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You Really Hurt Me. (But Tell Me Your Side of It--I'm Listening!)

Dr. Mel Luthy, Chief Editor

Sample Letter #1

I'm writing this letter because I thought it would be better to write instead of talking to you in person, especially since both of us of usually have hair triggers on our emotions and tempers. Besides, I'm already upset, and I don't want to say anything I might regret later.

First of all, I want you to know how much I care about "us" and how important this relationship is to me. For example, you probably don't realize how much I've enjoyed all the discussions we've had together. I've found that we can talk intelligently about everything from Impressionist art to the exportation of American jobs. The more I get to know you, the more I find we have in common and the more I love you. And those "I love you" words seem to come as naturally to your lips as they do to mine. We've been together for over six months now and everything about our relationship has become more intimate. It was natural for me to stop seeing anyone else a long time ago and I believed that you had, too, because that is what you told me.

Then I got a call from Laura this morning. She and Tom went out to dinner at the Olive Garden on Saturday night like they sometimes do. That was the day I had that miserable stomach virus and had to cancel our usual night out. Well, Laura told me she saw you in the restaurant having dinner with another woman that night. It hurts me to even write those words, but I'm just repeating what she told me. Could it be possible? I hope that she was wrong. After all, there are many good-looking guys in this world who like Italian food besides you!

I realize there could also be an innocent explanation for the whole situation. After all, I've seen enough "Law and Order" episodes to know you can't convict someone on circumstantial evidence. I want to know the facts of this case so I can dismiss it as quickly as possible! You don't need a lawyer just tell me the truth. I need to know that you are still faithful to everything you've promised me and that you've not changed your mind about our future plans. I need to know that another woman has not come between us before I can go on the way we have been.

I'm staying with old roommate, Sheila, right now. You know the number--555-5555. I'll be waiting for your call, but if I get a letter instead, I'll prepare for the worst. After all, the worst scenario wouldn't be the end of the world--just the beginning of the end of our world.

Sample Letter #2

I know it's been a few days since we talked, and I'm sorry I haven't returned your calls, but I just can't face you right now. Please know how much your friendship means to me--how much you mean to me. We've known each other for so long now and we've had a lot of good times over the years. I can still remember our parents plotting our marriage when we were in kindergarten. Do you remember that? Since then, we've always been able to offer each other a listening ear and a shoulder to lean on.

I thought I was over being upset, but I'm not quite to that point yet. I know that we had decided that it would be best to see other people for the time being in order to give each other some space. It really hurts me, though, that you would ask my roommate out right off the bat. We were together for a long time, and I can't help feeling somewhat betrayed.

Now, I don't think that you had ulterior motives in asking her out. I don't really believe that you would do it to hurt me, either, but I couldn't believe it when Christine told me that you had asked her out and that the two of you went to dinner on Tuesday. I'm confused right now, and I hardly know what to think. I assumed you knew how I would feel about that kind of thing--about going out with someone so close to me so soon. Would you please tell me what you were thinking?

I might need some time to sort this out before we see each other again, but I hope we can straighten things out soon.

Sample Letter #3

I've found that writing down my thoughts is sometimes better than struggling to express my feelings out loud. Besides, we both know that emotions tend to blur everything. I'm already trying to deal with hurt feelings and bouts of anger. I'd rather not stick my foot in my mouth and find myself unable to take something back that I regretted saying!

Let me start by saying that I care about our relationship. Otherwise our argument wouldn't have mattered to me and I wouldn't be taking the time to write this letter. I can't help but remember all the good times we've shared: late-night walks, movies, and dinner at the beach. I've treasured our talks and how we have discovered our many shared interests. In the short time we've known each other we have years of history--too much to set aside lightly, I hope. I've surprised myself by being able to express my love for you easily. In a significant way, you taught me how to say those three important words--words I had once thought I would never be able to say sincerely but they were and are sincere. As our relationship has progressed and become more intimate, the word "love" has become a natural part of my vocabulary.

That is why what you said to me hurt so deeply. I can't say it more plainly than that. I felt as if I had been punched and knocked over and I fell down emotionally. I was totally unprepared for a comment like that to come from your lips. During all the months we have dated, I have never heard you say anything that resembled that remark. How is it possible that you could have said it? Did you really mean it? Please say "no." Please say it was just a poor choice of words or bad timing or unintentional--or something!

I don't think you can imagine how much it hurt me, but I don't want to continue feeling this way. Please help me understand what happened so we can put it behind us and move forward. I need closure. I need to know where you stand and if this will affect us in the future. I have not changed my mind about our relationship, but I am in desperate need of clarification.

I'm anxiously awaiting your reply.

Sample Letter #4

I saw you last night. It was Friday night and I was at the mall shopping for Mother's Day presents for both of our mothers. I saw a car that looked a lot like yours in the parking lot by Sears, but I didn't think anything of it until I saw you walk out of the store, get into the car, and drive away. I sat there in the driver's seat, stunned. You told me that you had to go out of town on business. Your flight left Friday morning and you wouldn't be back until Sunday.

I don't understand. Why did you lie to me? I'm trying so hard not to overreact. I want to believe that there's a good explanation, although I'm not sure what that would be. I thought that we had a good relationship and that we could always talk to each other. I trusted you. I believed everything you told me. How can I believe a word you say now? And how can we continue this relationship if it isn't built on honest communication and mutual trust and respect?

I really want you to explain to me what you were doing Friday night. I want to hear your side of things. I don't want this relationship to be over, but if it is, I want to know now. Please call me.

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