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How to Turn Desperate Housewives into Fulfilled Spouses With Personal Love Letters

Aug 17, 2007
There is no need to look for Wisteria Lane in your neighborhood. Desperate housewives can be everywhere; housewives desperate for love and attention from their husbands, that is. According to top psychologist Dr. John M. Gottmann, men are often emotionally deficient when it comes to expressing fondness and admiration to their spouses. Well, it is time to reverse that trend.

Love letters. Did you and your wife exchange them when you were dating and engaged? Personal love letters are one of the most revered ways that husbands and wives communicate. Drafting and writing a personal love letter takes energy, thought and time. As a matter of fact, the success of marriage enrichment programs like Marriage Encounter, depends upon how willingly spouses share their feelings, affectionate and otherwise, with each other.

Dr. Gottman's book, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, builds on the concept of making regular deposits in a spouse's emotional bank account. One of the exercises for building fondness and admiration is thinking of and writing down one's positive feelings for the other spouse. In a sense, a personal love letter is a form of everyday honeymoon that a husband can give freely to his wife. Here are eight rules to follow.

Rule Number One: Make the Letter Positively Personal
Anything put into writing can be read, saved and reread. The first rule for a personal love letter is to make it personal and positive. Love letters carry a message of worth from a husband that affirms and cherishes his wife. So, it is critical to make a list of the positive things about your wife that you want to assert. Avoid any critical, ambivalent remarks. Let them go and focus on what you cherish about your wife.

Rule Number Two: It's About Her
A personal love letter is a direct communication to and with your wife. Use the word "you" early and often. Share your feelings. My parents have been married for more than 55 years. On my mom's 80th birthday, our family gave personal testimonies that we taped and made into a DVD. My dad stood up and used the song, "You Mean All the World to Me." He choked up with emotion in front of us all and it was so powerful to witness the love he had for his wife. Make your wife feel special, too.

Rule Number Three: Start with a Special Endearment
If you have a special name for your wife, use it. Write a personal greeting, like
- My most beautiful ______________ (your wife's name)
- Dear wonder of my life
- You're the best thing that happened to me

Rule Number Four: Make it Specific and Meaningful
With a little practice, writing a personal love letter becomes a great habit! Make sure that the words you write express things that are specific and meaningful to your marriage, yourself and your wife. For example, you may write a personal love letter on the birth of a child, an anniversary, a special thanks for favors done, or for any reason that you can find. (Remember, the more reasons, the more letters!)

Rule Number Five: End with Love
Don't just write, "well, that's about it." Get creatively romantic. Use something that sums up your feelings and lets your wife know that you continue to love her. Use endings like: Forever Yours, All my love, With love forever, I am so happy you are in my life, You mean the world to me. Then, sign your name.

Rule Number Six: Make It Pretty
Wives love getting a special gift and the packaging is often as important as what is inside. In other words, don't write your personal love letter on the back of a paper bag. Make it pretty. Use special stationery (you can visit a scrapbook store and buy just one sheet for less than 50 cents.) Or write your letter in a romantic greeting card. Use your own handwriting, too. A card typed on a computer seems artificial and mechanicals. Decorate your letter with a personal drawing like hearts or XOXO (shorthand for hugs and kisses), or use stickers.

Rule Number Seven: Special Delivery
Make sure your personal love letter gets your wife's attention. Use surprise. Mail your letter in a special envelope, like Priority Mail or through Special Delivery. Put the letter under her pillow, in her lingerie drawer, on her dinner plate or at the breakfast setting. Use her favorite color envelope.

Rule Number Eight: Do It Again and Again
Trust and ongoing commitment rank high with every wife. Write another personal love letter when you go out of town (I give my wife a card for every night that I'm gone), on Monday mornings, when she's doing the laundry. Your marriage relationship will grow with love beyond your imagination as you regularly write a personal love letter to your wife.

With a little, consistent effort, husbands can write personal love letters that create a hope-filled atmosphere, and have one of the best love nests in the neighborhood.
About the Author
Dave Pipitone is a professional communicator, spiritual entrepreneur, dedicated husband and father. For more information for husbands honoring their wives, visit http://www.songofourmarriage.com.
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