Caleb keeps the firemen's rule close to their heart at all times. "Never leave your partner behind". Caleb's career is demanding and puts a lot a pressure on him. When he comes home from his "high pressure" job, he expects everything to do be done and doesn't understand why his wife can't handle of the responsibilities of their home. He complains that his working wife doesn't do the household chores, such as dinner and laundry. His seven-year marriage to his wife Catherine is near divorce. Caleb feels Catherine has no understanding how much pressure he faces on day to day basis, while Catherine feels Caleb has no desire to understand her and her stresses and pressures as well. After a face to face screaming match, Catherine announces she wants out of their marriage and throws her wedding ring in their dresser drawer and files for divorce.
Caleb finds himself pouring out all of his emotions to his best friend, who is also his fellow firefighter. He is spouting off every single thing that Catherine does wrong. "Catherine is disrespectful and completely over sensitive" he explains to his friend. "She just doesn't understand what I go through. Why is it so hard to make a cup of coffee for me in the morning," he asks. In the meantime, Catherine is also complaining about her husband to her friends. She blames him for never wanting to do anything for her and always putting himself before her. She is devastated that he can easily save up $24,000 to buy himself a new fishing boat but easily ignores the fact that her disabled mother needs a new hospital bed that insurance wont cover and they cannot afford to purchase. Adding to her complaints is Caleb's addiction to internet pornography. She feels incredibly embarrassed the Caleb would rather watch porn that be with her.
Caleb announces the news to his father that his marriage is impending divorce. Upon hearing this, his father, John asks Caleb if he still loves his wife. Caleb is unsure. John ask Caleb to make a promise to him. He tells Caleb he will send him something in the mail and to follow the direction he gives him. He tell him he will receive it within a couple of days and once he receives it, to begin immediately. John send Caleb a 40 day love dare and Caleb reluctantly agrees to try it.
Once Caleb receives the package from his father he begins the challenge immediately. Each day he has to do one dare. No matter how hard it is or no matter the reactions he receives he must continue on to the next dare and fulfill each dare whole heartedly. "Day one: Resolve to demonstrate patience and to say nothing negative to your spouse at all. If the temptation arises, choose not to say anything. It's better to hold you tongue than to say something you'll regret." Although Caleb agrees to do the test, he does it more for the sake of his father than for his marriage. In the beginning, Catherine sees through Caleb's half-hearted attempts to save their marriage, and dismisses most of his "dares." This discourages Caleb even further and deepens his frustrations.
Meanwhile, Catherine becomes the object of interest to Dr. Gavin Keller at the hospital where she works. They began to openly flirt with one another to the point where her co workers even question their motives. Catherine confides in the doctor about her some of her problems, mainly the problems she faces with her mother who constantly needs care. She tell Dr. Gavin about the hospital bed her mother is in need of and can't afford. They began meeting each other more frequently for lunch and continue to grow with their flirting and courtship with one another. Dr. Gavin assumes that Catherine is not marriage since she is no longer wearing her wedding ring, until one day when Caleb was injured on the job and is brought into the emergency room where Dr. Gavin treats him. The nurse who knows Caleb insist on calling Catherine to come down to the emergency room and see her husband. This is when Dr. Gavin realizes that she is married to Caleb and says nothing about it.
Caleb continues on through the love dare day after day. He starts to understand through his commitment what it means to truly love and show love to his wife. Caleb starts becoming more involved with the household duties. He takes on more responsibilities such as the laundry, dinner, errands, and even makes her coffee in the morning. He continues to accomplish each days' dare with more and more love and heart. Caleb eventually understands how his addiction to internet pornography makes his wife feels and destroys his computer with a baseball bat. However, in spite of Caleb's efforts, Catherine is still insistent on filing for divorce.
Catherine visits the home health care store to discuss the hospital bed and other medical equipment her mother is in need of. The store clerk informs Catherine that all the equipments has already been purchased by someone and wishes to remain anonymous. She tells Catherine that the equipments is currently being installed in her mothers home now. Catherine assumes that Dr. Gavin was the one who purchased the bed for her mother and schedules a lunch date with him. In the meantime, Caleb is doing laundry and finds a card in Catherine's drawer from Dr. Gavin. Caleb is furious and visits the doctor to confront him regarding his wife. He tells Dr. Gavin that their marriage is not over and he will continue to fight for their marriage for as long as it take. Dr. Gavin understands where Caleb is coming from, since we then find out the he is also currently married. Dr. Gavin agrees to stop any communication he has with Catherine.
Catherine becomes very ill with a sinus infection and Caleb stays home to take care of her. Catherine is confused as to why Caleb insists on taking care of her. She questions him and wants to know he has changed so much. Then Caleb begins to explain to Catherine what his father had given him. As he tells Catherine all about the love dare, she pulls the books out from under her pillow. Caleb begins crying and begging Catherine to forgive him for all that he has done wrong to her. Catherine is understanding and does see a new side to Caleb, however she is still guarded and unsure of how much she can trust him. Caleb says he will give her all the time she needs and hopes they will be able to salvage their marriage.
Several days pass and Catherine visits the home care store to buys sheets for her mother's new hospital bed. Catherine laughs at the fact the sheets were the only thing Dr. Keller hadn't purchased. The clerk looks at Catherine perplexed and says, "Dr. Keller? Dr. Keller did not purchase the hospital bed for your mother!" The clerk then explains to Catherine that Caleb was the one who had bought all the equipment that her mother needed. She continues to explain that Caleb paid over $24,ooo and Dr. Keller had only contributed $300. Catherine is completely shocked and runs out the store. She frantically runs into her bedroom trying to find her wedding ring. She cries hysterically with the realization that her husband spent all the money he was saving for his new fishing boat on her mother's new bed. Catherine wipes her tears and smiles, her heart is full of happiness. She drives down to the firehouse and tells Caleb that she can once again trust him and that she is still very much in love with him. They then embrace and kiss one another as if it was their first day married.
The movie, "Fireproof" addressed couples who are having difficulties in their marriage. This movie was very successful in allowing the viewer to see both sides of the "his" and "her" role of the marriage. This movie, although seemly produced for marriages in trouble, is great for any and all marriages. I was truly impressed with the dedication to follow through with the dare and I do believe it is very realistic to accomplish in the real world. I, in fact, purchased the book immediately after watching the movie and committed to the love dare on my teenage daughter. The results were amazing! It's been over a year since I did the challenge and now that I have watched the movie again and I going to do it for a second time. Unfortunately, I do believe the "Christian" backdrop to the movie may have kept more people from watching this movie. Many people I spoke with about this movie dismissed it without a second thought, solely because they thought it was another "do good" movie. I believe every person who watches this movie will only benefit their own relationships.