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A Powerful & Inspirational Open Letter From A Wife - The Unveiled Wife
All her trust is gone, so thinks evil of his motives. She believes him to be self-centered and unloving because of the way he has neglected or treated her. The only thing a man can do to restore trust is to express empathy and compassion for her wounded condition, which is done through relating to her like he would with a woman he just ran over in his truck. Trust will not be restored if he explains things about himself and why he did what he did. Trust will not be restored if he apologizes over and over, and promises to change. And trust will not be restored if he makes declarations of the depth of his love and shows it through some kind of romantic gesture. Make certain that your letter is not mostly about you and your thoughts, rather make it about her broken heart, followed up by how you broke it. I strongly recommend that you send the letter to me for review before you give it to your wife. Every man I have spoken with, who has sent it without having it reviewed first, regretted it. There are always blind spots in communication that ultimately offend a woman. Speaking to a hardened heart It is no simple matter to write a letter to someone who is so embittered that they misinterpret everything you say. He has lost all her trust, so she is ready to think the worst of his motives. Therefore, he must be careful of how he phrases sincere apologies, promises of repentance, professions of love, or even compliments. Anything he says will often be interpreted as evidence of his self-centeredness. Because of this, any communication must be carefully written or spoken. If you desire help with crafting the best letter for your wife, I am available to help. Below I have provided some guidelines for writing a letter and if you would like counseling click on the Counseling link in the left sidebar. On Guideline 10 below, I have provided some paragraphs as examples of how to write a letter. Believe me — those paragraphs are critical. Because a wounded woman is so sensitive, I would not recommend giving her a letter without first having it reviewed. Please understand that you are not purchasing help with your donation -- the donation is because you have already found help. The letter reviewing is my way of saying thank you to Ultimate Husband supporters. Whether or not you intend to give your letter to your wife or simply use it as basis for conversation, writing a letter and having it reviewed is an exercise that can teach you a great deal about her. A letter reveals to the counselor your blind spots regarding how you see yourself and your wife, and helps you refine your communication skills with her. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind. The goals of a proper letter: The overall objective of the letter is to reestablish lost trust. Your wife is in such a state of emotional pain and distress, and so emotionally wounded that she has lost all trust in you. Therefore, the only way I have found for a man to regain the trust of the woman he hurt is to empathize with her pain and communicate that empathy by compassionately describing to her her pain and what he did to cause it. Guys, your wife is aching for someone to validate her feelings and feel for her in her heartbreak. You heard me right. Yes, your heart is aching to keep her from leaving you, but your goal MUST be to make things right with someone you have hurt. Your letter must be to bring healing to someone whom you have damaged. If your goal is to stop your wife from leaving, you will say or promise to do anything to stop her. And she knows that. Your chief goal, therefore, must be to release her in your heart, but reach out to her like a stranger that you have run over with your truck. The goal of the letter is to let your wife know she is understood through your empathy and compassion putting yourself in her place. The goal is not to tell her that you understand or to say the words "I empathize with you. Describe to her how she is feeling using words that reflect your compassion for her. Your wife feels irreparably wounded by the man to whom she entrusted her heart. She feels defrauded, because before the marriage you made her feel cherished, valued, and worth seeking after. How would you feel were you in her position? Not all doctors are known for their empathy, but they have great power to put their patients at ease by diagnosing diseases or other physical maladies. For example, a woman goes to her doctor and shows him a rash on her arm that greatly mystifies her. Do you also have an ache in your right knee and a twitch in your left eyebrow? You obviously understand my problem and that gives me hope! Even before the medicine starts working she will be at peace, just because someone understands her. And we as husbands can have a similar power with our wives. If you talk to your wife like a doctor describing the various ways she is feeling, particularly symptoms she neglected to tell you, she may get excited at the prospect that you understand her condition. She not only needs you to describe what she is feeling, but feel for her in her pain. Only then will she think you get it and may be trusted. Phrases that communicate empathy are ones like: Here is an example of revealing to your wife how she