Are You Sure This ‘Ideal’ Husband Is for Real?

Published October 2, 1980. One of the pleasures of writing this column is reading the interesting responses of those who write in. Such was the case a few days ago when I received a letter from Mary Lou Mueller in Sandy.

Mary Lou responded to the article a few weeks ago about what her husband does to show his love for her. I was so impressed with Mary Lou’s letter that I contacted her to find out if her husband, Phil, is for real. She assured me he is, and I asked her permission to reprint her letter in the column. She gave it and here it is.

Dear Dr. Barlow:

Your column in the Desert News has inspired me to come straight to my typewriter and tell you about my husband Phil.

Phil and I were married one year ago last Monday. We are both in our mid-thirties. We have both been previously married. We both have two children from our previous marriages, although his children live in Denver with their mother. My children live with us.

We were engaged for five months, to which I attribute the success of our marriage in a large part. We both have parallel ideals and goals. We are both totally committed to a successful marriage.

I was most impressed with my husband’s love for me immediately after our marriage. He took another man’s children into his home and into his heart and loved them without discrimination.

How does this show his love for me? I remember as a child hearing my mother say, “When someone does something nice for my children, they do something nice for me.” I felt much the same way. Before our marriage, Phil learned how important it was to me to have him treat my children well. It all began with his honest effort to please me. It now has evolved into a genuine love and interest in ‘our’ kids that comes from his love for his family.

From the beginning he has helped me by sharing in our household responsibilities. He cooks, cleans, and supervises the children. He can do the laundry as well as I can. He has never come home from work and planted himself in front of the TV. When I’m free, he’s free. When I’m working, he’s working. All this, in spite of the fact that I quit my job in December and have since been a full-time homemaker.

We are now expecting a much-wanted addition in March, and I have been in bed with complications. My dear Phil comes home from work and plunges himself into dinner. He frequently serves me a beautiful meal in bed, feeds the kids, does the dishes, throws in a batch of laundry, plays Uno with the kids and me, gets them washed and ready for bed – all this and more, with never a complaint.

What could he do in the future to show his love? Nothing more or less than he has already done in the past. He is an unusual man, a patient and tireless husband. Even in trial there is always optimism in his voice.

I have no doubt that this will continue if I do my part. I love him, support him, believe in him, encourage him, praise him. In return, he gives it all back to me, two-fold. Thank you for giving me a forum to openly adore my wonderful husband,

Mary Lou Mueller
Sandy, Utah

We extend our best wishes to Phil and Mary Lou on their wedding anniversary.  As indicated in the letter, Phil is a sensitive and thoughtful husband. Apparently, there are many others like him around as evidenced in the numerous other letters I received.

And by the way, Phil, if and when we ever meet, I have a score to settle with you. After reading Mary Lou’s letter, Susan took me downstairs and introduced me to the laundry room.

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