I recently heard from a wife who asked for my help in “writing a letter that will help me reconcile my marriage with my husband.” The two had been having problems for a while, but in the past few weeks things had escalated to the point where the husband had been hinting that he was going to move out and eventually file for divorce. So, the wife felt pressured to come up with something to prevent this from happening. She hoped that the right letter might do the trick.
I very much understand the appeal of a letter. You can pour out your heart without having to worry about being interrupted or tripping over your words or becoming too emotional. Sometimes, it’s easier to write touchy words than it is to say them. But unfortunately, far too often I see people make some serious mistakes with these types of letters. I will discuss these common mistakes in the following article, tell you how to avoid them, and discuss what the letter with the highest chance of success should include.
Understanding Basic Human Psychology Before You Write The Letter That Will Hopefully Reconcile Your Marriage: Before you get started, it helps to understand exactly what you want the letter to accomplish. In most cases, people are hoping that the correspondence will help to get their spouse on board with saving the marriage. They’re hoping to change their spouses perceptions and feelings from negative to positive.
To that end, it’s so important to understand how your letter is going to be perceived. Probably the biggest mistake that I see people make is that they focus on themselves in the letter (rather than on their spouse.) They place most of their attention to their own feelings and their own fears. Examples are phrases like “I don’t know what I would do if I lost you.” Or, “my heart is breaking and I pray that we can work this out.” It’s OK to sprinkle some of these phrases in the letter, but be very careful that the whole tone of the letter isn’t one of negativity and fear.
It’s very important to understand basic human nature and psychology. People will move toward those emotions, things, and people that make them feel more positively and upbeat about their situation. And, people will move away from and have negative perceptions toward those things that bring them down. Make sure that your letter isn’t overwhelmingly negative and based on dark emotions like fear, jealousy, or possession. Proofread it several times to make sure that you aren’t constantly mentioning yourself, how you feel, or what you want.
Keep in mind who your audience…