Well, the feedback started pouring in almost immediately, and the responses were just as I'd expected. With permission of the women who wrote to me, I'm reprinting some of their messages in the hopes that those of you who were skeptical at first will take a second look.
From a facebook friend, who I assumed had an excellent marriage:
Just read your blog. I can't even see to type right now. Can hardly breathe. I who you wrote that for. My marriage in shambles and I'm married to a saint! Have been praying and begging God to direct me.. somewhere, anywhere. My husband has been pleading with me to go to therapy or counseling and I just couldn't. I knew I would shut down , cop an attitude and walk away. I know the problem is me. I don't need a stranger to tell me. But i did need this post. Oh, pray for me Leila. Going to order the book.
Hours later, from the same woman:
I fell asleep begging God to help me last night.Started a novena to the Blessed Virgin Mary today too. I cannot stand how i am, hurting my husband for no apparent reason. I find fault with everything he does. Even how he freaking drinks. How stupid is that? But he's so good to me. You have no idea Leila the ray of hope i have right now. Thank you! Already ordered one book.... Will keep you posted!
She got the book, read it, and I received this:
THAT BOOK! lT'S WORKING! Listen to this. Last night [my husband] thanked me for supporting his newest interest. I'm laughing as i type this. He's got this strong and sudden interest in metal detecting. Seems we have some pretty old battle sites here in [our state] that are intriguing him. Normally I would just roll my eyes and give a whatever to something like this, but i actually listened to him and agree that this is soooooo up his alley that he should just pursue it. Last night he thanked me for supporting him!
Part of a message from another woman:
…Oh, and about Dr. Laura's book, there was an improvement in my outlook before I even finished the first chapter. No joke, before I had even finished reading the thing my husband came home with chocolates for me. We have a good marriage. We've been married for 23 years and have seven kids but now, finally, I feel like a grown up, married woman. I feel like I should explain that more, but I'll leave it at that for now. I see things trickling down to the kids as well. I also see skills I can gain in loving my kids. Society sure has messed with marriage!
From a Dr. Laura skeptic:
I wanted to say I really appreciated your blog post recommending "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands." My mother used to listen to Dr. Laura on the radio and I absolutely hated her growing up, so there is little chance I would have ever thought to pick up her book on my own. I trusted your recommendation, picked it up from the library, and although my marriage of three years is by no means awful, after going through postpartum depression twice I saw a lot of myself in the women Dr. Laura described.
My husband is a great gift and really works hard both away from home and helping me take care of our boys, and I was ignoring almost all of it. While reading the book I caught some glimpses of the radio personality I didn't like, but overall, the message is sound. I made a few changes based on her recommendations and although my husband and I are just as tired and busy as we always were, I can see a dramatic improvement in both of us - even with our four month old in the midst of teething!
this book changed my marriage -- Little Catholic Bubble: Women: Save your marriage. In five minutes.
And this from a reader:
Proper Care has helped our marriage so much!!! It's easy to feel selfish every once in a while and start feeling resentment. I then have to humble myself and remember what Dr. Laura says in the book. It works every time.
A child of divorce recommends the book:
...I also want to say AMEN to her discussion divorce and stepfamily so far. On so many levels... the errors stepmothers are tempted to make and the errors children of divorce are especially prone to make. I say if you come from a split/remarried family, grab this book! We can never get too much help in that arena, really.
And feminism... oh my goodness, pile that on top of a history of divorce, and it's no wonder there are so many miserable marriages.
So to summarize, I started reading it last night, and we had one of our first great nights in a week! It brought me back to when we were dating - when he was a clear priority. For some crazy reason, he likes that! :)
And this beautiful, honest testimony:
I had a very long response for you all typed out but decided to not waste your time on what could be said simply:
I can finally see what people are talking about when they say that I have a "great guy" and "I am so lucky." Yes, I am!
I have been extremely self-centered for the past 10 years.
I have been miserable for past 10 years because I was not RECEIVING my husbands love, as in accepting it, even though he was giving it all along.
I think despite my husband's questions of the faith, he may get into heaven before I do.
He has been scared of me for the past 10 years.
He is not "extremely passive" like I told you. He has just been scared of me and my temper and what I will do next to cut him down.
My children do not respect him because I have not respected him.
My family is lopsided because I have taken over.
I realize now it wasn't necessary to take over my husbands role; he would have done just fine had I made him feel more like a man.
I have not gotten in any arguments with him since reading the book because I see everything so differently now.
I apologized for my behavior and he said he's already forgiven me.
So many people love Mother Teresa because of her simplicity. Men are so simple and yet we think of that as a weakness???
Though we have to answer for our own actions, I see now how society has manipulated our minds to think that men truly are stupid, childish, immature and pigs that only want sex.
There's so much more I could say but this is the gist of it. Thank you for recommending this book! It has changed my life! As soon as I'm done with it, I'm going to donate it to our Adoration chapel. Hopefully some good woman praying for her marriage will read it.
There was more, but you get the gist. Quick, cheap (free at the library!), easy, and it works to turn marriages around.
I was shocked and honored that the Diocese of Omaha, Nebraska found the post worthy to link on its website, and Dr. Laura's website picked it up as well, via a note from one of her listeners.
Ladies, if you bypassed the marriage post the first time around, please give it another try. The devil works to destroy marriages in the littlest ways, a thousand times every day. Don't let him near yours. Kick him out in five minutes.