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Monday, 29 November 2010

Letter of Mistrust to My Husband

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These letters were written in response to a letter from one of our readers.

Click on the underlined text to view our comments
on what's right or wrong with the letter.

The Wrong Way

Dear Steve,
I really feel like I can't trust you because of your involvement with other women.

I just don't understand how you can say that you love me but you carry on with other women. If you want to be with someone else, then why do you want to stay married to me?

I feel like you've dictated how everything would be run in this house.

Ellen

The Write Way

Dear Steve,
After 26 years of marriage I feel like I would like to sit down with you and talk about our marriage, where it's been and where it's going.

I feel really appreciative of how you've always provided so well for me and for our family. When I look at them I think that we've done something wonderful. I'm really proud of the adults that they're becoming. I think that our focus on them has really paid off.

Now I think that it's time for us to figure out what we want from each other and our marriage. I'd like you to think of what you would like. Where do you see us in a year, or in 5 years? For example, one of things that I would like is to have more fun. {qluetips title=[We could go to more movies, take some trips...]}In this letter, the tone has changed. The writer expresses appreciation for the qualities that she admires in her husband. She acknowledges their accomplishments. This letter discusses "we" instead of saying "You do this, you don't do that". It opens up a dialogue instead of an angry, blaming tirade. That's why it's so important to get those surface emotions out of the way first so that you can focus on what you're really trying to say and what you really want from him. {/qluetips}

Love,
Ellen

Sample letters written by Dr. Louise Klein, clinical psychologist.

Use at least several of the following principles while writing your letter:
Don't blame. Don't accuse. Make "I" statements. Be specific about what you want. Ask for your partner's input. End with a positive statement.
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