy. But are you willing to do it all over again after things have gotten tough? After years have gone by and time and circumstances have changed us? It’s not typically a car accident that makes a couple become strangers. Changes in desires, needs, age, career, family, anything can cause you to drift away from those you love. You can find yourselves lying as strangers in your own bed when there was no accident, no catalyst that caused your malaise but the simple passing of time.

Are you willing to fight for that? To fall and stay in love and keep it growing and getting better when the initial thrill of passion as subsided?

Every relationship – whether with a spouse, a friend or family member – takes work to stay healthy and strong. And if it ever feels too hard, think of Bob and Gloria.

They overcame Bob having to learn how to eat again. You only have to focus on making sure those you care for the most know you’re willing to make those small adjustments. To stick with it.

To see love through.

QUESTION: Is there any challenge that a marriage/long-term-relationship can’t overcome? How do you know the difference between what’s worth working out and what is beyond repair?

Posted on: Aug 12, 2013

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41 comments
Mercedes Porsche Cohen
Mercedes Porsche Cohen

Beautiful story! Re your last question..... "Is there any challenge that a marriage/long-term-relationship can’t overcome? How do you know the difference between what's worth working out and what is beyond repair?" Every situation is different. Accidents, death, distance can bring a couple together or even apart. People are different. Most times repetitive disloyalty is beyond repair, but I'm thinking it depends on the circumstance and whether both parties are willing to forgive each other, forget everything, and welcome a second chance to make things right. If there is constant effort to improve the relationship, then you know it’s worth working out. What do you think?

Cheryl Davis
Cheryl Davis

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Jaione Cumming
Jaione Cumming

Nice story I believe that their are special out of this world love where that love for a person never leaves the heart and soul now if I could get those arms around me again lol

ErtugalMaxwell
ErtugalMaxwell


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Shawn C James
Shawn C James

I'd rather loose everything the type of person I am dealing with.

Brunette Coleman
Brunette Coleman

I enjoyed this story of effort in a relationship. Very inspiring

Shirley Jackson
Shirley Jackson

Waynette Cox that is so true. It happened to me and it hurts to this day.

Waynette Cox
Waynette Cox

It's very important to b clear about what we mean to each other ...U don't know when r time is up...then we end up with woulda ,shoulda.coulda,can't get any of that back...

Linda Clark
Linda Clark

You never know what ya got until the well run dry!

Nicole
Nicole

i was in a serious relationship with my ex guy for three good years. One day we were in a dinner party, we had a little misunderstanding which lead to a Quarrel and he stood up and left me at the dinner party. i try to call him but he was not picking my calls so after then i contacted my brother and told him about it,my brother so much love me that he had to see him on my behalf,he told my brother that it is over between us. Then i contacted a friend of mine that had this similar experience and she directed me to one of the spiritual diviner prophet jakula at first i thought it was not going to be possible and i contacted him,so i did what i was ask to do, after 3 days i was in my office when my ex guy called me and was asking me to forgive him and come back to him. i was very surprise it was like a dream to me,so ever since we have been happily married with one kid my lovely baby.if you are any way in such problem i will advice you to contact him on his email address prophetjakula@gmail.com

Lovesnob
Lovesnob

If we are willing to fall in love than we should be willing to keep the love, maintain it and make it grow. Whats the point if we don't?

cocoafly
cocoafly

I love this Paul. Great story!

Namie Bimba
Namie Bimba

Paul, I love this post and the lessons in it! I too enjoy a good love story! I appreciate the practical side of love Bob and his wife have showed. You are so right when you say, "Every relationship – whether with a spouse, a friend or family member – takes work to stay healthy and strong." I once heard someone say that if a relationship isn't growing, it's dying. How true is that? If you don't consistently work at loving those around you--family, close friends, etc.--those relationships don't grow because their not being watered and cultivated by the gift of your love, time, and service! My favorite part of this article is how you talked about the "Love Cycle" you're currently experiencing with your life because of that simple question you're daily #2 Asking, "What can I do for you?" Isn't it amazing how love begets love and kindness begets kindness. I'm so privileged to have a beautiful example of this in the marriage life of one of my dearest friends. She and her husband are constantly serving one another and always trying to up the ante to outdo each other in taking care of each other. Just like Bob & Gloria, they have a hard time keeping their hands off each other because they are constantly loving each other throughout the day with stolen kisses here and there, hello and goodbye kisses if one has to run errands, etc. It's just beautiful! Thanks for sharing Bob & Gloria's story! I do hope it continues to touch many lives and serve as a wonderful example of what it truly takes to make marriage work and how marriage can be so sweet when you are intentional about cultivating it on a daily basis! Cheers to Bob & Gloria and to you & Jill!

Melissa
Melissa

The story is awesome and I can agree with the advice! I am a big cheerleader for marriage! I will always believe it's worth fighting for! Sometimes one has to be strong enough for both. There are so many people that are hoping their friends marriages end because they are unhappy and have no desire to change it! The greatest gift we have is "love".... Give love and it will always come back to you!

Namie Bimba
Namie Bimba

Melissa, What you say is true that "Sometimes one has to be strong enough for both!" I have a witnessed a marriage in which the wife had to be strong for both. She sacrificed greatly and tenaciously worked at overcoming the severe obstacles between her and her husband. In the end her prayers, hard work, and diligence were rewarded with her marriage being restored and her husband being a completely different man! I've never had the privilege of watching such a miraculous thing occur over a short period of years, but I now know what it means to be married. I now know the power of a covenant, and one standing strong enough for the two. I now know what real, true, deep love is! It's amazing, and I forever have an example of NOTHING is too difficult to fight through with God on your side. I hope to be 1/2 the woman of character this lady is when I get married someday! She is truly remarkable; a rare breed indeed!

Melissa
Melissa

I just really hope and pray that people stop giving up on marriage so easily! It shouldn't be treated like a car that you can trade up when you get tired.... I will be a better wife the second time around! I see love and marriage with an open mind that is full of possibilities instead of a cup of impossible! Wish you the best Namie...