is feeling using words she probably hasn't used with you: The goal is to minimize how much you talk about yourself, especially at the beginning of the letter and at the start of most sentences. The subject of the letter is what she has gone through and how she feels. She has lost all trust in you, because she thinks you are totally self-absorbed. You will only reinforce her opinion by directing attention back to yourself. The fastest way to offend her in your letter is to start off talking apologetically about how you blew it, how your marriage got to this place, or something that you say you understand. If there are more than a few, she will be sure to smell your self-centeredness, and the letter will have done more harm than good. Many men believe that their wife will restore the relationship if they simply confess to everything of which she has ever accused them. Unfortunately, a letter full of confessed wrongs often makes a bitter woman angrier. With every confessed wrong a man simply points her back at himself and his failings. Hearing her husband acknowledge his sins does not restore lost trust. It just makes her dwell on how he wounded her for so many years, thereby exacerbating her pain and frustration. A man must mention his contribution, but only in light of her pain. As you write, keep in mind that the sentences in your letter must not be about you and how you blew it. In the following samples, notice how each sentence is about her pain and then followed by how the husband caused the pain. Use that sentence structure -- describe her pain and then say how you caused it. You might also write two sentences about her and then follow them up with a couple of sentences about what you did to cause the pain. Remember, when people get emotionally wounded they respond the same as they would to a physical wound. They become focused on nursing the wound. Your wife is only open to hearing you talk about her pain first and then what you did to cause it. If trust is to be restored, she must be certain that you understand how she has been made to feel for a long time. Here are a few examples of making her the subject of sentences: Self-oriented sentence From the beginning of our marriage I was so self-centered and thoughtless. I know I must have made you feel neglected and insignificant Wife-oriented sentence You were sure your heart would be safe with me, so you gave it to me, but after we got married, I left you feeling neglected and insignificant. Self-oriented sentence I was so harsh and mean to you whenever you tried to talk to me. I shut you down and treated you like you were starting arguments. Wife-oriented sentence As I look back over our marriage I realize now that all those times you tried to share your heart with me I would shut you down like you were attacking me or starting an argument. Self-oriented sentence Everyday after work I played with my Xbox or watched TV until it was time for bed while you cooked, cleaned, and managed the kids. I ignored you when you begged for help. I am sorry for doing that. Wife-oriented sentence Everyday after work you took care of the kids and the house while I played with my Xbox or watched TV. For years you begged for help, but I defended myself and ignored you. How awful that must have been for you — the very man you looked to for protection, was the biggest threat to your sanity. The subject of an effective letter must be the woman whose heart you ran over with a truck. Sadly, because your head is swirling in pain from the threat of losing your wife, you may have become even more self-oriented, which may come out in the letter. You therefore must allow your naturally protective nature to take over and relate to your wife as one who needed and continues to need your protection. Remember that your wife is only leaving you, because she is fleeing something that had been a threat to her for a long time. A bitter wife has a low opinion of your spirituality, so will resent hearing you put yourself in good light. In fact, to avoid putting yourself in good light, I suggest starting off a letter pointing to someone else who hit you over the head with the truth. Just one self-oriented sentence is all it takes to ruin a near-perfect letter. I gave one such letter to two female counselors to evaluate and watched them both be stirred emotionally and break into tears by the third paragraph, but when they came across that one self-oriented sentence at the beginning of the fourth paragraph, it stopped them cold. The goal of your letter is not to name all the occasions you offended her. At each point in the letter where you make reference to a wound she suffered, you need to provide an example of a bad habit or pattern of behavior that hurt her. It is not wise to bring up specific incidents, because that may easily focus her back on the pain of a particular occasion and she may start to relive it in her mind, thereby stirring up her pain and anger all over again. It is important therefore, that you understand the difference between a specific incident and a pattern of behavior or bad habit. Example of confessing bad habits or patterns of behavior You married me, because you were certain your heart would be safe with me. How awful for you that I rarely defended or stuck up for you when others attacked you.
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