Can one spouse save a marriage? Well, there is no surefire product that will magically make your marriage problems go away! But should you give up without trying to save your marriage? No.
Can a letter save your marriage? That depends.
It’s like any other big gesture. If it’s executed well, and you follow-up with real action, then yes. It can be the first step in rebuilding a troubled marriage. On the other hand, a letter that lacks honest, and shows the little capability of self-evaluation won’t be received well.
Still, if you think your marriage is worth saving, writing a letter can be a good first step to save your marriage. It’s a great way to articulate your thoughts and feelings without worrying about the interruption, or the nerves that come from interacting with someone during intense moments.
But, where do you begin? It’s impossible to tell you what to write, but the following tips should help guide your process to save your marriage.
Check your motivation
If you want to vent your anger or hurt your husband’s feelings, a letter is no way to do that. Even if you feel there are things about which you are justifiably angry, don’t memorialize something like that in a letter. There are better ways to express negative feelings.
Your letter also shouldn’t be an exercise in falling on your sword. That’s not productive either. Worse, it can backfire and seem a bit manipulative. Instead, think about what it is that you want to accomplish that will move things in a loving and positive direction and save your marriage. For example:
- Expressing appreciation for your husband in ways that you haven’t before.
- Reminding your spouse of the great memories you’ve had.
- Sharing your desire to connect more physically.
- Affirming or reaffirming your commitment to them after a difficult time.
- Encouraging them if they are working on improving themselves.
Don’t try to address everything in a letter to save your marriage
Marriages become troubled for a variety of reasons. You shouldn’t try to address every problem in a single letter. Instead, focus on one or two things that you can act on, and expressing your commitment to working through your problems and save your marriage.
Use ‘I’ and ‘me’ statements
Your statements can feel like accusations (e.g., you never listen to me).
Avoid them if you address anything negative. Instead, phrase them using I and me. This acknowledges that you are responsible for your feelings and reactions. At the same time, it allows you to let your husband know how a certain behavior has affected you.
Try replacing ‘you never listen to me’ with, ‘when I express myself, and only get answers in return I feel unheard.’
Neightan White, a writer at Supreme Dissertations says, “In writing, it’s very important for you to be specific. This is true whether you are praising or criticizing. It’s difficult for people to wrap their head around vague statements, and you can come off as being insincere.”
For example, don’t tell your husband that you love how considerate he is.
Tell him something that he did that made you feel as if he takes your needs into consideration. Try, ‘I love that you make sure my favorite coffee mug is waiting on the counter for me every morning. It’s one less thing for me to worry about, and I know it means you’ve thought of me.’
Ask for what you want
Men are often socialized from childhood on to be problem solvers. Many need concrete requests and suggestions from you. This allows them to take real action. By doing this, they get a sense of accomplishment from knowing that they are doing something tangible to improve your marriage. Be specific. Ditch vague suggestions like spending more time together, or being physically affectionate. Instead, try one of these examples, tailored to your situation:
- I’d like us to take a couple’s dance class at the community center.
- Let’s make Friday date night again.
- I need you to initiate sex more often.
- If you could get the kids ready for school one or two days a week, it would really help me.
Say what you’re going to do
At the same time, you should also be specific when you detail the actions you are going to take when it comes to saving your marriage. Ethan Dunwill is a writer at Hot Essay Service who helps brands communicate their intentions. He says that many of the lessons he has learned apply to interpersonal relationships as well, “Nobody wants to hear, ‘I’ll do better.’ They want to know how you’ll do better.” Try these suggestions:
- I’m going to spend less time online and more time talking to you.
- I won’t complain when you go out to play disc golf on Saturday afternoons.
- I’ll start going to the gym with you so we can get into better shape together.
- If I have a problem with something you said, I’ll wait until we are alone instead of criticizing you in front of the kids.
Let your open letter to your husband sit for a day
Davis Myers an editor at Grab My Essay is a proponent of letting any emotionally charged communication sit for a day or two before you send it.
He says, “This will give you a chance to reevaluate your words before you are no longer able to edit yourself. More importantly, you can read it with your husband’s perspective in mind. How will he feel reading your letter? Is that a reaction that you want?”
Don’t hesitate to ask for help
Some problems are too big for two people to tackle alone. Whether it’s something that you need to address alone, or as a couple, your letter can be a good place to introduce the idea of marriage counseling, or seeking advice from the clergy.
A sincere letter can save your message
If you want to save your marriage, a sincere letter that comes from the heart can really make a big difference. Just follow the writing tips here and check online sample letters to save marriage for some useful templates that you can customize. Then, take the next steps required to turn your intentions into action and you will be on the fastest route to save your marriage.