(originally published Nov. 02, 2009)
This is from Michelle:
Dear Dr. Laura:
A few weeks ago, you had a caller who was contemplating divorce, because her husband wasn't being nice and, in turn, she wasn't being nice to her young son. During the call, the little boy started crying and to calm him, she picked him up and he immediately stopped. You told her of the power of a mother's arms, and you told her that if she would just treat her husband the same way, he would melt just as her son did. I thought about it, but forgot to do anything, and then I listened to the program again this week. It was like you were personally talking to me.
I have been married for 16 years to a wonderful man who has been the sole financial provider for all that time so I can be an at-home mom to our teenage son and daughter. While I always thank him for making this possible, unfortunately, my attitude has been 'well, while you were at work all day, I had to deal with very important things like toddler meltdowns to teenager meltdowns.' But your words changed all that.
Last night, my husband arrived home after a business trip to find out we have some unexpected, high medical bills for our son (he has special needs so, while this has happened before, now is a particularly hard financial time). Instead of me attacking my husband and telling him I had to consent to all the tests which resulted in the bill, I took your advice. I held him in my arms and said: 'This must be so hard for you, when you work so hard and you plan all the finances for our family, to have something so big come up when you don't expect it. I really appreciate you supporting this family, and I feel our kids are so blessed to have you as their dad.'
Dr. Laura, he melted, just as you said he would. We went on to have a lovely night, planning how we would pay for this bill and then talking about other things. If I had not taken your advice, we both would have been angry and sulking and it would have lasted for days. You reminded me that even though my sweet husband is a big, strong provider, he still needs compassion and comfort. How blessed am I that I could provide that for him.
Your words have changed my life and my marriage, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Keep helping people do the right thing.