Dr. Greg and Erin Smalley have identified 12 “love secrets” to help couples experience a strong and healthy lifelong marriage. First, the importance of commitment — which the Smalleys struggled with from the beginning of their marriage. They had a horrible fight on the last day of their honeymoon which required some emotional repairs to renew their commitment to each other. Greg admitted he really struggled with spiritual leadership (another love secret) as a husband. He felt so intimidated by the spiritual example of his father, Gary Smalley. But Gary reminded Greg of all the great ways he was loving his wife and daughter, and how he served his family.
The Smalleys discuss the importance of couples prioritizing time together, connecting on a deeper emotional level. They stress the importance of physical intimacy in marriage; urging men to care for their wives and encouraging women to “prepare” themselves for intimacy. The Smalleys conclude on the topic of conflict management rather than conflict resolution; as long as couples work on keeping their hearts open to the Lord and each other, they can find ways to navigate and overcome the inevitable conflicts of life.