Hello Dr. Laura!
I read "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands" before my dear husband and I got married in December. Last night, I had the opportunity to treat kindly having Mother Laura in the back of my head.
This is the second marriage for both of us. My husband has primary physical custody of his kids and I have no children of my own and won't be able to have any. He is the primary bread-winner in our family. The little investment income I bring to the family table we put away each month into savings. He is not a rich man, but the work he does makes him happy so I manage our month-to-month finances in a way that supports his professional happiness. I also have Crohn's Disease and will have some major surgery and decisions to make in the next few weeks.
I have always put a hot dinner on the table, but recently some have been more memorable than others. Last night I wanted to fix my man one of his favorite meals, oven-baked tilapia and risotto. I had everything prepared and started when I got a call that a computer network just went down and he would be "pretty late" getting home for dinner. In that moment, I was irritated. Risotto is awful when cold. Then I made myself pause and asked him “how late is ‘pretty late?’" He told me he would be almost an hour late getting home. He kept apologizing. I told him to take care of business and call me when he was 20 minutes from home.
Meanwhile, I put dinner on for the kiddos. When he called again, I fired up my skillet and oven, and started his dinner from scratch all over again with a glass of wine waiting. The tears in his eyes were thank you enough for preparing 2 dinners and two clean-ups. He loves his family and he didn't want to get home late either. He also didn't need to come home to a hysterical wife. I wanted him to feel safe, loved, supported and appreciated. All of that was communicated to him with a simple hot dinner.
My daughter (steps are what we climb from the first floor to the second, not what we define our family with) asked why I was making dinner again. I explained about Daddy being late and how there are many ways to say "I love you" but serving others is the loudest expression of it at all.
My BFF (best boyfriend forever) texted me today asking me for a date on Saturday night. It's my privilege to accept.
Thank you Mother Laura for influencing a simple decision which could have communicated two entirely different emotions: one constructive and one destructive. It was a newly-wed learning experience I hope to not forget.
Yours truly -