Example Letter #1
Because we parted last night in anger, I decided to write you a letter rather than call. We both needed to cool off a little and think about what's happening to us. I don't really know when our arguments first started (do you?), but we can't seem to resolve them peacefully anymore. Although our passionate natures helped to bring us together in the first place, they have also meant that both of us have hair triggers on our tempers. We don't seem to be able to sit down and discuss a problem like two rational people anymore. With our volatile personalities, we just get angry and start fighting, then make up later when the memory fades and we start to miss each other. This behavior is beginning to form a recurrent pattern that we can't seem to break.
We've been together for almost five years now, so we've invested a few years of our lives into this relationship already and should think twice before we throw it away. When it is good, it is very, very good, but those times are getting further and further apart. Now we need to decide if there's enough love here to hold on to, or if this relationship has just run its course and we should give it up. I know I still love you, Christy. If you love me too, then together we could try to find the road back to the way we were. I'm just afraid we need someone else to help us do that now.
The worse things get, the more I think we need to find someone who'll show us how to settle our arguments peacefully. Maybe this person could even help us figure out why we're arguing in the first place. It may take a little work, but it would be worth it if we could start to build new memories as great as the old ones. I'll call you Sunday evening to see how you feel about going to a counselor with me. Sweetheart, let's hold on to what we've got and not let it slip away!
Example Letter #2
I don't know exactly what you're thinking these days, but I'm pretty sure that you are as aware as I am that things have been a little rocky between us lately. Well, a lot rocky, really. We've always had our differences--remember how we always teased that opposites attract and that fighting was worth it because making up was so much fun? Over the last few months, though, it seems that we've been fighting all the time and we don't see eye-to-eye on anything anymore. We've both become quite independent over the last couple of years as our careers have started to take shape, and we're not nearly as easygoing as we used to be.
In the past we could always compromise and work together through our challenges, but things just aren't getting better this time. I keep thinking that these little difficulties will vanish, but they don't. We make resolutions to be better partners, yet nothing changes.
I don't want to give up on us. I love you--it seems like I've loved you forever now. I don't want to let go of this relationship, and I don't want to lose you. We've been so close in the past, had so many good times, and we've both grown a great deal. Could we really let all of that come to an end?
I don't know what more we can do. These days we seem to be talking in circles, unable (or unwilling?) to listen to each other. Life's just not as simple as it used to be. I know that in the past I was hesitant to involve other people in our problems, but now I think that it might be wise to seek outside help if we want this relationship to last. Honey, are we ready to do that? I hope so.
I have a friend who was going through some marital problems about a year ago. At that time she mentioned a counselor that she was seeing, and she spoke very highly of her. Will you call me by this weekend and tell me what you think about possibly seeing this guidance counselor if she's available? Hope to hear from you soon. I love you.
Example Letter #3
I've done a lot of thinking since yesterday's argument. I finally decided to put pen to paper in an effort to express my feelings and concerns. Clearly, we are having some trouble in our marriage. We keep bumping up against issues that we can't seem to resolve. From the days of our courtship we knew that we had diverse personalities and that we saw things differently. Of course, that is one of the reasons why we fell in love--I remember that we used to laugh about opposites attracting and that we could never expect a dull moment. Now, looking back, I think that we underestimated the power of our differences. We can't seem to see a clear path to resolution.
Maybe it's time to admit that we need some help. The harsh words, the disagreements over money, the social-you/anti-social-me issue, the chipping away at each other's self-image--it's all got to stop. I'm exhausted, and I think you are, too. I think we both want and need some peace, but we don't know how to arrive. Like my father used to say: you can try to chop a tree down by whacking at the leaves, or you can take an axe to the trunk and go for the root. I want to chop down the tree. I want to get at the root of the problem and stop this senseless whacking at each other. I want to fight the core issue, not you. But I feel like I'm going into battle without any ammunition. I am willing to go to a counselor with you to get help for "us" right now.
When I think of the years we have spent together, the obstacles we've faced, the good times and the bad, I want to explore every option to save our marriage. There is just too much investment to throw it all away. It seems that neither of us has the magic answer to turn this around by ourselves, however. We need some outside help.
Outside of every consideration, let me state as plainly as possible that I still love you (although I have often struggled to say it). I want our relationship to work. This may be the fight of my life to repair our marriage, but I believe it is worth saving. I know (I think we both know) that there are skills that each of us needs to develop. Our ability to agree and disagree lovingly and civilly needs to improve. We need to remember what we enjoyed about each other when we were dating. We need to recall why we fell in love in the first place--sacrifice for each other a little more, learn to bite our tongues once in a while, concentrate on acting and not reacting. A lot of work, admittedly, but if we each gave a 100 percent and allowed each other some time to learn, I know we could find healing and renew our love. Isn't it worth a try?
I remember a golden moment, many years ago, when I took you by the hand, went to my knees, and begged you to be my wife. Now, I am begging you to remain my wife. Please, let's take this counseling step together and work out our problems.
Example Letter #4
We've both known that our relationship has been in trouble for awhile now. I don't know about you, but I haven't wanted to admit it. I've tried to ignore the problem and pretend that it didn't exist. I don't know about you, but I can't go on like this anymore. I accept responsibility for my part in our problems, and I think that you do too, but neither one of us knows how to fix it. We've both certainly tried, but it just hasn't worked out. I think that in order to save this marriage, we need to move in the right direction toward reconciliation. It has taken two of us to get ourselves into this mess, but I think it's going to take three of us to get us out. I think we need to see a marriage counselor.
I love you. I believe that this marriage is worth saving and can be saved. It may take a lot of work, but I'm willing to do whatever it takes, and I hope you are too. I'm not willing to just give up the past ten years without a fight. When I look back on the early days of our marriage, I remember how happy we were! We never ran out of things to say to each other and sometimes we used to talk all night! We wanted to spend all of our time together. I want us to be like that again. Now it seems that we'd rather be with our friends or at work than with each other. On the rare occasions we do have dinner together anymore, neither one of us has much to say nor is it enjoyable. It seems like there's more silence than conversation.
I'm lonely. I miss the way we were. I want us to be us again. Please say that you'll come with me to talk to a counselor. I'll find the counselor and make the appointment. Just tell me when you'll be available.