One thing I’ve heard you say over and over is “between now and dead, is this how you want to spend the rest of your life?
” I had to ask myself that question regarding my brother-in-law of 40 years, who over the last ten years has become very difficult to be around – critical, loud, and disrespectful. Our families put up with his behavior for the sake of family peace, but last year I had enough. I wrote him a letter outlining the problem I was having with him, said I’d be polite if I had to be in the same room with him, but that I was “divorcing
” him. I wasn’t going to take his abusive behavior and comments. The day he read my letter, he texted me incessantly, but I didn’t respond. I held my ground, and I felt a tremendous amount of peace once I made that decision. I hosted some family gatherings, and for once, I wasn’t walking on eggshells, because he wasn’t there. What a relief!
But that’s not the best of it. After six months, my brother-in-law extended the olive branch to me. There’s been a miraculous change in his behavior and attitude when we’re together. It’s been great, not just for me, but because I set an example to my family that you can stand up for yourself and not be afraid of the consequences. My situation turned out well, but I was willing to take the risk even if it didn’t. This change wouldn’t have happened if you hadn’t kept whispering in my ear “between now and dead….” Thank you for giving me the guts and sense to stand up and do the right thing. Keep on truckin’, Dr. Laura!
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