Hello Dr. Laura,
I came across you on SiriusXM radio in January of this year. I so wish I had heard your advice 30 years ago, and the wisdom to listen to it, before I got married at 20 and had my son at 22.
I know there are many women that listen to you and say to themselves “Oh, but MY story is DIFFERENT” or “I can make this work” or some other lie. I am here to say I have personally done every single thing you have said to NOT do in my life. In the process, I have caused so much damage to the people I have loved the most by being a selfish young woman.
I have a son that is 28 years old by my first husband, who was physically and sexually abusive to me. I should have divorced him after the first month of marriage, but I was ashamed and instead brought my wonderful son into a world of complete chaos. He has had 2 step-fathers and 2 step-mothers, 6 step-brothers, 1 half-brother and 1 half-sister. He has attempted suicide at least twice. I hope your listeners heard “ATTEMPTED SUICIDE”. That should make some people listen.
I have 3 step-sons from my second marriage that I love very much and they love me, but when I left their father who had physically abused me and no longer had access to them, I now know how very much I hurt them, especially since their own mother had abandoned them 6 years earlier. The youngest was damaged in more ways than I can possibly explain. He is a drunk and does not work. He has a mildly disabled young daughter and is going through a divorce. He never learned how to function in a healthy family.
I have 3 step-sons from my current husband of almost 16 years. They are all three smart, healthy, well-adjusted young men. We had them all half of the time, up until they each graduated from high school. Even though their parents were divorced, they had more stability than most children of broken homes. However, I can clearly see the damage that has occurred by them not having a stern father in the house with them. They are adept at twisting and manipulating situations, lying, not “being a man” and honoring their word. These behaviors did not surface until after high school. Had I not married their father, they may have had a much different home life and certainly would have had much more of their father’s time and attention.
ALL of the above children were raised in day cares and after-school programs.
I have accepted my responsibility in all this and it makes me very sick and sad. I can’t change my past, but maybe someone will read this and it will make them DO THE RIGHT THING. Thank you and keep up the good work.
P.S. I don’t consider a shove or a mutual physical fight as “abuse”. Both of my ex-husbands beat the crap out of me on multiple occasions. The second did not sexually abuse me – that’s probably why I married him – because he was so much “better” than the first.