Thursday, October 24, 2013

Follow-up to my "save your marriage in five minutes" post!

Remember this post?

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!


Saw this note on pinterest!

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.


  1. Just downloaded it to my kindle. :-)

  2. I have ordered part two to this marriage workshop: "The Proper Care and Feeding Husbands". :-) I hope to continue to be inspired by the books, because it's so easy to fall into old habits.

    On a side note, confession is very healing too and a great way to start over.

  3. Quick note from someone on the receiving end of Dr. Laura's nugget of real wisdom. My wife took to that book like a heat seeking missile when it came out and has successfully applied its principles for many years with much success. We simply don't struggle with many of the common problems people have in large part because of that book. We still struggle and fight but we have good fruitful fights about real issues not the useless peeing contests that can truly and sometimes permanently handicap progress and resolution. And good fruitful fights I think are kinda healthy. Big fight , make up, have another baby, agree the baby is cute , can't image life without the new baby etc etc. then it starts over. " how are we going to deal with this crazy NFP thing?" " It wouldn't be so hard if you didn't drop eggs like a sock-eye salmon" " oh so it's all my fault?" " how about a margarita after the rosary?" " you are insane " and so on.
    Seriously though, the book will either fix or help. Period.

  4. "On a side note, confession is very healing too and a great way to start over."

    I agree!!! In Confession Christ offers us as many "start-overs" as we want. He gives us His Divine mercy and His peace. He makes everything new, and offers His grace to aid us. Many times when I have failed in this or that in my marriage, I have found Confession very powerful. It just is easier to be kind to my wife after going to Confession and having God forgive all my sins. It is humbling.

  5. Amen. There is no better hug than the one after a good confession when marriage issues are involved. It's irresistible to forgive after you yourself have been forgiven. It's a big deal. Amen again.

  6. I'm a new bride (going on 3 months) and I ordered the book the same day you first recommended it in your post Leila! I still have not started reading it, as I'm finishing up St. Josemaria Escrivas "The Way" and also my newest purchase, Simcha Fisher's "the Sinner's Guide to NFP." But reading all of these testimonies and comments, this is definitely the next book that I will be reading! My husband is a saint too, I swear. I see so much of Jesus' character in him, yet in the past, I used to start so many unnecessary fights over the stupidest things with him. And I realize now, that all of those fights stemmed from my ego...from my love of self. I wanted to be treated like a princess and made sure I pointed out my now-husband's every single mistake or "mistreatment" of me....when all he ever was, was a simple, loyal, loving guy who just wanted to make me happy. I mostly eliminated my bad attitude now and that selfish outlook on life, but sometimes I still do see elements of it in my life. So, I cannot wait to read this book and benefit from it....and my husband benefit from it as well.

    God Bless

  7. Agnes, your husband is a very blessed man, and vice versa! Let me know what you think of the book. (And, I love The Way!)

  8. It was a great book, I read it based on your recommendation!! Thank you! ...My one complaint is that I wish there were more positive and practical examples for how to pro-actively love and respect your husband, rather than just lists and examples of how NOT to. But still, a really helpful resource.

  9. GraceofAdoption, point taken. But in her defense, I think the power of the book is in the holding up of a mirror to the women. When we see how we act (it's like putting a hidden camera in a home and playing it back), we are shocked, and truly often ashamed. We just didn't know. That in itself is enough to stop the behavior, and move us to make an about-face. The rest of it (how to love your individual husband, in your unique marriage) is beyond the scope of the book, I think.

    1. Although I think I will amend this and say that I believe she does give very good ideas about how to love your husband. Men are simple creatures as she said (and as the men agreed). There is not a whole lot that is needed past the basics of respect, physical attention and affection, and a nice meal. Our men do so much, sacrificially, for us, and they require shockingly little in return. :)

    2. I don't know if men are simple as opposed to honest or lets say functionality vs. aesthetics. We don't care where the couch goes in the living room so long as we have a place to sit down. A woman will likely remember something that happened 18 years ago and be happy or upset, guys are more apt to have mastered the art of letting things go, not worth it really. There's a beauty in understanding that. Now off to buy some black velvet Elvis bullfighting posters to hang in the wife's dainty foo foo dining room.

  10. Yet, somehow, being nice and kind hasn't worked out for me. I do remember reading Why Men Love Bitches: From Doormat to Dreamgirl - A Woman's Guide to Holding Her Own in a Relationship. There is some magical ingredient women have that makes a man put up with c*** and want to make her happy. WHAT IS THAT MAGICAL INGREDIENT??? Yelling in someone else's comment box is probably not the magical ingredient.

    1. So many pretty girls are mean we assume the two must go together somehow. Big mistake on our part. Ladies we will try to remedy this. Sorry.

      I'm a man, but I can change, if I have to, I guess.

  11. Lena, there are plenty of jerks out there, so those jerks will not respond to goodness, necessarily. And, I think the book really is designed to address the marriage dynamic, not so much the dating or seeking stage. It's rough out there, I agree!

  12. I agree that it's more of a book for marriage than dating. Dating is definitely an important time in a relationship, but it's somewhat unique. I feel like a book on discernment before marriage is better suited for dating!

    Lena, I totally know how hard it is out there. Ugh!! The good ones are often the guys who will sacrifice a lot and sometimes are overlooked for "bad guys" too. It can be just so hard to get past the first few dates to figure out a person's true character sometimes! And then, lots of people have major baggage as a result of broken family backgrounds that fuel very poor decisions and dating habits. :( I hope your Mr. Good Enough comes along soon!! (I would say "Prince Charming" but at least in my life, I had to learn that my husband wasn't really meant to be Prince Charming but instead a real human being, lol).

  13. Lena, I read that same book years ago. The bottom line from that book, and in reality, is that having solid self-esteem and self-confidence will attract quality men. What you and I don't understand, and what it didn't explain, is how truly b****y women - I mean those with self-esteem and a generous side of b***h, attract and marry some great guys who'd do anything for them. I can think of some examples where others and I have questioned over and over what particular men we know saw in their wives.

  14. No, no no. You're a pretty princess, Keep repeating that.Don't give the person that adores you an even break. It's all about you. Center of attention. That's where happiness lies. You'r happiest when you get love not when you give it. I must send out more of my minions. It's scary when really beautiful people start acting beautiful. As if the beauty was for others and not just for themselves. I must put an end to this NOW!

  15. Men are simple creatures as she said (and as the men agreed). There is not a whole lot that is needed past the basics of respect, physical attention and affection, and a nice meal.

    Is that what these books say? Is it appropriate for a husband to give them to his wife? Don't men also value intellectual discussions?

  16. Simple does not mean simplistic or stupid. It has absolutely zero to do with intellectual discussions. I know that many men have given the book to their wives to read. Sometimes with very miraculous results, sometimes they are met with scorn (for those women who cannot break out of the habit of contempt for their husbands).

  17. sometimes they are met with scorn

    Yes. That could definitely happen.

  18. Way to go, Lelia! Thanks for writing a great post!

  19. I must recommend "Fascinating Womanhood"! Older book, same idea, very practical with positive examples. I always go back to what I learned through that book. Don't give up on your husbands, ladies!


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