Thursday, February 07, 2008

A book review:

100 little reasons can make a world of difference

Weddings And Special Occasions By Jim Vanore
Cape May County Herald - NJ, United States

When our first grandchild marries this fall, no doubt her grandmother and I will be seated prominently in the first or second row of church, probably beaming a kilowatt or two above even the parents of the bride.

I’ve already asked my wife what we would do for the wedding—what we’ll provide, what we’ll give to the couple, to what extent we’ll be involved…

“It’s not our place,” was the terse, yet surprising answer.I could only imagine the restraint my wife was exercising at that moment.

She’ll handle all the details of our “involvement,” no matter what they will—or will not—be. She’ll decide the gift also. Except, that is, for one small indulgence I’ll allow myself.I’ll also be giving the bride and groom a copy of Gregory E. Lang’s book, Why I Still Love You (Cumberland House $14.95 ISBN 978-1-58182-598-5).

Now why would I place that much importance on a little book with a total word-count under 5,000?

Lang, trained as a family therapist, has a Ph. D. in child and family development, and has written 18 books in the last 10 years. Now a full time writer, his 19th—Daddy’s Little Girl—will be out in February.

Why I Still Love You was inspired by Lang’s aunt and uncle, whose 50-year marriage made a deep impression on the author.“I was always aware they were different,” Lang said in a recent phone interview. “I never saw them argue. They were always a happy and romantic couple. Always getting along.”

The book, which is founded on input from couples who have had perfect or near-perfect marriages, tries to answer the question of just why (and how) the relationships endured the challenges they faced.

Somehow, Lang writes, they figured out what to do to overcome differences and stay focused on the love shared, rather than the frustration or hurt that might have occurred over the years.“The little sayings in the book are all original,” he stated. “All things I’ve witnessed, and conversations I’ve heard, put into my own words.”

I told Lang that my own personal favorite was one that stopped my cold a mere 12 pages into the book: I still love you because when I reach for you, you still move closer.

“That’s very personal for me too!” he said with enthusiasm. “It gives a profound sense of security, and signals that my wife actually enjoys my company.

“Passion waxes and wanes,” he continued, “but it should always grow back. That’s an indication of how successful the marriage is.”

His first book, Why I Love You, sold over 100,000 copies, and Lang admitted that he wrote that one essentially for his wife. All his books are about family matters, and after Daddy’s Little Girl—Stories About the Special Bond Between Fathers and Daughters, he will be concentrating on his next book: Sisters, which is due out in May.

You can look over all of his self-help books on his Web site: www.gregoryelang.com.

In his personal life, Lang thinks it’s important for him and his wife to secure private time each day, “Away from TV, so we can talk.”

It’s difficult to argue with any philosophy that moves you away from the television.

“I hope people enjoy the book,” he said. “I wrote it for couples married 50 years, but you don’t have to wait that long. You should always be assessing your relationship. You should verbalize your feelings.

“Some guys have the attitude, ‘I told you I loved you when we got married; if that changes, I’ll let you know!’ If I love my wife but don’t ever tell her, well, that wouldn’t be very good at all.”

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